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PennApps Fall 2K14: The Woulds, Shoulds, Coulds, and Winners

Ah PennApps. You either love it, or aren't smart enough to participate. This past weekend's hackathon brought coding-minded folk to our Engineering Quad from all over the world. Why? For the free food obvi. But also for a shot at a $5,000 grand prize, the validation of fellow nerds, and countless other goodies from sponsors like Facebook, Venmo, and GitHub. 

Of course, with any premiere college hackathon, there's gonna be Facebooks and there's gonna be faceplants. So like with  PennApps past, let's take a look at some of these hacks, shall we?

First Place: Fuji

Lets people build and run iPhone apps in a browser, making iOS more widely accessible

+ a hack that can spawn more hacks  
+ let's Android users experience the joy of a better operating system  
- what does this have to do with a mountain on the Honshu Island of Japan?

Second Place: Magic Board

A motorized longboard that can be controlled with hand motions

+ an even douchier way to get around  
- not great for looking hip at the skate park  
- the Segway of longboards

Third Place: Quitli

Device/software that pins onto the user's shirt and helps them quit bad habits by tracking behavior

+ bright, bulky pin announces to everyone that you're trying   
- nightmare for pin-wearing addicts  
- not great for people who make bad choices for the thrill of it

Get Money, Get: Payper

Lets you print digital currency (like Bitcoin or on Venmo) as a QR code, which can then be scanned for transfers and payments

+ an app that literally prints money  
+ all the convenience of a dollar bill, but with the added benefit of scanning, printing, and needing a phone  
+ great for when people are on the go, but also have a printer on hand

Never Say Never: When2Post

An app that tells you the optimal time to post pictures on Instagram

+ uses statistics to maximize your Like-count/feeling of self-worth  
+ finally, a web app for the truly needy  
- where do  we sign up?

Cutting Edge Creeping: Mesmer

Via webcam, allows users who are looking at/reading the same Facebook post to see each other

+   this picture
+ Facebook, now with more face
+ notices that when words aren't enough, facial expressions will do the trick

Noteworthy: Notebot

A robot that watches the professor and takes notes, simple as that

- these already exist; they're called Engineering students  
+ doesn't have to pay tuition

You Can't Handle: The Chewth

Uses your phone's microphone to tell you if you're chewing too loudly

+ uses an arbitrary threshold for chew volume---we wanna see the math  
+  highly recommended for the guy sitting next to me in recitation right now
+ seriously, he's having a vending machine Thanksgiving

For The Muggles: Hermione

An anonymous, live-updating forum designed to help gather and organize questions during lecture

+ wingardium leviosa (not leviosAH) for your hand  
+ basically magic  
+ perfect for the shy, self-conscious, curious inquisitors in us all

2Cool4U: Reply4Me

Uses artificial intelligence to reply to texts for you, particularly in a Do Not Disturb mode

+ definitely won't cause any misunderstandings ever  
+ finally, something that takes the human out of human interaction

Well, these are just a handful of treasures that came out of PennApps. You can view the entire submission gallery here:

PennApps X Submissions