By Jennifer Schlueter
The weekend of Aug. 21-23, rhubarb studios and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti teamed up for a Hackathon to find solutions to California’s ongoing drought. In unison with rhubarb’s philosophy of bringing the greatest minds together to create innovative products, the event was open for investors, designers, engineers, and observers – simply everyone who wanted to participate.
Following the biggest turnout of idea registrations ever – a total of 44 – sixteen ideas made it to the end of the hackathon. Judges from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Conscientia Research (among others) evaluated ideas such as a wireless water meter tracking water usage and waste, or a map of shame, a visual support for responsible enforcement units to track water wasters. With the help of the LAFD and sponsor companies, products from the hackathon will be continuously worked on to make them available for the masses.
One of the products, Condensate, collects all leftover condensation water of air conditioning units, which usually just gets flushed down the drain, into a tank. This pure water is then pumped into your home’s water supply system, so you can reuse the water for whatever purpose you like. This will lower water bills while simultaneously work against California’s drought.
Cauri Jaye, CEO of rhubarb, told Beacon Media that his team learned to get sponsors for the event earlier than they did this time. They were positively surprised by the amount of people participating and watching from outside; however, found that people physically present at the event had lots of advantages such as connecting with other like-minded individuals who were able to contribute to their products.
The next “Hack for Humanity” will take place on the weekend of Nov. 14 and 15, 2015. The hackathon’s subject will be determined via a poll directed to the wider Los Angeles area.
For more information, please visit www.rhubarbstudios.co.