This morning, Orange Silicon Valley announced the debut of what will be the United States’ inaugural multi-city hackathon dedicated to gigabit Internet: GigHacks. We’re excited to be working on this program along with a group of six outstanding partners: US Ignite, KC Digital Drive, Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, the Chattanooga Public Library’s GigLab, BTV Ignite, and Charlotte Hearts Gigabit.
As my colleague Will Barkis wrote last month, the Gigabit Age is upon us, meaning that carriers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are evolving their infrastructures to provide super-fast Internet speeds and that this will serve as a foundation for fundamentally new or enhanced tools. But what can we really do with speed of light networks that are a hundred times faster than typical broadband?
This is what GigHacks is designed to find out. This 48-hour hackathon aims to expand the gigabit app ecosystem beyond the five gigabit hackathons that came before. Apps and services powered by gigabit networks already exist, but we want to see the pool of apps grow. Hackers, designers, and developers will gather in five cities throughout the United States to work on projects that embrace the benefits of gigabit technology, like blink-of-an-eye responsiveness, real-world quality resolution, symmetrical uploading and downloading, and always-on connectivity.
It’s also no coincidence that GigHacks is being held in San Francisco, CA, Kansas City, MO, Chattanooga, TN; Burlington, VT; and Charlotte, NC. All of these cities are exploring the possibilities of ultra-fast Internet and are leading the next wave of innovation in the digital landscape.
GigHacks will take place May 1 to 3 and each city will have their own program set up. Here in San Francisco, we’re pairing up participants with companies like Giroptic, MusicianLink, Rhinobird.tv, Immersio, Learn Immersive, ooVoo, ImmersiON-VRelia, Revolve Robotics, and Plantronics. By doing so, we’re going to accomplish two important things:
- Enable hackers to work on existing products that have a chance to reach the marketplace and play a role in the future roadmap of our partner companies.
- Provide hackers with SDKs and APIs from our partner companies to build gigabit projects and a gigabit world as they envision it.
We will also inevitably see new ideas that haven’t even been considered yet. At the end of the hackathon, our judges will evaluate each project and the winner will go head-to-head with the winners from the other four cities.
But that won’t be the only time the cities will be communicating with each other. Participants can chat with their counterparts through the use of one of several video “portals” we’ll have set up, enabling conversations and collaboration to take place among the cities. We’ll even break bread across space with Kansas City BBQ, Vermont maple syrup and Chattanooga MoonPies.
So if you have an interest in the growing gigabit ecosystem, I encourage you to check out the GigHacks’ website now and also to head over to our ChallengePost page for more information. Come hack with us at our offices in Downtown San Francisco, check out the Orange GigaStudio and be part of building the gigabit future.