AngelHack Manipal Hackathon
For the second time this academic year, the department of Information and Communication Technology hosted a hackathon, this time in collaboration with Wirecamp. Angelhack Manipal began after a lengthy and over-elaborate opening ceremony, followed by a brief orientation session by the organisers. Then began twenty-four hours of relentless coding where each team, consisting of at most five people, were to make a product based on any idea they had.
“The focus of this hackathon was only on developing, and there were no restrictions on the services used or perfection of implementation. This made the hackathon productive and let creativity flow unbridled”, as Kartik Arora of the winning team put it. The product that won the grand prize was an integrated smart media player which extracts information such as locations in the scenes and meaning of the words spoken. The prize consists of twelve weeks of mentorship to turn the product into a startup, and a chance to fly to San Francisco at the end of it. Other prizes from the sponsors included GoPro cameras to the team with the best product using the HP HavenOnDemand API library and $100 Amazon Web Services credits. The final judging panel would comprise the Superintendent of Police, and an alumnus from the University of California, Berkeley among others.
It was evident that a lot of work had gone into this hackathon, and the deal was sweetened for participants with a lot of incentives and all incidentals being taken care of by the helpful organisers. Permissions for the participants to stay in the NLH through the event’s duration (some confessed this was what sealed the deal on their participation), free food and coffee for every meal, even through the night, and a very helpful and experienced set of mentors were some of the things provided by them. In the words of a participant, “The Wirecamp team acted how mentors should. Instead of directly helping out, they showed us the path, and we researched and implemented it. I would like to especially thank Pawan Shetty and Manan. My laptop had crashed an hour before the event, and they helped me reinstall an OS and get it all up within four hours.”
Some of the other great products that came out of this hackathon were apps which can assist the visually disabled, a movie library management service that can scan and extract the files from the hard drive connected, and an app that uses computer vision to decide how an interview is going. Most teams coded throughout the twenty four hours with just an hour of sleep in between, and some built on platforms they had never used before. Bhavya Shahi, a participant said, “I have always wanted to try Android app development but this was the perfect chance to finally get into it. We started learning from scratch but had an app at the end of the event.” The event ended with the judging panel selecting the best projects for the prizes and a closing ceremony.
If none of that would excite the average MITian, they put in the holy grail for good measure: I-ON five MBPS plans for everyone which actually worked at five MBPS throughout the event. The event was something that many were “excited for”, and raises expectations from the college. It was a step in the right direction to enhance the coding culture of Manipal, and will be welcomed again.