Event coverage of first-ever YWorld Hackathon

Dec 19 2017, 7:05 am

Earlier this month, Yworld hosted its first-ever Hackathon “to celebrate the upcoming Beta release of their professional networking platform.” The Hackathon’s a contest involving real-time messaging using Yworld’s WebSocket library, which allows multiple users to communicate in real-time on the same project(s).

Yworld Hackathon Information

On February 1, from noon to 2:00 p.m., Yworld held an information session about the first-ever Hackathon in Room 4018 in UBC’s Fred Kaiser Building. Participants were given until February 4 to create their projects, which could have been submitted individually, or as a team. Use of third party software developer kits (S.D.K.) were allowed. Participants competed for first place with the hopes of winning prize money ($250, $500 or $1,500), as well as a paid internship to fully develop their application with Yworld’s development team. The hackathon was open to designers, programmers, entrepreneurs… really just about anyone! Students and alumni from UBC, SFU and BCIT were invited to participate. Yworld also accepted online-only submissions via HackerLeague.

Yworld might not host a Hackathon next year; but if they do, it will be on an open platform. For more information check out www.blog.yworld.com/hackathon/.

Yworld Hackathon Winners

The competition has had a fantastic turn out this year and the team has taken the time to review all the submissions. They would like to thank their host (UBC), which has entered hackathon projects into the UBC Computer Science e-Portfolio Competition. Yworld would also like to thank the Red Bull Wings Team, who helped fuel the coders!

Of the many interesting projects Yworld has received, they have narrowed them down to these winners (listed below), based on the complexity of the coding involved, the polish of the finished product, the usefulness of the concept, and the functionality of the application:

Honorable Mention: Virtual Classroom (by Gerry Cao)

“My idea was to incorporate the real-time messaging using YWorld’s WebSocket library into an online lecture hall,” Cao said. “I believe universities are moving towards the trend of online lectures, and this would be the perfect tool for professors to draw like they would on a white/chalk board in class.”

“Additionally, the students can collaborate on the whiteboards if the professor poses a question. Furthermore, the site would show the list of online attendees, and could open up the course to even more students and reduce cost for the university. A weekly poll can be used as well to get feedback from the student upon using the website, and online discussion and Q and A session can be included too. A clock on the top right corner can ensure class starts and end on time. To further improve the website, some type of Google hangout between the professor and students can be implemented, or just voice being broadcasted from the professor’s microphone. This service can be marketed to classrooms of all sorts and provide easier accessibility to education,” Cao added.

$250 – 3rd Place: Remote, Real-Time Robot Control Interface (by Koosha, Ali, & Chakaveh)

This team created a wrapper and basic motion controls to interface with an offline robot. On the other end, the team coded WebSocket interaction into the robot’s library, allowing a user to control motion and velocity remotely, via YWorld’s network. By using YWorld’s server, users would be able to access the robot even behind firewalls, which is an improvement over the currently available robotic software that only allows for a local network connection. (See a video of the robot in action!)

$500 – 2nd Place: Sticky Notify (by Eric Bosung Kim)

This project allows multiple users to create notes in real-time, along with visual cues to help indicate if a user has read the message. This project also interacts with contacts, showing which users are online.

“Basically it takes advantage of real time update or push notification by updating Sticky Notes on both users at real time,” Kim said. “You can see your online status, and also see the list of all your online friends  and even better, if you want to talk to them, select them from the list and start typing. There is color indication of whether you have read the message or not. By clicking or start typing on any of the sticky note will cause them to change grey (means read), and when you get new messages it will turn white.”

$1,500 – 1st Place: Location-Aware Chatting Service (by Pouyan Taghipour Bibalan)

This project was produced on Ruby on Rails, creating a stand-alone site powered by YWorld. This team took the extra step to mask the IDs provided, allowing for a better visual effect when interacting within a chatroom. The chatroom tracks who’s online, tracks your location (via GoogleMaps), and makes use of different aspects of the WebSocket library. As a team, we found this effort to be the most complete project in both coding and polished presentation (including a Git repository).

About Yworld

Yworld is the main focus of the development team at 2Dots Inc., based in Vancouver. The team is comprised of individuals dedicated to pushing the limits of social networking. They’re an “eclectic group of professionals” from every corner of the world, from South Africa to Alberta, who have come together to build a community that connects professionals and spreads ideas. The Vancouver-based company is “the collaborative networking platform designed for anyone from students and professors to working professionals.”

Yworld’s Website and Online Presence

Yworld launched a wireframe Alpha test in August 2012, which allowed them to secure significant private funding. Now, the team is proud to launch an entirely redesigned Beta test, packed with new tools for their enthusiastic community. Last year, they received great feedback from schools during the wireframe Alpha test. By working with select professors and professionals, Yworld was able to tailor their platform toward productivity. What makes the platform unique is the way users tackle projects in real-time – via video, file-sharing, a whiteboard feature (here’s an example), and chat. Yworld’s website is essentially ‘Facebook, for professionals’; the website even features a chat system similar to Facebook chat!
The website’s objective is to put essential tools together – all on one platform. The site will make things easier for professionals by helping them better themselves in their fields.

Website Features, Tips, etc.

  • The site includes an ‘original mode’, which features a collaboration mode
  • Recently added permissions are available so account owners can control who can read their account/page and who can add content to it
  • Users can communicate with anyone around the world
  • You can’t accept communications through browsers; you can only initiate communication
  • Messages sent to the server are messages for an individual or messages for a group. Users can be in more than one group at a time.
  • There’s a message function that allows you to send a message to another user, but only if you have their U.I.D. (a 6-byte code that represents an individual)
  • Any message can be forwarded
  • There’s a GPS application
  • There’s a writer and reader access that is being collected
  • Users can share files through the Drop box-like feature
  • The site approaches the ‘user to user’ format; it’s broadcasted through a conversation
  • Whiteboard tool – programmed using JavaScript – allows users to draw on a canvas element; and because it connects to the Internet, it can be done in real-time!
  • Tools that can better assist developers
  • Broadcasting tool on the video conferencing feature

To use the website, you will have to put in a U.I.D. and crypto (the password for the web socket), and click ‘WebSocketStart’; you should then get an online message. To send chats, enter the U.I.D. of the person you want to send to, type, and hit send. To draw on the whiteboard, click ‘start’ next to the collaboration I.D. input box; if you have nothing entered, it will generate an I.D. If you want to connect to an existing collaboration, copy in the collaboration I.D. from another whiteboard and click ‘start’.