On Friday 22nd September eight of the Cortex Projects and Support team travelled to Capgemini Head Quarters in Utrecht, Netherlands for their Automation Hackathon.

Their mission was to both support the competitive teams in their use of Cortex Intelligent Automation within their Hackathon projects, and as a non competitive team demonstrate the unique features within Cortex which allows it to so successfully power automation.

There was a warm welcome from the Capgemini team, with the Hackathon lasting 24 hours the hospitality, food, and break out environment with state of the art consoles and gadgets was really appreciated.

The Hackathon kicked off Friday evening and saw nine teams looking at themes which included Smart Retail, Smart Buildings and Real-Time Customer Insights. Throughout the 24 hours the Cortex team got to work assisting competitive teams using the Cortex platform.  Whilst some automation software can be heavily reliant on scripting and coding skills and experience, the intuitive, graphical drag and drop user experience of Cortex meant that those who had no previous platform experience could embed this within their projects all within the 24 hour timeframe!

There was a wealth of technologies available to the competing teams which included Raspberry PIs, Arduinos, and proximity beacons and sensors.  Cortex also provided Amazon Echo’s, to be included as prizes, but also to be available for teams to incorporate the Alexa Voice Services.

The Cortex platform is normally accessed simply via a web user interface.  The team set themselves the challenge of being able to initiate automated flows within Cortex via Alexa, removing the need to even log on to a computer. The concept was based around an Escape Room scenario and utilised Cortex and Alexa to deliver challenges to users to complete (which used the Philips HUE lights) and the Cortex flows to validate answers given and move to the next stage of the puzzle if successful.

By the early morning ‘Haka’ exercise session and breakfast which revived the team’s energy levels, all competitors were progressing well.  The ‘Doctor’ experts had been reviewing and assessing projects throughout the 24 hour period with criteria based on creativity and innovation, business potential, impressiveness and teamwork.

So, how did the Cortex Team score six out of five for teamwork?  The panel of judges were very impressed by the level of support and assistance they provided to the competing teams, multi-tasking between projects, whilst working together to deliver their own initiative.

After an intense 24 hours, the Cortex team were thrilled with their achievements, and are already thinking about ideas and projects to make the next Hackathon even more successful.

The Cortex vision is to create a world where everyone can automate, and the Capgemini Hackathon certainly proved that this is possible.  With new users utilising the platform within 24 hours to using an end user interface for access, the direction of Intelligent Automation is certainly transformational.