Inside Verizon’s Hackathon in Texas, with DreamFactory and MapQuest.

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Recently, 76 developers gathered at Verizon's campus, featuring a swanky waterfall, in Dallas to build, hack and make creative apps for mobile, web and IoT. We partnered up with Verizon and Mapquest to encourage the use of a diverse portfolio of assets.

The winning hacks were incredibly creative and really leveraged all the technologies, but everyone who participated went above and beyond with their enthusiasm and efforts. Over 10 hours of coding with hackers from different backgrounds, schools, and industries really made this hackathon a success! So, a huge thank you to you hackers and builders, creators and makers for coming out and joining in the fun.

We awarded the grand prize based on use of all technologies: Verizon, MapQuest and DreamFactory, usability, technical difficulty and creativity. To see more images from the Hackathon, check out our photo album!

Here’s a recap of some awesome projects that came out of the hackathon!

Grand Prize: IntelliStore.

Their app, an IoT based Targeted Advertising & Analytics, really oriented to Verizon's and the Hackathons vision. The project’s aim is to convert product interests into a sale.

They came up with the idea to combine the objectives of IoT and Targeted Advertising that made intuitive use of all of the technologies.

Verizon's Cloud was used as the hosting solution, and MapQuests was used as an API for the developers to build location-aware apps on top of and was accessed through DreamFactory. DreamFactory was also used as a way to secure and access the Database endpoints through a REST API and to handle the data layer communication. The IoT Hardware that was used was a Texas Instruments SensorTag to sense the movement of the product while identifying the product with a unique URL.  

By using DreamFactory it allowed them to get a running database up with RESTful API endpoints immediately so that they were able to concentrate on other aspects of the app rather than just the plumbing.

“DreamFactory helped us a lot by easing the whole back-end data accessibility without much code, and capability of saving the data into our specified data source without almost no effort. We were then able to concentrate on our main application level problems and logic that were to extract meaningful data from the IoT sensor and be able to link a targeted advertisement to it back to the store on a tablet or TV.”

They are targeting their app to stores which display their products in a way that customers can interact with. Such as through touch, which can be applied in many segments of stores from electronics, like laptops, to consumer merchandise, like shoes.

The products promoted in the store will be attached to a Texas Instruments sensortag that is programmed to broadcast the product's unique URL. The Texas Instruments SensorTag, an IoT device, is capable of broadcasting movement and a unique URL that is attached to products within a store.

IntelliStore scans for the URL and extracts accelerometer values from the sensortag. The app calls the webservice hosted in Verizon Cloud which in turn accesses the database endpoints in DreamFactory through exposing REST APIs. The system can also incorporate TV advertisements when, for example, an iPhone has a TI SensorTag attached to it and is in proximity via MapQuest’s location services. That TV would then show advertisements based on what product was picked by the customer. After the ad a tablet below the TV asks for the customer's data and offers home delivery if ordered for an engaging experience. At the end of the day the store receives the business analytics indicating the products of interest and trends.


Their app would clearly add intelligence to the store it would be deployed in. Hence their name: IntelliStore.

“Our app, IntelliStore, tracks the actual user interests (like a cookies in a browser) in a store and targets to convert the lead in to a sale. Further it is capable of giving very meaningful insights of data analytics to the store’s manager.”

The IntelliStore team was the biggest, consisting of seven members from all over the world, including India, all pursuing various degrees in either Engineering or Computer science. The members were: Pranay Shirolkar, Karthikeyan Rajamani, Vikas Sable, Sahana Ravikumar, Arya Anand, Omkar Joshi, and Srinivas Bavisetti.

Great work IntelliStore team! They’ve already started implementing their app and are planning to take it to the next level and finish it. We look forward to seeing updates. Even though many of the team are still studying in school, and have never worked together, they were able to deliver a very interesting app!

Semi Finalists: Report Network.

Screen_Shot_2016-10-06_at_2.08.51_PM-1.pngThe semi finalists idea came from an issue they experienced on their way to the hackathon when they noticed how poor their network signal was in their phones in the underground parking lot. They then decided that was to be the problem they would try to solve.

Their mobile app, Report Network, used DreamFactory as the middleware to integrate their mobile app to send the location and signal strength data to the server.


They used MapQuest to display the heatmap of the mobile signal into the map. They generated the heatmap using signal strength data and was a useful way to present the data for the user and the phone company. The app’s data can be used by the phone company's management to know when and where they are losing customers due to poor signals. This data will be sent when the customer is not having any signal and how frequently that area is used by the customer. They are hoping that this data will improve the profitability and satisfaction index of the company.

DreamFactory saved a lot of our time to integrate with the mobile application with the frontend to display heatmap into the map.”


Team Report Network consisted of four members: Ashay Rajimwale, Achyut Paudel, Nigesh Shakya, Pavan Bawdane. They were a diverse group with members from all over the world, including Nepal, and India who are in the states pursuing degrees in the Texas area.

Inspired? Try something out on your own! Learn how to hack and create an app with DreamFactory while using the MapQuest API and Verizon Cloud in minutes.