August 16 2014

LPG Hackathon August 2014

50-Caliber-Rambo-Kitty-Assault-UnicornWhat if whenever you walked into the office your theme song played?

What if you had a personal traffic light to indicate when coworkers could ask for a minute of your time?

What if your computer could send real time voice messages to team members regardless of location?

What if there were a single job board that helps programers find projects and companies within their city?

What if you never forgot to head out to an important meeting against because a barrage of adorable kittens and unicorns were there to get you up and out the door?
These are questions that Lamp Post Group’s amazing developers recently asked and answered at the LPG Hackathon. Our internal innovation lab WayPaver sponsored the event, and encouraged teams of developers to code something that makes working in their office more fun, more collaborative, more productive, more creative, more efficient, or generally more…. BETTER!

They had a little over 24 hours to work on their projects before a demo dinner that Saturday night, when they presented their ideas to fellow Lamp Post Group employees and interested community members. A panel of judges heard their pitches and voted on who would win the grand prize of a RMJ Tactical Strike Tomahawk.

10544286_281021375435128_2075402728_nThe concepts they coded included Distractacator, Hoggy Talkie, BusySignal, Nooga Startups, and Red Carpet.

Distractacator flashes distracting images on someone’s screen when you need them to respond to a meeting time. You can input certain keywords, like kittens or unicorns, to tell the app which images to propagate. As the urgency of the appointment increases, so does the rapidity of the images’ movement on the screen, making it harder and harder to ignore. Thanks to kittens, you may never miss an important appointment or meeting request again!

Hoggy Talkie was developed by SupplyHog to ease communications for team members who might be sitting in different areas or at different locations. It’s name says it all— the app acts as a WalkieTalkie that lets users send real time voice messages computer to computer. It’s never been easier to ask someone if they are ready to go to lunch or remind them it’s time to head to the conference room to hop on a call.

BusySignal uses open source Chrome extension & a lamp to visually indicate if a user is busy, available, or away. The app can be set up to read which websites you are visiting and which programs you are using when you are most productive, and which are the ones you use when you are taking a break. It can also sense how deeply engaged you are, and brightens or dims the lamp to alert others from a silent distance how interruptible you might be before they try to pick your brain or get a piece of your time.

Nooga Startups
is a
showcase of internet companies in Chattanooga developed by FanJam. It makes it easy to browse job listings and startups to help pair programers with awesome opportunities, and to help companies find the talent they need as quickly as possible. While this was a pre-existing project, FanJam gave it a facelift and new features during the Hackathon, updating it for the Chattanooga startup community’s current needs.

10608045_670857716331220_1164297628_nRed Carpet is an app that uses facial recognition software to tell when someone is entering the office, and cues their pre-programed theme song to play. A way to celebrate individuality on teams, warn when the boss is headed your way, and to encourage timeliness, the benefits to Red Carpet are endless, and fun at the same time. For the demo they programed Red Carpet to play the Star Wars Imperial March when LPG founder Alan Davis walked by, and Madonna’s “Material Girl” when LPG Director of Operations Tiffanie Robinson went past. If you know them, you know these are excellent picks!

Busy Signal won first place, Distractacator won second, and Red Carpet won third. The teams got to pick from a variety of prizes, including iPads, Amazon gift cards, and, of course, the RMJ Tactical Strike Tomahawks. They were chosen for the immediate impact they could make in the workplace, the quality and completeness of the development in the short time frame, and how well the concepts could stand as fully fledged startup concepts.

We were so impressed with the imagination and mad code skills the developer teams showed! Hopefully these projects will one day come to an office near you. But best of all, we had an awesome time celebrating the fantastic developers in our community and the wonderful talent in the LPG family.