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Teens develop texting app, device to aid deaf

Posted: 29 Dec 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:texting app  Justext  ASL Tegra  deaf HackPrinceton 

A texting application and a device to aid those who communicate in sign language won this year's HackPrinceton, The Daily Princetonian reported.

HackPrinceton is a hacking competition that gathers college students all over the United States to compete by designing software projects.

For the software design category, the winners were Rohan Doshi (18), Juan Sepulveda (18) and Ruiqi Mao, while for the hardware design category, the winners were Ethan Gordon (17), David Liu (17) and Jeffrey Han (17).

Both categories use software in their projects, but the hardware category involves the use of an external device, which is not a regular computer, as part of the finished product.

Doshi and his team developed Justext, an application that allows users to send questions via text message to a server that answers with the information being requested. The team won $1,000, three Dell touchscreen monitors, Bluetooth speakers and an electronic whiteboard. They also won the Best Use of Microsoft Technology Award, which gave the team an additional $4,000.

Doshi said the app aims to connect all phones to the Internet, whether or not they have web browsing capabilities.

Meanwhile, Gordon and his team designed ASL Tegra, a device that enables deaf people to communicate better with those who can hear. The product utilises an external camera to detect sign language movements and then translates those movements into text.

For the prize, the team received $1,000, three portable hard drives and a quadcopter—a remote-controlled helicopter with video capabilities.

Princeton Entrepreneurship Club hosts HackPrinceton, which also has activities, lectures, workshops and networking sessions where students could interact with technology professionals. It is held twice a year.

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