A glimpse inside an inter-university hackathon: HackX 2K18

HackX 2K18 was a hackathon open to undergraduates from universities across the island. From the many applicants, 15 teams were selected as the finalists. These finalists then sat inside the Dialog Auditorium and spent 12 hours building their prototypes. And then as always, they pitched their ideas to the judges. These are some of the ideas we saw at HackX 2K18.

HackX 2K18

HackX 2K18

Community Space

This team from the University of Ruhuna had built an app to help you find a parking space. Once found it also offers directions to get to it. They elaborated during the pitch that they utilize cameras and image processing to find and monitor parking spaces. Concluding their pitch, the team shared that the app has applications for security purposes and potentially being used to pay tolls at highways.

Kavelance

Team Kavelance at HackX 2K18

Team Kavelance at HackX 2K18

Having traveled all the way from the University of Jaffna, this team had built an app called Shilpa. It aims to help students find the right teachers similar to Gurupaara. Students can select a subject and then see a list of teachers available for a subject. These teachers have their own profiles, which allows students to see if they’re the teacher they want. The app will be freely available to students but they’ll charge a subscription from teachers and institutes.

Dev/null

Hailing from the University of Sabaragamuwa, this team wanted to help improve the voting process. They argued that it’s currently unfair as people don’t vote for politicians based on their performance. So they built an app that monitors whether politicians honor the promises they make. This would be with the help of journalists. And in turn, to keep the lights on, they plan to earn revenue through advertising.

Number zero

Team Number Zero at HackX 2K18

Team Number Zero presenting their prototype to the judges at HackX 2K18

Another team we saw from the University of Jaffna had built a self-harvest management system for farmers. The system helps them get the information they need to predict harvests. This includes weather information and also of any new seeds the farmers may utilize. For revenue, they chose to rely on publishing ads from companies that provide supplies to farmers.

Sigmoid Systems

Team Sigmoid Systems presenting at HackX 2K18

Team Sigmoid Systems presenting at HackX 2K18

“It’s not easy to collect data,” said the team from the University of Moratuwa opening their pitch. They want to make the process cheaper. As such, they built an app to act as an intermediary between the public and businesses. They get the public to fill forms and give rewards in exchange. They then sell the data collected from the forms to businesses. While they didn’t address privacy concerns, they shared that they were aiming at selling the data to local businesses and government departments.

Storm breakers

Team Storm Breakers at HackX 2K18

Team Storm Breakers at HackX 2K18

Later we saw this team from the University of Sri Jayawardenapura. They wanted to help you find people that help you fix things around your house that broke down. This is the purpose of their app, which they call Rapid Serve. Initially, they want to bring the service to urban areas such as Colombo and Galle before taking it to other areas. Towards the end of the pitch, they revealed that they’d deduct 3% from all bookings.

Team 404

Team 404 at HackX 2K18

Team 404 at HackX 2K18

This team (which wasn’t missing) aimed to tackle the problem of accidents on Sri Lankan roads. To do so, they adopted the approach of building an app. This app would inform drivers of points on their journey, which are prone to accidents or where roads might not be in the best condition. This would be given to drivers via voice alerts they shared so as not to disturb the drivers.

Team 405

Team 405 at HackX 2K18

Team 405 at HackX 2K18

The next team we saw (which had no relation to the previous one) had built a flood awareness system. They had chosen to do so as the Western Province suffers the most from floods. Their system consists of IoT sensors powered by solar panels that monitor river levels in areas prone to flooding. People living in such areas can get alerts via an app or text messages.

Team Mora

Team Mora at HackX 2K18

Team Mora at HackX 2K18

The appropriately named team from the University of Moratuwa wants to make shopping easier. At first, we thought they had built an e-commerce website. Later we found that they’d built a digital shopping list. This was an app aimed at families that could collectively add items. In other words, they had built Google Keep.

Z crew

Team Z-Crew at HackX 2K18

Team Z-Crew at HackX 2K18

The final team we saw at HackX 2k18 was from the University of Moratuwa. They introduced us to an app called MediFetch. Its purpose was to help you find the medicines you need. They did so by having a map, which showed the locations of nearby pharmacies that would stock the medicines you need. Additionally, they also offered an inventory system to pharmacies, which allows them to accurately tell you the pharmacies that stock the medicines you need.

The winners of HackX 2K18

The winners of HackX 2K18 - Team Codezilla

The winners of HackX 2K18 – Team Codezilla

Once the pitches were done, it was time for the most intense moment of HackX 2K18. The judges retreated to debate amongst themselves. When they returned it was time. It was time to announce the winners of HackX 2K18, which were: Number Zero that took third place, Team 405 that took second place, and the winners were Codezilla from the University of Moratuwa.

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