36 straight hours of inspiring talks and hacks? Yep, it could only be this year’s OTA at Bletchley Park.
We joined around 600 people at Bletchley’s hallowed grounds to get stuck into over 50 sessions ranging from fonts in mobile websites, to arts programming, to QR codes, to hacking. It’s the sheer range of talks in combination with an audience of developers dedicated to pushing the envelope that makes OTA one of the premiere events in the UK, and this year’s event was no exception.
Even the stereotypical Bank Holiday weather (overcast and drizzly) failed to dampen spirits.
Why we do what we do
We’re regular sponsors of OTA because we believe that it’s a critically important event for UK developers. Without major sponsors it simply wouldn’t happen, and that would be a real loss to the community.
This year, Thomas Curtis from the Developer Advocacy team and Dan Appelquist, Head of Product, took the stage to talk about the challenges and successes of BlueVia in 2011 and what we have planned for 2012.
As we’ve blogged previously, changing the perception of operators in the developer space is a challenge, but BlueVia has made some fantastic progress over the last year. Naturally we wanted to share that with everyone!
We’ve hit some pretty big milestones since launching in March of 2011. Over 10,000 developers have signed up to the platform, we’ve adding a wealth of new countries, and platform updates are coming thick and fast. To top it off, we’ve also launched a brand new website that frankly looks amazing.
Our friends from o2 Labs and Telefonica Digital were in attendance talking about JETSETME, an application to help you inform people when you land, and Tu Me, an all-in-one application that enables you to call, text, and share photos via a fantastically simple user interface.
It was also the first time that developers could find out about the Open Web Device and how it’s going to change the world by enabling millions of people to access the internet for the first time.
As ever, the standard was impressively high. Some standout entries were:
- Blushr, a makeup inventory app that allows users to keep track of products they own and want.
- An optical Theremin that uses your phone’s light sensor to control pitch.
- Dude, where’s my car? A hardware hack that plugs into your car’s ODB-II port, posts your journey to Facebook and displays efficiency data.
- SDK DUB REMIX, in which hackers took up the gauntlet thrown down by the Facebook evangelists who said, why don’t you fix our iOS SDK? They did and made it much, much better. Check it out on GitHub
Our hack category was called The Best Use of Everything Else and challenged developers to create an application that used things like NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi, sensors and anything else they could think of.
OTA is a special event for us, so it deserved something special as a prize. We created a Mystery Bag of Geeky Goodness, which included delights such as a MiFi, solar charger, and top-of-the-line Bose headphones.
The winners were a team called Hyperiron and their entry, Jatrobot, was a modern farming tool designed to measure soil moisture, weather conditions, GPS and more. Jatrobot also had the honour of easily being the most awesome/fearsome looking hardware hack of the day.
We’re counting the days to OTA 2013!