The MoPho/Penguin Team Participated in Photo Hack Day 2!

Six months after our team from Penguin Digital/MoPho participated in the very first 
Photo Hack Day in New York City (where we hacked and created the “HappyMug” to a smiling audience), we returned to the second event at General Assembly in NYC this past weekend — this time as one of the sponsors!


Let’s hear more about what went down at the event from MoPho team member Kris Minkstein:



MOPHO: What was the turnout like compared to the first time? Can you describe the general atmosphere of an event like this for people who are curious about it?

KRIS: I wasn’t at the first one, but other members of MoPho were and said there was an even bigger turn-out this year which was great. There were a lot more hacks (45 last year, 60 this year), bigger prizes given out, it was all very exciting.


MOPHO: What do you think drives people to participate in these type of hackathons? (Besidesthe cool prizes, of course…)

KRIS: The prizes are cool, but it’s really all about the desire to build something cool in a short period of time. You’re sitting there in a room full of people that all like doing the same things you do. You hear new ideas, meet new people, learn something new, likely teach some thing to someone….it’s all a very positive experience. Even though there are prizes given to the best hacks, it’s not really a competition at all. Everyone has fun watching the demos and seeing what people have to show for drinking too much coffee and energy drinks, and too little sleep.


MOPHO: Tell us a bit about the lucky winner who was awarded $300 “MoPho Bucks” for using the Penguin SDK (which powers MoPho) in their hack! What was it called, and what did it do?

KRIS: The hack that won the $300 prize from MoPho & Penguin was called “Swagmitzvah” whose name I think received the most laughter from the crowd and judges. They built an iPhone App that lets people put their faces on various funny photos like a huge muscle man or one of the Kardashian sisters, and then use that photo to create funny photo merchandise swag. Funny ideas like this are popular at parties like bar mitzvah’s so I think they may actually publish it to the App Store and let partiers use it as an activity for their guests to play around with. We loved the idea and think many others will too.

          The MoPho Team hard at work….


MOPHO: MoPho’s very own Greg Landweber also participated in the event with his “All Smiles” hack. Can you tell us about that?

KRIS: Greg created a hack to solve a problem almost everyone has had to deal with when taking a photo of multiple people, which is getting everyone to smile at the same time. He used's API to analyze the faces in the frame of a photo before it's taken, and only take the photo when it knew that everyone's face had a smile on it. I think parents across the globe will be dying to get their hands on this one.


MOPHO: What were some other cool hacks that you saw? And did any of them give ideas to the MoPho team?

KRIS: Oh wow. Too many to even mention. One of the favorites was an App to help blind people identify money by snapping a photo of it, then having the app tell you through the speakers what bill you’re holding. Such a smart concept since this has got to be a difficult thing for blind people to deal with each day. Hopefully this App makes it’s way to the public.


MOPHO: Any word on the next Photo Hack Day? And will MoPho be involved in any way again?

KRIS: There will definitely be more Photo hack Days since the community seems to be growing rather quickly. The MoPho team will definitely be involved one way or another. Whether MoPho/Penguin is a sponsor again, or even just the team attending to hack again with everyone else…