Smart Gigabit Challenge Winners from Richardson
Last month, two winners were selected for the US Ignite Smart Gigabit Application Development Challenge in Richardson: Security on the Poles and the Emotive Virtual Reality Patient System.
The City of Richardson is part of US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities program, and has committed, along with 19 other cities, to create and push out next-generation smart city technologies in order to remain current with a rapidly changing economy. One of the most desirable aspects of this program is that as the cities develop gigabit applications, they are required to share with other communities in the network, ensuring that the solutions can have a wide-reaching impact.
This Challenge, in particular, focused on the development of gigabit applications which utilized ultra-high bandwidth, low latency, and/or an SDN network centered around community challenges like transportation and healthcare.
Originally, the competition was presented to more than one hundred startups, university students and staff members, but the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP), which consists of the City of Richardson and the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, and UT Dallas were able to narrow it down to just two winning ideas.
In a press release from the REDP, Michael Skelton, VP of International Business Development for the REDP and Director of the Mayor’s Office of International Business, stated, “We are enthusiastic about the applications and look forward to cultivating and guiding these projects to completion so Richardson and other communities can reap the full benefits.”
Safety on the Poles
The first team selected was created by Dr. Prasad Golla, Founder of AGGICORP, and Narender Ramireddy, CTO of SWENSA, and focused on improving campus safety via LED streetlights and HD cameras in parking lots on the UT Dallas campus. Through real-time traffic monitoring, these “smart” streetlights Security on the Poles is hoping to improve on-campus parking and traffic flow, autonomously monitor vehicle license plates in order to reduce traffic violations and reduce crime, as well as improving public safety overall.
Emotive Virtual Reality Patient System
This System will allow medical students to practice clinical communication skills with “virtual” patients, and allow for professors and other experts opportunities for real-time review and assessment that can be done remotely. By using natural-language conversation paths that represent emotions, behavioral patterns and cultures, these “patients” can mimic real scenarios that medical students can experience via an augmented reality headset. The team is led by Dr. Marge Zielke, Gary Hardee, Lenny Evans of UT Dallas, along with Gautham Suriay Mathalagan and Jithin Pradeep, UT graduate and masters students respectively.
The Next Six Months & Beyond
While the winning teams initially received $5,000 each in prize money, their work isn’t over yet. They must spend the next six months developing their applications to receive the remaining prize money, with the goal of submitting them into the Gigabit Communities application center, so that others can benefit from their work.
What is possible through community-driven competitions and collaborations like the Smart Gigabit Application Development Challenge is limitless. Let’s see what they come up with next.