Our story began on an average early spring workday, when we were asked by Keve if we want to participate in the Microsoft IOT Hackathon, and since we already have a great interest in the field, and our hobbies are all related to it, we sat down to figure out an innovative idea around environment protection.
The Microsoft IoT Hackathon is an international event organised by Microsoft to grant visibility to viable Internet of Things projects, and to advertise their Azure platform that can be a good foundation to these concepts.
Black Swan supported the event by providing an enormous pizza dinner (18 meters of deliciousness) and a seemingly infinite amount of energy and other soft drinks for the contestants.
Before the hackathon started we had the opportunity to learn from two great lecturers. Joe Wilson from Microsoft talked about the trends in technology and showed us a fancy 3D presentation made with Unity. The other was Ádám Lipécz from Codie who spoke about how difficult it is to build a startup.
Our project was an Intelligent Selective Trash Bin which we simply called Sanyi (our nickname for Alexander in Hungarian, – although there is no good reason for this!). The basic idea was to motivate the users by giving them points for usage, thus popularising protecting our environment.
From the technical point of view, there were three main parts; the bin itself, the server and the mobile app.
It was easy to split the tasks between the three of us.
- Áron worked on the mobile app with the QR code reader (since then he has begun to try his hand as an iOS developer on one of our projects).
- Norbert developed the server based on NodeJs, Express and MongoDb plus he created the API which held everything together.
- Bence took care of the Bin and coded the sensor, using Raspberry Pi and a shoe box.
On day one we had our desks arranged, attended lectures in various topics related mostly to Microsoft Azure and had time to prepare our presentation about our idea, and got some very useful feedback.
Day two was about development and presentation. Thanks to the short deadlines at work, we managed to finish every development in time (unlike most of the teams), and prepared a kickass presentation.
Thanks to our combined efforts and our great idea, when it came to the prize-giving announcement we heard our name last, and won the first prize for the whole event!
It was a great opportunity to be creative under pressure, and an experience I am grateful to have been part of.
Bence is a Front-end Developer, a perfectionist, and always curious. He studied Biology at the University of Szeged, lived in London for a couple years broadening his horizons, settled in Hungary (for now), but he certainly exhibits the wanderlust gene! He was infected with the programming bug at a very early age, and passionate about it ever since. Outside work, Bence is constantly looking for new fields to challenge himself, from game development and robotics to woodwork. Last but not least, you can always count on him when you fancy a beer!
Norbert is a 29 year old Budapest based passionate software developer, and started to learn programming at the age of 11. He is fascinated by technology and nature, he usually codes for fun, and is also a huge fan of automatisation. He enjoys technical challenges, be it Neural Networks, embedded software, hardware development, building a turtle egg hatchery, face detection… When he is not digging code he enjoys breeding and raising tropical fish or exploring the wonders of nature, but he also won’t hesitate when it comes to plant micro propagation.
Áron is a front-end and mobile application developer, interested in coding for all kinds of gadgets like smart phones, smart watches and smart TVs. He started developing Android applications in 2011 and became interested in iOS when the new Swift language came out. He is constantly thinking about making apps to solve all the everyday problems he encounters. Áron is also passionate about cars, airplanes and all things mechanical, and likes fixing or upgrading things in his free time.