We just got back from an amazing popup event held in Ireland on June 1st & 2nd. For this one, we brought ‘Spark Haus by Cisco’ to one of Dublin’s most unique venues for two-days of tech talks, demos and a hackathon, featuring the Spark and Tropo APIs. The venue was inside Dogpatch Labs, a co-working facility located in the heart of the historic Dublin Docklands. What’s really unique about this particular event space is it’s located inside a 200-year old redeveloped wine and whiskey vault, downstairs from Dogpatch’s main offices. It was an extraordinary setting to say the least. Our distinguished Technical Marketing Manager for Collaboration APIs, Adam Kalsey, was the MC for the event.
After breakfast on the first day, we started off with some tech talks on the Spark and Tropo APIs, presented by Cisco’s Jonathan Field and yours truly. The sessions were mainly geared towards the developers participating in the hackathon and coding challenges, so they can get familiarized with the technologies. Next, one of our amazing partners, altocloud.com, provided an awesome live demo of how they’ve integrated Spark and Tropo into a solution for insurance agents to provide quotes to visitors online. You can view a short video of Altocloud’s demo here:
After the tech talks concluded in the afternoon, the actual hackathon kicked into high gear. We ended up with four teams in the hackathon, all developing applications using the Spark and/or Tropo APIs. The developers were definitely eager to get coding since the list of prizes to be awarded were very enticing:
- 1st Place Team – 4 x Galaxy Visitor 7 Quadcopters
- 2nd Place Team – 4 x Bose ® SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III – Silver
- 3rd Place Team – 4 x Plantronics Premium Headsets
As a side contest, those who completed some Tropo and Spark coding challenges were awarded a tech gadget (courtesy of Exertis) from a prize grab bag.
On day two, the hackathon teams submitted and presented a demo of their applications. All of the submissions were very creative and quite frankly, some of the most advanced applications we’ve seen at a Spark/Tropo hackathon. The winning submissions are as follows:
Third place went to the “Purple Pi” team, who presented a mobile expense management application. In their app, credit card transactions appear in a Spark conversation, allowing you to categorize expenses, post receipts, and mark each expense as personal or reimbursable.
Second place went to the “Meeting Insights” team. Their application aimed to improve the efficiency of meetings by reminding every attendee and speaker right before their time to talk comes up and provide a text backchannel (using Tropo) for every meeting. The app also automatically judged the mood and the contents of the conversation and posted to the backchannel for archiving.
The grand prize winning team was “Soteria” who put together a very neat real-time collaboration solution for a paperless healthcare application using Spark. The app allows medical providers to discuss a patient’s medical chart and have that discussion automatically update the chart by identifying health-related keywords from the chat.
After the event concluded, we had a hearty celebration aboard the Boat Restaurant & Bar – MV Cill Airne, where a good time was had by all. We received a lot of positive feedback from the attendees and definitely hope to return to Dublin again soon. Many thanks to the Cisco team in the Dublin and Galway offices, who truly helped make this Spark Haus event a successful one!