The second edition of Accenture's Innovation Challenge received more than 13,000 entries from students, and showcased innovative tech solutions to common problems.
Management consulting company Accenture has been conducting student-innovation contests since last seven years now. This year marked the second edition of their Accenture Innovation Challenge (AIC). With AIC, the company aims to provide a platform to students keen to showcase their innovative tech solutions.
The competition, which opened in August, received more than 13,000 entries from over 31,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate courses across the country. After intense screening rounds, 16 groups made it to the finale held in Bengaluru on October 24. The Grand Finale of this year’s Accenture Innovation Challenge was won by Team AAYUSH for their healthcare solution. The team of two was awarded prizes worth Rs 1.5 lakh each, while eligible finalists will be offered a chance to work with Accenture.
Mohan Sekhar, Senior MD and Lead for Accenture Advanced Technology Centres in India, said, "Programmes such as AIC can help students transition to the technology industry seamlessly as it gives a spark to their innovation potential. We strongly encourage students to take advantage of the technology disruption happening around us and become innovators of the future."
For the 2018 edition of AIC, students had to submit innovation ideas across two themes -
- Innovate for business - innovation using advanced analytics, automation, artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, crowdsourcing , digital ethics, cybersecurity and Internet of Things - to enable value and growth for businesses.
- Innovate for the society - this category involves students to leverage technology to solve problems in healthcare, safety and security, citizen identity, education, transportation and lifestyle.
The finalists were evaluated by a jury comprising Anupam Sinha, Co-founder and CEO of Vxceed; Daniel Raj David, CEO and Co-founder of Detect Technologies; Hari Bharadwaj, founder of eSahai; Manish Singh, Senior Director of Product Mobile and Internet at Ola (ANI Technologies); M. Vijayalakshmi, Professor and Vice Principal at Vivekanand Education Society's Institute of Technology, Mumbai; Sunil Rao, Partner of Business services at Lightspeed Venture Partners; Sunit S, Partner and co-founder at Design Capital; and Thomas Dal, Director at Strate School of Design, Bengaluru.
"The ideas are brilliant and the innovations are something that I have never heard before. Many of them are tech-intensive but, we are looking for scalability and implementation in the real world, what the cost would be and how do we take it to the market. The ideas are better than expected and team Accenture has done a brilliant job in shortlisting the finalists," said jury member Hari.
YourStory interacted with six teams that managed to get through the elimination rounds to reach the finale.
AAYUSH, the brainchild of Nihal Konan and Pujari Kiran Sai from Bengaluru's Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, aims to prevent heart attacks by tracking health parameters. The product is a cost-effective ingestible battery-less Electronic Health Pill.
When Nihal lost two of his young, healthy and sole breadwinners of his family over a period of two years, it devastated him. It is then that he came up with the health pill - AAYUSH, which when swallowed, continuously records certain health metrics such as the pH level, body temperature, pulse rate and myeloperoxidase protein content, using bio-medical sensors from the body. The data, collected by a wearable smart patch, is transmitted to a mobile application and an AI-powered virtual assistant monitors this data round the clock. It identifies, analyses and predicts heart attack nine to 12 minutes before it strikes the person. The app, using GPS, immediately sends a notification to family members and to the nearest hospital as a precautionary measure.
The pill lasts three weeks inside the body, after which it breaks into tiny particles and is passed out of the system. Once the pill is swallowed, a notification is sent to the mobile app stating that the pill has been ingested. Similarly, once the pill is dislodged from the body, another notification is sent to the user stating the same.
The estimated market cost of each pill is Rs 153. Talking about safety, Nihal says, "Every component is safe for the human body. The pill has no side effects." AAYUSH is currently undergoing canine testing.
Nihal's future plan is to further research and develop similar solutions for analyzing, identifying and preventing diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
Team EyeSee participated in the innovate for society theme. Sabari Prabaaker R, Pranith H, Priyanka S and Deivanai A of Bengaluru's Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, aim to provide affordable tests for glaucoma. The team believes that if glaucoma is detected at an early stage, it can prevent blindness.
The team has set up tests similar to Humphry's field of vision test, using a Virtual Reality (VR) app and headset. The web-app records the results and tabulates the details using a tactile input device and records the feedback during the test. The device is a cheaper alternative to the Humphrey method.
Patients are presented with flashing dots at various locations in the field of view. Once the dot is spotted, the patient responds by clicking on buttons.
