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PennApps Fall 2K13: The Good, The Rad And The Pretty Nerdy


Ah, PennApps: a friendly biannual reminder that when Enginerds aren't up all night coding for a class, they're SEASing the day up all night coding for a $10,000 grand prize.

Over a 1,000 engineers and enthusiasts from over 100 schools worldwide turned up for the hackathon this past weekend. Speaking of which, these aren't your hilarious Facebook hacks on an unsuspecting friend's profile. Nay, these are tools, apps and utilities conceived during a 48-hour pizza fueled burst of sleepless energy that attract sponsors like Venmo, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. A lot of neat and...quirky stuff was created at PennApps Fall 2013, and we separate the Zuckerbergs from the Hindenburgs after the jump.


Lets developers update apps directly, bypassing the need for an App Store. Bye bye, badges, hello Temple Run Version Whatever.

2ND PLACE: Super Duper Mario

Uses your Android phone's camera to turn the world around you into a Super Mario level. Reality just got a Super Mushroom! because, y'know, augmented reality. Please consider writing for UTB.

3RD PLACE: Soundmesh

Lets you sync all the speakers nearby---on phones, computers, etc.---as a joint system to create surround sound and other nifty effects virtually anywhere.


Weigh objects by taking a picture of them---what!? Well, it's limited to bowls of liquid and the weight is approximate...but someday you'll see this in every hip kitchen. Czech out their video. They were here all the way from Switzerland.


A text message-controlled music player. Could be implemented in restaurants which would charge a small fee to change and choose a song. The millennial jukebox, ladies and gentlemen. (Hi Teddy!)


Recognizes what part of a piece of sheet music you're playing, and automatically scrolls or turns the pages for you. Stops when you stop, and picks up where you left off smoothly.

AIN'T BROKE: Netfixxed

A sneaky li'l "Netflix wrapper" that lets you access content unavailable in your country. Also implements Rotten Tomatoes and live chat so you can review flix while you talk to chicks.


Use just your phone's two volume buttons to send pre-programmed messages to your top dude(ette)s, after which they'll receive a custom vibration and notification. Modern day Morse code, people.


Checks your Netflix to determine what you haven't seen but might want to, and then censors Tweets that contain spoilers.


Let's you take that perfect selfie by straight up removing people from the back and foreground as they pass through.

Peep the DP for deets on Penn's teams and the awards raked in. View the complete submission gallery here.