The Power of Sending App Alerts When Users Need Them Most

Takeaways from Neura’s Do.AI Devpost Hackathon.

If you want better engagement on your mobile app, then you need to reach users at the perfect time. That was the main takeaway from Neura’s Do.AI Online Hackathon on Devpost.

It takes very little to throw off a person’s schedule on a given day. That’s why people need apps that know and respond to them in real-time. At Do.AI, contestants used the Neura SDK to give their apps the contextual awareness to do just that.

Take a look below at some of the top apps from the hackathon.


First Place, $4K Cash Prize and Oculus Rift

reParrot helps people addicted to painkillers stay in recovery. Using Neura, the app knows when a user is at a significant location and recognizes patterns in their behavior. The app also can gauge a user’s emotions with the Affectiva SDK. Equipped with this insight, reParrot can sense, for example, when a user is near a place where they might buy drugs and if their emotional state puts them at risk for relapse. At that exact moment, when the user needs it most, a reParrot chatbot will reach out and ask how the user is doing.

“The Neura SDK…provided important insights about users that would otherwise be impossible if I hadn’t used it,” said reParrot creator Sara Du. “It would have cost me more than ten times the amount of time if I had built the same features that Neura offers on my own.”

 Second Place, $1,500 Cash Prize

WonderNote sends you the right to-dos at the right time. It does this by triggering alerts based on an event the user completes, not just a specific time. For example, in the morning, you may tell your app to remind you to pick up groceries at 5 p.m. But, as often happens, you get stuck at work till well after five. With WonderNote, the app could instead ping you as you’re actually “leaving work” with a just-in-time notification.

WonderNote also can help automate “if this, than that” type of features. For example, if you live in a sunny state like California, you may have a sunroof on your car. With WonderNote, you can set a reminder to close your sunroof whenever you’re at home or asleep or when it’s raining. Neura provides the app with enough intelligence to adapt its behavior to your location and other factors.

Ramesh Rao, the developer behind WonderNote, explained that even though he is new to AI, using Neura, he was able to build a “highly mature context-aware app enabled with AI in a short amount of time.”

Best Use of Neura and Affectiva SDKs, iPad Pro Prize

Family365 is a smart lock screen solution for smart phones. With the Neura SDK, the app learns when you’re at home versus at the gym or inside versus outside, and so on. Depending on your location, it will deactivate or engage your lock screen.

Family365 also notifies your family when you’re in danger. Let’s say you’re getting chased by an attacker (a terrible thing to imagine). You can hold your phone up to your face as you’re running and the app, using the Affectiva SDK, will sense that you’re in trouble. Once triggered, the app instantly alerts your family members

“Implementing AI in mobile apps is not child’s play,” said Venkatesh, creator of Family365. “But with Neura, we were able to build an intelligent app…in just three days. Integrating Neura was so simple and easy; we powered our app with AI in just a half hour.”

Audience Choice, Amazon Echo Prize

As the name suggests, Butlr acts as a personal AI butler. Aimed at making you more productive, the app sends you tailored task messages based on your location and activity. If you’re driving home from a workout, for instance, Butlr will display a curated list of tasks that you usually do under those circumstances. The app simplifies your life by showing you only the tasks that you need to get done at a given moment.

Honorable Mentions


NeurAR augments your reality no matter where you are. Let’s say you hop off a bus in downtown San Francisco for the first time and aren’t sure of what you’d like to do. NeurAR will use contextual insights about you to highlight things about your location that will interest you most. It may tell you where the best pour-over coffee shops are or which neighborhoods to avoid or to skip SF and go to Oakland (it’s hip there).

Using Neura’s SDK, NeurAR layers contextual to-dos on top of augmented reality. The developers used Neura’s easy simulator feature that comes as part of the SDK to test out events.

Auto Work Log

Employers can easily track employee work hours with Auto Work Log. Users needn’t worry about their bosses knowing every detail of their lives, as employers can only see data on when a user is at work. This app makes calculating hourly wages and managing payroll a breeze.

Other Contestants

A big thank you to all the teams that participated!

Take Your Dose
Family Sync
Daytripper Chatbot

Until Next Time

We’re grateful to everyone who helped brew up the next generation of smart apps at Do.AI! Thanks to Devpost’s online hackathon platform, we got submissions from developers all over the world. The event gave us a glimpse into the untold possibilities developers have when they weave contextual awareness into their apps.

The Neura SDK is an ingredient that you add to your app to give it contextual awareness. At the end of the day, Neura increases app engagement. We do this while both ensuring that users have total control over the data that Neura collects about them and making it easy for developers to request user insights.

If you’d like an easy way to make your app user-aware, then check out the Neura SDK.