This year’s Hackathon Stuttgart took place in the beautiful Römercastel location in Bad Cannstatt. This is a huge building with plenty of places to work and sleep at night. This hackathon is organized by logicline. The Idea When it comes to hackathons I am always a fan of crazy projects you wouldn’t or cannot do at home. In this case we were interested in Car2Go and Kärcher (which is a German company producing machines and equipment for cleaning) – both provided interesting hardware for the event. Car2Go had different versions of their cars and Kärcher had a street sweeper. After looking at the different APIs we chose the street sweeper to work with because it just provides more capabilities. It has multiple sensors and interfaces to[…]

Ferienakademie is a voluntary holiday academy organized by three Universities from southern Germany: Freie Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Technical University of Munich (TUM) and University of Stuttgart. It takes place in Sarntal, which is a beautiful high valley near to Bozen in Italy. This year I participated in Bernd Brügge’s and Daniel Siewiorek’s course “Cyber Physical Systems”. We built a system which can help workers in extreme environments to minimize risks and to identify hazards earlier. Our system creates a local peer-to-peer mesh-network which ca transfer sensor data from so-called “emergency beacons”. These beacons can be deployed by specially-equiped workers, or from a drone. This can help to collect important environmental data in hazardous environments. Sensors can measure radioactivity, heat, oxygen levels and other essential values. The autonomous drone is[…]

It was a great and exhausting week at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco during the last days – with the scholarship orientation on Sunday, the big keynote on Monday and labs during the week. We got lots of questions answered during the week in the labs and met old friends from 2013, 2014 and 2015 again. Thanks for the great week and see you next year! This year Apple presented iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3 and tvOS 10.

STUPRO is a University software project we have been working on during the last year. This project is part of the Bachelor program “Software Engineering” at University of Stuttgart. The Team Our team consisted of Adrian Zeyfang, André Wruszczak, Jan Machnik, Jan Tagscherer, Jonas Auer, Karl-Heinz Theil, Larissa Laich, Marcel Warbeck, Paul Dieterich, Tobias Beeh and me:   The Project During the project we developed “Kronos“, which is an extension on top of the open-source project Paraview. The goal of this project was to visualize different data-sources on a globe-view including earth-texture. Kronos is capable to import and visualize many different data-sets. They are described in the following abstracts. Terrainvisualization of Earth The earth is the center part of Kronos. It can be visualized as 3D-globe or as flat 2D-map. All additional data-sets are rendered on top of this globe. Visualizing Data-Sets[…]

Apple’s TechTalks in Berlin were a great opportunity to meet many WWDC friends from San Francisco again. The talks itself covered different important topics regarding AppleTV and tvOS app development.

This year I participated in Stefan Wagner’s team “Extreme Coder Camp” where we focussed on developing software using an agile strategy, called Scrum. We developed an Eclipse-Plugin for the programming language “CamlLight” using the agile approach. The standup-meeting in the morning ensured that everybody has an appropriate work to do for the day and to see how the progress has been since yesterday. The results were noted in our breakdown-chart. All exercises were stored in our backlog with an estimate for the work effort. This makes it simpler to pick an exercise to be done next. I participated in the famous “Durnholz-Lauf” which is a 5K run around a mountain like in Durnholz. I finished the run in 23 minutes with an average pace of[…]

THack was a hackathon organized by the airport administration. The hackathon took place within SFO – the airport of San Francisco. Larissa and I decided to participate in the hackathon before flying home. Inspiration Two German developers came to San Fransisco two years ago for Apple Developer Conference. Looking for a cheap and convenient place to stay, they booked a room at a hotel at Tenderloin, SF. However, they had no idea that Tenderloin was an unsafe place at nights. So, they were followed by a drunk person late night on their way to the hotel. Two years later, an international team of students from Germany, MIT and UC Berkeley came together to take revenge. They created SafeStay that helps travelers to visualize[…]

It was great to experience Apple’s WWDC with a strong focus on developers and great software releases. Meeting our friends at Apple and other companies in the Silicon Valley was amazing and we’re looking forward to seeing you again next year! At this year’s WWDC Apple showed the new OS X El Capitan, iOS 9, watchOS 2, Swift 2 and Apple Music – speaking of music: this is Larissa and me singing karaoke at a bar in San Francisco:

This is a cultural music radio which plays suitable music depending on your gps location or travel route. Our backend server looks for artists and musicians nearby the user’s location and sends back an array of Spotify music tracks which will then be played on the iOS app. We use a python server backend to process RESTful API requests. Clients can send their gps location and will receive a list of Spotify tracks which have a connection to this location (e.g. the artist / musician come from there). We provide a javascript web fronted so the services can be used from any browser. The gps location is determined via html5 location services. In our iOS App we get the user’s location and send it[…]

