Use These 5 Excellent Hackathon Ideas in Your Project
Hackathons: Surely you've heard a lot about this type of short-term competition and its benefits but still don't know how to plan one? Recently, the hackathon has become an increasingly widespread format of events, including in China. In Hackathon, different teams work on a project to show an initial result after just 24 hours. And as with every competition, there was also a winner: after 24 hours, each team presented their creation, and everyone voted on which innovation is the most promising. We have a list of the best hackathon ideas.
What is a hackathon?
The word "hackathon" is a term derived from a combination of two words: hacker and marathon. Today hackathons no longer belong to hacking. They are just a "marathon of programmers" where small teams of specialists from different areas of software development (programmers, designers, managers) work together to solve a problem. Usually, hackathons last from one day to a week.
As a rule, the task of a hackathon is to create full-fledged software, but some hackathons are designed for educational or social purposes. At such hackathons, web services are developed (mobile applications, sites, web applications, infographics) to solve socially significant problems. The result of the hackathon and the joint work of civic activists and IT specialists is not a prototype of a future application but a minimum viable product ready to launch - the first version of the application on which an idea can be tested.
How are hackathons held?
Usually, hackathons start with presenting the event as a whole and a specific topic, if any. Participants then propose ideas and form teams based on interests and skills. After that, work directly begins on projects, which can take from several hours to several days. Also, participants can sleep during the hackathon if they find where.
The hackathons end with project presentations, during which each team shares the results of their work. Sometimes hackathons are competitive. In such cases, the jury evaluates the participants and selects the winners who will be awarded prizes.
5 best hackathon ideas to try in 2021
1. Algorithm for automating sign language translation
One of the brightest victories was the performance of the DeafKIT team, which developed an algorithm to automate sign language translation in real-time. Now, in most cases, speech for the deaf and dumb is translated by a sign language interpreter. The guys proposed an automated solution when sounds are recognized by a computer and translated into characters or text understandable for disabled people.
This automatic sign language translation solution is almost ready to market. The developers plan to implement it, for example, at ticket offices at train stations and airports, in MFCs, retail outlets, and other public places where real-time sign language translation may be required.
2. Conduct voting using computer vision
In the summer of 2017, in St. Petersburg, on the basis of ITMO University, a design school for programmers, entrepreneurs, and engineers - Girls4Tech was organized, which was only offered to girls to graduate.
After the end of the training course, ITMO held a hackathon, the program of which included solving several problems posed by Petrovich and Bayer. The university hackathon was supposed to help identify the best specialists in their field based on the results of their studies at the project school. However, it also resulted in an interesting project that has every chance of becoming a successful market product.
Thus, in ITMO's IT competition, the VoteVision team won, offering the best solution for the Bayer case. The company asked to create a voting system in classrooms where Internet use is prohibited, for example, during tests or exams. The voting technology offered by the girls is based on computer vision. She analyzes a photo of the audience, where they vote with cards for the proposed answers.
3. Solution for ordering a taxi
Today EasyTaxi is one of the most popular taxi applications operating in 30 countries around the world. More than 17 million people installed it on their smartphones, more than 400 thousand taxi drivers have connected to the service. At the same time, few people know that EasyTaxi appeared as a result of the Startup Weekend hackathon, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 2011.
The Brazilian developers' Tallis Gomez and Daniel Coen made a splash when they presented a taxi ordering solution in the competition, which allows, in addition to the usual functions, to track the location of the ordered car.
4. Online platform for the sale of used items
Carousell, one of Asia's largest online marketplaces for buying and selling used items, also emerged from an IT competition. In 2012, the co-founders of Carousell decided to take part in Singapore's Startup Weekend.
They later recalled that they had gone to such an event for the first time and did not really expect their work to be useful. Instead, they were just interested in developing a cool solution to an important problem - how to get rid of unnecessary things. Oday the Carousell app is used by millions of people, and up to 60 million items are sold on the site at the same time.
5. Electronic Home Help Search Platform
It's unpleasant when a tape leaked in the house, and you don't know who you can call quickly to repair it. So the young Americans Eric Koster and Ian Hunter, who took part in the Startup Weekend in 2011 in Los Angeles, introduced the App called Zaarly.
The app's success in finding a qualified electrician, plumber, or gardener in your neighborhood has been phenomenal. In just a few days, the project managed to receive investments in the amount of over 15 million dollars. As a result, Zaarly is now one of the most popular online household help resources in the United States and several other countries.
5 tips for better hackathon ideas
1. Know your team
A successful team is always a mix of various talents. For example, you have a frontend developer, a backend developer, a graphic designer, a business developer, etc. You should know what are your strengths and weaknesses and select a diverse team accordingly. It is more important to select a team with people you get along with (and can have fun with).
2. Brainstorm and discuss hackathon ideas
It is always a great idea to discuss prevailing hackathon ideas and what can be done to improvise on them. This proves to be a great mental exercise for you and your team, and you often end up coming up with a good idea.
3. Communicate with your team
It will help if you communicate with your team and the people around you. If you talk to potential end-users of the product, it will help you comprehend their pain points. Communicate with the judges and mentors, and try to realize what hackathon ideas they are looking for. You can also talk to other teams and see if they face any problems and what sort of APIs they are using and learn from them.
4. Time your execution
As soon as your team has finalized a hackathon idea that has been carefully discussed and outlined on a piece of paper, you should take at least 10 minutes to estimate how much time it will take to implement and execute your idea.
5. Presentation is the key
Either your presentation will make or break your hackathon experience. A decent presentation describes what issues your product is solving, how it differs from the competitors and market statistics associated with your product.
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