Hardware Competition Challenges Young Creators to ‘Bring Back Arab Innovation

hardwearcompetitionOver the course of three days, young Jordanian and Arab innovators worked together in groups to develop hardware prototypes of “creative products” and win financial support through crowdfunding platform Zoomaal. 

At the “Maker Hackathon”, held at the Zain Innovation Campus (ZINC) in King Hussein Business Park last weekend, young entrepreneurs presented a smart glove to help deaf people communicate, an affordable security system to prevent home burglaries, and a wearable system that monitors health and vitality.

“We organised the Maker Hackathon to encourage individuals to innovate. This is for any Arab who has an idea; we should work together and not against each other. We, as individuals, complete each other,” Maker Hackathon host Ghassan Halawa told The Jordan Times.

“Young Arabs have energy, potential and passion, but they need the right environment. This can be achieved by expertise and entrepreneurs sharing their experiences with the younger generation,” Halawa added.

“The educational system in Jordan should include more activities based on creativity, so we can have a generation of innovators that work together in teams and achieve a better future.”

“Innovation is not a new term in the Arab world; it was there and we want to bring it back,” he noted.

Participants received training, one-on-one mentorship and coaching for project ideas.

“This event aims to help small projects, to give them a chance for changing your life. Teamwork is the key, along with having a goal and achieving it,” ZINC’s Rami Karmi said.

Computer engineers Qamar Tarawneh and Dema Zeidan used a glove to create a smart product to help deaf people communicate with other people.

“The smart glove is a stand-alone device that can understand and speak correct English grammar,” Tarawneh said.

“We are hoping to introduce this product to the public for the benefit of the deaf community in Jordan,” she added.

Murad Zaghal’s team of three engineers designed a system for home security to monitor a house using a central device with a customised feature to control it.

“This invention is to prevent robbery; it will be affordable and very easy to use,” Zaghal said.

Winners of the best three prototypes were awarded $5,000, $1,000 and $500.

First place winner was the “Smart Tops” team, who designed a healthcare system that monitors vital signs 24 hours a day.

“This device can be attached to clothes. It is mainly for those who are 60 years old and above, and infants,” Islam Abu Al Ruz said. 

The “Laser Tag” team, whose members designed a “live action” light gun game that gamers can play themselves using a gun and their phone, won second place.

The laser tag enables players to locate each other and engage in “gunfights”.

Third place winner “Sukarh” is an organisation that will be making traditional dishes or sweets from all over the world and selling them online.

Each delivery will come with a brochure that tells the story of that specific dish to make it known to more people around the globe, Sukarh founder Hawazen Khataybeh told The Jordan Times.

Jordan Times : March 1, 2015.

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