The 15 ideas we saw at AngelHack Colombo 2016

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A few days ago, the world’s biggest hackathon, AngelHack came to Sri Lanka. The event in Colombo organized by Dialog Ideamart, saw 15 teams take part and hacking over the weekend to bring their solutions to life. On Sunday afternoon, after uploading their solutions online, the hacking came to an end and the big moment had arrived. It was demo time. This is where we each team had to give a 3-minute demo of their solutions to a panel of judges. So what did we see at the first AngelHack Colombo? Here’s the answer.

1. Inside

Inside is a very simple app that allows you to navigate through large shopping centers. Using QR codes, it’ll help you navigate from the car park to a shop and directly to a cinema seat. While the idea might be applicable in Sri Lanka, it might not scale globally. We already see Google doing something similar and a lot better with Google Maps in other countries – where structures are significantly larger.

2. S-Sense

S Sense is a pair of glasses that can be used to monitor the health of a user. It specifically, analyses the wearer’s health to alert him/her of irregular sleeping patterns during the day. It does this by analyzing your head movements. If the glasses detect you’re about to fall asleep then it gives off an alert to wake you up.

S-Sense making their pitch at AngelHack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)
S-Sense making their pitch at AngelHack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)

S Sense also has a companion app that wakes you up once you get to a destination and ensures you stay awake during an appointment. The team has built an impressive device. However, the judges felt that their business case could have used some polishing.

3. Indigo

Indigo essentially aims to be the Uber of employment. With this app, businesses can hire temporary hourly workers to carry out tasks. It does this by allowing temporary workers to apply and be available when needed for a particular business. When the business needs these temporary workers, the workers receive a notification and can choose whether to attend to the task or not. If they choose to attend to the task, then they will be paid an hourly rate, which Indigo takes a small percentage of. Once again, the judges felt this was another idea that needs to have its business case refined.

4. Chronicle

Team Chronicle making their pitch at AngelHack (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)
Team Chronicle making their pitch at AngelHack (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)

Chronicle is a storytelling app, that turns your phone into a collaborative broadcasting station.  Arguably this was one of the most interesting apps we saw at AngelHack Colombo. The judges too felt the team had a great pitch and an app that could potential earn revenue.

5. Suraksha

Team Suraksha’s idea seems to be inspired by the recent flood disaster. Their idea is a disaster management system. The system allows volunteers or relief works to upload pictures of rescued people and send the message that a certain person has been saved, thus informing their loved ones. Additionally, the system also allows you to make donations to help people affected by a disaster. While the system is powerful and beautifully designed, in a disaster it still requires a large amount of effort on the part of people for it to be effective.

6. WearIT

Team WearIT making their pitch at AngelHack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)
Team WearIT making their pitch at AngelHack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)

Team WearIT’s idea is an online clothing store with a twist. That twist is Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Using a Kinect camera, users can scan themselves and then see how they look like while wearing the clothes. Additionally, they also support VR so you can see how the clothes look on you in VR. An interesting idea but we aren’t exactly sure how the team plans to give all of their users a Kinect camera.

7. MeasureWire

MeasureWire, as the name suggests, is an IoT device for measuring. At its basic level MeasureWire allows you to take quick measurements of objects. However, with its companion app, the team promises you can do a lot more. An example the team throws at us is with fashion designers. A fashion designer can use the device to take measurements.

The designer can then store these measurements and use it to create an entirely new wardrobe, which can be shared online. Furthermore, the app would also allow engineers and the visually impaired to take measurements.  The team has an interesting and handy device, for specialists that regularly take measurements. However, the team’s business plan to convince these specialists to buy their device.

8. HypeHash

Hype Hash making their pitch at Angelhack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)
Hype Hash making their pitch at Angelhack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)

The team describes HypeHash as the world’s first hashtag monetization platform. The app tells designers who can create items around trending hashtag and sell those items. For buyers, it gives them goods that are literally trending and also donate some money to charity. Additionally, the team has tested the concept by partnering with Derana to support its flood relief campaigns. An interesting concept, if they can attract designers then they just might go viral.

