Fashion/Tech Hackathon at Kent State to Chart New Course for Wearable Technology
Kent State University’s Fashion School will host the third annual Fashion/Tech Hackathon from Friday, Jan. 29, to Sunday, Jan. 31, in Rockwell Hall.
The Hackathon is a cross-curricular event allowing teams of student participants to create and innovate within the realm of wearable technology. It is presented in partnership with the Kent State Fashion School’s TechStyleLAB and LaunchNET Kent State (formerly Blackstone LaunchPad), which helps students, faculty, staff and alumni turn ideas into thriving businesses.
During the Hackathon, students spend 36 hours developing a project of their choice, usually in the form of a technology-enhanced garment or wearable-responsive app. All teams are given free access to the TechStyleLAB, the Fashion School’s digital textile fabrication space, along with a variety of electronic and textile materials.
According to Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., senior associate provost at Kent State, the Fashion/Tech Hackathon embodies the spirit of interdisciplinary thinking that drives innovation in the 21st century.
“This is an event that encourages individuals from a variety of backgrounds to work together creatively,” Tankersley said. “Technology and fashion make a real difference in peoples’ lives, which is one reason why the Fashion/Tech Hackathon is so important.”
At the conclusion of the 36-hour creative process, teams will get a chance to showcase their work alongside their peers and mentors, and project prizes will be awarded in four categories:
- Creation of a New Technology
- Advancement of an Existing Technology
- Use of Technology in Creating New Fashion Products
- Tech Advancement of the Retail Experience
The 2015 Hackathon drew 144 student participants representing 19 universities and 23 different majors. Critically, 60 percent of participants were female, a notable figure in U.S. hack activities.
The 2016 Hackathon currently has more than 200 registered participants from more than 75 colleges and universities across the nation.
The Hackathon schedule also includes several events that are open to the public:
- Coding workshop for high school students - Saturday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m.
- Project expo – Sunday, Jan. 31, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
- Awards presentation – Sunday, Jan. 31, at 1 p.m.
Finished projects will be on display at the MuseLab located in the Kent State University Library (third floor) during the month of February.
Registration is free and ongoing throughout the event. For more information, visit www.fashiontechhackathon.com.
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A Kent State team wins second place at the 2015 Fashion/Tech Hackathon with “SmartGains,” a biometric wearable workout suit that measures one’s workout proficiency.
Kevin Wolfgang, kwolfga3 [at] kent.edu, 330-672-1635
Julie Messing, jmessing [at] kent.edu, 330-672-6700
Emily Vincent, evincen2 [at] kent.edu, 330-672-8595