Numbers that Matter Hackathon - a rapid summary

Phew! We had a great time running and making within the Numbers That Matter Hackathon!


First, a huge thank-you to everyone who came and made for a great weekend, from the team at MSP to Phil the Pizza Guy, the NTM cx team and Maria the documentarian, not to forget Bob from HAC:Man and Peter and Lloyd from Foxdog Studios.


What happened?


Saturday was almost too busy. We had the great internet connected party hat workshop with Foxdog, who have left their Meteor code base at GitHub. Dave ran his faintly dishonest code-free IoT workshop with the aid of able builder Sebastian (the code used in this is being tidied up and will appear on GitHub very soon!) Bob helped teams with the nitty gritty of coding and building, ably cleaning up after Dave, despite his best efforts.

Presentation materials


For people not attending the practical workshops, or hacking away already, we had a full line-up of research, design and user-focussed presentations from the NTM team and partners. We’ll be making as many of these materials available as possible, releases and confidentiality issues permitting. These will be released through the website.

In our little MSP bubble of industrious serenity, we forgot that it was Saturday night in the University end of one of Europe’s largest student bodies. Thankfully, we had gorged on Phil’s excellent pizzas earlier.



A few people had to leave on Saturday, but we were left with five presented hacks. After a glorious cooked breakfast courtesy of MSP, it came down to the final presentations. In order of appearance, we had:


Pure Sentiment (Ben Webb)
Path Patterns (Mar Dixon, Catherine Jones)
Happy Hands (Michelle Hua, Ying Tan, Eujin)
Super Forage Now (Sam Jones, Neil Winterburn, Tim Brunsden)
Data Tumors for a Better Society (Ben Dalton, Bettina Nissen)

It was great to see so many near-realised projects appear in such a short space of time. As organisers, as well, we were impressed at how co-operative the weekend felt, rather than competitive. It’s a testament to the people that came who contributed to such a great atmosphere. We’d like to think everyone was a winner, learning some new skills, meeting some like-minded folk, and examining the concerns of non-traditional audiences for wearable technology – but we had a number of prizes to award.


Data Master

Was won by Path Patterns, for innovative approaches to data collection.

Wearable Master

Was won by Happy Hands, for intelligently enhancing clothing.

Audience Choice

The sight of breathing, expanding tumours throughout the weekend won the audience over for Data Tumours for a Better Society.


Field Trial Winner

It was a tough call to make. We’d like to thank all our judges – Adrian Slatcher, the digital renaissance man from Manchester City Council’s Digital Development Agency, Julian Tait from FutureEverything, Anne Dornan from Manchester Science Park and Emmanuel Tsekleves on whose conscience fell the task of identifying the winning hack, based on

Novelty and originality,
Community relevance,
Impact on behavioural change,

In the end, Happy Hands won the award – the project will move forwards to prototyping and field trials with Lancaster University’s CX teams.


Here is a storify of the event, its a tad sparce as everyone was so busy making!

<div class="storify"><iframe src="//" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//"></script><noscript>[<a href="//" target="_blank">View the story "Numbers That Matter hackathon" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div>