HackDay # 25 in Nizhny Novgorod - now with Intel contest

    From April 12 to 14, the next, 25th, HackDay developer contest was held in Nizhny Novgorod . For two working days, which are days off for all other people, the participants had to translate an idea that had previously been thought up or came up with an idea into a more or less workable project. The difference between this HackDay iteration from the previous ones was that Intel arranged something like a “contest in the competition” and invited programmers to try their hand at creating applications on the Perceptual SDK. The winner of the competition was waiting for a good prize - an ultrabook. Well, now a small report on how everything was.

    So, for two days (and two nights — whichever you like best), the cozy, although not very well located premises of the Nizhny Novgorod business incubator CLEVER was provided for unlimited, I would even say, unlimited creativity. It all started on Friday night with the participants presenting their projects in a short pitch presentation. On this formalities were completed and the labor process itself began. Of the 24 projects registered on the site, 19 went to work - a good indicator. Looking ahead, I’ll say that 15 have reached the finish line - nothing too.

    The procedure for starting a robot using shamanism

    The teams went to work rooms. For its competition, Intel provided everything necessary: ​​both specialists who are ready to provide advice, and equipment (cameras, laptops). Software development was interrupted by checkpoints - small working meetings with the announcement of current results. In addition, mentoring sessions were held - discussions of ongoing projects with experts. Like any creative process, the development was reckless and a little nervous: what didn’t work out quite right, something didn’t work out at all ... and all this in the fight against sleep and constantly buggy Wi-Fi.

    Virtual Midi Keyboard Demo

    By Sunday evening, the main work was already completed. Someone could not keep up the pace or was disappointed in their idea and left the competition, but the majority in a state of varying degrees of zombies gathered for the demo festival and awarding. Demo fest - presentation of a product made in two days. The products are different; some were not at all impressive; others, on the contrary, looked very dignified. I will list those that I personally liked.

    Virtual fitting room. PercSDK could also be used here, but technical restrictions prevented

    Firstly, this is a delivery implementation for Android of the well-known folk game “crocodile” (this project rightly received a prize). Secondly, the brain-tearing toy "Mobile" is also a prize winner. The idea of ​​a motivating Wakeupzzz Internet alarm clock seemed to be an interesting life hack - you need to think of making money bets on what you get up on time. At the demo fest, the creators of the wheeled robot, controlled from the tablet via Wi-Fi, kindled from the heart - they even used musical instruments to combat the office wireless network. And the human mind won - as a result, the robot still drove.

    Intel winners with literacy and ultrabook

    In the Intel contest, two projects reached the demo fest. One is to control a virtual midi keyboard with your fingers, just like one of the winners of the Intel Perceptual Computing Challenge demonstrated.

    The developers themselves admitted that they took up the project out of purely academic interest - to try what PercSDK is like. Well, the winners of the competition were Alexei Veselovsky and Nadezhda Lebedeva with Virtualens software, which allows artificially blurring the background of the video broadcast, leaving only the face of the person sitting in front of the camera in focus. It was they who received the main prize - an ultrabook from Intel. Alex, by the way, published a detailed report on his participation in HackDay on his blog - you can read the story in the first person .

    Video demonstrating the work of the Virtualens program

    After the contest, Intel expert Artem Vorobyev shared his opinion on the submitted projects.
    Both applications made a good overall impression. Participants managed to set realistic goals and complete them in the 48 hours provided.
    VirtuaLens implemented two main features: blurring the background and adjusting the focal plane using the Big5 gesture. The application is relatively stable, however, for product quality, a number of improvements are needed. In particular, you need to implement a smoother outline between the areas of clear and blurry images.
    As for the midi-controller, I would like to try it live in order to assess how convenient it is. However, at the presentation, the application was quite functional. The application has implemented the function of switching tools with a swipe left / right. Perhaps it’s worth switching the tools in another way, because waving your hands in front of the camera led to false positives. Also, it is probably worth completing the application to a full-fledged software synthesizer that does not use a third-party product.

    The final events ended late in the evening. All dispersed tired, but satisfied. The next HackDay will take place in less than a month in Kazakhstan, in the city of Almaty - though without Intel.

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