Toronto hackathon dedicated to 'stupid' ideas opens this weekend

The Ryerson Digital Media Experience Lab is hosting an event called the Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon Toronto. Organizers describe it as: "A hackathon dedicated to creating things that have absolutely no value."

Ryerson hosting an event that creates and celebrates absolutely useless products

Anyone need a helpful pizza eating device? (Probably not.) This was one of the not-so-brilliant ideas that came out of the "Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon" in New York. (stupidhackathon.com)

If you're one of those people who think software developers and hackers aren't really good for much, you might get some vindication this weekend.

The Ryerson Digital Media Experience Lab in Toronto is hosting an event called the "Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon Toronto" on Saturday.

Organizers describe it as: "A hackathon dedicated to creating things that have absolutely no value."

The idea is to bring software developers and other inventors together for a traditional hackathon. The difference is that instead of brainstorming to come up with world-changing apps or startling new products, this hackathon's aim is to create things that will never, ever be sought after by the public.

"Sometimes, it's just fun"

Why? "Sometimes, it's just fun to make a combination cattle prod and selfie stick where you actually shock yourself really, really badly when you take a selfie, says Alex Leitch, a software developer and one of the organizers.

At a regular hackathon, she told CBC's Metro Morning Friday, "you get together for a weekend and you work really hard on a product for two or three days, and without sleeping. You're going to change the world with the product you make.

"But very frequently you get a group of people who perhaps don't have the background to realize the dream."  

This hackathon is designed especially for those would-be inventors who lack the creative spark or technical know-how to actually develop a useful app or product.

It's also an opportunity to poke some fun at the software industry, which, Leitch says, frequently inflates its own importance.

Event originated in NYC

The event originated three years ago in New York City, where developers created, for example, a 3-D cheese printer.

Some of the categories at Saturday's event include: "Pentacopters," "The Internet of Bees" and "Maybe Put Some Sensors On It I Guess Can I Have Money Now."

After the creations are unveiled Saturday there'll be a "Stupid Job Fair," followed by a social event.

The "Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon Toronto" runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. but it's sold out. Tickets for the evening job fair are still available, though.