Hulu Hackathon Brings Innovations Like Co-Watching and Roku Remote Controlled by Your Eyes

This year’s Hulu Hackathon once again saw a lot of innovation. The event, which took place in Santa Monica and Seattle saw over 100 Hulugans and interns spend 48 hours designing and coding 40 projects that pushed creative and technical boundaries—all aimed at improving Hulu viewers’ experiences and Hulu employees’ lives.

Though not every feature will be integrated onto Hulu, these projects were still cognizant of users with disabilities, drawing inspiration from Hulu Hackathon’s Spotlight on Accessibility, the tech team’s initiative to encourage inclusive design across the event (and across Hulu).

Current features such as Night Mode and Hulu’s internal Kudos (Hudos) system were part of past Hackathons.

This year’s Hackathon projects included:

Eye Remote for Roku devices

A conceptual remote that allows you to control Hulu on Roku devices using only your eyes. This conceptual project could have huge potential implications for viewers with reduced mobility.

Accessibility Auditor

Hulu’s Spotlight on Accessibility award-winner, the Accessibility Auditor, is a tool that web application developers can use to get immediate accessibility feedback. The tool will notify developers should a page not meet contrast ratio thresholds if words are not visible or large enough, and address a whole host of other impediments to inclusive design.

Campfire

Campfire enables Hulu viewers to watch content together — even if they’re not in the same room — through integrated video and text chat.

Hulu Immersion

Developed by a team of five interns, Hulu Immersion syncs Hulu video with IoT (Internet of Things) devices like smart light bulbs, smart thermostats, and smart speakers. Resulting in an immersive viewing experience that surpasses your TV’s boundaries and includes light, sound, and temperature effects.

Hu’s That?

A feature that uses facial recognition technology to help viewers identify and discover more about the people they’re watching on Hulu. Viewers click the “Hu’s That?” icon in the Hulu app, which brings up performers’ names and links to their IMDb pages.

Project Chromatism

Project Chromatism provides color correction settings for Hulu users with color blindness. Located on the settings page, the feature uses a simple visual aid — Hulu’s logo in a circle — to guide users in selecting the colors and level of contrast that are easiest for them to see.