NUS Computing students win first place at Huawei hackathon

27 May 2022
Team DeafTalk, comprising Zhang Zhiyao (left) and Hu Jiajun (right), emerged as the grand winner at the inaugural HUAWEI CLOUD SPARK Hackathon Singapore 2022 with their digital product, DeafTalk, an app for hearing-impaired children.

27 May 2022 — Two NUS Computing students won first place at the inaugural HUAWEI CLOUD Spark Hackathon Singapore in April this year.

Team DeafTalk, comprising final-year Computer Science student Zhang Zhiyao and third-year Computer Science student Hu Jiajun, emerged as the winner at the hackathon, beating more than 190 teams from 10 schools including Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University.

The hackathon finals were held on 8 April this year, where ten teams had to pitch innovative products to a panel of judges in one of the following areas: education, hospitality & travel service, eco & sustainability, finance & banking, or health technology.

Zhang and Hu won the grand prize with their interactive application for the health tech category, a digital Auditory-Verbal Therapy Assistant called DeafTalk.

The app is equipped with advanced AI technologies powered by HUAWEI CLOUD, and is designed for hearing-impaired children to practice their pronunciation through tutorials with gamification.

The app also caters to therapists and family members of those with hearing impairments. For instance, the application helps therapists remotely monitor, track, and assess the children’s performance. It also provides guidance and assistance to family members helping the hearing-impaired child learn correct pronunciations through detailed tutorial videos.

Zhang and Hu believes that their product stood out in the competition as it helped to solve an important social problem in the community.

“DeafTalk is an efficient and productive tool for helping hearing-impaired children communicate with others. By implementing Huawei Cloud features in our product, it also makes our application work faster and more efficiently too,” explained Zhang.

Aside from the main cash prize, Zhang and Hu were also offered job opportunities such as internships with Huawei.

“This hackathon has given us the chance to practice what we learnt at NUS Computing, and to solve real social problems,” added Hu. “We were originally very nervous and anxious when competing at the hackathon. When we were announced as the grand winner, we felt extremely excited and honoured to represent NUS Computing.”

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