Hack to the Future – Hackster.io Hardware Weekend Dallas

This past weekend, April 18th & 19th, I led a team of Dallas-based Microsoft employees at the Hackster.io Hardware Weekend hackathon. If you’re not familiar with the event series, you can find out more about it here. The basic gist of the event was to hack on any kind of hardware, but the special prize was getting to hack on a DeLorean DMC-12.

When we started planning for the event, we decided we definitely wanted to take advantage of having access to the car, but we also wanted to showcase some Microsoft technologies. We decided that whatever we did should include an interface to the car, cloud components and a mobile app component. Here’s what we ultimately came up with.

Project CliMATE

The goal of the project was to enable intelligently-controlled climate for your automobile. In Texas, we get some extreme heat during the summer months (> 100 degrees Fahrenheit), so this is a real-world problem that we were trying to solve. Essentially, you would be able to monitor the internal temperature of your auto from the mobile app and then decide if you want to remote start the auto and/or adjust the auto’s climate system, prior to departing a location like home or work.

Obviously, there are a lot of technical and safety challenges to a system like this, so we ended reducing the scope to realistically fit the project into the given time of the hackathon. What we ended up with was internal temperature monitoring and remote-starting the auto from a mobile app.

Here’s a video of the final project operating (even if the car battery died)


You can view the project on Hackster here.


Our team ended up winning the Hackster award for the best hack on the car and the best overall hack.

The team

Jason Fox – SDE, Strategic Engagements, Microsoft

Enamul Khaleque – Senior Escalation Engineer, Microsoft

Prashant Pratap – Senior Escalation Engineer, Microsoft

Farida Bharmal – Senior Escalation Engineer, Microsoft

Peyton Casper – Microsoft Student Partner, UT Arlington


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