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University Students CLARIF-EYE Their Programming Skills

FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017 - 10:10 AM Arts and Sciences , All News

"This was my first time working with the Django program - it was intimidating..."

  • Seniors Gunther Cox, Kevin Brown, and Hannah Gorman, and sophomore Michael Hawes

Earlier this month, Western New England University seniors Kevin Brown and Gunther Cox, sophomore Michael Hawes, and UMass Lowell senior Hannah Gorman, teamed up to compete in the national Hamp Hack 2017, a hackathon competition held at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. The team won the Most Promising Start-up award and are permitted to skip the first round of competition in the next Valley Ventures Mentors competition, securing their place in the accelerator phase.

The team’s new product is an application called CLARIF-EYE, an artificially intelligent billboard that allows companies to access data on who is viewing their physical advertisements in populated areas such as shopping malls.

“I developed the front end and the analytics portion of the web application. I wrote API (application program interface) calls for Gunther’s backend to grab the real time data for the graphs and analytics page,” remarked Michael Hawes. “This was my first time working with the Django program, and it was a little intimidating, but I learned a lot about the MVT design setup.”

The new program utilizes Microsoft’s Cognitive Services APIs to recognize when a person is viewing a company’s electronic signs, and collects viewer data such as gender, age, perceived emotion, and more. By using the CLARIF-EYE website administrator tools, companies can then specify what type of ad will appear on the screen when a specific viewer has their eyes on the advertisement. This allows the company to increase interest in their product by tailoring the ad to the user.

“The logo design was my handiwork, and I designed the UX (user experience), and the UI (user interface), and helped the others write the code for the website,” explained Hannah Gorman.

“The API for our web application was my challenge. I focused on making endpoints that will deliver metrics to the analytics view, and the endpoint that returned tagged image features to select a targeted advertisement to the user,” explained Gunther Cox.

“I helped with debugging some interesting problems, and provided emotional support to my team members,” quipped Kevin Brown. “It was an interesting and challenging competition, and we’re all thrilled with the outcome.”

Sponsors of the Hamp Hack 2017 included Google, Viacom, Roddenberry Foundation, Mass Mutual Financial Group, Valley Venture Mentors, and many more.