Athens, Alsdorf, Curitiba -
Three #CircuitHack events prove openness of Circuit platform and inspire the developer community
The best way to validate a new development platform and APIs is to ask many developers who have never seen it before. That's what we did. Although a significant number of Unify developers are working on Circuit, there are another hundreds of developers, who have not been involved in Circuit so far and work on other Unify products. We asked specifically these people to try out crazy ideas in a short time period of 2-3 days and provide brutal feedback to the Circuit platform team.
These events went so well, that we'd like to share some of the more than 40 hacks, ideas and pilot implementations here. We are now in the process of planning the next Circuit hackathons open to all registered Circuit developers in Europe and the US.
1. Athens, Greece, February 2015
Text2Speech and Speech-Control
Team "Unicoders'" hack aimed to enable visually disabled users to use Circuit to collaborate via text2speech. The team used the following speech synthesis API in Chrome:
The pilot implementation shows how blind or visually disables people could signon to Circuit, navigate through their conversations, reply to a post etc - without touching the keyboard. It is also an ideal approach to work with Circuit while you are driving. See the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtAT-DpaoA0
Conversation Data Analytics
Based on analytics produced by Circuit conversation data, the team "DataCorruption" realized a data representation model that visualizes who’s talking or who should be talking to whom on Circuit. They used the Circuit Node.JS SDK and Heroku to help users to handle a mass of data by visualization. In contrast to an traditional instance messaging system all chat data, we call conversation data, is persistent. You can basically crawl through the data and understand who said something containing certain keywords to whom. The hack inspires also the collabroation with upcoming partners in the space.
Real-Time Gaming - Chess Example
"DataCorruption’s" second hack was to enable collaboration during a chess game: The client shows a chessboard instead of the conversation stream. Moves of the chess pieces are being translated into text messages. The real time chess game can be combined with a WebRTC video conference between the players.
For more detail on this team’s hack, please contact us.
Internet of Things - Connected Room
The idea of the "PowerRangers" team was to make Circuit interact with the physical environment, for example controlling lights/projectors in a meeting room, checking the temperature in a server room, etc. The team presented the following use case: An arduino platform is connected to lights in a meeting room lights, a projector, etc. When a Circuit user enters the meeting room, the platform informs Circuit about this event and a conversation with the meeting room name will pop up on the user’s screen. This conversation will contain the appropriate UI for controlling whatever is “controllable” in a meeting room. The ideas are flowing also in a future Unify product targeting the best Circuit meeting room experience.
For more detail about this hack, please contact us.
Knowledge based search in Circuit based on specific algorithms
Did you ever have a question, but did not know who to ask? What if you had a genie to tell you who can help? Team Eureka introduced a “Guess who knows” genie in Circuit: First it searches all your conversations for a given keyword, second it ranks your contacts based on keyword occurences with a custom algorithm. We cannot share the full hack due to patent issues, but show it to developers under NDA.
For more detail on Eureka’s hack, please contact us.
We posted a blog article (link http://blog.unify.com/2015/03/circuithack-1/) and a video (link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw-97UuJMlo#) on the Athens #CircuitHack back in February.
Happy Athens winners:
2. Alsdorf, Germany, May 2015
Peer2peer File Transfer during Circuit Call with WebRTC data channel
The idea was to transfer files, for example big log files or media files, over the data channel inside a 1-to-1 connection, instead of using a file service. Circuit is heavily using the media channel of the WebRTC protocol, but we have not been leveraging the WebRTC data channel a lot until now. The hack shows how to transfer files from one participant to the other, leveraging the full speed and encryption of the WebRTC communication. It is an interesting alternative to the persistent file upload into an conversation. Such a non-persistent file transfer is even requested for compliance reasons by some Circuit customers. The "team" consisted of a single person, and also he had only about six hours time to realize his hack, which let us award him with the special "personal challenge" prizein Alsdorf.
A cool, simple feature which can be easily expanded and integrated into Circuit:
Integration of RSS feeds into Circuit
RSS feeds are being registered in a conversation. The relevant messages will be shown inside the conversation stream and thus being included in search. Challenges were the use of Heroku and Node.js as the team never used Node.js before. The source will be shared shortly.
