At this year’s eMerge Americas Hackathon, organized by Wyncode and held at The Lab in Wynwood, The Silverlogic admittedly stacked the deck somewhat by sending two teams. However, competition was none less stiff as over 170 participants comprising 37 teams registered to build projects for sponsors Visa, Kairos, and Royal Caribbean.
In contrast with prior events, eMerge 2017 invited official company teams (although non-affiliated teams and individuals were still permitted to register after passing a coding challenge). This resulted in a large proportion of veteran teams from development agencies, intimately familiar with one another from past hackathons and day jobs coding together. Many such teams apparently had settled on strategy well in advance of the proceedings, as was evidenced by thin attendance at the API workshops and the air of quiet resolve hanging over the room just after coding began. Over the course of the morning the developers sent by Kairos and Visa only twice felt compelled to ask participants, “Did you get to ‘Hello World’ yet?”
During the night, chairs slowly emptied, complimentary cans of Monster lay tepid and unclaimed, and by the time team presenters awoke contorted from brief cat naps to choreograph demos and refine pitches, some 10 teams were presumed to have abandoned the competition. But in the few hours just before initial presentations, the racket of last-minute pivoting and scrambling to commit changes grew to cocktail party volume until coding officially ceased at 10:30 am.
After a chaotic round robin of initial pitches, both of TSL’s teams, each selected by Visa and Kairos respectively, had made it to the finals, held at the adjacent Miami Light Project. Team Real Deal ultimately won over judges for the Visa Challenge with a native iOS application that layers animated promotions over recognized brand logos, when scanned within the app’s camera-style view.
Real Deal allows a user to see promos over any branding or signage as recognized by Google Vision (e.g. signage on a mall), and can then choose to view additional details for that promo, plus other deals from that point forward. The app also allows users to locate deals by asking Alexa, “Alexa, give me Real Deal offers”
The grand prize included $2,500, VIP passes to eMerge Expo and a whirlwind meet-and-greet with one Mr. Steve Wozniak (!).
The Kairos challenge was won by Team STEM HQ, of Boca’s Tech Garage, a FAU-affiliated club of area high school students. STEM HQ’s quality control app for Royal Caribbean uses a series of cameras–including some built into waitstaff nametags–to identify negative expressions in the faces of cruise guests as registered by Kairos’s Emotional Recognition API. Once pinpointed, the webapp notifies cruise activity coordinators, who then work to improve upon the unhappy guests’ cruise experience.
Of the open APIs Visa unveiled last year, Real Deal uses Visa’s ATM Locator, Merchant Locator, Merchant Offers Resource Center as well as Google Vision, Apple ARKit, and Amazon Alexa APIs.
The SilverLogic would like to extend warm thanks to sponsors Kairos, Visa, and Royal Caribbean as well as Wyncode, The Lab, and eMerge Americas for the opportunity to compete and exhibit again this year.
iOS code: https://github.com/silverlogic/RealDeal
Django code: https://github.com/silverlogic/real-deal-back
Alexa code: https://github.com/silverlogic/real-deal-alexa