CHARLOTTE — Charlotte is participating in a multi-city Gigabit Hackathon May 1-3 in which teams develop applications using Gigabit Internet.

Charlotte’s event will be held at DC74 Data Centers near Charlotte Douglas International Airport sponsored by Charlotte Hearts Gigabit, a group that supports high speed Internet deployment in Charlotte in partnership with Orange Silicon Valley at GigHacks.

GigHacks was created to support students, developers, designers, and gigabit-enthusiasts who want to build advanced applications that will define the future of healthcare, gaming, education, entertainment and more,” Georges Nahon, CEO of Orange Silicon Valley, said in a statement.

Other cities participating in the first of its kind competition include San Francisco; Kansas City, MO; Chattanooga, TN; and Burlington, VT. Each city hosts a separate event, though they will be linked via a video network.

Terry Cox of Charlotte’s BIG (Business, Industry and Growth) organization says it works a bit like a startup weekend. Friday night people pitch their ideas of applications that leverage a full Gigabit Internet connection. Others join the leader to form teams, which work with their application on Saturday and Sunday.

Four accomplished judges who will review the projects on Sunday afternoon. The best group from NC will be on the video call with the other cities around 5:30 pm.

Criteria include:

Impact – How will this application benefit people and society?
Innovation – How strong is the intellectual merit of the idea? How innovative is the use of next-gen technologies?
Story – How compelling is the story for users?

Cox reports that one of the participants plans to work with very large data files (cancer genomes) to perform analysis. The Gigabit connection allows the data transfer to happen so much faster. Another participant is going to be working with uploading large video files.

Some other applications that would be easy to do for the weekend, Cox suggests, are uploading 200 photos at once, downloading an HD movie in just a few minutes, and online gaming to test the bandwidth. Software developers that want to try their app on a Gigabit connection are welcome to do so – virtual reality apps, gaming apps, video apps, and so on.

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