IBM is an American multinational technology company with operations in over 170 countries. IBM manufactures and markets computer hardware, middleware, and software, and provides hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. Nicknamed Big Blue, IBM is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the world’s largest employers with (as of 2016) nearly 3,80,000 employees.
IBM Bluemix is a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) developed by IBM. It supports several programming languages and services as well as integrated DevOps to build, run, deploy, and manage applications on the cloud. The IBM Bluemix hackathon was a product building innovation campaign where participants could build web and mobile apps with Watson on IBM Bluemix.
About the IBM Bluemix hackathon
The IBM Bluemix hackathon required participants to use the Bluemix platform to build applications. The key highlight of the hackathon was Watson, named after IBM’s famed artificially intelligent computer, which can be operated using natural language. Watson’s capabilities were used for the applications developed when deployed using the IBM Bluemix platform.
The themes revolved around the following:
- Productivity – Web and mobile applications aimed at making a user more productive
- Gaming – Web based games which could keep gamers engaged
- Business – Technology solutions for business problems
- Social – APIs to build socially context-aware applications
- Communication – Better and effective ways to communicate
The Bluemix hackathon saw close to 5516 registrations. Over 2500 tech enthusiasts participated in this event and built 69 apps for the platform using free Bluemix credits given away by IBM.
The winning ideas
Allay – An open world chat application
Allay is one of a kind open world chat application. Using this, any person can chat with any other user, registered on Allay. Allay utilized the power of Watson by IBM, which makes it different from other chat applications.It was developed using IBM Bluemix Alchemy API by Watson. The application uses the sentiment analysis functionality using which it analyzes the sentiments of the conversation of different participants and lets the participant know how their chat is going.The chat is analyzed and the response is given in the form of smileys and positive/negative percentage thus allowing engagement. It also acts as a self-feedback mechanism.
Online auctions through the social network
The goal was to bring realtime updates and social integration in online auctions while providing a great user experience through IBM Watson Text to Speech (TTS) feature and data analytics. Users can login from different social networks and create auctions. Watson keeps an eye on subscribed auctions and provides relevant info and analytics.
Digital hoardings for smarter advertising
This app works on the premise that finding the right customers in the right place at the right time makes all the difference. The digital hoardings are capable of recognizing the age and gender of people in the vicinity and deliver advertisements that suit the crowd like displaying a jewellery ad to a group of women or a Rolex ad to a middle aged man.