On the 11th of November, CAKE LABS kicked off its first ever hackathon at the University of Moratuwa’s School of Computer Science and Engineering. The hackathon was themed under the concept of the Internet of Things; a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. Twelve teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges during the initial screening process; six were chosen to compete in the hackathon. They were (in no particular order):
Their product – called Raven – centered around gauging the overall mood of a group of people in a real life setting through face detection via video cameras. The converted data from the captured footage will provide hoteliers for example, a basic idea about how their guests are feeling.
The team proposed a simple solution through which occupants living in a particular area will be instantly notified when a garbage collection truck reaches their neighborhood. The solution favored a physical notification device over an app due to location and user conflict issues.
Team Castle Black
Their idea used a hologram device (which they built from scratch) to create an interactive menu that allows restaurant patrons to view 3D representations of items and order them using hand gestures.
The team proposed a system through which spaces such as libraries can control their level of noise through a noise level moderator. When the level of noise within a certain space increases beyond a specified threshold, then the system notifies the user.
Team Titans identified a real world problem where Asthma patients (especially children) were reluctant to use their inhaler, and thought about making this experience more appealing and fun by gamifying it. The inhaler will be connected to an app on the user’s phone. The user will then control the game via real world actions that have been pre-defined.
During the hackathon, each participating team was given access to a wide inventory of electronic items, gadgets and utilities needed to design their solutions. There was also a handful of veterans from CAKE LABS on site to provide the students with the necessary guidance on the programming front. In the midst of the hackathon, our CAKEsters managed to pull off a jam session, bringing in some lively music to the event.
After twelve grueling hours, the teams presented their prototypes. The judging panel consisted of the Senior Director of Engineering and Architecture at CAKE LABS, Anjana Somathilake, Dr. Dilum Bandara, Director, Engineering Research Unit of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Moratuwa, and Chandika Jayasundara, CEO of Cinergix/Creately. Post evaluation, the Hackathon had a clear winner – Team Titans and their gamified inhaler solution – winning the cash prize of Rs.150,000. Each of the teams were then provided with feedback on their solutions and how it could be improved.
The event proved to be an excellent learning ground for the participants who had to build and present their ideas within a matter of twelve hours. The hackathon’s main objective was to provide the students with an experience that is as close to a real world scenario as possible in terms of brainstorming an idea from scratch, building up a fully-fledged prototype and selling it to an audience. The Hackathon will also mark the opening of the CAKE LABS CSE Lounge at the University of Moratuwa which was installed to promote student thinking, creativity and collaboration.