Weekend Hacks

Introducing… Weekend Hacks from UrbanThings !

£200 for each project completed!

At UrbanThings, we come up with some great ideas, but alas some of these never get fully explored.  It’s also known as the ‘we’ll get around to it’ R&D list 😉 Some of these may become more important to us, over time, but right now they sit in a “wouldn’t it be nice..” pile.

And so – we thought – why not open up these challenges to the whole team?  I

And so… …listed below are the first selection of Weekend Hacks.   Each one designed to neatly fit into a couple of rainy days for the overly restless, technically-minded or teachers’ pets.  If there are particular projects that take your fancy, then why not take a look and see if you can put something together.   We’re not looking for a fully-fledged solution, just something that solves the basics and moves the idea forward.   As a special incentive, we’ll kick £200 your way for each completed proof of concept.

The Projects

Alexa Bus Skill

“Hey Alexa, when’s my next bus coming?” It would be so much easier if you could just ask your friendly personal assistant when the bus is leaving. We have an API that can retrieve this information. We have an Echo Dot available to borrow for testing. All you need to do is hook them up together!

Minimum requirements:
* Tell Alexa what your favourite bus stop is, or perhaps enter this information online.
* Ask Alexa “when’s the next bus leaving?” “when’s the next 366 bus leaving”?

Dashboard Doorbell

Everybody gets stuck out in the lobby once in a while, having forgot their pass.  Some office members more than others.  (no names mentioned, Carl)

We have a tvOS-based office dashboard running on our Apple TVs.  We also have a Slack channel especially for people to post when they’re locked out, so somebody can come and let them in.

Putting the two together, wouldn’t it be great if – when somebody posted in the #doorbell channel on Slack, the office dashboard made an audible alert sound and displayed their avatar on-screen?

Dashboard Stop Board

Add stop board to tvDash

London Vehicle Position Service

We know when the buses in London are going to arrive at every single stop. We know where they’re going. So we should be able to figure out pretty accurately where they are.

Build a vehicle position API (e. g. a SIRI VM feed) for London’s buses.

Bluetooth Office Presence System

Detect who is in/out of the office using Bluetooth beacons.  Add status to their Slack messages.

Accelerator Pass Cards on Mobile

  • HCE-ish on Android for office entry – build the office door entry cards into phones (edited)

Office playlist generator

A better version of Spotify’s discovery

Just for Fun

These challenges don’t attract the prize money – but

Uber eats lunch roulette

A mini site, or a Slack bot that decides what we should have for lunch.


The Small Print

  • Rules go here
  • Judges discretion is final