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Smart farming app beats intelligent doorbell in AWS HackDay 2017 Singapore
By Michael Low - on 20 Apr 2017, 6:00pm

Smart farming app beats intelligent doorbell in AWS HackDay 2017 Singapore

22 teams. 77 participants. 12 hours of hacking.

Those were the numbers that served as the warm-up for closing keynote speaker Olivier Klein – better known for his role as the Emerging Technologies Solutions Architect of Amazon Web Services, APAC – at the AWS Summit KL 2017.

What Klein was referring to was the 12-hour HackDay competition that took place one week prior at the AWS Singapore office. Back for its third year, the 2017 edition challenged 22 teams to build projects designed to solve real-world problems using AWS services that are based around AI, analytics and IoT.

To elaborate, each team was tasked to demonstrate cloud-connected devices themed around healthcare, smart home, or the environment. To achieve that, they were provided an Amazon Echo Dot, an Intel Edison chip with Seeed Studio’s Grove Indoor Environmental kit, a 720p HD webcam, and a programmable AWS IoT button.

The Grove Indoor Environmental kit includes a developer board with LCD screen, buzzer, servo, as well as sensors to detect moisture, motion, UV, light, temperature and humidity.

Of the 22 teams, the majority were a mix of startups and mid-to-large companies, along with representatives from two Singapore universities and two polytechnics. The remaining two were all-girl teams from Data Girls – an initiative by Czechitas and Keboola that encourages women of all ages to get hands-on insights into data analytics best practices and Business Intelligence (BI) tools.

Originality and relevance make up the bulk of the score, followed by effective use of AWS services, and user-friendliness of the prototype.

After a round of presentation from the participating teams, three winners were chosen by a panel of judges. Team 4 Musketeers (of Singapore Polytechnics) won under the student category for delivering a prototype that allows senior citizens with limited English proficiency to manage their medications. For example, by scanning the QR code that is affixed to the pill container, an Alexa-enabled device will then read out the dosage, timing, and pill description in a dialect of their choice, such as Mandarin, Hokkien, or Tamil. This is made possible by Amazon Polly’s lifelike text-to-speech capabilities.

Each member of Team 4 Musketeers received a Kindle Fire, AWS IoT button, and gift card.

Next, commercial category’s first runner-up Team Exception (from Singtel) devised an intelligent door bell system that uses Amazon Rekognition to detect if the person at the front door is authorized to enter the house. An image is first captured on camera, which is then compared with the users in the database. The door opens if a match is found. Otherwise, an alarm is sound instead.

Members from Team Exception were awarded with a Kindle Fire each.

Finally, Team Daredevils (from DBS and Intel Systems) was crowned the winning team for its smart farming solution. To help farmers automate water management and monitor soil conditions remotely, the team built a mobile app that interfaced with the relevant sensors in a simulated scenario. The app worked like a charm and looked incredibly polished, given the limited amount of time afforded to the team.

Team Daredevils received Kindle Fire tablets, AWS IoT buttons, and gift cards.

Other notable prototypes that were showcased include Team Keboola’s all-day assistant and Alpha Team’s emotion recognition system. The former leveraged IoT and public data to advise users on weather and transportation, while the latter detects a user’s emotion through voice and facial expression, and proceed to play cheerful music to turn their frown upside down.

One of two Data Girls team, with a prototype that aims to enhance the live of dementia patients through targeted reminders and risk detection methods.

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