Dancing Robots, Augmented Networks, and Smart Cities - What You Missed at the AT&T Tech Expo

Innovation /

More than 5,600 software developers and tech enthusiasts poured into AT&T Park to experience some of the latest technology. Exhibits and demos included smart cities, emerging tech wearables, entertainment and more.

Over 5,600 software developers and tech enthusiasts poured into AT&T Park this weekend. Why? The first ever Shape: AT&T Tech Expo.

The scene

Attendees experienced some of the latest tech; 65 exhibits and demos that spanned smart cities, emerging tech (like VR and AR), wearables, entertainment and more. Five hundred kids participated in Maker Camp Live, which featured hands on science and technology projects that taught basic soldering and coding skills Keynote speakers including Jared Leto, Nate Silver, Ray Kurzweil and Jason Silva took the main stage before a Saturday night concert by Silversun Pickups.

"We have a lot of experience putting on great events for developers, but we weren't totally sure what the interest level would be for a first-time event. Turns out, we quadrupled our goal for attendees," said Carolyn Billings, assistant vice president, AT&T Developer Program.

A $20,000 hackathon

Friday kicked off our largest hackathon ever. Over 650 developers worked through the night in the club level of AT&T Park.

First place in the hackathon netted $20,000 to the winner. A big sum that probably felt even bigger to the team that won, since the pair is still in high school. They created “Watchdog.” The social good app that helps keep people safe in dangerous areas. Check out the winning team’s video here.

"Our hackathon gives developers early access to technology we plan to release into our network and brings companies that do the same. It’s an inspiring time for all of us,” said Michael Pacholec, director, AT&T Developer Program. “We also invest in some serious money and ask the other companies to do the same. This hackathon had over $100,000 in total prizes.”

The prizes didn’t stop there

The AT&T Developer Program has hosted over 100 hackathons in recent years, but Shape saw our first-ever Innovation Challenge. It started in early 2016 when some of the brightest minds in technology pitched their products. They vied to be part of the 12 semi-finalists with a chance to present at Shape. The prize? $50,000. Judges selected $15,000 winners in 3 categories:

The Energy Intelligence team earned the grand prize. 

Energy Intelligence presented a road-mounted system that generates electricity from the motion of vehicles. The system uses high-traffic areas like parking garages, stop signs and border crossings to power equipment onsite such as lighting, reducing the electric expenses.

“We’re proud of Shape’s first year,” said Billings. “It was a gamble, but worth the risk. We look forward to what next year brings.”