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Attensity Takes Utah Tech Week!

20 October 2014 | 7:17 pm

Hackathons are no easy feat, especially when you throw last-minute time and venue changes into the mix as the Attensity team experienced at Utah Tech Week on October 7. (Ironically, the event’s theme was “Making Life Easier.”) But even that couldn’t stop them from a successful participation and demonstration of Attensity’s NLP capabilities.

 The talented team included Andrew Turcanski, Mike Margetts, Claudiu Oprea, Stirling Waite, Matt LeGare.
The talented team included Andrew Turcanski, Mike Margetts, Claudiu Oprea, Stirling Waite, Matt LeGare.

Joined by companies such as Vivint Solar, HireVue, Instructure, O.C. Tanner, and Domo, the Utah Tech Week Hackathon marked Attensity’s first participation in such an event and they did not disappoint.

A hackathon, for the uninitiated, is exactly what it sounds like: a hybrid of computer hacking and a marathon in a grueling, caffeine-fueled, 12-hour time period. Groups comprised of mostly engineers and IT whizzes compete against the clock and other teams to create a project to present at the of the day to a panel of judges.

If you’re picturing a scene from the movie The Social Network, you’re on the right track.

Armed with a grab bag of hardware and a starter kit, which included a Raspberry Pi single-board computer and an Arduino open-source electronic platform, our little geniuses embarked on a mad dash to create a sentiment-based live signal to demonstrate Attensity’s product platform.

The “starter kit.”
The “starter kit.”

Brainstorming prior to the actual hackathon is a futile effort since the teams have no idea until the actual day what hardware or other tools they’ll have access to. In addition to time constraints beyond their control, Team Attensity was also saddled with the venue’s Wi-Fi issues and no ability to carry out their previous idea of a motion-sensor room.

Men at work.
Men at work.

With no time to lose, they set to work building their sentiment analysis engine. With the Twitter API up and running, Team Attensity used Raspberry Pi to process tweets using #obama and #utahtechweek. Simultaneously, the team used Arduino to code sentiments from the tweets using a red light for negative sentiments, blue for positive sentiments, and yellow for neutral sentiments.

Distilling actionable insights from the data “noise” in a timely manner…sound familiar?

It works!
It works!

Eight hours and countless Red Bulls later—and in the spirit of saving the best for last—Team Attensity closed out the event with their product demo. Presenters Matthew LeGare and Stirling Waite demonstrated the sentiment analysis engine’s NLP capabilities as tweets coming in live using #utahtechweek. Overall, the project was well received and gave some of Attensity’s brightest engineers a chance to showcase their talent and the product platform in a spirited community event.

Way to go, guys!

Be on the lookout for Team Attensity at future hackathons, and as always, please visit us at www.Attensity.com to learn more about our patented semantic solutions.

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