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Hackers turned into chemists at the KooKoo Mashup Challenge

From 30th November to 13th December, a great chemistry experiment took place: the KooKoo Mashup Challenge. But before I get into details of what this challenge was about, let me tell you about KooKoo.

Well, KooKoo is a cloud telephony solution. It’s basically an interface between a web application and a caller. You remember those IVR thingies? Where one gets a series of prompts after calling a particular business? Press 1 for whatever, 2 for something else, etc.? KooKoo enables you to program such things. In a simple and efficient manner. 

That’s KooKoo in a nutshell.

But now let’s get back to the hack itself. The KooKoo mashup challenge is just the tip of the iceberg. On behalf of KooKoo, we will be conducting a series of themed online challenges. 5 in total. But the common denominator in all the hacks is that hackers have to use the KooKoo API. According to themes particular themes e.g. incorporating social media etc.

The theme in the KooKoo Mashup challenge was to do an API mashup. And not just any old mashup. They had to mix any publically available API with the KooKoo API to build cool stuff. (Similar to what chemists do when mixing chemicals, don’t you think?)

This KooKoo Mashup challenge, held completely online, saw over 200 hackers taking part. With fantastic cash prizes on offer, along with other perks, they battled hard. But in the end, somebody has to be a winner. And they were two.

Yadunandan Batchu and Arun. For their explosive solutions, they walked away with INR 10,000 each. Not bad for a few hours work!

Winners of the KooKoo Mashup Challenge!
Winners of the KooKoo Mashup Challenge!

Yadunandan Batchu attempted to reduce “the huge financial divide between the online and offline regions of the world” by combining the KooKoo IVR system with the bitcoin platform. Some of the APIs he used in the mashup were the Toshi API, Google Spreadsheet API, and, of course, the KooKoo API as well. For a live working demo of his app, just call 040-39411020. Use the code 2994 to access the application prototype.

Arun’s idea was to allow a person to get BMTC route details using the phone. Using various channels such as SMS, or even voice calling, you can now get routes to any destination of your choice! He used Google Speech Engine for the voice calling part (obviously!), as well the obligatory KooKoo API. And you could probably guess what other APIs he used! Here is a look at his code.

So that’s what these budding chemists did. Cool solutions, no?

Want to become a chemist yourself? Take part in the next KooKoo challenge. This time, it’s communication: the KooKoo communication challenge. Running from December 14th to December 28th, this is a perfect Christmas challenge. If this doesn’t strike your fancy, you could also have a great Perkfect weekend at the Perk hackathon. This Perk hackathon is a bigger, and better rerun of Perk Appsaholic 1. Register here and hack at Perk!


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Bharat Ramakrishna

Blogger. Part-time mathematics enthusiast. Loves esoteric and quirky things. Bibliophile. Has a wide range of interests including playing chess and pool, juggling and creating puzzles of fiendish difficulty. Grammar Nazi.