Demola Ridesharing project goes Hackathon!

By Emilija Veselova

The Nokia Do Good Hackathon was a 25-hour hackathon in Helsinki with the overall theme: "Design and develop for people and planet" for Windows Phone 7.5 with an emphasis on design. 

On October 9th and 10th while most students from Art and Media department were in school, doing their tasks three media students - Emilija an 11IMP, David an exchange student from Mexico and Hanna an exchange student from the Netherlands - spent 25 hours in an isolated environment competing for great prices at Do Good Hackathon organized by Nokia. Here is a short summary of what Emilija’s and David’s group did during these hours.

Emilija presenting outcomes of 23 hours of work

Traveling and getting settled:
The team started their way from Tampere to Helsinki around 14:00 when we bought our tickets and together with the Bio-waste reduction team proceeded to our train. We were lucky to get seats all in the same place and the way there was filled with people reading, finishing school or Demola assignments and just doing nothing.
After arriving to Helsinki we walked to the location, found everything all right and once we entered the place Demola facilitators greeted us there and showed around a bit.

Concepting part:
 Team started work with a concepting part. Our Demola project is large and complicated and we had to decide what we are going to do in the 25 hours of time we were provided.
Our coding muscle was not that strong, so we divided our work into 3 stages or steps:
Step 1: Connecting two phones via NFC, Bluetooth or something else and making them hold the connection, once the connection is over it creates a trigger that would start next step
Step 2: After the length and the time of the ride are received from the level 1, this step involves counting up points and adding gamification parts to the application. People are getting points for every ride and then achieving badges and striving for a large goal.
Step 3: Once the step 2 would be done, in-between steps 1 and 2 at the moment when the connection is broken a survey appears on the screen so that the rider and the driver can evaluate one another within 5 - 10 seconds.

Coding part:
The system that we were working on was Windows phone 7. We found out that it would be impossible to create a connection between two phones via NFC and Bluetooth is not stable, so we mixed this part up and Artem was working on a part where user on a map chooses his or her location. Then system shows the cars that are available nearby. The ride is simulated and at the end of it amount of kilometers shared is displayed. This part took from Artem a significant amount of time. Thus in the morning Emilija started to code the Step 2.
In the end, both programmers finished their parts around the same time and it took a while to combine both of them.

Presentations started 23 hours into the work time. The team chose Emilija to be the presenter of the presentation created by the team while coders were coding. The presentation included a short powerpoint presentation about the general concept and a demonstration of the created application.
After the presentation the team received good feedback about the presentation and the concept in general.

During the working period there were keynote speakers that inspired teams to do good and create good concept and solutions.
1st keynote:
representative of Finland's Microsoft development organization (i can't recall the name of it anymore) introduced the possibilities from Dreamsparks and other Windows phone application developer organizations.
He also introduced some features that should be used in the applications to ensure that they are successful in the market as well as some guidelines how the concept should be created and used etc.
2nd keynote:
the speaker introduced some shifts and trends in nowadays consumers world. Main changes that she was talking about were:
movement from “me” to “us” thinking in the society, that leads to large possibilities for overall do good concept in the world
movement from “i need more” to “i need enough” concept
movement from “i need to get stuff” to “i need a purpose” concept
3rd keynote:
Speaker from Nokia introduced to others IdeasProject - an open innovation platform lead by Nokia. In this platform people are able to give their thoughts and ideas to people who can actually execute them in their work. Usually there is a contest going on for the best idea that will be given to the project and the winner gets prizes from Nokia.

The author is a student of our International Media Programme
Read about the Ridesharing project
Read more stories by and about IMPs, the Media students