Stories Instead of Trailers, Video Content Gamification and Playback Voice Control: the First Tech Media Hackathon in Kyiv Names the Winners

18 October 2018

On October 13-14, UNIT.CITY innovation park hosted MEGOGO Media Hackathon 2018, a 30-hour IT-marathon for high-tech media projects. The participants, the youngest of which was 17 years old, managed to develop projects from mere ideas to working software prototypes. $5,000 in prizes was awarded to three winners. There event had it drama as well.

The hackathon had free entry. 34 teams applied for the event, but only 19 of them passed the qualifying round. Over 60 people took part in the event as developers. Remarkably, most participants have not worked together on any projects before and they have met in person right at the event. The hackathon was organized by media IT-company MEGOGO, the largest OTT/VOD service in Eastern Europe and the CIS.

MEGOGO Media Hackathon offered teams to work in 5 categories:

  • Big Screen Solutions,
  • Data Driven Media,
  • Interactive Content and Services,
  • Mobile Media,
  • Future and Innovation.

13 mentors including JS, Android, iOS developers, system architects, UX designers assisted the participants from the very start. The mentors provided technical support for the teams and monitored their progress with project demos.

Eventually, all teams reached the finals and presented their projects to the jury. The jury included representatives of the IT and media businesses:

  • Ivan Ablamskiy (Coppertino, VOX media player)
  • Andrey Boborykin (media manager, publisher, head of marketing and product at Vector)
  • Jan Keil (Infopulse, OSUA GmbH)
  • Dima Melkov (CIO at MEGOGO)
  • Kirill Pokutnyy (co-founder at Sensorama Lab and Sensorama Academy, author and producer of Chornobyl360 project)
  • Roman Sudolsky ( editor-in-chief, Head of Content at UNIT.CITY)

After discussing the project presentations, the jury named the three winners.

shareEmotion project took the third place. It is a special iOS-based tool for the video player, which can “read” viewer’s emotions and sort the content according to them, as well as display comments to videos in stories format and share them in social media. A team of three developers, all students at Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI), took part in several hackathons with other projects before, but it was their first achievement.

The second place went to Cinemaddict, a mobile gaming application. The team of four developers created the app from scratch. This is a quiz with questions related to movie or TV show content. The application allows you to compete with one or more users, track your rating, monitor the progress by days/weeks/months and share the results in social media. In addition, users get points and can exchange them for valuable prizes, discounts or special offers. Cinemaddict can be integrated in any OTT service.

The hackathon winner was the Stories project, a service for quick preview of video content on mobile devices. The application offers integration in any OTT service. Stories do not take lots of time and traffic from users. They help you catch a glimpse on a movie or show without watching trailers, thanks to a carousel of vertical videos and pictures. The app’s features include likes, comments, favorites, etc. The team of three developers created an administrator panel, stories editor with ad integration feature, as well as a server to distribute stories so that they could be embedded into any web resource. All this was done in just 30 hours.

There was another project that received a special mention from the jury, an online cinema with playback voice control. The service allows you to select video content, rewind or give other commands without using remote. It should be noted that the project creator is a 17-year-old school student from Zaporizhia, Temir Urokbaev. Temir’s team included only himself and his mother, who accompanied her son for support. Temir was late for the hackathon by solid 7 hours, however he managed to develop and present a fully working prototype of playback voice control.

“The jury had no argument about the winners, they all came to the same conclusions. I am surprised by the level of event organization, the level of participants and the results of the hackathon. Since I am from the tech world, I know how difficult it is to create what the guys have done. Moreover, we speak of two incomplete days. This is phenomenal”, says judge of the hackathon, Ivan Ablamskiy, co-founder and leader of Coppertino (VOX media player).

“The major objective of the hackathon is to draw attention of developers and businesses to the media industry, which has an infinite free space for ideas and technical innovations. At the hackathon, we have witnessed projects that have chances to develop into ready products. At least 2-3 projects have real viability”, says Dima Melkov, head of development of at MEGOGO and judge of MEGOGO Media Hackathon 2018.

According to the organizers, the hackathon for tech media projects revealed the urgency and relevance of this area of the industry. Thus MEGOGO promises to run next IT-marathon in the future, and also to triple the number of participants.