December 2, 2014 Toyota, Hackathon
Hackers from around the Valley gathered at NestGSV last month for the 2014 Toyota ITC Connected Vehicle Hackathon – a 24-hour marathon programming session that gave developers a taste of working with the new Toyota API. API.AI shined brilliantly alongside other veteran sponsors such as Twilio, Sensory, SmartThings, and Pebble, impressing competing hackers and industry-leading partners alike. Within the first hour of the competition, Sleek-Geek founder JeanCarl Bisson tweeted: “Already got @api_ai working at the #toyotahackathon14. Very developer friendly!”
In person, the story was the same. Developers went from merely curious to outright enthusiastic about working with api.ai, which opened up seemingly endless creative possibilities for the long night ahead. With the clock ticking, the soft chatter slowly dwindled down to a hush, as the initially animated competitors settled in and quietly coordinated how to take this year’s crown.
By noon the next day (18 hours in), there was scarcely a word spoken among the exhausted hackers. Everyone was deep in the zone, fatigued but focused, and determined to power through. Out of 22 final submissions, over a third used api.ai, and the feedback from the developers was overwhelmingly positive. The judges had their work cut out for them, as the competition presented a wide range of unique and well-done integrations.
But when all was said and done, one stood above the rest. We are delighted to announce the winner for the best integration with api.ai (and a cool $1,000): Anushree Pole with CarTalk. CarTalk highlighted complex dialog interaction scenarios that allowed the user to converse with the car, in natural language, regarding the vehicle’s fuel status and other important features. Anushree gave a clever, humorous personality to the car, which added yet another dimension of natural interaction to the user experience.
“It was extremely easy to integrate api.ai in my Windows Phone App,” said Anushree. “The user interface for creating my queries was very intuitive. I was done integrating it in my app in an hour or so.”
Among the other noteworthy submissions were Down, Her, Ok Toyota, HyperConnected Car, and the Toyota Connected Dashboard Team. Anna Shi, the creator of Down, also had high praise for api.ai’s voice interface. “Overall I thought the api was very intuitive and easy to use,” she said, listing among her favorite features:
-Description of entities and intents
-Quickstart guide was short and sufficient
-Creating entities and intents were very intuitive
-Plenty of sample code to get a simple project started.
In the end, the competition was a tremendous success for everyone involved. We’d like to thank Toyota, NestGSV, all of the sponsors, hackers, and everyone who participated. Looking forward to the next big event!