We both participated in a wide range of hackathons. Throughout time, we have noticed that the engagement between organizers and hackers could be further increased beyond Devpost submissions and Discord channels. We put everything in just one place where organizers and sponsors can better interact with hackers while providing them with exclusive swag! (Not gonna spoil! Keep reading :))
What it does
My Swag Space is a social network for hackathons, clubs, companies, conferences, and events to give out digital prizes, including, but not limited to, exclusive stickers, miniatures, and precious items (in addition to the physical awards customarily given in hackathons). A code distributed from sponsors, companies, letters, or organizers can be used to redeem exclusive digital prizes on My Swag Space.
Have you received a sticker on a letter and would like it on your collection of prizes on the My Swag Space website? We are on it! With our super-advanced My Swag Space Scan, you can take a photo of your sticker, and we will match it with a dataset of stickers from previous events.
After logging in the platform, the user can select to be a member (collector of digital swag) or an organizer (distributor).
Member: The Member has a dashboard with hackathon updates that are going on and his status. In addition to that, the member has a profile page that contains all of the digital swag that they own. They can add more digital swag by inputting a code or scanning a sticker.
Organizer: The Organizer has the ability to create digital swag like stickers, miniatures, and prizes. They can upload their own arts and simply distribute the codes to the members that participated in the event. They can post updates and see all digital swag created by them.
How we built it
Front-end: Carefully crafted pure HTML and CSS. Mauricio ditched front-end libraries and frameworks like Bootstrap because he thought that pure CSS would perfectly do the job. All the icons (and icons only) that you see on the My Swag Space are provided by the Font Awesome CDN. SVG arts, including stickers, scanned stickers, and creatures, were all made from totally scratch by the beautiful and charming hands of Mauricio.
My Swag Space Scan: This feature is a Machine Learning model that was trained and deployed on the Google Cloud AutoML Vision API with our own dataset containing pictures of stickers from previous events. Once a user submits a photo with a sticker, the image is analyzed with the model, and the valid stickers will appear on the user's profile page.
Challenges we ran into
First of all, Mauricio thought of using React for the front-end and Node.js for the back-end, which he has great familiarity with. However, after further discussions with his teammate, Nathan, they decided that both of these tools were overkill for the problem they were trying to solve in hand. So, pivoting from the initial idea and migrating the server was definitely a challenge (one that we bravely conquered). In addition to that, Nathan wanted to explore some new technologies and ideas, so the team spent a loooooooong time digging documentations.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of developing a social media platform that can empower hackers and bring them even closer to organizers & events. The team feels accomplished for creating our own sticker dataset and model on Google Cloud.
What we learned
We discovered that we love swag even more than before!! The team learned how to work with swag codes, multiple user types, and AutoML Vision API.
We want to bring My Swag Space to hackathons, clubs, and events. We will continue developing this idea to attempt a partnership with MLH & hackathon organizers. We would like to be the makers of exclusive digital prizes for future hackathons and hackers that bring everyone together during these amazing events that we all love!!