9. Phobium

Our co-founder Andrew Jebaraj trying out Phobium (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)
Our co-founder Andrew Jebaraj trying out Phobium (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)

Once again, we see Team BitMasters. We’ve come to accept that we shall see them at every hackathon we visit. Usually, we see them with their smart advertising platform Amplus. This time, they’re here with a completely new idea. Their new app Phobium is an app that wants to help you overcome your fears. How does it help you do that? By facing those fears in virtual reality. It’s nice to see a fresh idea from a veteran team. However, we’re wondering if Phobium can surpass their previous apps.

10. Ranger

Team Ranger making their pitch at AngelHack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)
Team Ranger making their pitch at AngelHack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)

Ranger is a live map of your area that shows the dangers around you. How does it get this data? Crowdsourcing. See an accident? You can use ranger to mark it on the map and let everyone know. You see a kidnapping? According to the team, you first mark it on the map instead of calling the police first. The team’s pitch might need a bit of work but the idea seems interesting. We already do something similar with traffic jams.

11. Superman Suupa Man

Team Suupa-man making their pitch at AngelHack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)
Team Suupa-man making their pitch at AngelHack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)

When we first heard their name announced, we thought that they were a Kryptonian alien. The reality is that they are a team with a cooking app. Yes, Team Suupa Man’s app is a collection of cooking recipes. It’s a crude app and we are wondering why we’d use it over cooking books or existing recipe websites. The team’s pitch did little to answer our doubts.

12. VResto

VResto is a virtual reality app that wants to replicate the environments of restaurants. By doing so, it wants to give you the experience of being there.  We saw that the team had an interesting idea. However, their business case needed to be significantly revamped.

13. LMP

LMP or Laptop Management Portal is an open-source device management platform. There are two components to this system: a central server where administrators can make changes and a client software installed on the devices belonging to users. During their demo, the team showed how once logged in, the system shows all devices used by a certain company. The system also shows usage patterns of devices and allows administrators to add, modify permissions and ban devices from networks. LMP is a well-designed device management system. However, the question remains as to whether administrators are willing to make the switch.

14. Smart workout

Smart workout is a virtual reality app that as the name suggests, wants you to workout. The team opens their demo by bringing a cycling machine onto the stage. They ask our co-founder Andrew Jebaraj to get on the cycling machine. They strap an Oculus Rift and ask him to pedal.

Our co-founder Andrew Jebaraj testing out the Smart Workout demo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)
Our co-founder Andrew Jebaraj testing out the Smart Workout demo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)

On the screen, we see him pedaling on a crudely built virtual course (considering they used the powerful Unity game engine) collecting coins. This is Smart Workout an interesting game that wants to make exercise fun. If they could polish the graphics and add more gameplay mechanics, this could potentially be a hit.

15. Smart Desktop

Smart Desktop making their pitch at Angel Hack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)
Smart Desktop making their pitch at Angel Hack Colombo (Image credits: Malshan Gunawardane)

What Smart Desktop does is very simple. It gives you a bunch of additional screens in virtual reality. The only things you need is the chrome plug-in, a VR headset, and a phone. How does it work? Well, there’s three steps to that answer. You first have to install the chrome extension and then with your phone visit the URL given. Once you’re at the URL, you can setup your virtual workspace with any number of screens and work. At the moment, it’s a rough but working demo. If the team could polish their business case, they just might have something very promising here.

So who won AngelHack Colombo?

Fifteen teams and two rounds of pitching later, who would become the winners of AngelHack Colombo? That was an answer to which the judges had a tough time finding an answer to. In the end, the winners of the inaugural AngelHack Colombo were:

  • 3rd place = Team Indigo
  • 2nd place = Suraksha
  • 1st place = HypeHash

Additionally, S-Sense won the Code4Impact award. With that AngelHack Colombo came to an end. We wish HypeHash the best of luck as they will be representing Sri Lanka on the world stage at the AngelHack Global Demo Day in San Francisco.

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