On Wednesday, May 4, judges from ZVRS, sponsor of The Next Big Idea Competition, reviewed projects of the six finalists, asked questions and selected the folloing winners:
$5,000 First Place: Team Ugyo; Ethan Young and Nicole Dugan
$3,000 Second Place Team Dalmation; Adam Brodak, Keith Delk and Jefrey Spinale
$2,000 Third Place Team ANOVA; Musab Al-Smadi, Michelle Chi, Steven McClusky, Radhika Mehra
Six teams of deaf and hard-of-hearing students from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf will go head-to-head May 4 during The Next Big Idea competition.
The contest—6:30 to 10 p.m. in NTID’s Panara Theatre, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall—is an annual event where teams of students combine skills related to their individual majors to create products, technology or businesses that will be useful to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Teams work with mentors on their projects and compete before judges for cash prizes. The event is sponsored by ZVRS, a video relay company.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of The Next Big Idea.
Student teams are:
- Anova— a voice-to-text translation system for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals that uses a mini processor and microphone.
- Asymtotic—incorporates microphones, tactile feedback, pulsation and sound filters that vibrate to engage the wearer in important situations.
- Dalmation—a software service that focuses on providing jobs, volunteering opportunities, networking and resources for the American Sign Language community.
- Douror—a service app for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons that helps with placing food orders.
- Echo—a speech-therapy mobile app that allows users to practice speech and give instantaneous feedback to speech therapists.
- Ugyo—an access-technology prototype for deaf-blind people with Usher Syndrome to improve communication with peers during meetings or other interactive settings.
“Every year the excitement around this competition builds,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “Amazing projects are presented and some of them move quickly into the marketplace. We thank ZVRS for their support, and are grateful for the belief they have in our students.”
The event—free and open to the public—will be fully accessible for both deaf and hearing audiences. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.