Published: Aug 13, 2018
Updated: Aug 15, 2018

Recap: AT&T Entertainment Hackathon – Bay Area

Author: Ed Donahue

At the end of July, the AT&T Developer Program went to Santa Clara for an entertainment hackathon at 9,000 square-foot Hacker Dojo space in Santa Clara, CA. Over 120 developers, designers, and students showed up to hack innovative and disruptive entertainment solutions.

Featured speaker Ryan Kim, Product Manager at Lyft, kicked off the weekend by sharing insights from his wealth of experience working with hackathons and startups. Kim imparted some sage advice to attendees, including what he loves about hackathons. Kim said, “It’s a place where I can maximize my focus and make something that actually works.” Echoing that sentiment, I personally love that hackathons provide a time and place for teams to create cool technology!

Ryan also shared advice that hackathons are all about the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Since hackathons only give teams a short time frame teams to build the projects, it’s imperative that teams are laser-focused on exactly what they want to build. Feature creep has taken down many hackathon teams.

The winning team did a marvelous job focusing on their MVP. While their solution could go in a lot of different directions and used for many activities, they focused on a single use case. This enabled the team to develop the basic functionality. Additionally, by having a single use case, their project demoed extremely well.

Before revealing the winners, I want to take a moment to thank Hacker Dojo for hosting the hackathon. A big thank you goes out to the judging panel for volunteering their time and providing their expertise, which included:

  • David Nassau, Intel
  • Juanita Dion, IBM
  • Tom Tofigh, AT&T
  • Zonker Harris, Hacker Dojo

Below you will find the winners of the Bay Area AT&T Entertainment Hackathon.

July 2018 Bay Area AT&T Hackathon participants photo
Group photo of the winning teams

Best Overall Entertainment App

  • 1st Place — Running Beats: “Running Beats lets users listen to their favorite songs with the right beats (BPM) based on a target heart rate zone.”
  • 2nd Place — MOMNT: “MOMNT allows photographers use AR World Sharing to share the specific photo spots at specific points of interest where they took their photos. The app allows other enthusiasts to replicate the photos taken and hence, relive those beautiful moments.”
  • 3rd Place — News-Visualizer: “Today’s news is mostly event driven/centered. We want to present news in a way that is people centered. Our goal is to perform web scraping on major news websites, by using a natural language processing (NLP) algorithm to extract people’s names, and present a network of relationships in which people are the nodes and the news articles are the paths.”

Best Next Generation Advertising Solution or Second Screen Solution

Reaction Coupons “Advertisers have a problem. They do not always know if their video content is effective and why. Two reasons are: Bias (being too close to the end product) and not knowing how to get honest feedback. The answer is brand ambassadors/influencers. But brand ambassadors are busy people. How do you make it convenient and easy for the brand ambassador? The answer is Reaction We make it as simple as point and click.”

Best Video or Game Solution

DUETIFY – “It is a mobile iOS song-matching game!”

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