Surveying the future of tech through AT&T hackathons

Last week, we partnered with AT&T again to connect more aspiring developers with our speech tools at the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon in Los Angeles. Building on our earlier hackathons, we offered access to our developer platform and provided hardware kits for attendees to build projects oriented around speech technology. Over the course of the weekend, we worked alongside 120 developers who were eager to create new and innovative mobile apps within just 24 hours.
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Developers create speech-based apps at AT&T, Nuance hackathon

Working with AT&T and a large crowd of developers offered a view into the future of intelligent connected devices. Given that 50% of consumers say they plan to buy at least one Internet of Things product during the year, we can expect even more to come. Our involvement at this most recent hackathon in LA has prepared us for what those smart things might look like.

Vying for the “Best Use of Nuance Technology” prize, we saw a collaborative storytelling app, voice activated multi-rotor drones, interactive event maps, and a plethora of other exciting and innovative ideas. The completed projects we saw offered us a vision into the types of solutions that could be ubiquitous in the days to come.

The winner of our speech themed challenge, called ‘You Are Here,’ built an augmented virtual map for users to locate themselves and each other in real-time at events. The target use-case for this app includes large festivals and events such as SXSW, CES, and the like. Put simply, it’s an interactive point-of-interest (POI) map that can provide best routes within an events space and even surface information about accessibility for an extended audience.

AT&T Mobile App Hackathon – Best Use of Nuance Technology Winner: ‘You Are Here’

Best Use of Nuance Technology Winner: ‘You Are Here’

Best Use of Nuance Technology Winner: ‘You Are Here’

For the actual development of the app, the team used Unity to create a virtual map and some integrated plug-ins for external elements. Location information was based on device location services, while iBeacon listener was used to trigger events.

Even though the hackathon may have ended, the team plans on continuing to improve their creation with additional POI options, improved location sharing and an enhanced general framework.  You can watch the team’s full submission video here.

Team ‘You Are Here’ used Unity to develop their virtual map

Unity was used to develop the virtual map

Though we are used to the concept of maps guiding us from place to place, the value of an app that can connect people more easily and convey location as well as security and accessibility information about an events venue is just a small taste of how much room there is to grow in the world of smart things.

In fact, with an estimated annual compound growth rate of 33% from now until 2021, we can expect to see a ton of development within the Internet of Things space. As more inputs are tracked and information is more readily available, it’s easy to see how we are moving towards a world in which people, things and places are more connected and perhaps, closer than ever.

We’re excited to continue to see what innovative solutions hackathon participants can put together and will take part in AT&T Hackathons in Atlanta and New York next month. Come hang out with us and take your shot at speech enabling an app of your own for a chance to win money and prizes! You can register for all of AT&T’s upcoming events here.

Stay informed about our events and hackathon presence by following us on Twitter @NuanceDev and subscribing to the What’s Next blog.

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