BUILDS Members Attend MHacks III

Huy Le | 28 Jan 2014 | | events

Winston Chen and Huy Le attended MHacks III, hosted by University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, on January 17-19, 2014 in downtown Detroit. With sponsors such as Apple, Bloomberg, and many more, as well as programmers from various colleges across North America, they were up against some of the best talent across to claim the grand prize. Here are all of the projects.

Read on to hear more about MHacks and Winston and Huy’s project.

About MHacks III

MHacks III is going to redefine what a hackathon can be. MHacks isn’t just for hardcore programmers. It’s not just about competing. It isn’t about energy-drink-enabled sleep deprivation. It isn’t about starting a viable business. MHacks is for creators. It’s for those of you who see problems and want to tackle them, using existing skills, and augmenting them with the skills of those around you. MHacks III will be the best place to do that, and we can’t wait to see what you make of it.

Huy and Winston’s Project

When we (Huy and Winston) arrived at MHacks held inside the Qube in Detroit, Michigan, we decided to develop a tutorial website for Nest Labs because even though there were quality documentation on their site, we thought that we could make a website introducing a step-by-step instructional page that users could learn how to set-up their Nest Labs product at their own pace. Thus, we decided to create a website with the goal of teaching the non-tech savvy how to dismantle their old thermostat and install the Nest Labs thermostat. However, we didn’t stop there. We also created a tutorial to install the Nest Labs smoke detector. And as an added bonus, we made the website compatible on mobile devices to allow people to install their new devices without having to hold a heavy laptop.

Huy began the hack by setting up the Amazon ec2 instance and creating the layout of the website to host the tutorial while Winston went to talk to the Nest Labs representatives to find out more information. He also got to experiment hands on with the Nest thermostat at the Nest Labs table.

Huy built the website using HTML, CSS, PHP, jQuery, and Bootstrap. He also found an independent API someone else built for Nest Labs to allow people to view information about their thermostat through a web browser. Nest Labs only built applications for iOS and Android to view the thermostat’s information on the go. Winston created animations using jQuery and JavaScript to make the website more appealing.

The website was divided into installing the thermostat, smoke detector, and login page for viewing information. On the thermostat and the smoke detector pages, we showed the unboxing, uninstalling of your old thermostat and smoke detectors, and installing the new Nest Labs devices and the setup of each device

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