What do you get when you grab a bunch of techies and throw them in a room with some of the industry’s top cognitive code? It turns out some impressive new takes on Watson services. This week, as we explore the world of Hackathons we have seen a stream of new ideas and projects using Watson Services. In fact, we are so impressed, we’ve chosen to feature the top apps from BoilerMake 2014 at Purdue University, Developer Week 2015 in San Francisco and the Global Entrepreneur Summit in Kharagpur, India.

Tortellini Personality Badge


More Information • Created by Samuel Yun, Ishaan Bakhle and Dalton Flanagan

Tortellini is firmware created for the Arduino Leonardo-based BoilerBadge that displays personal metrics to encourage personal growth and community-engaged improvement. Using this firmware, the badge is able to share your mental health rating. The personality rating is based on your levels of anxiety, depression, and anger levels, as determined by the users Twitter profile and Watson's Personality Insights service.

  • When a user sets up their badge, the setup program prompts for his or her Twitter handle.
  • Their tweets are downloaded and submitted to Watson for personality analysis.
  • Once back-end processing is complete, users are enrolled into a roster file.
  • The "server"/"master" badge reads this file and broadcasts the badge-ID, metric data pairs over RF to the recipient's badges. This allows for single point-of-control which is especially useful for coordinating badge data during events (such as hackathons).
  • If no OTA data is available, the Tortellini software can also display a clock in its resting state, indicating the hour in binary and minutes in 5 minute intervals.



Live app • Created by Evan Pun, Dong-han Yao, Zachary Zeleznick, Emma Marriott, Jae Young Ryoo, Ryan Ma and Emily Le

Hedge is a web application that helps a renter/buyer visualize healthy spaces and housing affordability in their community. While cost of living is easily defined by housing prices, the cost to your health for a particular neighborhood is not as easily calculated. The application uses heat maps, based on a choropleth map, for the 574 blocks in the San Francisco area to reveal where problem spots may be in a city. Hedge also takes into account things like access to what is most important to the user, at a sub-neighborhood resolution.

Users can simultaneously select multiple metrics (like asthma rates, proximity to green space, and proximity to a farmer’s market), and the heat map will change to reflect desirability based on the combined values. As the user hovers over each of the blocks, a popup reveals an overall “Livability Index”, as well as individual sub scores of each metric, if applicable. As users pick the most important metrics, IBM Watson Tradeoff Analytics will analyze content to help users to determine the top 3 most desirable based on the Livability Index created each time it is used. Hedge currently only supports Google Chrome.

Chatter Box

Chatter Box

YouTube • Created by G Surya Teja, Srinath Mandev, Dharmana Prudhvu and Sourya Kakarla

Chatter Box is an application that leverages IBM Watson Machine Translation to provide real time language translation while chatting with a user. This reduces the need of the user having to translate text using an external source to create a more fluid conversation between users who may not speak the same language.

  • Organize your chat history by tagging a set of messages under a topic/category.
  • Suggest the tag name based on the topic of conversation.
  • URLs used in the chat can be accessed easily by clicking the dedicated space where preview of website is shown for each link.
  • Tags of the particular conversation are shown in right side menu, which on clicking displays the messages tagged under that topic.
  • Real Time language translation available for 4 different languages, powered by IBM Watson Machine Translation service.

We would like to thank all developers, mentors, participants and users who have spent time to understand the IBM Watson services, built amazing apps with them and really push the boundaries to what we thought was possible. Our mentors have helped hackathon participants in more than ten university/ conference events during the last two months. We have several other events coming soon so head over to the Watson Events page for more information o now you can participate.


Watson in the Wild is a weekly blog that highlights cool apps that have been developed with Watson services. It may also include articles, videos, or links to other sites to provide insights into ways that people are using Watson services. The real key to this blog is hearing from you… yes you… hiding behind your keyboard. We want to hear your thoughts and feedback, and help be our eyes and ears in the community. If you see an interesting reference to Watson or cool apps that others have done, please comment below. If you have a cool app that you'd like other people in the Watson Community to see, click here to share it with us.


3 comments on"Watson in the Wild: How Hackathons Move The Innovation Needle"

  1. I think Hackathons seem to be R&D reinvented – a bunch of techies in a room is my focus with the #IoTDinner in London – would be good to discuss the IBM Watson Machine Translator on the 15th April perhaps 😉

  2. Name *maxwell fanfan April 01, 2015

    simply fascinating , watson we are not worthy lol

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