Saudi coding the biggest tech innovation at Hajj hackathon

July 27, 2018 11:11 am


People believe Hackathons are events where various “hackers” try to hack something for 48 hrs straight. However, the event really brings together regular coders in teams trying to make their ideas a reality in a certain time frame, usually from 48 hours to a week.

This Hajj Hackathon, on the other hand, will last for 36 hours starting on August 1st and ending on the 3rd.

The ideas range from beverage and meals, health, financial solutions, transportation, crowd management, traffic control, travel and accommodation, waste management, housing and communication solutions.

It is an event that you do not want to miss.

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What to expect

More than 3,000 developers and 18,000 computer, information, and technology enthusiasts from more than 100 countries will leverage their skills in the upcoming Hajj Hackathon to create technical innovation, developing both an environment and infrastructure that benefits the nation’s people, according to the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SFCPD) announcement.

The event promises to attract leading programmers from around the world to innovatively leverage technology to enrich and enhance the Hajj experience for pilgrims.

Furthermore, Google will be partnering with the SFCPD, to offer mentorship and training for participants at the Hackathon. The SFCPD will bring in a $533,000 prize pool to the Hajj Hackathon.

The team that gets the first place will win 50% ($266,000) of the cash, second place 25% ($133,000) and third will get around 17% ($93,000) while an additional 8% ($40,000) will be awarded as a prize for excellence.

Additional prize for the top 3 winners includes Free tickets to the Google IO Developers Conference next year, tickets for the RiseUp Summit happening in Cairo this year. Not only that, but the winners will also get Google Home Mini and Google Cloud credit.

The top ten teams will get Google Home Mini.

Finally, the top 20 will get Google Cloud credit.

The prize pool, number of people, and equipment make this Hackathon the biggest one the Middle East has ever witnessed.

This goes to show how Saudi Arabia is a country that is committed to championing technology innovation from various generations.

However, what kind of innovations can we expect?

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Innovations from past Hackathons

UAE Hackathon, this year, brought a treatment system for venom-induced bites: Inspired by many cases of death caused by the snakes venoms, conducted researches on the reason of death, the venoms, the places that suffer from this issue, and found that many people die before they reach the hospital to get help. The team made a delivery system for the drug that will reduce the effect of the venom and send a location message to the nearby hospitals using the GPS to call the air ambulance.

Stanford’s Health Hackathon, this year, brought YourPacifier: A smart pacifier that monitors an infant’s hydration levels. While in use, YourPacifier continually senses the humidity of a baby’s lips, sending gathered data to an accompanying app.

When an anomaly is detected, the app alerts the parents, prompting them to answer some basic questions, which then determines whether re-hydration or even hospitalization may be necessary. The pacifier even includes an oral rehydration solution, which can be automatically administered in the event the child becomes severely dehydrated.

The team was inspired to create YourPacifier after seeing many children with severe dehydration in hospitals in Asia and the Pacific Islands and learning that dehydration and diarrhea kill more than half a million children under age 5 each year.

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RealityVirtuallyHackathon, in 2017, brought 2 amazing VR and AR ideas into reality:

SpeakEasy (VR): With VR and AR, we can both mimic the stressful situations that trigger your physical and vocal nervous ticks, and give you real-time feedback to help you eliminate them. Additionally, we can put you in the shoes of the great public speakers in history, and teach you the vocal and physical delivery that made their speeches great.

CosplayAR (AR):  An easily accessible AR tool for clothing patterns and creation. Making clothes is a complicated nightmare. With AR, it can be a breeze! It’s time to modernize a method in use since 1860.

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Global Legal Hackathon, this year, brought to the private sector Revealu, LexLucid, and to the public sector Decoding Law, RightsNOW App:

 Revealu: An app from Hungary that helps people download their personal data from online service providers under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

LexLucid: a team from Colorado that rates online consumer contracts.

Decoding Law: a tool from Hong Kong that helps users navigate statutory language.

RightsNOW App: a voice-activated legal information tool from New York.

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Edmon Abdul Nur
By Edmon Abdul Nur
Technology Editor
Edmon Abdul Nur has more than 3 years of professional experience in technology research, cybersecurity testing, and IT understanding.



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