A debrief of the Horizons Summer ’17 Hackathon

The Horizons Hackathon occurred halfway through our summer, just 6 weeks into our advanced curriculum. It served as an opportunity to bring product ideas to life.

We asked Horizonites the question of the day: “if you had 24 hours to build anything, what would you build?” They jumped out of their seats.

Horizonites worked on projects that blew us away with their technical sophistication (see OneTouch), depth of thought backing mature design decisions (see Dateabaes), and massively entertaining end products (see Brick <BREAKR/>). Horizonites were challenged. Each and every one rose to the occasion and focused wholeheartedly on bringing their ideas to life in just 24 hours. What Horizonites built made our jaws drop:


Brick <BREAKR/>

Jatharsan (York), Donovan (HKUST) and Cyrus (University of British Columbia)

If you thought Brick Breaker was cool, think again.

With the rise of Augmented Reality, gaming is achieving new heights and becoming increasingly open to new form-factors. Horizonites Jatharsan, Donovan and Cyrus dove in headfirst and developed an incredibly entertaining marvel of augmented reality brilliance.

Brick <BREAKR/> leverages augmented reality, collision detection and camera technologies. Users are immersed more deeply in gameplay than ever before. It is one thing to learn how to code — it is entirely another to apply the latest in technological advances into our projects.

Dateabaes

Caroline (Penn), Tiffany (Penn) and Andrew (Penn)

Dateabaes is a hilarious take on Tinder and swipe-interface dating applications. The product allows programmers to meet other programmers based on their skill level. New users are prompted to answer several programming-oriented “filtering” questions. Depending on how well they perform, they are placed in a pool that is most similar to them. Try not to laugh.

With limited programming background prior to the program, Caroline, Tiffany and Andrew applied what they’ve learned over the past 6 weeks in a fun-filled, laughter driven 24 hour coding montage. In this project, they used Node, Firebase and Redux to manage their back-end and wove in a beautiful design.

Pocket Medic

Jack (Health Careers), Ronak (USC), David (Claremont McKenna) and Neil (University of Wisconsin Madison)

Pocket Medic is a personal medical advisor for the on-the-go and most importantly the offline.

It enables users to receive medical diagnoses with a few simple texts without internet connection. It was purposefully built for individuals around the world that have cellphones but are not able to benefit from 3G/4G data or a robust healthcare system. Pocket Medic supports 4 different languages and it only takes one text message to get started.

Jack, Ronak, David and Neil built a chatbot that leveraged language translation APIs to make this product a reality.

OneTouch

Adam (Penn), Prateek (Penn) and Brian (Boston University)

At a time where cybersecurity is growing exponentially in importance, Adam, Prateek and Brian saw a way to use enabling technologies to add a biometric layer of security to the web. OneTouch, enables users to sign onto their favorite websites using touch authentication.

We look forward to the commercialization of OneTouch and a world in which we can all navigate the Web more securely.

A few technologies used: Node, MongoDB, Express


Wanderus

Chloe (Wellesley), May (Vassar), Elise (Penn), Brian (Boston College)

Wanderus curates the most highly-rated experiences from cities around the world in a wonderfully simple user interface. We look forward to Wanderus helping folks explore the world from their fingertips before they set off on their voyages.

Chloe, May, Elise and Brian went out of their way to apply their design skills and love of traveling to a compelling product. Their passion certainly show. A few technologies used: Node, React Native


HappiApp

Mika (Wesleyan), Ben (Yale), Leo (Branson School), Ana (Whitman)+ Xhonia (Wesleyan)

HappiApp is not your average messaging application. HappiApp leverages sentiment analysis to prevent cyberbullying. Sadly, victims of cyberbullying are at a higher risk of depression and anxiety. Luckily, HappiApps technology flags messages that have hateful or otherwise distasteful language and prevents them from being sent. HappiApp is one positive step in the direction of a mentally healthier population and we could not be more proud that Horizonites chose to tackle such a pressing problem affecting the modern web.

We look forward to seeing how the HappiApp technology can help create a happier and more caring population.

A few technologies used: Sentiment Analysis, Mongoose, Passport, CSS animations, JQuery, SocketIO

Doorstep

Demi (Wellesley), Minh (Hamilton) and Teresa (USC)

It’s all about community. You won’t find a team who agrees more than Doorstep creators, Demi, Minh and Teresa. These Horizonites found an opportunity to increase the utility of underutilized inventory by brokering a marketplace between members of the same community.

For example, if someone needs to borrow a warm blanket for a cold evening night that is no problem. Members can search Doorstep for a community-member willing to lend a hand. They thought deeply about what it means to take part in a community, and help ones neighbors. Take a sneak peek at their depth and clarity of thinking:

We are impressed with Doorstep’s potential for social impact. Even more, the way Demi, Minh and Teresa worked through the night to build something they cared about reflected the spirit of our own community.


24 hours. 35 stunning projects.

Airbnb, Facebook and Amazon first versions

Compare what Horizonites built in one night to the first versions of behemoths like Airbnb, Facebook and Amazon. Now understand our confidence when we state the following: we are building the most powerful and promising community of young talent in the world.


Are you curious for more? If you want to move forward, step by step, fast and ferociously, join Horizons. To all future Horizonites out there — reach out and learn more about our growing community.

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