Cloudreachers crank up the creativity for .create(v=5.0)

This year marked our fifth .create() hackathon, and it’s been a fiercely competitive event with a total of 7 teams battling it out. The brief was to develop something eye-catching that showcases technical ingenuity and demonstrates the power of AWS using one or more innovative technologies e.g. data engineering, IoT, AI, Machine Learning.

With the prize of a trip to Las Vegas for re:Invent at stake, our teams got their creative juices flowing and many were working right up until the deadline of 23:59 on Sunday.

So let’s take a look at this years contenders…

1. Cloudy or Not?

A device to measure people’s overall satisfaction with a chosen service

"The idea is to collect a real-time metric about how people are feeling about something. This idea was championed by a company called "HappyOrNot" about 8 years ago, but we took on the challenge of making this a modern application with pure play AWS backend leveraging IoT and other platform technology."

See The PoC In Action in their video below.

2. AWS: Virtual Reality

Allowing our customers to access and explore their very own data centres - virtually…

"Virtual Reality is gaining a lot of traction these days and could be used by companies to showcase their capabilities. For example, Cloudreach could create a demo to show customers what their 'migrated estate' could look like. This is what our team set out to do, with AWS integrations of course."

You can watch the video below to get an idea of how things might look.

3. Guess the Cloudiest?

A game of 'Guess Who' - with a cloudy twist. We could be guessing you…

"In this project we 're:Invent' a classic game, allowing everyone to be part of the game and removing the need for another person to answer your questions. The aim is to use the latest AWS technology including Amazon Echo Dot, Alexa and Rekognition, as well as social media and marketing to engage anyone that walks by our stand."

Watch this video below to see an example game.

4. Pi Tank Wars

A modern Robot Wars - with the opportunity to submit your own Lambda!

"We have built two miniature tanks that can be controlled via Lambdas. The tanks move around and can fire "lazers" (IR LEDs) at each other, with the aim being to hit the other tank first. This is just the tank code + scoreboard code, but the project largely an excuse to play with deep machine learning techniques, the final version would use a plethora of Amazon services including SageMaker to provide predictive analytics."

See the robot tank below!

5. The Internet of Connected Services

Analyse Twitter sentiment for a hashtag in real-time using Alexa Voice Command

"The idea is to stream tweets, translate - when/where possible - and analyse the tweet sentiments in close real time. Depending on the average sentiment of the requested hashtag, the IoT bulb lights with a respective colour. For example, if the sentiment is positive, the bulb lights green; if it’s negative, it lights red. The sentiment analysis will also be accessible through IoT Alexa."

Vitaly talks us through this team project in the video below.

6. Two Blocks Away

An interactive game that allows anyone to be a Cloudy Architect for the day

"A projector will display a game board on an adequate surface (floor, table, etc) and the blocks will have AWS services and names drawn on them. The board will resemble an incomplete architecture pattern of some kind.

The aim of the game will be to fill in the board’s missing components with the blocks, and when ready, trigger AWS ReKognition, in conjunction with AWS IoT via the a (big red) button. The user will receive feedback about whether or not the board was completed successfully."

Watch the demo below to see this game in action.

7. VRCR (Virtual Reality Cloudreach)

Allowing re:Invent attendees to virtually explore our Cloudy Offices and play games within the Cloudy Universe!

"We looked at demonstrating AWS Sumerian VR for business applications within a 'Cloudy' environment. So far there is minimal coverage of Sumerian and given the opportunity we believe people will want to see what has been achieved and ask questions from the lessons we have learned. We can easily set up demonstrations of other Cloudreach products within each virtual meeting room, utilising on screen (virtual TV) presentations or virtual representations of the systems. For example we could see behind the scenes of Cloudreach Connect passing its messages between components."

A live example within a virtual environment runtime is available on the following link here (please note that there may be some loading time).


Thanks for everyone who took part and looking forward to seeing which one of these exciting ideas will be showcased in Vegas.

Keep it cloudy!

  • iot
  • hackathon
  • aws-reinvent
  • machine-learning
  • ai
  • data-engineering
  • vr