Big Ideas at Hackathon for Workplace Improvements

Published Oct-13-19

An app that helps the hearing impaired in call center work environments and other winning innovations at the CreatorCon hackathon.

Scrantonicity, United States

The Story:

Big Ideas at Hackathon for Workplace Improvements The CreatorCon Hackathon is an annual open innovation event at the Knowledge Conference where innovators discuss issues and innovations around delivering modern digital workflows.

The hackathon invites participants to come up with novel apps for the Now Platform, which is an intelligent and intuitive cloud platform for work. It is open to those with or without coding experience and anyone with industry knowledge, such as developers, engineers, programmers, designers and visionaries.

In 2019, several hundred attendees organized themselves into around 60 teams. Some of these teams had formed in 2018 at the previous Knowledge Conference while others came together on the fly. Among their reasons for taking part were:

• The opportunity to rapidly prototype ideas.
• To develop useful and winning products.
• To gain professional exposure.
• To learn how to turn ideas into apps.
• To win prizes.

The hackathon only lasted for eight hours, a concentrated time period that focused inventive minds. Their innovations were judged according to several criteria:

Technical difficulty - the depth of technical ability to create the project.
Innovative - its originality. Is the application, new, exciting or a surprise?
User experience - the fluidity of the user experience.
Utility - the app's practicality and how impactful it will be on consumers/companies.

Winning Innovations

Three winning teams were announced at the hackathon.

In first place was a team called Scrantonicity for an application that tracks travel expenses. It is capable of handling airline and hotel reservations, rideshare and optical character recognition of receipt photos. The team named their app “Reizen” which is Dutch for "to travel". With the app users can submit expenses and assign them to expense reports for ease of processing and approval. Also, this data is then easily accessible later for auditing and reporting.

The second place winner was a team called Above the Line for an app that uses a virtual agent to automate customer identification when renting or checking out cars.

In third place was a team called Superconnectors. They were ranked for an app that creates more accessibility for the hearing impaired to work in call center environments. It converts a customer's voice to text and then converts the service agents typed reply into synthesized speech.

Turning Ideas into Products

All the winners hoped to see their innovation turned into products on the Now Platform which is the happy fate of some previous hackathon winners.

"In past years we’ve had people build business solutions here, take them back to the office, polish them up and move those apps into production," said Jason McKee from ServiceNow, an American cloud computing company.

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