Ah PennApps, small, delightful dishes of food that Quakers enjoy before a main course in order to stimulate the appetite. But also a semesterly reminder that what many SEASers lack in social life and hours of sleep, they make up for in hackathon winnings.
This past weekend, a buncha CS-minded n3rd$ (nerdspeak for ‘nerds’) from all over the world came to compete for a piece of dat $30K in our very own Engineering Quad. Fueled by pizza and confidence, these hackers cooked up apps that attracted sponsors like Venmo, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Other Companies I Wish I Could Intern At Because Their Offices Look Really Cool.
As you might expect, a lot of neat and…ahem, quirky stuff was born during the 48 hours of PennApps Spring 2014, so we didja a solid and sorted out the Facebooks from the Faceplants:
1st place: Homework Help
Take academic dishonesty to the next level with a smart machine that can interpret math problems and write out solutions in your handwriting
+ gives you more time to appreciate the finer things in life
- your study group wonders why you don’t need them anymore
- lifelong guilt
2nd place: PipeTeX
Makes it easier to write documents involving math equations (e.g. 2 + 2 = 4)
+ really great for people who like math
- unclear why it’s called PipeTeX, but probably obvious to someone who cares
3rd place: GoogolPlex
Lets third-party apps use Siri, so you can Instagram, Venmo, Spotify and more all with the touch of a voice
+ finally get some use out of Siri
- you have to say “GoogolPlex” before a command
- how does Google feel about all this???
Good Lookin’: whaticookup
Identifies ingredients in a picture you take and says what you can make from them
+ literally an app that can help you make app-etizers (sorry)
- useless when your fridge is empty
- always comes up with ‘smoothie’
For The Birds: Be the Bird
Lets you control the bird in Flappy Bird clones by flapping your arms
+ they have a video demonstration
- your high score is still, like, 2
Picture Perfect: PerfectPicture
A camera app that doesn’t take a group picture until everyone is smiling and has their eyes open
+ photobombers have to be smiling to be successful
- difficult to use at a funeral
+ jk, they have an option to turn the smile requirement off
A Plus For Effort: PennCoursePlus
A Chrome extension that displays PennCourseReview ratings within Penn InTouch’s course listings
+ spares us the extra tab and the searching, oh the searching
+ something we didn’t know we wanted so bad
- wasn’t available last semester
Said Ooh Girl, Shock Me Like: The Electric Eel
No joke, this is a controllable electric condom that delivers small shocks to your peepee for maximum pleasure.
+ this actually fucking exists
+ it’s like a prototype and everything
+ “…the designs have all been personally tested by the design team for their effectiveness and safety.”
+ it’s open source
All On The Floor: Smack That!
Silence your phone instantly by smacking it
+ an outlet for sexual frustration
- draw even more attention to yourself when your phone goes off in class
Lets you select inputs and control your iPad with only your eye movements
+ medical utility, important, makes the world a better place, greater good, wow
- the hack name makes way too much sense
That’s all, folks! Except it’s not. Check out the entire submission gallery here.
Tags: News, flappy bird, how did they get away with it, how the eff is it real, nobody ever asks how waldo is, pennapps, seriously tho the electric condom, so many questions, spring 2014, technology, what did the judges think
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