Helmet
Photo by phitar.

I’m all atingle that I’ve received an invite to Hack Day in London on June 16 and 17. I’ll be joining over 500 other developers, artists and makers to build some cool stuff in a 24-hour frenzy of much pizza and little sleep.

Sponsored by Yahoo and the BBC, Hack Day is an anything-goes creative tornado where participants mix, mash and mangle web data and APIs to excellent and often ridiculous effect. For example, a team of three clever women produced the winning hack at last year’s US hack day with a handbag that takes photos and uploads them to flickr.

Event organizer Tom Coates describes other hijinks from last year’s event:

Hack Day logo

The other projects ranged from the sublimley useful to the ridiculously fun. Cal Henderson knocked up a digest-maker. You could go to a web page, type in a word and get back a digest of information about that subject that would automatically print itself out of a nearby printer. That one used Flickr, del.icio.us and Wikipedia. Another guy called Mo Kwaken made something called Blabber which unfortunately I can’t find any more information about online. It was supposed to be able to use absolutely any face from Flickr but in the end just used Patrick Stewart. You drew a line where the mouth was and then whenever you talked into a microphone, his mouth would open like Canadians on South Park. So you could pretend to be Patrick Stewart, which was fun.

There was an awesome Upcoming hack called gutentag which added a different social layer to the service, and an awesome flickr-based project called The Color Field Camera which would identify the colour of the thing it was pointed at, access Flickr and source pictures that matched that colour using the Flickr Color Pickr.

If you’ll be at Hack Day, too, please be sure to say hello in London. Meantime, let me know if you’re interested in working with me on a hack. I’ll hit the Hack Day Wiki later this week to look for some collaborators there, too, but meantime, give me a shout at josh@bigmedium.com if you’d like to put your mighty brain together with my little one.

In particular, I’d love to work with one or two others to make some kind of groovy physical device that interacts with the web in some way. Could take the form of a fluffy stuffed bunny rabbit, a retro radio receiver or, if we must, a sleek modern device. Let’s figure it out together.

Whatever this thing might be, I’d love to make something that’s not just bits and bytes. I’m pretty clever with web services and interfaces, but I’m helpless when it comes to sewing, soldering or sawing. Help wanted, ideas welcome.

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