The portability of EyeSee ensures that eye testing is available to the mass and across inaccessible regions. It promises to promote early diagnosis and awareness in areas that are devoid of sophisticated testing labs.
‘Innovate for the Society’ category award was won by the team EyeSee.
Pravallika Ramisetty, Ravula Jyosna, A Sai Preethi and N Nikitha of Hyderabad's G Narayanamma Institute of Technology and Science (GNITS), addresses the challenge of quality education in rural areas of the country.
Team SMART RIDE realised that 8.4 crore students do not go to school either due to unavailability of enough teachers in rural India or teachers not being good enough.
The all-girls team then created an interactive learning solution, based on augmented reality, that seeks to solve this problem. The solution makes learning more interactive and interesting by using 3D images, audios and videos. Their focus is to make students learn things practically and by implementing them in daily life, rather than just mugging up things for exams.
Team SMART RIDE displayed a presentation to show how even chemical experiments can be performed using their product. Their immediate future plan is to transform an entire textbook into 3D images and videos using augmented reality.
Four students from MIT College of Engineering of Pune, aim to help businesses reduce their energy consumption. Sumukh Marath, Chinmay Kulkarni, Rohan Akut and Hrishikesh Karande developed a non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM)-based energy monitoring and management solution that reports appliance level breakdown of energy consumption. Besides that, the product claims to be able to send notifications to the user, through its app, whenever there is a short circuit or breakdown.
Like how signatures vary from person to person, electronic appliances have unique signatures as well and that is how Luminosense measures the electric consumption of each appliance. What more, the product can be installed by any lay man and under two minutes. The team has already installed their first Luminosense in the Anthropology Department of the University of Pune. They claims that the device can help reduce energy consumption by 43 percent. The product is to be priced at Rs 10,000 with a monthly subscription fee ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500, irrespective of the number of appliances the product is monitoring. The team plans to mostly target businesses for their product.
Chennai's RKM Engineering College's students, Deepthi Pooja S, Dipshika R, Harini R and Aafrin Ya is an all-girls team that got shortlisted for the final round. Their product, a mind-controlled wheelchair, aims to make paralysed people independent.
The solution will be linked to the brain of a paralyzed person. It will then analyse the brain signal with the help of an electroencephalograph (EEG) headset. It will help paralyzed people to control their mobility with the help of eye movement.
Shashwat Sahoo, Kavan Savla, Yash Patil and Anoubhav Agarwal from IIT Madras developed ARTEMIS, a railroad crack detection robot.
Team ARTEMIS addresses the problem of train derailments, which is a cause of massive loss of life in India every year. The cost-effective and automated robot detects cracks with accuracy and instantly updates the crack location to a central database.
ARTEMIS’ USP is that the robot can perform its duty even when a train is moving on a track, causing no disruption to train schedules.
The robot’s efficiency compared to manual labour is 20:1 in terms of cost and 7:1 in terms of speed. "The system can be considered as a step toward modernisation of the ageing infrastructure of the Indian Railways," says the team.
Besides these, shortlisted ideas also included teams from IIT Kharagpur (Revoira and MusicManiac), Manav Rachna International Institute for Research and Studies Faridabad and Delhi Technology University (Virtual Exposure Therapy), Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Technology, Coimbatore (KhoPal), Vel Tech Multi Tech Dr Rangarajan Dr Sakynthala Engineering College, Chennai (Aryazla), Manipal Institute of Technology, Mangalore (FE3D) , IIT Madras (Microwave Pyrolysis), IIT Hyderabad (Self-Learning Bot), VJTI Mumbai (Tenders 2.0) and KIIT Bhubaneshwar (Translucent Fly Ash Block).
Microwave Pyrolysis, used to convert waste into energy, won the 'Innovate for Business' category award. The Jury's Choice award, was won by team MusicManiac and Virtual Exposure Therapy. MusicManiac is a system that automatically chooses chords to accompany a vocal melody using melody extraction and Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) files, thereby giving novice musicians the opportunity to automatically create music and experiment with chord patterns without any professional knowledge of music.Virtual Exposure Therapy (VET), on the other end, is a solution that aims to treat people with phobias and post-traumatic disorders in a virtual reality environment, by recreating trauma relevant scenarios, providing analysis and monitoring improvement of the patient’s psychological condition.
The two teams selected as category winners — for ‘Innovate for Businesses’ and ‘Innovate for the Society’ — received prizes worth INR 75,000.
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