We really appreciated getting to connect with local developers to explore the Google Actions API for the Google assistant during our hackathon.   The Actions API enables you to integrate your services into voice command interface of a Google assistant.   This technology touches millions of devices including phones, cars, and assistant devices.

We want to thank the Melrose Center at the Orlando Downtown library for hosting our community.  It’s a great maker space and community tech center.  Make sure to check it out.   Additionally, we want to thank Google for making this event possible through their financial support.   We really appreciate it.

Google Actions Hackathon

I enjoy getting to organize hackathon activities.  Love seeing our community come together.  It’s always a great opportunity to learn, meet people, and generate new ideas.  In general, Google actions work well in three major use cases.   Users on the go.   People starting their day.   People relaxing at the end of the day.  I wanted to share a few concepts proposed by our hackathon community for Google Actions.

  • Send money to friends and family
  • Checking surfing conditions and tides
  • Finding a local lunch option
  • Checking stocks for the last 5 days
  • Checking the status of trains

After pitching ideas for Google Action projects, our community formed teams and started building.  Check out our hackathon wiki for some simple learning materials and tips.

We want to give a shout out to Siavash and his team from the University of  Central Florida.   As a graduate student at UCF years ago, finding a parking spot was a challenge.   In my time, we called UCF “under construction forever.”   Apparently, finding a parking spot continues to be a challenge.   Our UCF team wrote a focused Google action so that students can find a parking location with the most spots open.   They created this Google Action by extracting information from UCF parking websites.  It’s a simple, but a very practical application of the Google Action.   I think they’ll be adding an intent to help you locate parking close to your first class too.

Some of the other winning concepts from the hackathon enabled you to explore events at Kennedy Space Center or check the status of your fantasy football team.

In a future blog post, we’ll explore some of the demo Google Actions we created to support the hackathon.   Firstly, we built a Google action to add and list items to a Trello agile board.   Hope to post this later this week.  We also built a Goole action to remotely control a servo remotely.   It was a fun IoT use case.

Looking forward to future hackathons!  I know the community enjoyed the “learning by doing” focus of the hackathon.


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