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Eugene area inventors 'Hack for a Cause'

Eugene inventors work on a project to help the anticipated crowds at the 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials.

EUGENE, Ore. - Eugene is a hub for Oregon's tech industry and local inventors stayed busy over the weekend in a hack marathon.

The "Hack-A-Thon" could help Eugene prepare for the Olympic Track and Field Trials in 2016 and the World Championships in 2021.

Websites, mobile apps, promotional videos and digital art instillations were all results of a 36-hour long work weekend. The event was called "Hack for a Cause."

More than 130 techies developed needed solutions. The event helps social service providers, city departments, and other supporters of downtown Eugene.

"That's a very special thing about this hack-a-thon; a lot of the products or the solutions that came forward are turnkey ready," said Matt Sayre, director for the Technology Association of Oregon.

The virtual kiosk will help visitors find their way around Eugene with a tap of the screen on a digital map.

"It's not just for people who have smart phones or specific devices, but anyone who comes to Eugene," said Ben Garney, chief engineer at Engine Company.

This invention was originally aimed at a Friday art walk app to increase engagement with monthly downtown events. But now, it could help the city prepare for visitors during the Olympic Track and Field Trials in 2016 and World Championships in 2021.

"I absolutely hope that it'll be a fantastic asset any time there's an event in Eugene. But especially for championships and Olympic trials and all of these sorts of things," Garney said.

The inventors create more opportunities for discussing how to implicate their creations.

"It's a sense of accomplishment; certainly, I'm very proud of our community for coming together, thinking about solutions and taking action," Sayre said.

The Technology Association of Oregon organized the event. They say Hack for a Cause could play an important role in showcasing talented individuals and successful tech companies in the community.

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