Innovation Week (iWeek) is a massive event organized by Tecnológico de Monterrey where students have the chance to be involved in a variety of projects focused on innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship.
While working with Kalypso, I have experienced innovation – not only in the work we deliver to clients, but in our own business models and practices. It’s fun to be a part of building a new practice like the Internet of Things, which gives us a new way to serve our clients and better solve real problems by building a more connected world.
Our Kalypso experiences brought a unique perspective to our time at iWeek. Here are a few of the most inspiring (and innovative) things we encountered at this year’s event.
Intelligent Apps to Human Movement
There are plenty of ways for humans to interact with technology. Users are looking for a more accurate way to interact with computers than a mouse, a more reliable way than a keyboard, and a more sensitive way than a touchscreen. How about interacting with the computer with your hand and finger movements?
At iWeek we had the chance to work on a project called Intelligent Apps to Human Movement. The main purpose was to develop apps with the use of Leap Motion. Leap Motion, is a computer hardware sensor that allowed us to control a computer by simply moving our hands, letting us reach into the world beyond the screen - a virtual reality. Leap Motion has a lot of applications including assistance for physical therapy, special needs and surgical training.
Assistive Technology using Internet of Things and Automation
People with disabilities can benefit from technologies designed to help them communicate, move and enhance their lives. During iWeek, we learned about the difficulties that people with blindness, deafness, intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities confront on a daily basis. We were challenged to propose an innovative assistive technology that could improve the lives of people with certain disabilities. My team wanted to focus on helping the people with quadriplegia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) because they have a significant problem with communication. These folks have average cognitive abilities, but their physical disability restricts them to only control their facial expressions.
We proposed an app for smartphones and tablets that allows the user to control and navigate the application through facial expression recognition and eye tracking algorithms. On the home page, the user can choose between three options to communicate:
- Daily activities: Users choose from a set of images of common activities to communicate if they would like to eat, drink, sleep, watch TV, etc.
- Build your sentences: Users create simple sentences by choosing common persons, actions, places, and objects
- Keyboard: Users can type character to express more specific thoughts
All the options could reproduce the sound of the word or sentence through the device speakers. Our proposal incorporated Internet of Things technology by sending notifications to the phone of the person who assists the user (for example, a nurse or a family member) and in emergency situations could also send notifications to the hospital, police, or paramedics.
iWeek is about innovation, but also about developing a sense of social awareness and responsibility. There is no better way to deliver on the promise of innovation than by putting our energy toward innovating to improve the lives of others.