The sixth VPRO Medialab Hackathon took place last Thursday 8 and Friday 9 June. This edition saw six teams with a total of 25 hackers tackling the question of which smart content can be made for the 25 City Beacons in the centre of Eindhoven.

At the end of day 2 they presented their concepts to each other, the audience and the professional jury consisting of Peter Kentie (Eindhoven365), Guus Sluijter (Gemeente Eindhoven), Bart Knipscheer and Michiel Voss (Citybeacon) and Ton van Gool (VPRO Medialab). This time we have not one, but two winners! Team Hebbes! and team ONE will both receive 2500 euro from the Gemeente Eindhoven, 100 hours of support from Citybeacon and promotional attention via Eindhoven247 for the further development of their concept. Here a short report of all the presentations.


Hebbes! is an interactive and educational game that uses all the Citybeacons and their locations in the city. The game works in combination with your smartphone: your smartphone is the guide, the Citybeacon is the host. The theme of the game is the history of the city and it is aimed at children aged between 6 and 10 years. It could, for example, include questions about the history of The Witte Dame. When playing the game children can unlock various hints and then continue on to the next Citybeacon for the following question. Hebbes! thus leads players through the city. This concept can be extended with, for instance, the integration of more Citybeacon functions, different target groups, user generated content, collaborative partnerships, battles between schools, etc.

Team members: Daan van Dijk, Tessa de Vries, Mitchel van de Water

Sneak Peek

Team Sneak Peek’s concept has the following quote as starting point: ‘The beacon as an open window to the outside, which makes a part of the world visible.’ The team hereby refers to a quote from Italian artist Leon Battista Alberti (A painting as an open window to the outside, which makes a part of the world visible), but also a statement by Eli Pariser ([..]leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation and the democratic exchange of ideas), thereby referring to the filter bubble.

This team expands the interaction space through stimulating unexpected meetings and using the Citybeacons as windows to other parts of the city. By changing position you also change the perspective. Sneak Peek thus enables visitors to call other Citybeacons and so enter into unexpected encounters, and in doing so makes the Citybeacons more inviting.

Team members: Debbie van den Eeden, Thomas Hoogeweg, Oleg Fedorin, Merel Raven

City Sympathy

The City Sympathy team carried out research in the inner city into what people think of the Citybeacons and whether they would use them. Many people found the columns interesting, but very few went a step further to actually using them. City Sympathy developed from this idea: this concept gives the Citybeacons more character and personality and literally speaks to passers-by: ‘Hey you, nice shoes!’. The Citybeacons are given 4 to 5 different characters that connect with various target groups within the inner city. The Citybeacon uses technology that recognises peoples’ characteristics to give suitable feedback based on what it ‘sees’. As such, the Citybeacon could recognise lost tourists and use a suitable tone of voice to help them find their way through the city.

Team members: Steven Smit, Lilit Martirosova, Özlem Bulgan, Mark van der Net, Emma Verhoeven

Gather & Go

In reaction to the increase in individualism and lack of a local event-hub, the Gather & Go team wants to use the Citybeacon to transform the inner city into a lively, social environment. Under the motto ‘experience your city together’ the Citybeacon is a social platform for crowd-sourced and community-driven local projects and events in the city centre. Starting points are the ownership of the events, the creation of community and resident participation. Everyone can use the associated app to create an event or project and explore the city or use the (public) spaces in a fun way. Let’s Gather & Go!

Team members: Lorenzo Fränkel, Thom van de Moosdijk, Allard Couwenberg

Hi there, stranger

With Hi there, stranger the fifth team aims to go further beyond smartphones and social bubbles. After a visit to the city the team members discovered that the Citybeacons are currently used very little and that visitors to the inner city pay them very little attention. This led them to the concept Hi there, stranger that draws the attention of passing people in a fun way by playing a film clip. Having drawn their attention, the Citybeacon can be used to call other Citybeacons in the city. This increases social interaction.

Team members: Mathijs Dielissen, Dees Oomens, Joost Benendam, Yijun Yu, Lang Bai


Team ONE focused on personification & gamification of the Citybeacons. By giving the Citybeacons a personality, they can connect and activate the community. From this idea, the Citybeacon can act as a kind of personal guide that can serve people in the city based on various themes. One such theme is urban sports. With this theme the Citybeacon integrates the objects and people into public spaces. Visitors to the city centre see sport exercises in the Citybeacon that they can repeat themselves. As such, the Citybeacon provides a contribution to the urban climate, thereby changing Eindhoven into an interactive playground.

Team members: Arjen Heus, Tommy Köhlbrugge, Dennis Holten, Frank Bosma