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App to tell you when the loo is free wins in Yahoo's hackathon

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Sun, Dec 02, 2012 07:17 hrs
Yahoo headquarters is pictured in Sunnyvale

Imagine a hardware-led solution which can allow users to check the status of office loos. You can knock on the door if the loo is engaged and you will be notified once the loo is vacant on your Yahoo! Messenger. That's exactly what Sattvik Mishra and four others from digital agency Webchutney did at the 24-hour-hackathon which was organised by Yahoo! India.

Mishra and his team - Mandeep Singh, Gurbaksh Singh, Abhishek Saxena and Akshay Raheja - wanted to solve a problem that they themselves faced and came up with the idea of Y! Loo.



'Y! Loo' is a hardware hack which uses Yahoo! Messenger to notify the user once the office loo is vacant. It can also be used for conference rooms, says Mishra. "It feels great to have won the maiden Agency Hack event in India. We will now be going to US to participate in the international hack event," he says.

The 24-hour hackathon held in November saw seven agencies from Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, including Ogilvy, Digitas, Indiatimes and Sapient Nitro, participating.

The event doesn't actually involve hacking into the systems but is more like hacking into the grey cells to come up with wacky as well as conventional solutions using the digital medium. The basic idea was for agencies to come up with smart digital solutions to solve real life challenges. The participating teams had 24 hours to come up with their ideas and execute them. Using Yahoo! technologies wasn't mandatory for the agencies and very few actually did.

From mobile apps, companions apps (like movie and photo-based apps) and even social apps for voting and blood donations were created at the hackathon.

Twitter, movies, photographs and videos were the base for a few teams' solutions. Take the example of the Digitas's team. It came up with a twitter-based solution called "Twinority Report", which analyses keyword patterns and anticipates criminal intentions like drug abuse and even serious national threats.

Another app was Redline which helps you find local blood donors at the most critical hour. Since this was an event meant for advertising agencies, there were hacks created for branding purposes as well - like Audit and Activation. AD2C agency came up with a solution that uses mobile devices and backend server administrator application to come up with audits of glow sign boards, activities and promotions in malls and roadshows. Most of these audits happen manually. But through this App, a person can login and capture the data from the event. The backend server app collates the data and generates the report automatically.

Ogilvy One came up with I-Vote, an online voting and social promotion system which digitises all key processes related to the local body elections. This convenient app allows citizens to log on to the Web and cast their vote. That is, if you meet the basic conditions. Like, you have to be a registered voter and your details should be authentic before you are allowed to exercise your right to franchise.

Another app, Lens, will enable digital production houses to create visually-enhanced advertisements.

Vishal Shinde of Ogilvy One says that the idea was to come up with a solution which would make a difference. "The event was great fun and for 24 hours, it was non-stop flow of ideas coming from all teams." Copywriters, designers, digital strategists and media planners were among the participants.

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