hackathonWhat would you change about the way people cook? Not what they prepare, but how they do it. How could technology improve the experience of home cooks, or perhaps, the experience of those who are older or who have physical challenges?

FirstBuild is hosting a two-day mega hackathon focused on the Future of Cooking. Participants will have the resources of the GE Appliances-backed makerspace and microfactory, as well as skilled technicians, at their disposal to help them make their cooking dreams come true.

When FirstBuild says it’s having a “mega” hackathon, it puts its money where its “mega” is. There is close to $15,000 in prize money up for dibs.

Justin Berger, lead “community champion” of FirstBuild, says participants will have access to “hand tools, power tools, 3D printers, laser cutters, and electronics board fabrications, in addition to hardware, components, and development kits from 15 suppliers.”

Also, he says, “Our technicians will be on hand for taking work requests for our heavy-equipment shop machinery, like the water jet, welding, CNC, sheet metal laser, and full woodshop.”

The event will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, with an introduction and then a brainstorming session where attendees come up with ideas and form teams.  “Anyone who already has an idea in mind will have a head start,” Berger says. But you don’t have to come with an idea; you’re welcome to just join the team of your choosing.

The cooking world is your oyster. There is no limit to what type of device you can create, as long as you can create a minimum viable product in a weekend. If you need help thinking about where to start brainstorming, Berger suggests, “A few areas we want to look at within cooking are connected devices and experiences, new ways to control cooking devices (think voice, gesture), and designing for aging and or handicapped populations (general ease of use).”

Hacking happens all day Saturday at FirstBuild, 333 East Brandeis. The workshop will close at midnight and reopen at 7 a.m. on Sunday. Judging begins on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. It costs $10 to participate, but they’ll keep you fed and watered over the weekend. The FirstBuilders make some mean pizza, FYI.

 

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