Garage48 Holds 'Hardware Hackathon' in Tartu ({{commentsTotal}})

The session, co-organized by the Estonian Academy of Arts and the University of Tartu, brought more than 130 members from the creative communities of engineering and design to physically engineer brainstormed prototypes over a 48-hour period.

Heelies, a feet-scanning concept to personalize customers' shoe soles, was declared the winner after a working prototype was presented and demonstrated to a jury Sunday night.

Thirty-seven ideas were pitched during the weekend, with 19 going into development. It was the largest Garage48 event since the first was held in April 2010.

"We saw at our regular web and mobile app events that people wanted to get their hands dirty with physical gadgets," said Pritt Salumaa, Garage 48 co-founder and organizer of the event. "So we decided to do a whole event dedicated to that.

"I think the ideas pitched are very crazy and exciting," he said. "Hardware as a topic has proven to be very resourceful and we are having some ideas which I could have never imagined, ever."

The Garage48 event series started in Estonia in 2010 and have expanded to other countries in Northern Europe and Africa. All Garage 48 events are held in English. Participants have different skills, ranging from software development to design, marketing, sales and entrepreneurship.

All participants gather together in a big room and pitch ideas on stage. Each idea is written on a wall and everyone can choose their favorite idea. Ideas are whittled down and teams start working on designing a working service or prototype in the 48-hour period allotted for the conference.