Looking to discover new talent as well as emerging services and apps, NCTA will host a 24-hour developer challenge dubbed INTXHACK in conjunction with the annual show in Chicago. The goal is to “get talented and young innovators together with hardware and software providers in the TV space and see what they can come up with if they are given the tools,” Mark Bell, vp of industry affairs at NCTA told us. For the industry, “it’s also a platform to look at what the future of cable would be.” The 24-hour hackathon competition challenges developers to create apps-from-scratch using the latest APIs, tools, data and content from partners such as C omcast, NBCU, CNBC, Microsoft and USA.
Participating hackers will compete live at 1871, Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for digital start-ups, with finalists showcased during INTX May 5-6. The apps developed from scratch are expected to reflect what INTX is about, whether it’s related to the video user interface, Internet of Things, advanced advertising, TVE, online video, new navigation, immersive entertainment, wearable technology or connected games. “Basically anything that falls in within the intersection of the Internet and television,” according to Bell. And having a youth element is important to the show, whose first-ever 48-hour student filmmaker competition last year challenged students from film schools to produce original short films. “It’s important for the industry to have a youth voice and invite innovators to be part of the business” and NCTA seeks to have similar events at INTX going forward, said Bell.
Comcast will provide set-tops to support developers wanting to create new apps on its X1 platform. Several programmers will offer content and APIs around their content for developers to build innovative content discovery, recommendation and navigation apps. INTXHACK aligns “neatly with Chicago’s vision of being a startup hub,” Bell said, calling the local talent pool strong. The contest features a grand prize of $10K, followed by the 1st runner up price of $5K and 2nd runner up purse of $3K. Finalists will also be featured in a special INTX showcase exhibit providing them access to industry execs and the opportunity to present their ideas.