Inside Photoroom

Tales from Photoroom Hackathon Nº3

Eliot Andres
Eliot AndresMarch 30, 2021

Every 3 months at Photoroom, we organize an internal hackathon.

We love to build, so everyone gets together in small teams to work on a fun project. Some technologies used in the app came out of previous hackathons, as well as this kitsch Holiday Card Maker:

Teamwide project

This year we wanted to kickstart the hackathon by working on a small & fun maker project. A few months ago, we purchased a beautiful flip dot display to keep an eye on our growth numbers:

Each pixel is a physical dot that mechanically flips. It's updated live with the metrics. We created Slack bot to display a message on it (in the picture it's showing our latest Among Us room). And it is broadcasted live 24/7 on our Discord.

We briefly considered shipping one to everyone in the team. Who wouldn't want a massive 2mx0.4m screen in their living room? It makes a cute noise every time it changes the message!

We pragmatically decided to go with a much smaller version. A beautiful e-ink display, that can be connected to a Raspberry-Pi:

After a bit of setup, the team came up with various informations to display. Some people added complementary information like the weather (I wonder why Aurélien, working from Brittany, added the rain forecast). But the most innovative idea came from Marco who displays tide information to make sure he can catch the best waves near Dublin. Here's what it looks like:


Our goal is to make the next Photoroom hackathon an in-person one, if feasible (Corsica, here we come ). Teamwide project ideas include making a physical "mute/unmute" button for Discord, design shaders on Shadertoy or create pen plotter art.

Eliot Andres
Eliot AndresCTO & Co-founder @ Photoroom

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