Are You Ready to Get Your Geek On?

2017 Geekathon AT.jpg

ODTUG announces the first annual GeekAThon, sponsored by METAVERO! Get your *GEEK ON* and dazzle the community with your brilliant skills!metavero2016_white_logo-01.jpg

In case you missed it, Kscope16 piloted a new beacon technology to reduce labor costs and create important analytics for future conferences. Each attendee received a beacon attached to the back of their badge, and ODTUG used this new technology to count session and conference attendance as well as identify exhibit hall hot spots throughout the week. These beacons used a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology that sent signals to receivers located in the session rooms and exhibit hall.

Because we are a community of brilliant geeks who love to share knowledge and compete for glory, we have decided to repurpose these beacons through a new challenge: ODTUG's first annual GeekAThon!

What is a GeekAThon?

A GeekAThon is a contest in which players compete by building something using technology. We decided to keep the format open for this first year, so we're opting for a Maker Faire approach. Contestants will use the Kscope16 beacon to solve a problem of their choosing. They can hack the beacon, repurpose the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signal, and/or build a new object of their choice. Beyond a few ground rules, the biggest limiting factor will be time. The contest will run from as soon as you register (early August) through Friday, September 23, 2016, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Maker contestants will be given a minimum of six weeks to build out a solution of their choosing.

Who is eligible to participate in ODTUG's GeekAThon?

Folks from all walks of life are eligible, including Oracle employees, non-Oracle folks, people who aren't even in the business world, people who were not able to attend Kscope16, non-adults, etc. Contestants may be located anywhere in the world. We welcome and encourage any geek to join in on the fun!

Individuals or teams may compete. We ask that the individual contestant or at least one member of each team be a member of ODTUG (free or paid). Please stay tuned to the competition website for specific information about participant eligibility requirements.

*Note: We are intentionally running this contest in late summer in case families would like to work together on a solution.

What is a beacon, and how do I use it? What if I wasn't able to attend Kscope16 and don't have one?

Here is a great 101 video on beacons. They're pretty rudimentary objects whose sole purpose in life is to transmit the message "I am here" to some type of receiving object. Most aren't connected to the Internet, nor do they store much information (and no personal information) beyond a few ID numbers. Don't worry – you don't have to hack into it or even take it apart if you don't want to. Most smartphones can read the beacon signals. The final solution must incorporate the beacon's Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signal in some capacity, but check the competition website for specific details. And yes, you must use at least one Kscope16 beacon model in your solution.

If you weren't able to attend Kscope16, don't fear! We have a beacon for you that we can mail out! Up to one beacon can be sent out to each registered individual/team.

Where is the full list of rules?

The full set of detailed rules will be posted to the competition website soon.

How does someone win? What do they win?

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges who are known "makers" in our community. The judges will use a pre-determined set of criteria to select the top three winners. The criteria will be announced once it has been finalized by the judges. We anticipate that all GeekAThon winners will be announced in early October.

Winners will receive...bragging rights to winning the first-ever ODTUG GeekAThon! Haha – just kidding. We do plan to have a set of real prizes. The top three winners (individuals or teams) will each win one prize. Prizes will be announced on the competition website in due time.

I’m not feeling too confident about this. I don’t know anything about beacons or Bluetooth technology or “making."  :(

If you have a thirst for knowledge and are curious about the maker culture, then don’t worry! We will have technical lunch-and-learn sessions on pertinent maker topics, as well as lunch-and-geeks sessions (opportunities for contestants and enthusiasts to share knowledge and ask questions) scheduled throughout the entire contest. The first informational lunch-and-learn session is this Friday, July 29, at noon Central Time. Join Danny, Opal, and the GeekAThon16 judges to get your questions answered! Register today!

In that case, this sounds super awesome. How do I sign up?

We are requesting signups that will open and close in early August (please keep an eye on social media for the exact start date). To register for the contest, you will need to know if you'll be on a team, who will be on your team, each team member’s contact information, a basic premise of your idea, and whether or not you'll need a Kscope16 beacon (to be supplied by ODTUG). Please see the competition website for more information once it's released.

Where do I go for more information and these “rules” that keep getting mentioned?


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