Sensis Developer Centre - SAPI Developer Blog

Melbourne SAPI Hackathon Results

Android developers at the SAPI Hackathon

At 10am on Saturday 19 November, 21 Android and iOS developers gathered at the York Butter Factory in Melbourne to compete in our first ever iOS vs. Android Hackathon. On Sunday 20 November at 6:30pm, the judges announce team Bonobo+1 had taken out the grand prize of $10,000 for their iOS app ‘Medic’.

Now that's a great way to spend a weekend!

To be honest we weren't quite sure what to expect, this was our first SAPI Hackathon. How many developers would give up their weekend to participate? How much could teams really be expected to complete in just over 40 hours? What would the quality of app concepts be? Did we order enough breakfast burritos?

Turns out we really didn't need to worry. We were blown away by what we saw. We had 8 teams competing, and after one team dropped out (the overnight Saturday shift was just too brutal) we ended up with 7 apps developed. All 7 were brilliant app concepts, some included slick designs, and one app was even put live to Android market in time for the judging! The amount of work that we saw was simply staggering. Our panel of judges spent twice as long deliberating as was intended, leaving anxious teams with no choice but to pass the time with video games, beer, and pizza. Picking a single winner was much harder than any of us thought it would be. A terrific problem to have, but a problem none the less.

Ultimately after almost an hour of deliberations 'Medic' was crowned the $10,000 grand prize winner, "Friend Compass' was given the $500 Peoples Choice award, and the best platform was declared to be... well, a tie actually. While the iOS apps scored higher on average, we just couldn't ignore the fact we had almost 4 times as many Android developers competing than iOS developers. So in the end it seemed to be a fitting allegory for the current state of the mobile platform market... Android has the platform numbers while iOS has the apps.

So what did the SAPI team get out of the Hackathon? We engaged with the developer community and received valuable feedback on how we might improve SAPI in future. We now have a terrific group of developers out there in Australia who know what SAPI is and will hopefully help spread the word that we exist. We continued to share our message that Sensis is evolving and adapting as a digital business, and that embracing APIs is good for business. And we saw amazing Aussie innovation and ingenuity in action.

Will we do it again? We've been asked this a few times already! We're absolutely committed to working closely with the developer community in Australia in order to promote SAPI, and future hackathons are just one of the ways we think we can do that effectively. So we've definitely got more activity planned, your best bet is to follow us on Twitter @SensisAPI and whenever we have event announcements you’ll be among the first to know.

For now though, we're just trying to recover from a truly amazing and inspirational weekend (see for yourself, we put together a short video highlight.) Take a look at the apps that were delivered as part of the Melbourne SAPI Hackathon 2011.

Medic for iOS

Medic App

Business Category: Health
App description: Medic is an app for when you need medical advice but don’t feel calling 000 is appropriate. Medic helps you determine the nature of your situation and uses SAPI to find the closest doctor, chemist, or hospital that is open right now.  You can then give them a call or get directions from your current location. In addition to features such as SMS or email a family member to let them know what’s happening and where you are, judges were most impressed by the simple yet effective interface and user experience. The app takes into account that if users are in a panicked state, providing them with a long list of options can be ineffective and overwhelming. Instead Medic generates a series of large, clear information cards with a simple layout to help users focus and remain calm, with only one recommended option presented at a time. And if users run out of viable options, the app is set up to automatically call the one person who can always help… it calls your mum !
Team Name: Bonobo+1
Team Participants: Michael Del Borrello, Nathan Hamey, Ben Hamey, Daryl Teo
Team URL: http://www.bonobolabs.com/
Judges comments:

  • A simple, cool & incredibly easy to use app that has a terrific user scenario that we can all relate to
  • Well designed & thought through from a user-perspective
  • Incorporate some really nice features to “tell others” in the case of a medical emergency
  • Terrific use of opening times, with some work-arounds where that SAPI content wasn’t available
  • An easily scalable solution that could easily translate to other industry segments
  • A real “wow-factor’ in terms of design & integration