SoPra (software practical) is part of my Bachelor program “Software Engineering” at the department of our Professor Stefan Wagner. Together with two other students I had to realize a software project within one semester. This year’s assignment was to create a Java-tool that supports tournaments for card-based games. But developing the tool was not everything – like in a real software-projects different documents like an offer, specification, system draft, project plan, test protocol needed to be created. Our team consisted of Larissa Laich, Josef Mair and me. Naming our Product Our software is named “NICHTS” (which means “NOTHING” in German) and stands for “Neue innovative clevere hilfreiche Turnier-Software” (“New innovative clever helpful tournament software”). The naming of a product is very important – people will remember the name when they[…]

Evernote organized an AppleWatch hackathon in Zürich. I met there with Arik, whom I know from previous WWDCs.   We developed an Apple Watch app which helps to learn vocabulary on the go. We use different sensors to determine when the user is idling, for example waiting at a red traffic light. We then push a little exercise notification which includes one vocabulary. This can help to learn a new language on the go without a big effort. We received the second price for this project.

MealHub was our project at the Hackathon Stuttgart 2014. We developed this app to be able to meet new people, cook and eat together. The initial problem was the lack of lunch options at our university. But what if every dorm could be a canteen? Cooking for five people is not much more time-consuming than cooking for one or two. After all we received the “price for best project”. After winning the hackathon we decided to continue working on MealHub and release the app on market. We worked on a server infrastructure, that organizes and exchanges events between participants, an iOS app and an Android app. After several months of work, customer interviews and business studies we were able to release the app. Mache Essen und Kochen[…]

Kolumbus is an intelligent, gps-based iOS application + server-backend, which reminds you to visit cultural institutions, when you are already there. This project got rewarded with “Price for best Application”. The source code is available on GitHub.  

We developed an app which helps to collect donations for charity by running. People who participate pledge a certain amount of money for every mile you run which is then automatically collected and donated to the charity organization. You can select from different charity organizations manually who should receive the donations which are collected by your running activity.  

Ferienakademie is a voluntary holiday academy organized by three Universities from southern Germany: Freie Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Technical University of Munich (TUM) and University of Stuttgart. It takes place in Sarntal, which is a beautiful high valley near to Bozen in Italy. This year I participated in Albrecht Schmidt’s and Björn Eskofier’s course “Mobile Gaming and Sports”. The goal of the course was to develop a system that motivates participants to do more physical activity in a playful manner and therefore increase their life expectancy. After all we developed an app that connects a group of people. Groups can set themselves a goal and reach achievements together: Get together in groups from all over the world and gather distance, height and places as a team. Tackle challenges like climbing the[…]

In 2013 we published the first app-version for Leinfelden-Echterdingen’s annual “Krautfest”. The festival is visited by more than 100’000 visitors on one weekend. The new app also contains a bus-tracking feature, which shows the location of the Krautfest-bus-shuttles live on a map – that’s a brand-new feature which isn’t even available in the official VVS app! We presented the app at the press conference last week. The app is available for iOS and Android. Read more about our app here: Vereinsring Echterdingen, Stadt Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Amtsblatt

At IBM’s bluemix hackathon we developed an iPhone app with intelligent weather capabilities: The app can wake you up earlier when harsh weather conditions occur (for instance snow). It is also able to warn you before certain weather conditions appear using the weather forecast. All calculations are done on IBM’s bluemix backend system, which then sends out a push notification to our fronted iPhone app. Read more about the hackathon and our project on IBM’s website. After all we were rewarded with the first price for our project.

A single restaurant can have thousands of reviews. Way too much noise to actually get exactly what you may want. At Reviewily we help organize the reviews, ratings, and comments so you can dive directly into what you care about, what people mention a lot, and you can be a more informed customer. Using IDOLOnDemand API (Sentiment Analysis) we pin point specific topics people people care about when reading reviews & comments. We can detail how many positive and negative comments a topic generates. Thus, a better way to understand a restaurant or a product than just the 5 star rating system. We won the second price at this hackathon.  

This week was totally inspiring and probably the best week of our life. It was great to get in touch with Apple engineers in the labs to get help with our app projects, especially iRedstone. Apple presented  iOS 8, OS X Yosemite and the new Swift programming language. On top of that we met many great people, including Jony Ive and Craig Federighi! We’ll see you again next year!