Authored by: Will Sternlicht
This past Friday on April 4, 300 Stanford and Berkeley students piled into the Basement of Huang Engineering. Three years in, the Big Hack between Northern California’s top engineering schools is perhaps a more emblematic symbol of the Cal-Stanford rivalry than the Big Game is. Competing for Oculus Rifts, Pebble Smart Watches and Google’s own Nexus 7 smart phone, students took a break from p-sets and assignments to collaborate with their peers over 24 hours of building and hacking.
The grand prize went to the team behind “Biome” a Google Chrome extension which leverages your computers Web-cam and facial recognition to log into websites – an aptly timed project in the midst of the concern with the Heartbleed Bug. Second was awarded to “Venture,” a term tossed around quite a bit in the Valley, returned to its original meaning: adventure. Using GPS, interests, and nearby friends, the project sought to suggest wild and memorable adventures to users. Third prize went to “Nimbus,” a cloud aggregation platform which put access to Google Drive, Dropbox and others in one easy to access place. When it comes down to it, Berkeley and Stanford students altogether put in over 7200 hours of hacking and we couldn’t be happier to see this rivalry between the two schools fuel innovation at this year’s Big Hack.