Not long ago, sponsored Unhackathon, our first college hackathon of the new season, and it was a blast! The organizers did a great job of making an event that focused on being inclusive and beginner friendly. It was refreshing for the focus to not be on huge prizes and overemphasized competition as is common these days. Between the awesome food, an amazing venue at AlleyNYC and the creative side events like participants being able to paint their own t shirts - Unhackathon was a huge success. It was also a great weekend for, with 11 hacks built on our API!


It was a small event and was the only API sponsor. That meant I had to hustle like never before to help hackers out, but it was worth having all eyes on us when it came to people thinking of hack ideas! There were two winners in each prize category and both of the prizes for “most entertaining hack” went to teams who used the API. Here are some of the coolest things that were built using over the weekend:


Sweet Depression (Most entertaining hack award)

This is one of the coolest hacks I’ve seen in a while! The basic idea is that you give it your information (address, credit card, email, twitter handle, etc) and it will periodically perform sentiment analysis on your tweets. If your tweets are sad over time, it will use the API to order desserts for you. I am close friends with the members of this team, and know that they are some bad ass hackers! I’ve been looking forward to what they would do with the API, and they certainly did not disappoint.


RapEats (Most entertaining hack award)

Here is another hilariously awesome project. Made by two Rutgers hackers, including the new director of HackRU. This one is a chrome extension that replaces your new tab window. With RapEats, whenever you open a new tab, food is suggested to you based on rap lyrics. Using the Rap Genius API, as well as some hilarious pictures from a Tumblr page called Pictures of Rappers Eating, lyrics containing food items are displayed along with a box for you to order the food that was mentioned in the song. Many laughs were had with this at Unhackathon!


Voice Ordr

This allows you to order food via voice recognition! You just say what food you want, and it will figure out what you said and place an order for you. I think they only made it work in the terminal, given the time restrictions, but I am looking forward to when this gets polished and thrown into production!


Spoons and Tunes

What struck me about this one was that it made Spotify playlists for upcoming music events, and ordered you food based on the genre of the performer to get you in the mood for a concert. They used 3 different APIs in this one, and API mashups are always cool for hackathons!


Ordrin Filesystem

This hack is seriously kick ass! Built by two Rutgers hackers who are also hackNY fellows, OrdrinFS creates a unix filesystem using data from the API. These two always tear it up at hackathons, so I was excited when they told me they wanted to hack on the API. Each restaurant’s menu manifests itself as files and directories, and you can place orders by writing to an “” file! The results of your order are then written to a file called “ordr.out.” This is pure genius!



This one was a solo hack, and it is pretty crazy. Written entirely in C, it is a trojan that you can control via an IRC chatroom. The idea is that if your friend leaves a computer unattended, you will run this code, and whatever people say to the chatbot will happen to your friend’s computer. There were about a dozen different things you can do, including opening the CD drive(if there is one), but you could also have food delivered to your friend without them realizing what happened. It is apparent that a lot of fun was had in the making of this hack.

Unhackathon was awesome - I had a great time helping hackers out and meeting a ton of new people! We are all super excited to be at this upcoming HackRU! I can’t wait to see how people continue to come up with crazy awesome use cases for the API.


-- Sam Agnew - Dev Evangelist - @SagnewShreds