BuzzFeed’s tech team took on 32 projects in July as part of its recent summer hack-a-thon. Here are our favorites, which include innovations in video, virtual reality and newsroom development.
Live video: BuzzFeed already integrates images, video and GIFs into its editorial feed, so why not live video? Mobile developer Dan Tann’s project features two apps that integrate live video: one using Kickflip, the other a modified version of the BuzzFeed Video App.
Virtual reality: Product design manager Sabrina Majeed created an interactive virtual reality experience that lets viewers choose how stories progress. The video can pan in 360 degrees, and is viewable on YouTube.
3-D projection: Android Engineer Steve Peterson used the coding language Open GL to project six BuzzFeed shows onto a rotating cube. A video of the project is here. Ultimately, Peterson hopes to experiment with applications not only in 3-D VR, but also on usage of GL for data analytics in the newsroom, according to BuzzFeed.
DevBar: Software engineer Erik Price developed a tool that provides the basic context for any page created by BuzzFeed. DevBar aims to make debugging a lot less painful for coders in their newsroom. This tool makes developers’ lives easier and was voted “most likely to get integrated into production.”
Ken Burnzz: Interns Alex Duner and Brandon Choi created a Twitter bot that creates videos from BuzzFeed stories automatically. At the moment, the bot only generates videos from lists, but a future version of the bot might take any article and create a video preview from it. Duner and Choi worked with technologies such as Node.js along with the Twitter and Buzzfeed APIs.