CM Telecom awarded full prize for SpeakBack hack during TADHack Paris

Speakback hack

The CM Telecom hackathon team has been awarded the full prize by technology sponsor VoxImplant for building the conference solution SpeakBack during TADHack in Paris.

Alan Quayle founded TADHack, which focuses primarily on developers, technology and creativity around using telecom capabilities. The fact there is no vibrant developer ecosystem focused on all the amazing things telecoms can offer, drove me with the support of the grassroots of the industry to found TADS.

World problem solver

During TADHack in Paris, the six-member hackathon team of TADHack partner CM Telecom came upSpeakback Hack with a solution for a real-world problem during presentation sessions using WebRTC technology. “Often when a question is asked during a presentation not everyone in the audience is able to hear the question and not all presenters tend to repeat the question for everyone to hear”, lead software developer Erik Beijer of the CM hackathon team explains. “The same applies for recorded sessions, where the listener or viewer is left puzzled about the question in the first place, rendering the answer useless. SpeakBack, as the hackathon project and group is called, solves this problem by enabling the audience to ask questions using their smartphone.”

Linking the question to the conference

The solution works by letting the presenter start a conference in SpeakBack, supplying details about the session like a title and such. After the conference is created the presenter can display a QR code on the presentation area for the audience to scan using the SpeakBack app. Once a conference attendee scans this QR code a registration process takes place enabling the attendee to input his question in the SpeakBack app, which links his question to the conference session he is attending.

The presenter uses the SpeakBack sidebar, overlaying his presentation, and will see the questions from the audience getting listed. Once the presenter sees the time fit for answering these questions he can select a question in SpeakBack after which the smartphone of the corresponding attendee will setup a WebRTC video link with the presenter, using VoxImplant platform technology. This video feed is then displayed in the SpeakBack sidebar for all the audience to hear and see. If the presentation is recorded including the sidebar, every viewer of the presentation will be able follow the question as well as the answer!

Created in well under 12 hours

The solution, which was created from scratch in well under 12 hours during the hackathon only, was built using several technologies like the VoxImplant platform, Android, ASP.NET WebApi, SQL Server, AngularJS and PHP. After the 5 minute pitch the hack was well received by the audience and was awarded the full price by the technology sponsor, VoxImplant.

Excellent presentation

VoxImplant awarded the SpeakBack hack from Erik Beijer, Ryan Bril, Michael Jepson, Bas Peters, Maikel Vreugde and Dion Segijn with 1000 dollars. “The SpeakBack hack provides an excellent presentation overlay enabling audiences to connect with the speaker and ask questions through their mobile phones, so everyone can hear the question – especially those watching the recording”, the jury commented. 

Photo credit: Alan Quayle

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