The First Domestic Smartwatch Hackathon

On the afternoon of April 19th, Mobvoi and Ticwear held the First Domestic Smartwatch Hackathon. After over 24 hours’ development, eight out of fourteen developer teams entered the final round and showcased their projects in front of audience and judges composed of scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and senior media personalities. After fierce competition in demo and Q&A, Tankery, an individual developer, won the first prize.

Awarded developers taking pictures with judges

April 18th Hackathon started and developers worked for 24 hours at a stretch

Many developers arrived at the site in advance

What happened during the last 48 hours? What kinds of fun watch applications were created? Was there any exciting moment that could not be missed? Let’s take a look.

Hackathon started at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, but many developers arrived at the site half an hour earlier. Developers received some specially designed gifts like Creatic pillow (which was proven to be a must-have in the hackathon) by Ticwear. Then they started to test their development tools and smartwatches.

Dida Dial Plate team sharing experiences

After Dida Team who developed the widely recognized watchface management applications for Ticwear shared their development experiences, Hackathon officially kicked off.

Since this was the first time that Mobvoi announced an open API, including Speech API, Semantic API and Search API (more than 60 O2O vertical search categories), many developers were still unfamiliar with how to use these API. Therefore, Mobvoi assigned one Mobvoi engineer to each group to answer their questions during the development.

One Mobvoi engineer responsible for one group

Developers commenced to work as soon as Hackathon started. Some well-prepared teams started programming quickly, while others were still discussing about their plan.

For example, the developer team which got the second place with the app “Tutorial” was in heated discussion. They consulted the Mobvoi staff about what is the common use cases of smartwatch and the specs of Moto 360 hardware. After discussion, they finally decided to develop a DIY tutorial app.

During afternoon, the distinguished guest Ke Zhixiong, the chief editor of Fast Company came to Hackthon. Mr. Ke was one of final judges. But why did he come here one day earlier?

KeZhixiong participating in the Hackathon

Mr. Ke was not only a judge of Hackthon, but also decided to experience the feeling of being a developer. After understanding developers’ projects, Mr. Ke was very excited and intended to develop an interesting app himself. Therefore, he teamed up with Mobvoi engineers. What kind of app would Mr. Ke develop? You would get to know later.

The participants of this Hackthon have diversified background, including engineers in large companies or startups, independent developers and students. In addition, the staff are from different background as well. Some are product managers, designers and engineers, while others are front-end engineers and back-end engineers.

Every developer is fully devoted

The first afternoon is the golden time for developers. All participants were focusing on their screens and few of them left their seats.

Projects of some developers took shape at night. The developer of “Master of Watch” was the first to make a demo on watch. Since the team was consisted of only one person, Mobvoi designers offered some suggestions on UI design for him/her. Actually many engineers participating in the Hackathon were good at UI design. They are so talented!

Developers stayed up late at night programming

Engineers having short break on couch

April 19th Hackathon culminated in the final, and judges were impressed by developers

Judges started initial review

At 10:30 am, most developers have finished their work after 24 hours’ programming. Then the intense initial review officially began. The first round judges were Mobvoi CEO Zhifei Li, CTO Mike (Xin) Lei, Engineering Director Libin Shen and Mobvoi engineers responsible for watch development. 14 teams introduced and showcased the functions and use cases of their apps to judges. Finally, eight teams stood out and entered the final.

At 2:00 pm, judges for the first domestic smart watch hackathon arrived at the competition site. In order to provide professional guidance and abundant resources, this hackathon invited numerous professionals, including scientists, entrepreneurs, investors and senior Internet media personalities.

In the final, every team has six minutes for demonstration and another six minutes for Q&A. Then, judges graded teams based on creativity, practicability, business value, presentation and completeness.

The watch music player “Pace” developed by Tankery won the first place. This app can “let music follow your pace”, and intelligently recommend appropriate music for running users. Ella Zhang, the director of KPCB Venture Capital Fund, pointed out the highlight of this app: “Different from the function of music recommendation in mobile phone, this app collected data from sensor in watch to recommend appropriate music for users in movement. I believe many sports lovers will like it.”

“Master of Watch” and “Tutorial” tied for the second place. “Master of Watch” is a watch management app which can help to wipe off junk files in watch. It gained appreciation from judges due to its great practicability and completeness. The inspiration of the app “Tutorial” came from a sad story of an engineer who was responsible for products in the team. She once wanted to make an Italian handmade ice cream for her love. However, she didn’t make it because watching the tutorial on the mobile phone when making the ice cream bounded her hands. “Tutorial” could instantly present the tutorial chosen by watch users from the Internet. And with Mobvoi’s Ticwear speech interface, it is easy to start and end the tutorial.


“Waiter”, a shop management app for Taobao sellers won the third place. The similar function was realized by this team on the mobile phone previously. After having two years of operation experiences and accumulating millions of users, this team has realized the functions of pushing notifications of order and modifying the price on watch.

This hackathon is only the first step for Ticwear to launch a Chinese branded smart watch operating system. Currently, few apps in domestic market are interesting and user-friendly. The complete ecosystem in this field is yet to be established. Against this backdrop, Mobvoi launched Ticwear Developer Plan and created “The Intelligent and Creative Lifestyle Platform CreaTic”. With the innovation of hackers and the participation of users, the smart watch apps could be more comprehensive, all-encompassing and playable, and a real smart watch ecosystem could be established.


On-site demonstration from the editor-in-chief of FastCompany

Maybe, you are still obsessed with what on earth the work of Mr. Ke Zhixiong, the editor-in-chief of FastCompany is. The mystery has been unveiled. This smart watch app is called “Green Tea Bitch Discriminator”, through which you can immediately identify whether the speaker tested is a Green Tea Bitch or not. Besides, this app can also test the “Green Tea Index” of the surrounding environment. As an entry, this jokey app was demonstrated in the fierce competition. Although he didn’t aim to win, Mr. Ke Zhixiong still explained the idea behind this app: Instead of pursuing “high IQ”, he hopes that developers can create more fun smart watch apps with “high EQ”.

Mobvoi engineer demonstrating his personal app

In this smart watch hackathon, Mobvoi engineer representative XJ also brought his own work. During the competition, XJ not only was responsible for tutoring candidate engineers, but also developed his own smart watch app in spare time. This application aims to help users manage household appliances through voice control, for example saying “open the television” or “turn up the volume”. XJ hopes to launch an app which enables users to control all the facilities on the couch.