iHeartMedia Tech Blog

ROWDYHACKs and iHeartMedia Tech

Mark | April 23, 2019

On April 13th and 14th iHeartMedia participated in Rowdyhacks, a 24-hour competitive programming event in which teams worked together to “hack” together a tool or app. The event was open to undergraduate and graduate students and welcomed all skill levels. The hackathon is led by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) at UTSA. iHeartMedia Tech was super excited to be a tech sponsor!! 

The 2019 Rowdyhacks had 35 teams participate of which 3 teams participated in iHeartMedia Tech API challenge. The goal of the iHeartMedia Tech challenge was to see how teams could use iHeartMedia APIs to:

  • Scan local iHeart stations and tell the user what is playing locally right now, then start the highest CUME (Cumulative Audience) station.
  • Scan iHeart’s podcast directory podcasts and introduce popular ones.
  • Figure out what entity XYZ is, map it to existing mood/genre/activity stations at iHeart.
  • Bi-direction interactions to save your favorite ad/song/album

Bonus points for:

  • Scanning/jumping between them based on interactions after the skill starts.
  • Cutting down some podcasts to snippets and offering a preview of a bunch or snippets across time in an episode as part of the skill
  • Interactions to tune the playlist with follow up questions.
  • Interactions with voice synthesizer with celebrity voices.
  • Use of machine learning or AI.

The winning team would win a 1 YEAR iHeartRadio Premium Subscription, VIZIO Soundbar system with 5-1/4” Wireless Subwoofer & Digital Amplifier and iHeartMedia swag!! iHeartMedia Tech had a variety of team members help judge, mentor and hold API workshops for the hackers.

Winning Team w/iHM Prizes
Winning Team - "Smart Glove" with iHM Prizes

The winning team, Smart Glove, used an Alexa skill to call the iHeart API, and returned live music to feed audio and led light input devices which forwarded frequency outputs to vibration sensors attached to a glove. The Smart Glove team’s objective was to create a product so deaf people could listen to music too. Very cool!! The team envisioned their product going beyond the glove and eventually creating other wearable devices.

Wow! Incredible innovation, consumer focused and why iHeartMedia Tech was proud to call the Smart Glove team our iHeartMedia Tech API challenge winner.
We look forward to next year’s Rowdyhacks!!!