Where are they now? Witness, the 2015 Disrupt NY Hackathon winner

The Hackathon at Disrupt NY is almost upon us, so we thought it’d be fun to look back at last year’s Hackathon to see what the winners of the Disrupt NY 2015 Hackathon have been up to in the year that has passed since the show.

The year has been a good one for Witness, the simple virtual panic button that aims to keep users safe during an emergency.

When users press the big red on-screen button, Witness calls and texts your emergency contacts and records your camera, location and microphone activity, streaming that info over cellular or Wi-Fi to your emergency contacts in real time. And it does so all while leaving your phone’s screen black so would-be attackers are unaware that you’re recording them.

A few months after winning the Hackathon, Witness officially launched as a mobile app on the Apple App Store in July 2015, though founder Marinos Bernitsas had to remove the black screen setting to get App Store approval. A version of the Witness app for Google’s Android operating system is currently in early access beta, according to the company’s website.

Witness got its 15 minutes of fame in December 2015 when it was featured in a brief conversation on the cybercrime television show CSI: Cyber. You can watch the clip here.

We’re excited to see what comes next from Witness and absolutely thrilled to see what this year’s Hackathon participants are going to come up with.

We also can’t wait to see all you wonderful hackers and builders at the Hackathon, which takes place May 7-8 at the lovely Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in New York City, followed by the main Disrupt conference May 9-11 at the same venue.

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