Innovation Stories From Around The Globe

Devs Gone Wild at IDOL OnDemand

Jun 18, 2014 12:45:00 PM / by casecase

Yowza! You guys came out in force for IDOL OnDemand, and during WWDC, no less! Now, we told you all about IDOL OnDemand’s awesome APIs, including facial recognition and image-to-text, and knew you’d create something killer. And you most certainly did - but before we get there, check out what went down at the hackathon.

Innovation Party

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Oops, getting ahead of myself here - before the hackathon, we threw THE best WWDC afterparty EVER. Held at Local Edition, we treated WWDC attendees to an open bar, old school arcade games (including a BIG@SS Pac-Man machine), and all sorts of awesome prizes, including VIP Tickets to Outside Lands.

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Tron Status

Yeah, this party was kind of a big deal. If you were in town and you missed it, you MISSED OUT.


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Oh, but we were just getting started! After all, it’s not an “innovation” party if we don’t follow up with actual innovation - so after nursing our hangovers, we marched over to the Hattery for the IDOL OnDemand hackathon. Over 220 developers signed up for the hackathon, and after the WWDC madness died down, the best and brightest in town came together for a no-holds-barred, innovative mind meld for the next 24 hours.

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Our dev ninjas also got to play around with hardware, provided by TechShop SF. Oh yeah - so many sensors, transistors and circuit boards! Too bad a day isn’t enough to build a robot (or is it… next time, devs!).

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Ah, but we know you really want to know who won. Well, so did our awesome judges! We’d like to give a big THANK YOU to are judges and the amazing job they did picking our winners - no easy task!

  • Sam O’Keefe - Editor, TechCrunch

  • Farid Fadaie - Senior Director of Product Development, BitTorrent, Inc.

  • Tom O'Keefe - Creative Director, New Relic, Inc.

  • Fernando Lucini - Chief Technology Officer, HP Autonomy

  • Chris Goodfellow - CTO, IDOL OnDemand

  • Michael Graves - Vice President, Research and Development, HP Autonomy

  • Chin Hong - Vice President of Product, HP Autonomy

  • Jeff Veis - Vice President of Solutions Marketing, HP Autonomy

  • Martin Zerbib - Developer Evangelist, HP Autonomy

  • Remko de Knikker - Developer Evangelist, HP Autonomy

Once again, THANK YOU! Now, on to the winners… but first, check out what the IDOL OnDemand team made:

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Yup, a nerf gun, hooked up to a sensor, using the facial recognition API to recognize targets and shoot automatically. The future is now!

Anyway, on to our runner-ups:

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Bridge will take whatever article you’re reading at the moment, and recommend similar articles, based on context. So it looks for more than just keywords - which means richer, more relevant recommendations for you!

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Safe TV allows parents to keep tabs on what their kids are watching. It scans the text of closed captions, searches for inappropriate keywords, and sends you a notification if it catches something you don’t want your kids seeing. Hey, we love GoT as much as you do, but would you really want your kid watching it? If so, you’re a BAD PARENT.

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Stop me if you’ve heard this before: you’re hungry, and want to eat at a yummy restaurant. Maybe one that serves bacon. You go on Yelp, try reading reviews… and give up, because there’s so much noise. Well, Reviewily uses sentiment analysis to help you cut through the noise, so you can find out if the bacon is really up to snuff.


Waldo is like Reddit on steroids by re-purposing bookmarks into a social content recommendation engine. People are bookmarking articles more than homepages, and this opens up a whole new way of discovering content, beyond search engines and news aggregators.

And now, here are our two grand prize winners:

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Virtual Reality Panoramas uses the Oculus Rift to allow you to travel anywhere, without leaving your seat. If you’ve ever wanted to see the Sistine Chapel, but can’t spring for a flight to Italy, just put on your Oculus Rift, and you’re there! From landmarks to art museums, the world is now literally in front of your eyes.

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Upload a video to TEXiO, and it’ll automatically extract text from it! Printed text, written text, screenshots or street signs - and it even does translation and language analysis. It doesn’t matter how long the text appears in the video - TEXiO will extract and deliver it for you. Wicked.

Congrats, TEXiO team! You win a trip to VEGAS and a spot in our HACKcelerator program! And congrats to everyone who participated and created some SICK apps. Catch you at the next one - in the meantime, be sure to follow @IDOLOnDemand for more innovative goodness!


Written by casecase