Hack-a-thon At UrbanClap- Moments

UrbanClap, the fastest growing startup in India, has made life easier for people across so many cities. Needless to say, since the last three years, our young and dynamic minds here have worked hard to deliver results, which UrbanClap strongly believes in. 

Keeping this belief in mind and to help the budding engineers create something unique using their skills, we hosted a Hack-a-Thon!

We invited different tech companies to participate in the Hack-a-Thon. The idea was to provide them a platform wherein they could explore and build something new and interesting using technologies like Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Virtual reality, Augmented reality, and iOT. 

The Hack-a-Thon served as a playground for the young engineers to interact with each other and destress from their daily routine. They also got the opportunity to try their hands at building new gadgets using technologies they had only read about.

Let’s take a glimpse at the moments from the Hack-a-thon!

Friendly Introduction
The event started with a brief introduction of all the participating teams. Raghav- one of our founders, and Kanav who heads the tech team spoke about some interesting stuff with the teams, which was basically topics on which they would be working on, new technologies, and much more. The teams were then asked to choose a name for themselves and they came up with interesting names like Purple Batman, Burning Vector, Greenx, 6th Floor, Team GG, We Need More Time, and Smart 360. 

Table Tennis- The Ice Breaker Session!
After the brief intro and chat session, a table tennis competition was organized. It was a 3-point match arranged for the teams. It really helped the participating teams bond better and prep up for the super-exciting 2-day Hack-a-Thon.

Project Building!
The teams were served delicious food, and soon they all got down to building their master projects. Each team picked up a technology and worked around it. It was indeed amazing to see such brilliant projects come live. 

Take a Break, Sing a Song
The teams took a break from their brainstorming sessions and indulged themselves in some soothing music organized by us. The music session had various talented techies trying their hands at the guitar. People sang their favourite numbers. It was a relaxed evening before they again got down to their projects. 

Relaxing Massage Session
The teams worked throughout the night to create unique models. And in the morning, to give their aching shoulders and hands some rest, UrbanClap organized a special massage session for them. It was a wonderful experience for all the teams as experienced and well-trained masseuses coaxed and kneaded their pain and helped them destress! 
 
Final PresentationsFinally, after two long days of brainstorming and working hard to create sustainable models using new technologies, the participating teams came up with a few amazing ones. Let’s take a look at them. 

Nudge It [AR] by Squad

Do you remember the newspapers in the movie Harry Potter? How every image was a live video? What if that could be done in reality? Sounds interesting right? The team from Squad worked around the traditional print experience to come up with a similar working model. The goal was to conceptualize the use of such interactions to solve assisted surgeries and education. The team demoed the concept by augmenting Ads on a newspaper Technologies Used by them were Vuforia’s Augment 7, and its capability of drawing models over content placed on horizontal surfaces.

Smart Gym by UrbanClap
What if, like your smartphone, Smart TV, Smart appliances, you could also have a smart gym? Urbanclap’s Team GreenX worked around to build a technology where you can give control of all the gym equipment to your mobile app. This way you can have a smart gym, which would enable you to sync gym routines on your phone.

They used a NXP iOT chip with Android to connect to the equipment, making it extremely easy to install. They also paired it up a VR device, which would give you instructions at what speed, incline difficulty is coming up next and guide you through the workout. But all this does not work if you don’t go the gym. So, to add a heavy dose of motivation, they have introduced snap media shared by your friends, which disappears if you don’t finish workout challenge the same day. For all the lazy people out there, this will definitely get you moving!

P2P Travel Insurance [BlockChain] by Limetray
Blockchain has its application in decentralizing and offering high security to data modification. Limetray’s team P2P insurance applied this concept to demonstrate how it can build social security. They developed a travel insurance model using the Ethereum blockchain.

This technology is lightweight and a highly efficient approach to social insurance, making it affordable and accessible to everyone. It covers three cases namely: user missing the flight, flight accident, and flight cancellation. Here the user would insure his/her flight on the app and pay a premium, for which his claim would be given basis the investors available in the pool. On the investor side, he/she would have a pool where one can invest basis the risk of the pool. They used Toshi, api kit by Coinbase as a platform to build the app on, docker to deploy, solidity for the smart contract. Such an insurance policy can help insurers to divide the risk and a platform without regulatory processes makes insurance cheaper for the user.

