We’re extremely proud to announce the winners of the Build The World with Dolby.io Hackathon! We invited developers and creators from around the world to compete for a prize pool valued at over $25,000 to build spectacular and innovative hybrid audio and video conference experiences. To ensure a better hackathon experience for our developers we teamed up with Netlify and Cloudinary to enable faster deployment and image transformations and storage.
The developers who stepped up to our challenge really surprised us with many new and innovative ways to experience video and audio conferences. We asked developers to create experiences to solve our modern, yet “new normal” task of combining real-world and virtual communications into more thoughtful and engaging experiences. They took our post-pandemic theme to heart and presented completely new and innovative ways for people to gather and collaborate online. Five projects showcased our new Spatial Audio Placement feature within their app experiences, including our top three grand prize winners.
1st Place Winner Office Talk
A virtual office with multiple type of rooms simulating a real office experience to users in this new remote work situation. We really love how React developer Arjun Ganesan re-imagined virtual workspaces. He created both a beautiful and thoughtful user experience around the concept of a virtual workplace. This experience is reminiscent of the many co-working locations that were extremely popular in pre-pandemic times when these co-working spaces allowed people to find community, build their personal networks within a more creative work atmosphere.
In Arjun’s virtual workspace we feel that same energy. Arjun anticipated every detail about the experience, creating rooms that invited casual conversation and yet still allow for individual to control the experience of when they want interaction or when they simply want to be heads down working. He leveraged the new Spatial Audio placement feature of the Communications APIs to simulate the effect of being in a workspace where you can still hear others working in the background. Users who join the workspace have the ability to move around in an infinite space. They can find a spot by themselves or move their avatar next to another avatar to initiate a private conversation. If you want to find another person in the vast space, you just click on their name in the participants list. Arjun’s project is a work in progress, he laid out multiple types of work spaces from small conference rooms to big meeting halls. We think his project has a lot of potential to disrupt and improve the way people work together online. Arjun built this application using Dolby.io’s Communication APIs, Netlify, Google Firestore and Cloudinary.
2nd Place Winner MeetVerse
Make your meetings more interactive and realistic… that is … if you consider wearing Bat Wings as a realistic part of your wardrobe. We all delighted with glee when we stepped into this 3D meeting experience. Users join the experience as bat winged avatars in a 3D VR space that’s really fun to explore.
The MeetVerse experience is designed for face to face interactions by live streaming each participants face on their own avatar. The avatars created a joyful experience for meeting participants. We loved the subtle touches like the glowing scarf to indicate the participant’s mic was on.
This experience took advantage of our new Spatial Audio placement feature. Implementing Spatial Audio in a 3D environment dramatically enhanced the experience in this meeting space. The spatial audio queues help to naturally guide users by providing subtle directional sound queues, or changes in volume that emulate the way we hear naturally, making it easy to locate other avatars participating in conversations within the space. Private conversations also become more natural as the audio volume falls off as the distance between the avatars increases. This enables private conversations simply by moving closer to another meeting participant.
Besides the Spatial Audio feature, developer Dwij Patel beautifully implemented a screen-sharing feature to allow presentations in 3D. Dwij developed this experience using Dolby.io’s Communication APIs, BabylonJS, Blender, Express and Node.js.
3rd Place Winner 3rdspace
3rdspace is an online gathering space which fosters personal social interaction using familiar physical environments. If you’ve ever experienced the 8bit interactions in Gather.Town then you know that top down game-like experience are engaging. 3rdspace takes that familiar experience to a new level using Spatial Audio to smooth out those abrupt interactions of people joining and leaving as they pass in and out of conversations.
Developer Jeff Chandler wanted to build a space for people to meet and engage in real conversations much like people do in real life; The application design allow for the creation of custom spaces that emulate IRL interactions, whether that’s at a convention center, meeting room, retail store, classroom, concert hall, or even a neighborhood bar.
Unique to this experience is the way Jeff engineered the Spatial Audio placement feature. He wanted to create private conversation zones within the bigger virtual space. He was still able to achieve this effect by dynamically setting the values of both the listener position and the spatial environment. Jeff developed this experience using the Dolby.io Communication APIs, PubNub, ExpressJS, Node.js, Bootstrap and React.
We really appreciate the effort many developers take when developing with our beta software releases. We released the Spatial Audio Placement feature just days before the close of hackathon submissions. So kudos to all of the developers who implemented this feature.
In addition to our top three winners we also awarded ten honorable mentions awards. The diversity of projects and new use cases caught our attention as they offered a variety of incredibly interesting and compelling experiences.
This project caught our attention for moving design thinking around accessibility to how deaf and the hearing impaired experience their live media. They developed a system of using AI on audio for accessibility through visualization/sensory representation of musical beats. The team implemented both the Dolby.io‘s Media and Communications APIs to provide the hearing impaired an accessible haptic and visual experience.
Sonar Sound Studio
Ever wanted to have your own podcast? Sonar Sound Studio sets up a live podcasting studio in VR. This immersive VR experience creates a virtual podcast studio in the metaverse where Oculus devices users can create podcast by live streaming content using Dolby.io’s Communications APIs directly within their own virtual VR studio.
The project took the challenge of streamlining the classroom experience by creating a seamless platform for both teachers and students to interact together, almost indistinguishable from an ideal offline classroom experience.
Hologram Calls with Looking Glass
The most cutting edge example was a scrappy MVP that demonstrated a two way holographic call on a Looking Glass Portrait Display. Using a version of Holoplay.js and Dolby.io Communication APIs, they were able to send live audio and map the live video stream to 3D video textures displayed on the Looking Glass Portrait holographic display. While a very simple proof of concept, we saw the immense potential for live video and audio streaming to new devices in this category.
A web-based audio/video conferencing application that makes use of Dolby.io’s communication APIs to provide a more immersive and personalized experience for the user. It also has a voice command assistant that responds to voice commands with a variety of actions. React Room also has a variety of themes that participants can customize to their liking.
Beautiful yet minimal design, Mini is video conferencing app with the ability to manage multiple parallel conferences at the same time. The simplicity of the user interface was it’s super power.
An easy to use media playback service that lets you upload video content and create watchparties which can be enjoyed with friends and family anywhere around the world. The app featured Spatial Audio by randomly assigning new participants their spatial position as they joined the party.
Strives to improve your communication skills using Artificial Intelligence. Kit used therecording capabilities of the Communications API’s to capture the live stream and process in near real-time sentiment and other features of the conversation and produce and send an email report.
A virtual space for hackathons, expos, art galleries, and even fun meetups. The virtual space has a customizable map with support for interactions. The project used Dolby.io’s spatial audio placement feature for more dynamic experience. The space was designed with a playful and casual aesthetic that made it inviting and brought a smile to our reviewers.
Huddle in Jira
An audio chat solution added to Jira Cloud. You can start a conversation with a single click directly from Jira ticket: high priority support tickets, new user stories, bug reports, epics and more. Additionally it allows you to share you screen, so that you can present the problem to your team. This integration of the Dolby.io Communication APIs was a brilliant idea to extend usability of Jira.
This is just a brief summary of the winning hackathon projects; in the weeks ahead we’ll dive in deeper to explore how these developers created these innovative projects. In the meantime, we invite you to checkout the project gallery for yourself.