Meet Me For… for Android

MeetmeFor... App

Business Category: Food & Drink
App description: Meet MeFor… is an event planner for friends that brings transportation information into the discussion. Users can create an event and send invitations to their friends, and based on the event type SAPI is used to recommend destinations. The app also uses the Jeppesen Journey Planner API to calculate transit times for each invitee to get to the event from their current location, and home at the end of the night. Invitees can compare the effect different venues have on their own transit times in order to help them select the optimal venue location for everyone.
Team Name: Katsu
Team Participants: David Healy, Gabriel Lagos, Sonia Morgan, Maurice Cifuentes
Team URL: http://www.jeppesen.com/land/journey-planning/
Judges comments:

  • Terrific integration of public transport – from the meeting organiser & the meeting invitee perspective
  • Terrific contact integration with the phones contact list
  • The app provided significant commercial “hooks” – providing advertising opportunities for related businesses & ROI opportunities for Sensis that went over & above what we currently capture through ORP
  • Nice integration of “known search” & “unknown search” terms


Platinum for iOS

Platinum App

Business Category: Home Renovation
App description: A reinvention of the standard business listing & search results pages you see on directory sites such as yellowpages.com.au. Using SAPI and other sources to source rich media such as images and videos, mashing business data up with RSS and social media feeds, adding language translation, voice features, offers integration, a “self-service” interface for business owners and compiling it all together in a format that elegantly scales for web or mobile devices.
Team Name: Platinum
Team Participants: Eric Bae
Judges comments:

  • A “spectacular mash-up” of all things Sensis
  • Aesthetically appealing & compiled in a way that seemed so effortless
  • Innovative & terrific case-study in thinking outside the box
  • Had a real “wow-factor”


Friend Compass for Android

Friend Compass App

Business Category: Transport
App description: Friend Compass attempts to solve the problem of organising a meet up with a friend and sorting out the last few hundred meters. Once two friends arrive in a general location (eg. Melbourne) the app will calculate the geographic mid point from wherever you both are, and will use SAPI to suggest a meeting place that is equally convenient for both (eg. a café located between Southern Cross Station and Melbourne Central). Once you select a meeting place, the app will guide you there by providing real time geo-tracking of you and your friend, as well as providing directional guidance to point you in the right direction.
Team Name: Porknbunny
Team Participants: Eric Villiers and Amelinna Luu
Team URL: http://porknbunny.com
App URL: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.porknbunny.friendcompass
Judges comments:

  • An “easy-to-relate-to” user-case scenario around where to meet-up with your friends. Took the user-proposition to another level of finesses, focussing on the last couple of hundred metres when you are planning to meet-up.
  • One of the more innovative apps of the weekend
  • Loved the real-time tracking & update & the concept of the compass.
  • Terrific opportunity around augmented-reality integration


SuburbRate for Android

SuburbRate App

Business Category: Real Estate & Relocation Services
App Description: For anyone looking to move, this app helps them evaluate new suburbs against your personalised criteria. Using listings data from SAPI mashed up with a range of government APIs the app calculates a score for every suburb in Australia by analysing education, health, food, banking, etc.
Team Name: PinkDroid
Team Participants: Viet Ha, Phuong Ha, Rajesh Raman, Hai Dang
Judges comments:

  • A really cool approach to quantifying a real-life problem
  • Impressively pulled in data from a wide variety of different sources
  • Nice integration of SAPI images
  • Nice customisation option for users to change suburb rating based on their own individual preferences


What’s Next? for Android

What's next App

Business Category: Entertainment
App Description: An app to help you and your friends determine where to go next during a night out. Tell the app what you are doing now (eg. dinner) and it uses SAPI to find related businesses nearby that are open (ex. drinks, dancing, etc.)
Team Name: Spark
Team Participants: Kirill Brodski, Joanne Brodski
Judges comments:

  • Great layout & design – a great app name
  • Engaging & inviting, with a nice “gamification feel”
  • A terrific effort for some first-time Android Developers


Hair to Eternity for Android

Business Category: Hair & Beauty
App Description: A planner for related hair and beauty services. The app uses SAPI to suggest a range of businesses you might want to visit in an area, users use the listings or map view to choose one from each category which generates a simple itinerary to follow.
Team Name: Sensis
Team Participants: Andrew Louth, Jol Blazey
Judges comments:

  • A nice practical implementation
  • Cool implementation that dropped irrelevant information from the map in line with user-selections
  • A terrific effort for a first-time Android Development effort