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NUS High School Students Win the Top Spot in Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Competition with AI-Powered Solution for Visually Impaired
SINGAPORE - Media OutReach Newswire - 29 February 2024 - Samsung Electronics Singapore today announced Team Blahaj from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science as the grand winner of the seventh edition Solve for Tomorrow competition in Singapore. Launched in August 2023, this program is designed to encourage secondary school students to think deeply about the social issues affecting their community and pioneer positive social change through technology and innovation.

Team Blahaj comprising of students Wang Zerui, Vincent Kwok, Christian Tan and David Chik will walk away with a total of $10,000 worth of Samsung products and $6,000 cash prize. NUS High School of Mathematics and Science will also be receiving a Samsung interactive digital whiteboard – the 55' Flip Pro.

Team Blahaj testing their prototype, which allows visually impaired individuals to better understand and navigate their surroundings.
Team Blahaj testing their prototype, which allows visually impaired individuals to better understand and navigate their surroundings.

With the aim of revolutionising sensory experiences for visually impaired individuals, Team Blahaj has proposed a two-part solution that leverages advanced technologies such as AI to offer visually impaired individuals a detailed understanding of surroundings through auditory and tactile cues.

  • Software Solution: LiDAR and Object Detection - Utilising LiDAR and AI-driven object detection in smartphones, the solution can create an 'obstacle map' with tactile representation and multisensory instructions. This enables users to navigate their environment seamlessly.
  • Hardware Solution: Real-time Tactile Interface - This interface translates the visual data captured by the device into tactile feedback, allowing users to 'read' their surroundings through touch.

As many as 1.1 billion people were thought to have vision impairment in 2020, and this figure is predicted to increase by as much as 55% in the next 30 years, according to a report by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The solution aims to transform the reality for visually impaired individuals and improve their overall quality of life by enhancing their ability to navigate their world independently and safely.

Sharing the inspiration behind their solution, Wang Zerui, Team Leader of Blahaj said: 'Our inspiration stems from the desire to help enhance the quality of life for the visually impaired and even seniors in our community, including our own grandparents who are grappling with vision challenges. By leveraging modern technologies like AI, we hope to address the needs of these individuals and help forge a more inclusive society for everyone.'

'The ingenuity we see in this year's Solve for Tomorrow competition reflects the limitless potential of our youths. Their dedication to addressing real-world challenges is inspiring and Samsung is proud to champion their efforts. We will continue to nurture our youths' passion and creativity and provide them with the opportunities to transform their ideas into reality,' said Dennis Jang, President of Samsung Electronics Singapore.

Dennis was one of three judges who evaluated the students' submissions in the final round of the competition. The other judges were Mock Yi Jun, Co-Founder and President of Advisory Singapore, and Kelvin Leung, Vice President of Openspace Ventures.

Driving Positive Social and Environment Changes with Technology and Passion

Other entries that stood out in this competition were the deep water culture-based hydroponics system by Team Glacial Planters from Pei Hwa Secondary School and the ElderGuard Innovations, a smart fall detection technology by Team Senior Safety Solutions from the School of Science and Technology, Singapore. Team Glacial Planters and Team Senior Safety Solutions won the 2nd and 3rd prizes, respectively.

Teams Glacier Planters and Senior Safety Solutions impressed the judges with their inventiveness, outstanding application of technology, and their solutions
Teams Glacier Planters and Senior Safety Solutions impressed the judges with their inventiveness, outstanding application of technology, and their solutions' potential to bring positive change to our community and environment.

Team Work for Youths from Pei Hwa Secondary School with their Work For Youths Web idea to improve the financial situation of lower-income families also won the People's Choice Award.

'These secondary school teams have truly exceeded my expectations. Despite their youth, they've displayed outstanding maturity, awareness, and critical thinking in identifying and tackling the different issues in our community. Their remarkable solutions underscore the influential role of youth and technology in driving positive societal change. Congratulations to all the winning teams for their outstanding ideas,' said Kelvin Leung, Vice President of Openspace Ventures.

Preparing the Next Generations for the Future Digital Economy

The World Economic Forum recently reported that 1.1 billion jobs are likely to be radically transformed by technology in the next decade[1]. It is crucial to prepare the younger generations for the future by ensuring that they stay on top of relevant technical skills and competencies from a young age.

'Our Solve for Tomorrow journey has been an exciting and enriching one, giving us the chance to tackle real-world problems and bring our ideas to life. The hands-on experience not only offered us a glimpse into what our future careers in computing and software development might entail, but it also allowed us to sharpen our problem-solving skills, foster teamwork, and apply our knowledge in practical ways.' Zerui highlighted.

'Technology is changing the way we live, work, and play. Platforms like Solve for Tomorrow give students the tools and opportunity to imagine solutions to the problems they see around them, and help students realise that they're never too young to innovate for the future. The digital economy of tomorrow will be designed by young people of today, and we should equip them early with the skills and confidence they need to create a more sustainable and inclusive society for generations to come', said Mock Yi Jun, Co-Founder and President of Advisory Singapore.

For more information on Solve for Tomorrow and profiles of the judges, please visit the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow website: https://www.samsung.com/sg/solvefortomorrow/.

More details on the competition can be found in Appendix A.

###

Appendix A

About Samsung Solve for Tomorrow
The Solve for Tomorrow 2023 competition, launched on 23 August 2023, encourages students in Singapore to take a closer look at the social issues around them and think about how they can make a meaningful impact on the community. At its launch, more than 80 students, forming more than 30 groups of two to four, submitted a write-up of their ideas or solutions.

The platform also allows youth to express their creativity and passion while encouraging them to apply their knowledge and skills across multiple disciplines - including critical and design thinking, marketing and communications skills, technological expertise and STEM knowledge – when developing their ideas and solutions.

Competition Overview
All students aged 12 years old and above and are full-time Secondary 1 – 5 students in Singapore are eligible to join the competition. For students in secondary schools with 6-year Integrated Programme (IP), only full-time students in Secondary 1 – 4 are eligible to participate. You can find the full list of eligible schools here.

A total of 10 teams were selected as finalists in December 2023. A virtual workshop on design thinking was organised for all the finalist teams.

The public also got to vote for their favourite idea on the Solve for Tomorrow website. The finalist team with the most votes won the People's Choice awards.

Judging Criteria for Finalists
  • 30%: Feasibility - Elaboration on how the solution can be created and implemented.
  • 20%: Creativity - Innovativeness, uniqueness and originality of proposed idea.
  • 25%: Technology - Elaboration on the use of technology involved and how it is used to solve the problem.
  • 20%: Video – Flow and effectiveness of the video.
  • 5%: Public Voting – Finalists' ideas were posted online and the public can vote for their favourite idea.

Prizes

  • First Prize - Samsung products worth $10,000, $6,000 cash prize and Samsung's interactive digital whiteboard – the 55' Flip Pro worth S$4,806 – for the school
  • Second Prize - Samsung products worth S$7,000 and $4,000 cash prize
  • Third Prize - Samsung products worth S$5,000 and $2,000 cash prize
  • People's Choice award: Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, home appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions, and delivering a seamless connected experience through its SmartThings ecosystem and open collaboration with partners. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at news.samsung.com.

Samsung

Posted by : Media Outreach, Jenny
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Posted on : Thursday, February 29, 2024  11:00:00 AM UAE local time (GMT+4)
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