Luck be a lady—twice: behind the scenes at AT&T Developer Summit’s Hackathon

JD Jordan

JD Jordan

Mapping apps are great at getting first responders to a building.
But not into it. And not at winning.

For the second year in a row, I joined the Slalom Atlanta custom development team at the 2014 AT&T Developer Summit Hackaton. And for the second year in a row, we came in second place—always the bridesmaid…ahem, bridesgroom—with our finalist app, RescueRoute, beating out nearly 120 teams after only 24 hours of design and development.

But as the sole UX and design professional on the team—backed up by five developers; a freelancer, Ellie Decker, recruited on-site; and the Slalom Atlanta account team making beer runs—our success this year isn’t just about our winning app. It’s about a different approach to the hackathon. Whereas last year we focused on just one killer app, this year we took a shotgun approach: designing, developing, and presenting five different apps. In just 24 hours. And each of those with a unique premise, look, and user experience.

RescueRoute, our winning app, came out of a simple challenge from our lead Android developer: How can we use these technologies in an unintended, novel way.


RescueRoute: 2nd place in the API category, 2014 AT&T Developers Summit Hackathon

When a RescueRoute alarm is triggered—whether by your phone, your heart-monitoring shirt, or even your smart-sock detecting a fall—location-aware sensors in the building pinpoint your location and color-changing routing lights lead first responders straight to the emergency with no stopping for directions. And with no need for a heads-up display. The app can even handle multiple routes at one time—illuminating an egress path on one side of a hallway and an ingress route on the other. Speedy passage whether you’re running from a fire … or into it. And when the emergency is dealt with, the red, directional emergency lights turn green and then back to white, seamlessly integrating into the building’s normal lighting environment.

From a technology perspective, aside from a smartphone we used a Qualcomm Gimbal to pinpoint a location within a structure (though you could use a Nest or a Birdi), Sensoria smart clothing as a passive trigger in a health emergency, Phillips Hue lighting to illuminate the routes, and AT&T’s M2X to manage the wide variety of paths we might need to light up.

But, ultimately, it’s about the light fixtures all around us already. Lights, that with just a little help, could buy each of us those precious few seconds that make so much difference.


As part of the Slalom Consulting Atlanta hackathon team, my finalist presentation at the 2014 AT&T Developer Summit keynote, January 6, 2014.


RescueRoute uses Philip’s Hue lighting to provide real-time, interior routing without a HUD or Google Glass.


The Drake Equation helps you find life in the universe—iMingle helps you find love, without having to figure a decent pickup line. iMingle is also transferable for companies, networking events, and conferences via ProMingle. Save face, save time, start mingling.


Garcon! A Gimbal-based dining experience for iOS that lets you browse the menu, signal your server, and pay your bill right from your phone. The food-based typography is the intellectual property of Karen Cantú.


Roots identifies a song and pulls up all the related samples—both what it’s sampled from, and what it’s sampled in. It’s about going back to the roots and knowing your music.


CodeTalker uses voice-recognition to encrypt all of your usernames and passwords behind a single spoken authentication.

Originally posted on JD Jordan’s Behance profile.

About JDJordan
I am a User Experience and visual design consultant for Slalom, Atlanta.

2 Responses to Luck be a lady—twice: behind the scenes at AT&T Developer Summit’s Hackathon

  1. Mike Stock says:

    I would use at least two of those apps today. Really interested in Code Talker..

  2. Cool post behind the scenes at the ATT development hackathon.

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