Hackathon to inspire smART ideas

ASPEN Group’s SmARTer Penang Hackathon 2018 will bring together the brightest minds in  art, business, technology and other relevant fields to create groundbreaking ideas. 

Touted as the first event of its kind in the northern region, it will be held from Jan 5 to 7 at the developer’s Beacon Concept Gallery in Jalan Sungai Pinang.

Hackathons are gatherings, typically lasting several days, where people meet to engagein collaborative computer programming.

This one challenges participants to redefine the art experience in Penang and take it to new global heights by hacking out innovative yet viable solutions.

With free rein to create anything, one can come up with a new computer programme, a mobile app, a unique platform or something totally novel.

Attractive cash prizes and rewards worth up to RM100,000 are up for grabs.

Winners of the hackathon may also also get opportunities to be mentored by investors to become a technopreneur and business owner.

President and CEO of Aspen Group Datuk M. Murly highlighted that Penang art currently comes in many forms and can be experienced in a variety of ways.

But as innovative thinkers, the group believes there is always a better and more creative way that can completely change the landscape.

“I am excited by this vision,” he said.

“The first step we are taking towards making this a reality is holding this SmARTer Penang Hackathon.

“It is where art can be experienced and appreciated with technology and where artistic integrity and commercial business viability can grow side by side for the benefit of everyone,” he said.

Throughout the hackathon, the Beacon Concept Gallery will be transformed into a stunning venue that provides a fertile ground for innovative ideas to take root.

There will be facilities like play zones and relaxation areas while masseurs and others will be available for the comfort of participants.

Potential concepts participants could explore modern technology such as virtual or augmented reality to transform how art is visually experienced.

Gamification — the use of game design elements and principles in a non-game context — could also come into play.

Incorporating level ups, quests, achievements, XP points and high scores could make art more interactive and engaging.

More importantly, gamification can create new and borderless ways for people to experience, learn about and share the rich history of Penang art.

The panel of judges and mentors includes Murly, Penang State Art Gallery chairman Lee Khai, George Town Festival director Joe Sidek and Penang State Museum director Haryany Mohamad.

Completing the lineup are Aspen Group chief technology architect Sathia Murthy and head of creative and innovation James Lee, Ayuh Bina & Gut Studio founder Howie Chang, MaGIC lead developer Yee Siang and Microlink CEO Elwin Lim.

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Northern Region , hackathon