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Outware Hackathon #005 – Beyond Smartphone from Outware Mobile on Vimeo.

On September 24, Outware hosted our fifth Hackathon, this time in conjunction with Melbourne IT and Infoready. Outware Hackathons are designed to bring together employees from different parts of the business with the aim of developing innovative projects. Teams unite around a central theme or idea, and attempt to build a prototype of their project within a single day.

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This year, the theme was ‘Beyond Smartphone’, and our teams were challenged to incorporate technologies such as the Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, Smart Homes, Smart Cars, the Apple Watch, and other wearable technologies.

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The day kicked off with breakfast at the office, where the teams donned their coveted Hackathon t-shirts, and got together to brainstorm and start hacking. By staging the Hackathon as a group event, our teams were able to benefit from the combined expertise of Outware, Infoready and Melbourne IT, with each company bringing different skill sets and ideas. There were four Melbourne-based teams, as well as two in our Sydney office. Here’s an overview of the teams and their projects:

  • Convonet:
    A voice-activated shopping list designed to assist visually impaired or blind people to shop online. Built using Amazon Alexa voice recognition software.
  • BaitBlocker:
    A Chrome extension that detects and summarises clickbait articles.
  • Sent with Lazers:
    A virtual reality synthesiser experience.
  • The BMX Bandits:
    Re-inventing the bicycle to make riding to work a safer experience, with motion sensors that light up and provide haptic feedback through the handlebars when a car is about to drive past the rider
  • Codelines:
    An AI that reviews a codebase to detect when code is likely to include bugs.
  • Loc8 (Sydney):
    An app that uses augmented reality to help you find your friends in a crowd
  • 25598118 (Sydney):
    An app that makes use of gamification to create displays for the Vivid Sydney art installation

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There was a great atmosphere in the office on the day, with all the teams collaborating and working hard to bring their projects to life. Everyone was enthusiastic about their projects, as the structure of the event gave them a chance to pursue personal interests and explore emerging technologies. Many employees also had the chance to try their hand at tasks outside of their day-to-day roles, with Developers doing UI design, Recruiters working on wireframes, and Project Managers experimenting with robotics.

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At the end of the day, we were fortunate to be joined by guest judges Casey Glass (Digital Program Manager, Officeworks), James De Colling (Head of Content, Zero Latency), and Scott Vandonkelaar (Chief Technology Office, Zero Latency). The projects were presented in a science-fair format, and were judged based on their innovation, execution, presentation, and effectiveness at solving a problem. All the participants also had a chance to vote for their favourite project to win the People’s Choice Award.

At the end of the day, three winners were selected.

  • First Prize – Convonet
  • Second Prize – Codelines
  • People’s Choice Award (proudly sponsored by Zero Latency) – Sent With Lazers

The teams that won first and second place were awarded $7,500 and $2,500 respectively, and the People’s Choice Award were given tickets to Zero Latency VR.

Check out the video above to get a view of the day.

 

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