We at Helios like to participate in various hackathons, developer challenges, and other community events as often as our busy schedules will allow. Over the past few years, we’ve entered a bunch of contests and have come away with something more valuable than prizes or awards — a jump start to new products or applications that we find useful for our clients or ourselves.
This is definitely the case for one of our most recent entries — a brainstorming/collaboration app we call Chariot. The concept for Chariot was borne out of our frustrations with remote collaborations and meetings. We recently opened an office up in Portland, Helios Labs — and have Liz (our Director of Biz Dev) out in North Carolina. When you’re on conference calls, it can be hard to get visual cues as to when to speak, and it can be hard to be a full participant. Plus, it’s tough for us to take notes and aggregate all of the ideas that are generated during a meeting – especially when they’re from various areas of the country.
The solution that we came up with is Chariot — a close-range gesture driven application that creates a universal white board where participants can submit ideas in ‘sticky note’ format, and posts them up on a big screen for all to see. It’s really a simple info visualize that allows users to submit ideas and thoughts via text, and can then be manipulated by the administrator via gesture. While this was originally developed for the Intel Realsense Challenge, we’ve found it to be surprisingly useful in just about every brainstorm we have — and are using the tool regularly!
Another app we submitted, also for the RealSense Challenge, was Luna. Luna was created to teach math principles in a subtle, unique way. The application uses min-games to focus on a single topic at a time. Using gestures to create resonating connections through unique brain-teasing games, Luna creates an effective learning experience that promotes repeat gameplay. All of these components make learning fun. We believe that Luna can help create an excitement for science and mathematics bringing forth the next generation of “Mathemagicians.”