Boston Hackathon

Boston Hackathon

What’s the best way to test your skills? Be challenged. Compete! That’s what four of our developers did a few months ago at the GM “Makers Hustle Harder” Hackathon in Boston. With access to GM’s Infotainment SDK (software developer kit) and using cloud-based speech recognition, Julian (President), Elliot (Front End), Reed (Backend), and Stephen (Backend) created a restaurant search app that would be tested on a GM vehicle onsite. They called it “Food Finder,” the voice-activated, hands-free food ordering system. Brilliant! How often are you driving home from work and need to call in an order for pickup, or want to find a local restaurant as you’re traveling through a new town? This infotainment add-on would help with those requests using just your voice.

Food Finder competed against five other projects, and while they did not come in first place, the team left feeling accomplished in what they did. It also acted as a great team building exercise for these Sulzerites. Challenges included issues decoding and not getting enough sleep! Their biggest accomplishment was completing the end-to-end solution in just three days. Impressive!

The team created a Spring Boot Java backend that utilized Maven as the dependency manager, MongoDB as the database, Google Cloud for speech-to-text transcription, and IBM Watson for natural language processing and sentiment analysis. For the UI, they were limited to use the React framework with Redux for state management. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was used to deploy and host the project.

Check out what the test screen looked like and read more about the Hackathon at






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Shannon Marshall administrator