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TADHack Carries On, Producing Several New Apps with the Bandwidth App Platform

June 23, 2015

Just recently, we got a look at the TADHack-mini event in London, and how several exciting new advances came out of the event. It was easy to think that pretty much everything that could be done with Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) had already been done, but there's a new kind of event showing us that's not the case. It's called the hackathon, and hackathons around the world are producing some new and exciting advances.

TADHack's Raleigh, North Carolina event brought out some amazing new developments, all bringing WebRTC to work in new and unusual ways. Two days after the event started, the dust settled, and some magnificent new tools emerged all with the common thread of using the Bandwidth App Platform, a tool developed by communications firm Bandwidth.

The resulting apps developed were then judged on a variety of factors, ranging from market readiness to technical quality to even sheer creativity, and based on the apps that were released, that was a point that was likely difficult to make judgments on. Winners were handed a variety of modern-day laurels, ranging from an Apple Watch to a straight up cash payment of $1,000.

Two grand prize winners were awarded, and in these alone, it's easy to see the sheer range of options that can come out of WebRTC and the Bandwidth App Platform. One grand prize went to an app called “Search the Web with SMS”, an app which built the Bandwidth App Platform into the application programming interfaces (APIs) of such systems as Google Maps, allowing users to query these various systems with SMS messages. The second grand prize went to an app called “Blind Date: Tinder for Blind People.” Developed by the same people who brought us the campus safety system known as Bluelight, the app essentially reads descriptions of potential dating partners in a quick-matching format, allowing the blind to access the same tools most anyone else would use for dating.

Image via Shutterstock

Apps developed went on from there; a team-based call handling app known as “Hot Potato” funneled calls along a broad group using a drag-and-drop interface, a complete call center known as “GoPhone” emerged, and “Two Touch”—declared the “Most Disruptive” app of the show—provided a kind of universal interface for different providers' SMS services. Other apps taking honors included an anonymous text messaging service called “One Step Beyond”, a text messaging data mining system called “TextApp,” a gesture manager called “Gesture Handler,” and a means to search Wikipedia without a smartphone called “Catfacts.”

What this illustrates with almost dizzying clarity is that there are a lot of potential applications for WebRTC technology out there, despite the fact that we've been hearing about applications for WebRTC technology for several years now. The sheer variety of use cases—from dating apps to unorthodox search methods—proves that this is a major new technology that is just waiting for developers to get a hold of it. Hackathons, meanwhile, are providing just such an opportunity, and the results are amazing.

Where will WebRTC go from here? The answer could be only a hackathon away. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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