PennApps is a meeting place for dedicated hackers ready to camp out for 48 hours straight of experimentation, coding, and a lot of energy drinks. One of the longest-running hackathons run by students for students, PennApps has helped spur a movement of student-run hackathons around the country.

The smell of hardware was in the air at PennApps this year, with the UPenn hardware hackers group, The Architects, joining the organizing group – just what we love to see at Leap Motion. There were no restrictions on what hackers could create, and this was reflected in the incredible variety and breadth of projects.

We saw an impressive array of Leap Motion hacks built throughout the weekend, and when it came down to choosing the winner of the Leap Motion API prize, it was almost impossible to decide. Here’s the winning team, along with some other great contenders.

The winner: Leapouts

Congratulations to Sam and Kartik, creators of Leapouts – a real-time 3D collaborative environment accessed within a Google Hangout. The duo flew in from opposite sides of the world to compete together just for the PennApps weekend.

Using the Google Hangouts API, Sam and Kartik built a Three.js sandbox environment with a Firebase backend, incorporating an impressive array of Leap Motion control – including camera control and object selection, scaling, and translation. All of this happening in real-time, in full view of all Google Hangout members! Pretty impressive, considering that neither had ever used Three.js before.

Unfortunately, due to the developer account restrictions in the Google Hangouts API, the app will currently only work while Sam or Kartik are present in the Hangout. Nonetheless, some exciting possibilities here – stay tuned for more.

Hands Dance (Java)

Gabriel Ochoa, Varun Emany, Alex Terela, Htin Linn Kyaw

Bop-It (JavaScript)

Zach Fogg, Luis Santos, Jeff Hilnbrand, Mariel Bartolome

Space Invaders (JavaScript)

Aakash Adesara (project available on GitHub)

Thanks to everyone who participated to make it a really great event – you’re all amazing and we can’t wait to see what you’ll build next. We’ve included some more of our favorite moments from the weekend below. For a complete list of the Leap Motion hacks check out the PennApps Submissions page.