2020 was the year when online communication blossomed in the face of the worldwide pandemic that in many countries led to a lockdown. Businesses were forced to think outside the box and find new, effective ways of communicating with customers, and, in some sense, LiveChat took on a similar path.
We ran two Side Project Days during which the company's daily routine was brutally interrupted and replaced with a festival of creativity, experimenting, and prototyping. We all divided into teams of 5-6 people and focused on improving the way businesses communicate. You can read more about the event here.
As we were surprised by the quality and innovativeness of the projects that emerged internally, an obvious question popped into our heads: What if we don't restrict participants only to the LiveChat team but invite anyone interested in changing the way people communicate online? There was no other way for us than to organize an online hackathon. And that is what we did.
The hackathon revolved around textless communication. We wanted to push the boundaries of text-based communication. So we planned the whole event, prepared prizes, the platform, advertisements and . . . just started!
If you're curious to know what came out of it, keep reading as today we're presenting the winners.
Third place went to the app that uses the latest NLP research in order to provide agents with information about the emotions their customers are feeling. Whenever a certain emotion is detected in a message, the displays graphic cues in the chat.
For now, it can detect and display in different forms 7 emotions: joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, guilt, and shame. Users can choose between different display options: memory orbs, color balls, Twitter emojis, Unicode emojis, text labels, or the raw classifier algorithm output.
With the invention of the first emoji :-), the world realized that text messages can carry more than pure telegraph-like statements.
EmotionBot takes this experience a step further. Thanks to that, agents will be able to better recognize the emotions of the people that they talk to, so they can build stronger engagement and more efficient communication. What's more, when dealing with numerous customers and lengthy conversations, it's easier to capture the essential points that make or break the customer relationship.
It may also serve as a reminder that on the other end, there's also a living, feeling human being who needs to be understood.
This one was surely a great surprise for our team. Three guys, Abhinav, Andrei, and Mohammed, developed a simple game for young children with autism to identify emotions on simple graphics that depict joy, sadness, confusion, and anger.
On a daily basis, we think of messaging in a bit more commercial way, so it was a positive shock to us that chat can be used in this manner. The game allows children encountering difficulties in communicating with others to gain emotion recognition skills while having fun at the same time. It's integrated with Facebook Messenger but can be extended to other chat platforms as well.
The app has the form of a game, which sends images in the chat. It comes with a dashboard, which from the technical point of view, is a fullscreen app. The dashboard presents the statistics for a better analysis of kids' responses. Also, the developers configured two Chat Actions – one for getting user-specific metrics and the other for providing feedback and guidelines to the player. The app uses IBM Watson for voice input, thanks to which players can speak either English or Spanish, and type in 19 languages.
What astonished us in the winner app was the simplicity of the solution.
SneakPeek allows users of the chat widget to see the preview of the links sent by an agent. It's as simple as that. Marcos and Adil, the app authors, noticed the need for link unfurling and provided a solution that significantly enhances the LiveChat experience. It's eCommerce friendly, as it works with static landing pages as well as with Product Pages.
For visitors using the chat widget, SneakPeek provides clarity. You know where the link will take you, no matter if it was built using shorteners like bitly. For businesses, this functionality means greater user engagement, increased CTR, and a better mobile chat experience.
LiveChat has a track record of organizing hackatons. ChatBot, one of our main products, was born during a hackathon a couple of years ago. Darek (currently the Head of ChatBot), together with his team, participated in our event and surprised us with his vision for automating business communication. We gladly invited him to become a part of the company.
After all, this pandemic wasn't so bad because thanks to it we ran an online hackathon. It turns out that difficulty was just an opportunity in disguise, yet another time. We have (at least!) three proofs for that.
Note from the team – If you want to join us in a process of building communication tools, check out our Developer Platform! If you have an idea for an app, we can discuss it with you and help you develop it and integrate it within our platform. Marketing it to our users is also on us!