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Photo Hack Day with EyeEm, SoundCloud, Tumblr, AKQA… Written by Marguerite Imbert on 27. February 2012

EyeEm’s photo hackday was pretty fly. For starters, it all went down in the basin of an enormous pool. There was a ping pong table (lent by fellow judge and AKQA Director of Product Strategy Mike Betts), turkey sandwiches not short of mayo (all made in-house by EyeEm’s community manager Stephanie) and that rare sort of Wedding (no pun intended) energy that only comes from mixing the old with the young (iStockphoto’s managing director Dittmar Frohmann’s young boys were running loose). And, not to forget – the photo booth (which, to our relief, no one over 12 was obsessing over).

In attendance at the early 20th century venue (“the legendary Stattbad Wedding”) was SoundCloud’s David Noel in a stenciled leather jacket, tumblr’s Jenna (who we met in Munich at DLD), and Luke Goeghegan (who does PR for SoundCloud, EyeEm, and MoviePilot), visiting-in from London. Local friends like Readmill‘s Henrik Berggren and Lasse Clausen also showed, as well as tweek’s Nadia Boegli. Then there was the EyeEm team (in many-a-beanie). And, of course, VentureVillage, holding down the Club Mate.

The pitches: From Watergate tracks to cameras for the blind

Most impressive though were the pitching teams, who through no shortage of sleep deprivation (nearly all pulled all-nighters in preparation), managed to make use of EyeEm’s recently-opened API through some clever maneuvering and teamwork. One team built a new twist on the classic memory card game (you know the one you were never good at…where you need to flip them over?) Another team experimented building a “camera for the blind” (by attempting to instantly translate a photo into music using color frequency and pitch). One guy built a music-based event calendar where you’d easily be able to see photos from a venue and tracks of the band (using Watergate as an example). And many other put valiant sweat and effort into bettering the current system of linking hashtags to visual content.

Why all the effort? For one thing, the prizes were awesome.

Much more awesome than most prizes around this neck of the woods (though maybe not as awesome as pitching to Jason Calacanis). The jury was top-notch (including us and other cool cats.) The application process was FREE and inclusive (you could sign up as either a “I’m ready to hack the future of photography” developer, an “I will design the future of photography” designer, or an “I am ready to applaud, take photos & write about the event” demo watcher). This led to a really cool, laid back, and talented bunch. There was a neighborhood feel about the whole scene. So who won? (not irrelevant) Here’s Ramzi presenting the first one:

1st place prize: An AKQA Heyday

First place was a weekend trip to London including an exclusive pitch at the AKQA headquarters. The high-potential prize (presented by the articulate and thoughtful Mike Betts) went to the five-person team behind Phudge, an app which lets you “fudge up your photos with somebody’s else.” By mashing your pic up with the last one in cue, the double exposure result banks in that certain ‘serendipity’ of randomness which most of us like (one fellow judge, however, Berlin-based photographer Yves Sucksdorff, took issue with just that.)width="393"

2nd place prize: Two Twago tickets

Second-place prize went to PhotoWorm (think “bookworm” for photos), a platform which tags cool stats and facts like “A grizzly bear can smell a corpse 18 miles away,” to pictures with related content (think “Wombat poo is square” when you’re flipping through your Australia vacation pics). If they choose to continue and clear up the source of information (Wikipedia?, PhotoWorm has huge potential (which is why it was by far our personal favorite.) And for participating in the photo hack, they scored big time. Two Twago premium accounts, worth 1700 euros. Nice.

3rd place prize: A Lomography camera

Not to harp too much on the prizes, but the third place prize was a killer: a Lomography La Sardina Quadrat Camera, and annual ticket to Berlin’s photography museum C/O. This one went to the Incredible Photo Hack (I think this was their team name?) who used “Vernon” (Henrik’s question) to build a browser-based sort of moving stained glass of your most recent photos. Beautiful design, nothing annoying about it (which is sometimes the case with display apps), and high potential for landing itself on our desktosp. One guy from the team also built a very cool feature where you can manually post-edit the light on someone’s face (see loop below).

Prize for best hack on the Soundcloud API: A Premium SoundCloud account

This one went to the “Google TV star” team, who presented the last app of the day. The product they built recommends images based on SoundCloud comments. The team seemed highly-motivated and professional, and we were amazed with the breakthrough of their night’s work. As their reward, they get a SoundCloud premium account, worth 250 euros.width="320"
To read more on the event details, check out the Photo Hackday website.
For other cool stuff EyeEm’s done we think you’ll like, check these out:
EyeEm: A Year of Top Photos
EyeEm street art projection show