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Movio Hackathon - Can You Hack It?

Each year Movio dedicates a full day for our bi-annual Hackathons. The reason we do this is that we are usually focused on business as usual, getting product out and making sales but these events allow the Movio Crew to just run wild, be inspired, get creative to come up with fresh ideas. The power of the Hackathon is fuelled by energy drinks, sugar, pizza, BBQ’s and the odd healthy carrot. It’s astonishing what can be created in 24 hours and our team surprises us every time.

At the end of the Hackathon we celebrated with a BBQ (and a small fire) then the teams presented what they’d created, you can see some examples of these below. These presentations are a result of the teams exploratory experimentation and do not represent any updates to our products."

Team name: Unichat
Team members: Jerry Peng, Gary Zhu and Gordon Kam

As the world's most popular messaging service, WeChat is widely used especially in China. When solving problems with our Chinese customers, they prefer to use WeChat as their communication tool. Movio uses Slack as our internal communication tool and Jira for our project management. The drawbacks of using WeChat in that context are:

  1. Conversation history is not archived
  2. We can only invite people with a WeChat account to the conversation
  3. We need to switch between WeChat and Slack to sync some information to colleagues or to JIRA

So, we've come up with this idea of Unichat - a tool to make Slack the uniform messaging platform, no matter which application our customer is using (Slack, WeChat or even Line). This will mean that in the future, we can use Slack as both internal and external messaging service.

  1. These functions have been included in the first release:
  2. Send text message from WeChat to Slack and vice versa
  3. Enable translation for text messages from Chinese to English and vice versa
  4. Send attachment (image/pdf/excel/video etc) from WeChat to Slack and vice versa
  5. Auto translation for emojis"

Team name: Team Solo
Team member: Jonathan Chow

At the moment, our WYSIWYG email editor lets you create sections that show different content depending on the member who receives it, such as their gender or preferred cinema. You do this by filling in a series of drop down boxes to choose which attributes should be used to pick the conditional content you want to show.

My Hackathon project prototyped an experimental interface where the email designer would use natural language in a free-form text field instead. Instead of picking "age", "greater than", then typing in "25", you could just type "over 25s" and the editor would figure out what you meant.

The prototype tolerated minor spelling mistakes and would offer predictive autocompletions. And, after defining translations and simple grammatical rules for each language, it successfully predicted the intended input across English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Japanese.

Team name: Team Trump - Making MC great again!
Team members: Kalman Bekesi, Raghu Kasturi, Jack Hopner, Wasiq Kashkari, Simon Caley and Fred Cai

Our team undertook an ambitious goal of updating the front-end technology of Movio Cinema to our current tech stack. This involved creating a React, Redux application to take the place of our current server-side rendered pages. Our goal was to fully replace an entire page with the full new stack. To achieve this we had to accomplish the following:

  • Build api specs
  • Build back-end endpoints
  • Generate JS client code
  • Integrate new front-end tech into existing pages
  • Build front-end Movio components for search, grid and pagination
  • Include authentication
  • Error pages
  • Localisation
  • Unit testing
  • End to End tests
  • Create a build and deployment process
  • React, Redux, Typescript, Mocha, Nightwatch, ES6
  • Testing
  • Deploy

We almost got there and will finish off the final testing and touches on our next ‘Fixit Friday’.”

Team name: Goverlords
Team members: Lucian Jones, Felix Gellar, Adam Coxhead

Currently, we don't have any way to visualise the many campaigns that we send out. We wanted to create something that allowed us to watch the campaigns being sent through Movio Cinema in real time. This gives us more visibility over how and when exhibitors send out campaigns and potentially allows us to find patterns or problems in their workflow.

We created a dashboard that pulled data from our current monitoring system and pushed it into a timeline that's displayed in the browser. This quickly allows you to firstly see who is sending out campaigns currently and also looks over the past campaigns that have been sent out. The dashboard could then be filtered down to look at specific time ranges and/or customers.

With the dashboard we could easily find which times exhibitors liked to send out campaigns, how large these campaigns were and how long they took.

Team name: Heatmaps
Team members: Chris Barrett, Audrey Authom, Martijn van Buuren, Cristina Borsan, Laura Marttinen

Movio Media is great for analysing and getting statistics on the behaviour of moviegoers but our team thought we'd add a bit of fire into our existing product by trying to actually predict what movie audiences want.

By combining information such as movie genre, age and gender for moviegoers in our database we came up with a heatmap-based tool that seeks patterns in their movie-going behaviour. At a glance, you can spot what the historical baseline is for the number of people going to the movies in any given day. This is calculated as an average based on the last two years. Then we used the actual number for each day to see how this is over, equal or below the baseline. This allows us to know why the numbers are the way they are based on age, gender and movies playing in that day.

For example on a given day you could see that 'females under 25' show below the baseline, meaning that they most likely didn't have any movies targeted to them playing at that specific time. If gaps like this show up for a longer period of time, there might be an opportunity to get these groups go to the cinemas by showing relevant content and using better marketing tactics.

So, what did I do for Hackathon? With minus knowledge of anything programming I decided to create a fun video to capture the essence of the event and torture some very tired people by making them speak into a camera while they could. Here is the result.

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