Hackathon in times of corona: tech against loneliness
At the beginning of this year, the Coosto Hackathon took place. It’s the day on which we challenge colleagues to work in groups with a self-conceived creative or innovative concept. Due to the corona measures, it was a remote edition this time, but that did not spoil the fun. "It was different, but just as good."
So says Stan Ansems, one of the winners this year. Together with Jose Camara, Wesley van der Sanden, Francisco Soler and Daniel Garibaldi, he came up with the Happier app. This year's theme was "supporting our local community". How can we help people with a creative concept in these difficult times?
The intention of the Hackathon is to present a working concept in just one working day. Not an easy challenge, but with all available knowledge within Coosto, it always works. “It's a short timeframe and that makes it fun. It doesn't have to be perfect, of course, so you can try things out. Of course you want to present something good at the end of the day. I must say, all groups always manage to do that ” Ansems says.
Because we had to work via Zoom this year, certain processes went slightly differently than usual. “To be very honest, we contacted each other the day before to discuss some things. All by the book of course, we didn't cheat haha. Ultimately, I think that we have been able to achieve something pretty cool with our team. ”
And that is the Happier app. Now that we have to stay at home, happiness is no longer self-evident. And it is so important to be happy. You live longer, you are healthier, you are more successful and you can maintain relationships better. Happier is designed to bring a little bit of happiness to your own life or to someone else’s.
Beautiful words from friends and family, love and of course cat videos, just a few examples that make us happy as humans. In Happier, you can choose what makes you happy to get a matching surprise every day. Also, there is the option to send a dose of happiness to your friends and family.
The Coosto Hackathon is about coming up with a concept, but that's not most important. It is, above all, a fun event for Coosto employees. “You get to know colleagues in a different way. Normally you talk to each other mainly for business purposes and at the Hackathon it is way more informal. We even had a great time via Zoom.”
The fact that the Hackathon is only accessible to techs is not entirely true, according to Stan. “It is of course an event where the technical side comes into play, but it is accessible to everyone,” says Ansems enthusiastically. “Colleagues from the business side bring back very creative ideas and look at the process from a completely different perspective. That is a perfect addition to the technical people. That is why this is such a fun event for everyone at Coosto.”
The creators of "Happier" eventually took the win, but the other two concepts were also of a high level. There was the idea of Coosto Catransfer, for instance. A kind of WeTransfer in Coosto to provide your friends with their daily portion of cat content. With Catransfer you can multi-upload up to millions of photos and videos in Coosto and secure them with a password. Then you create a link and you can share it with your friends. They can log in with the password and get their daily shot of cat videos or photos.
Why is that such a good idea? The makers, Rob de Wit, Jake van der Putten and Bas Hulsbosch, have an answer to that. “It's super simple and super-fast. You can upload as many photos and videos as you want. And why cats? Well... obviously, they are much nicer than dogs. As soon as you try to upload dog content, the app crashes haha. ”
Now that the local bridge club is no longer allowed to come together and to drink a nice cup of tea, the Digi-tea app offers the solution. An application aimed at the elderly to chat online while enjoying a drink. The appearance of the app looks like you have been shot back in time and that is exactly what the creators, Freek Maes, Freek van Gorkum, Pim Schreurs and Cheryl Meredith, wanted.
“We have created an environment that does not feel too young for the elderly. We have also kept it as simple as possible. People fill in their name, age and hobbies and then they get connected with someone else based on those facets. This way they can have a nice chat with someone and they combat loneliness ”, the creators say in their presentation.
Together we make Coosto better
After this special edition of the Hackathon, we are fully charged with new inspiration for product improvements in 2021. Are you a Coosto user and would you like to contribute ideas about innovations in the tool you use every day? You can. Submit your ideas via the feedback button in Coosto, or vote for existing ideas.