HackZurich

Last weekend the Dropbox platform team was at HackZurich, Europe’s largest student hackathon. With over 450 participants representing dozens of countries, HackZurich was a great place for us to meet new developers and see what they could build. There were many teams that used the Dropbox API; here are four that really stood out. 

1. Best use of the Dropbox API: Stitch

screenshot of Stitch homepage, powered by Dropbox

Stitch allows a Dropbox user to collect PowerPoints or PDFs from other people and then combine them into one seamless presentation. It also allows users to share links via Dropbox so that, for example, conference attendees can have access to the presentation documents as well. For more info, check out the source code on GitHub

Team Stitch presenting their app
Team Stitch, one of 25 finalists, presents their project at HackZurich’s closing ceremonies. Pictured: Matt Krenik, Lachlan Kermode, Youssef Demitri, and Marco Baumeler.

As winners of the Best Use of the Dropbox API category, each member won a pair of Beats headphones and 5GB of Dropbox space. They came up with the idea during the opening ceremonies: solve the pain point of needing to switch between different files when multiple people are presenting. 

2.  Honorable mention: MyCloset

My closet screenshot with shirt and pants

Do you remember that scene in Clueless when Cher was swiping through a futuristic app that showed her different outfit options from her closet? With MyCloset, that scene is now a reality. It uses Zalando’s API to get outfit items (like tops, bottoms, and in the future, accessories) and let you swipe through them to find your favorite combo. Since the images from Zalando are only available as long as the items are for sale, the app uses the Dropbox API to store your personal wardrobe collection forever.  

MyCloset team members
Team MyCloset. Pictured: Bilal Karim Reffas, Florian Chrometz, and Katrin Buettner. Nice Dropbox Tshirt!

The team members from MyCloset know each other from work and previous hackathons. They entertained app ideas well into the night on Friday until finally landing on the digital closet. See how they used the v2 Dropbox HTTP API in an iPhone app by looking at their project’s source code.

3.  Honorable mention: Wunderbox

Wunderbox homepage

Most Germans are familiar with wundertütes, the mystery bag of candy surprises available in grocery stores. The web app, Wunderbox, is a digital version! You link your Dropbox account to Wunderbox and then instead of candy, you get a Dropbox folder full of funny gifs, music, pictures, and other fun content. There’s also an option to surprise a friend.

Wunderbox team members
Team Wunderbox: Carl Gödecken, Niklas Riekenbrauck, Nico Knoll, and Daniel Theveßen, who are all studying together at Hasso Plattner Institute (Potsdam/Berlin).

We loved how this app adds an element of happiness and delight to your personal cloud, and the design was one of the best we saw all weekend. This team was on a roll this weekend too – Wunderbox was the second project they completed, which took them about eight hours. The next feature they want to add to Wunderbox is the ability to pay for content.

4.  Honorable mention: SplitBox.me

SplitBox.me screenshot

SplitBox encrypts your files, using multiple cloud storage accounts. Users connect to Dropbox as one of cloud storage locations. You can then share that file with someone else with encrypted passwords, too. By the end of the hackathon, this app included impressive cryptography features, several different APIs, and it was simple and streamlined to boot. Check out their source code here

Team Splitbox.me presents their project
Team SplitBox.me, finalists at HackZurich, presents their project during closing ceremonies. Pictured: Stephan Schultz, Markus Petrykowski, and Carl Ambroselli.

The SplitBox team met each other at their University, Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Potsdam, and they’ve previously worked on some other projects together. They are happy to report that SplitBox is ready to use now, and they plan to do a bit of refactoring before adding more features.

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We had a ton of fun at HackZurich. Eric gave a tech talk about our APIs, Leah was on the main judging panel, and Alex and Jenn helped hackers with questions from OAuth to JavaScript. It was also the first event we’ve attended since launching the v2 of our developer site. At the end, out of over 120 teams, only 25 were chosen as finalists who got to present their projects at the closing ceremonies. Well done to everyone, and congrats again on a great hackathon!