The team created "MIAU" - the “Mostly Indispensible Ansible Utilities”. It's basically a mashup of Circuit and a collaborative whiteboarding, based on a downloadable Chrome extension which places an additional icon next to every Circuit conversation http://tiny.cc/miau
Streaming of external media sources into a Circuit conversation
Team "Hackman" was the winning team in Alsdorf, Germany. This hack was about integrating external streaming sources into a Circuit conversation. For example, a YouTube video stream (broadcast) can easily be integrated into the conversation and broadcasted to all participants. This could be interesting for e-learning offerings from universities or further education institutions:
In reverse, any Circuit RTC conversation can be broadcasted live to webcast, live-streaming or recording systems. For more detail about Hackmans’ ideas and hacks, please contact us.
Lightweight CRM based on Circuit:
This idea focused on customer relationship management. SMBs who don’t want to run a real CRM system can use a lightweight CRM system based on Circuit. The hack showed basically how to use Circuit's persistence to store information about customers if Circuit is used in the customer engagement process. When communicating with a certain customer, the system will provide all the existing data about this particular customer, right in the converesation with an incoming call.
Read more about the Alsdorf #CircuitHack in the Unify blog: http://blog.unify.com/2015/05/unify-developers-gather-alsdorf-2nd-circuit-hackathon/
3. Curitiba, Brazil, June 2015
Integration of Circuit into OpenScape Contact Center
Our winning team, "OS CC Rocks", integrated Circuit with Unify’s OpenScape Contact Center solution. The idea is to use Circuit as call center agents’ devices for processing calls, instead of using a hard phone or PC softclient. As you can see in the video linked below, it is really integrated into the Unify OpenScape Contact Center solution.
The team used the Circuit JS API in order to allow WebRTC calls to the Contact Center. The Circuit users’ presence information was monitored by OSCC. Customers on a public web page (bottom right picture) will even see in real time when an agent is available for an audio or video call.
Internet of Things and Business Event Integration
The "Power Circuit" Team won the special engagement prize in Curitiba, as they developed four different small projects in only four days, in addition to their day-job. See all in this video: http://youtu.be/Rzqi_IYGGQU
- Bizagi (Business Process Management Software) ticketing system integration with Circuit
- Web Cam camera movements controlled by Circuit (used by Call Center Supervisors). Supervisor’s video camera positioning via Circuit. Please contact us for more detail.
- Circuit messages displayed on an LED wallboard (in order to display Contact Center statistics).
- Unify OpenScape Contact Center Web Chat and Circuit Integration.
Circuit Feedback was a hack developed by Celso Sidor, the Team "One Man Band". It allows anyone in a Circuit conversation to request feedback or votes from other people in the conversation. People will be notified about the feedback request, and the result will be automatically compiled based on certain parameters defined by the requesting person. This is a great idea to facilitate the decision making process inside teams.
Meanwhile you can find a similar "voting button" as an alpha feature rolled out to the Circuit productive cloud.
For more detail on Circuit Feedback, please contact us.
Outlook Social Connector
This is a hack integrating Outlook 2010 and 2013 with Circuit for an easy migration to or co-existence with Microoft Outlook. With one click, e-mails and meeting appointments can easily be copied into a Circuit conversation. And Circuit members' information can also be visualized on Outlook. This hack was done based on the Outlook Social Connector: https://blogs.office.com/2010/07/13/use-the-outlook-social-connector-with-facebook-linkedin-myspace-and-windows-live/
For more detail on Circuit Social Connector, please contact us.
And, yes, we we will definitely be productizing this very soon!
Happy Curitiba winners:
We hope this gives you a feeling of the spirit and fun of developing with Circuit! While Circuit comes with its outstanding strength of modern WebRTC based communitcation, each of you can turn it into the magic glue between people, any kind of document content, and business events. At the end, communication, collaboration and business networks and even the Internet of Things get into one simple context - provided by Circuit.