EarBuddy which developed and prototyped a smart hearing aid has won the first PCH Hardware Hackathon in London.
The product, which tackles two main problems with hearing aids—high cost and stigma—was designed and created in just 54 hours, from October 16 – 18 at Campus London.
The two-day PCH Hardware Hackathon, hosted in partnership with My Mini Factory and Particle, follows successful PCH Hackathons in San Francisco, Toronto and Dublin.
“London is an internationally recognised centre of design, and has a growing hardware community developing innovative product ideas. It’s fantastic to see so many entrepreneurs come together over a weekend and develop novel ideas and prototypes in just one weekend. ”Liam Casey, Founder and CEO, PCH
Over the course of the weekend, over 70 participants collaborated to hack new hardware devices from concept, to working prototype, to final product.
They ultimately developed a range of functioning hardware prototypes that have the potential to have consumer appeal and to answer a consumer need.
- First prize went to EarBuddy, which developed and prototyped a smart hearing aid. The team was awarded £2000 in cash prizes as well as a technical review with PCH’s Highway1 hardware accelerator;
- Second prize was awarded to Magic Music Box, which created an interactive music box combined with NFC/RFID tags. The team received £500.
- Third prize was awarded to VIVO VELO, which developed a wearable that made for greater safety for cyclists. The team received £250
Among the other prototypes devised and created at the PCH Hardware Hackathon were a device that helps hotels save on energy costs and a wearable that helps you navigate a city without ever looking at your phone.
Katherine Hague, VP Community Engagement and Hackathons at PCH said, “London is a hotbed for hardware in Europe, and indeed the world. We want to thank all participants for coming out over the weekend, not only the incredible hackathon teams, but also our partners and sponsors, technology providers and industry-leading panelists who made our first hackathon in London a success.”
The final pitches were judged on criteria including the product’s business case, design, technical viability, innovativeness and overall presentation quality. Judges involved over the course of the weekend included
- Allister Furey, Program Director at Entrepreneur First
- Benjamin Hubert, Designer and Founder at Layer
- Nick Rothwell, Course Leader at Ravensbourne
- Scott Barwick, Associate at MAP project office