Some of the things we pride ourselves on at Kaltura are collaboration, openness, and creativity. So at the end of the year, we ran our annual internal Kaltura Hackathon in the Tel Aviv office, with remote participants from New York and London as well. It was an awesome couple of days of innovation, fun, and some intense coding. Teams worked on all kind of different projects, from exploring some revolutionary ideas to trying to solve known problems in clever ways to building tools and experiments  for new workflows or even products.

hackathon poster hacking programming deep into the night

Along the way, we did have some fun as well—smoothies, massages, and an ice cream cart! Brains need glucose, after all.

hackathon treats sugar fuels innovation no more programmer's hunch

Some of the ideas that were explored included simplifying video annotations, enhanced parallel-chunked file upload API, scheduler for capture and live streams, STB login from companion mobile devices, new accessibility plugins, MediaGo extensions, Backend Batch Management Service, in-video object classification and search, drawing tools for sports media, geographic search, a Kaltura plugin for Kodi, PHP Zend extension for faster log tracking, native push notifications, movement-based screen activation, and video experience featuring interactive information layers with face detection and media enrichment.

The winners were:

  1. MediaGo External Engagement. This team created external video experiences that would draw users into the MediaGo app. Their implementation included a Chrome extension that detects media mentions (e.g. shows/series/movies/actors) on websites (such as a search in IMDB or article on a news site) and present call to action buttons that will open the Kaltura MediaGo app on the related areas (such as movie page), and an iOS “Today” widget that brings personalized recommendations and notifications to the iPhone “Today” screen. Their emphasis on user-experience and engagement won the day!
    Team: Israel Berezin, Yair Feldman, Evgeny Verner, Itan bar-peled, Michael Mars, Adi Levi, Ofir Hechtner, and Elad Hibsher.
  2. Live Stream Zapping. Live stream zapping uses a clever combination and enhancements of Kaltura’s backend and player to eliminate buffering, by pulling in a live video strip of several next and previous streams (imagine a security control room display), and the player then quickly switches to higher single-stream quality once the user stabilized on the chosen channel. The end result – Channel zapping without the wait! This team embodied values of being bold and resourceful and won the second place.
    Team: Itay Kinnrot, Oren Melamed, Eran Kornblau, and Asaf Robinovich.
  3. “SoundShell” Watch Together With Personalized Audio. This was a particularly innovative idea that allows multiple viewers to watch a video on a single TV screen together but each listen to a different sound-track using their mobile device (very useful in a sports bar, live speech translation, etc.). Experience was the key value in this team’s application, and they also gave the most engaging presentation 🙂
    Team: Eliza Sapir, Nissim Pardo, Yuly Roberman, Yossi Papiashvili, Einat Rolnik
innovation draws a crowd watching the hackathon presenters innovation

While any features dreamed up in a hackathon are bound to have some rough edges, expect to see more of these ideas as we finish cleaning them up and running through a proper QA. There’s some exciting stuff coming down the road!

May the Source Be with You
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