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Our First Two Public Hackathons Last Weekend Saw Awesome Applications Built For The Nymi Band

October 10, 2014


A big part of building our developer community and the Nymi ecosystem is the participation of the platform in hackathons. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, hackathons are marathon-like events for developers that focus on building applications and presenting or integrations in a constrained environment, in a race against the clock.

Our initial approach to hackathons has been to support and assist the participants in building their base integration with the Nymi Emulator (the “Nymulator”).  Some participants may then convert their code and demo with one of the first real Nymi production devices we bring with us.


To inaugurate the Nymi Developer Program into this valuable practice, we decided to go all-out and submit the platform to not one, but two hackathons in the same weekend: The Next36 Wearable Technology Hackathon and the MasterCard N>XT Developer Challenge, both held in our hometown of Toronto on the weekend of October 3-4.

“The Nymi platform enables Developers to easily increase security, convenience and personalization experiences in their applications through Persistent Identity,” said Balaji Gopalan, Director of Platform at Bionym.  “It was an absolute thrill to watch these bright young minds design and build these magical use cases in real time with the Nymi Band.”

Second Annual The Next36 Wearable Technology Hackathon


This student-only hackathon gave developers a chance to build on some of the most innovative wearable technology (proudly built by companies all in the Greater Toronto Area) in this growing segment: InteraXon’s Muse, Thalmic Labs’ Myo, the MeU, Kiwi, and our own Nymi Band.

Out of 11 teams hacking over 24 hours, the first and second place winners both incorporated the Nymi into their projects: TipsyLock and TTC Payments.

TipsyLock built a potentially life-saving concept that uses the Muse headband’s brainwave-sensing capabilities to know when you’ve had a bit too much to drink, then uses the Nymi to lock you out of your car so that you can’t drink and drive.

Kemal Ahmed, a 4th year Software Engineering student at McMaster University and a member of the TipsyLock team, said that the system could also prevent drunken texting or access to other applications.

We asked him how his experience was to work the Nymulator and SDK. He said it was “quick to set up and the documentation was very easy to follow… and an awesome method for getting developers to make and test apps for the Nymi Band before the device has been released.”

Another winning team created a streamlined system for public transit system entry using the Nymi Band. Travis Wu, a 3rd year Biomedical Computing student at Queen’s University on the TTC Payments team, said that the system would help solve the “inefficiency of the transit system with the convenience of the Nymi Band.”

“We demonstrated how the Nymi Band could be detected by our makeshift transit terminal once it gets within a certain range, then automatically bill your credit card for your fare,” said Travis. “This way you don’t have to reach for your wallet and can seamlessly walk through the terminal knowing your fare had already been pay for. Of course all your trips are recorded onto an app so you can be sure that you are not being charged extra!”  

MasterCard N>XT Developer Challenge


MasterCard hosted a hackathon the same weekend focused on redesigning and rethinking retail experiences.  Participants with experience in development, design and business planning came from across the country to participate and compete for cash prizes.  One of the two grand prize winners out of 28 competing teams was ChangeRoom.

When shopping online on a major retailer’s website, ChangeRoom allows a user to select an article of clothing, pre-authorize payment with MasterCard’s Simplify API and the security of the Nymi Band, and then have the item waiting to be tried on in the user’s local store’s change room. The Nymi Band can authorize their MasterCard online, so no in-store payment is required. In addition, the Nymi Band would also integrate through the local store’s app instance to create personalized greetings and experiences for when the user approaches the store.  ChangeRoom impressed the judging panel with their thoughtful approach to a common business problem and a full working demo with the Nymulator on stage.

Building persistent identity into everyday applications is easy with the Nymi platform.  Visit Dev.GetNymi.com to download our Beta SDK, and Nymulator.  Show us what you’ve created, and like these talented Nymi Devs, you too could win a free Nymi Band to complete your applications and bring them to market for Nymi users everywhere.

Follow us on twitter: @Nymiband or our Developer hashtag: #NymiDev to find out the latest news on hackathons.


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