Oakland Local

My Hood created an app that plots friends who are listening to the same music in their neighborhood. Photo by: Amabelle Ocampo 

Oakland’s Hella Hack weekend held at Pandora’s headquarters was hella fun! It was networking genius immersed in rap battles, cash prizes, coding and creativity. In all, 70 hackers from all over California rose to the challenge and 20 teams pitched their ideas on Sunday.

While everyone who presented is a winner, several hot new apps topped the charts earning the Judge’s Pick and Viewer’s Choice awards for the first-ever Oakland music hack-a-thon.

Meet the winners.

From left to right: Oscar Celma, Ching-Wei Chen, Seth Piezas, Shashi Jain, Alexandre Passant

From left to right: Oscar Celma, Ching-Wei Chen, Seth Piezas, Shashi Jain, Alexandre Passant

Get in the game. With Video Machine, there’s no reason to begin a presentation without it. Oakland developer Seth Piezas created an app that turns your mobile device into a video, toy stirring audience imagination through interactive animation. Audiences create their own digital experiences using real time filters and special effects.

We all have pop songs in our playlists that we hate to admit we listen to. With that, Shashi Jain, a developer from Los Angeles and partner Tom Long from SoMa created Guilty Pleasures that won the Judge’s Pick. The app gives listeners freedom to groove to whatever they want, even Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, or N*SYNC while their lock screen displays a faux exterior of a cool classic track. When friends decide to listen in on their experience, the track can be toggled quickly to the less embarrassing tune.

Oakland’s bar scene is hella awesome, which makes it tough to decide on places to hang out on Friday. Hella Bar took the guesswork out of the equation and won the viewer’s choice award. Using user preferences on Facebook, the app developed by Oscar Celma and Alexandre Passant locates bars, restaurants, and coffee shops to fit every mood. The app finds the artists you love, then narrows down places in Yelp! to cater to your musical taste. Now that’s amore!

Special thanks to judges: Josh Constine, Steve Jang, Mike Grishaver, Stephen White, Whitney Phaneuf and Jerry Harrison. Also, sponsors Gracenote, Rdio, Dolby, The Echo Nest, Oaklandish, SendGrid, Parse,  2.Oakland , Feed.fm, and The Port for the support and prizes for the teams.

One thought on “Hacking in Oakland: great apps from Hella Hack Oakland

  1. It’s wonderful to see events like this hosted in Oakland – and I wish it received more attention from the Oakland Tribune, KTVU, etc., as networking events for coders certainly helps spur creativity and innovation. I’ve attended smaller coding events throughout the East Bay over the years, and the ability to create mobile apps is something open to both amateur and experienced coders.

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