Decentralised Voting [Blockchain] by LivelikeVR

Cost of last Lok Sabha Election was around 3000 crores. LivelikeVR’s second team `Need More time` tried to reduce this cost. Managing/Transportation of EVM for ensuring 100% security is a major cost factor. Since no software could provide required security it has to be done on physical machines. But blockchains could overcome this limitation. 

They implemented blockchain from scratch and failed twice. the idea came to life after 3 continuous trials. There were two kinds of nodes, election commission and voter notes. Voters were public nodes and required voter id and password to login. EC nodes were private and duplicated the vote blocks. So, you could see that votes were being cast without any identity. If any country uses this framework for voting, they can do away with millions in cost and charges of rigging and EVM manipulation will be finally put to rest.

Home Appliances as a Service [IoT] by UrbanClap
The Internet of Things is transforming every corner of life: the home, the office, city streets and beyond. However, high costs and few manufacturers have limited their usage in Indian Homes.

Team SixthFloor from UrbanClap assembled a low-power, easy to setup IoT chip with its end-to-end IoT platform. Hardware manufacturers can register their device signature and schema on this platform. Software developers can build applications using the data being consumed by the registered hardware devices, without the need to have any machine-level programming know-how. A normal user can buy this hardware and set it up quickly in their homes, and enjoy the connected devices’ platform without any technical knowledge. It is cost effective with a colour coded single LED display to convey its current state.

Super Smart Bots [NLP, ML] by UrbanClap
How is your social media customer service experience? Most companies would agree that getting this system automated would result in a smooth conversation and a quicker problem-solving rate. Urbanclap’s team SuperSmartBots was determined to automate it. Most simple example of an automated reply is a holiday bot that answers your email when you are away. SmartBot is not that simple. 

It is trained to understand the sentiment of social posts and pick up keywords to figure out the most probable question. It then searches it database for possible answers and replies to social media posts within seconds.

Deployed, the bot started continuously polling the posts on Twitter and Facebook. It searched for keywords related to UrbanClap and auto-replied to issues or service requests or compliments or would escalate if it doesn’t understand. SmartBot was also used for managing reviews by classifying them into positive or negative. This project can very well reduce the work of a large team allowing them to prioritise other more important things.

7. Napkin [AR, Geo location] by LivelikeVR
Proper hygiene and cleanliness of our environment has been the topic of discussion since a long time now. LivelikeVR‘s team Burning Vector took up the “Swacha Bharat Abhiyaan” as a challenge to be solved and made a game to solve it — making it a fun, social experience.

Napkin is a location and augmented reality-based game. The idea is that users join clans of friends and need to spread the influence of their clan. How do you do that? You go and clean up a messy area around you, and that’s what gives you a claim over it — spreading the love. But better keep it clean, otherwise you will lose it! This is the sweet blend of technology and gamification aimed to solve hard real-world problems. For the gamers out there — imagine it to be like Ingress with a twist of social cause for cleanliness.

8. Unifying Support Channels [Django] by Careers360In every big company, the customer experience team holds the key to exceptional customer satisfaction. For a happy customer experience team, the trick is in the tooling that empowers them. Two things become important in such a case— dealing with multiple channels and being efficient in answering questions. If only we could have a centralized platform, tag questions, and query answers from a knowledge store!

The team at Careers360 took a plunge at solving this — they built a centralised platform that could aggregate queries from different platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc). They developed the ability to reply as well as tag questions and answers to build up a knowledge repository.

The Winners! 
The 2-day long Hack-a-thon came to an end with various teams showing exemplary skills to solve few of the most talked about problems in our society.

To keep up the spirit of competition, we had to announce the winners who made the best project. 

Nudge It (Squad) stole the first prize with their unique idea. The second prize was bagged by UrbanClap (iOT Controller). 

Amidst fun, food and discussions, the Hack-a-thon came to an end. We hope to host more such sessions in the future with the aim to implement technology to solve real-life problems of our society.