The hackathon featured apps created by computer science students from Arab countries and the US. Image Credit: Courtesy: NYUAD

Abu Dhabi: Several apps created by students, including one that monitors the health of labourers to ensure their safety and health, were presented during a hackathon event at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) on Sunday

Computer Science students from Arab countries and the US were mentored by professionals and entrepreneurs during the hackathon, with the students being divided into different teams and having to come up with and produce their own apps that benefit society.

The apps produced were displayed by the students during five-minute presentations, with the top three apps being announced as the winners by a panel of experts and professionals who were the judges.

Coming in first place was the ‘Hakeeme app’ produced by a team comprising students from the UAE and US universities.

The apps’ main function is to monitor the health and safety of labourers. Farah Shamout from NYUAD, who was involved in producing the app and presented it to the audience, said that health and well-being at construction sites in the Arab region are huge concerns, and specifically in the Gulf region, due to the harsh weather conditions.

“We decided to tackle three key challenges [through the app], to enforce working hours and monitoring regulations, secondly, to recognise heat and dehydration symptoms and, thirdly, to deal with emergency situations. During the hackathon, we created a prototype device that can be worn by the labourers,” he added.

According to the students involved, once the device is worn, it is able to monitor the health of a labourer, with sensors to monitor the pulse, the heart rate, and body temperature. The device will also blink in case of an emergency, for example, if the health of the worker begins to deteriorate. All the data is then compiled and put on to their website, allowing the government to monitor the situation, and make sure that the rules and regulations are being followed and that the workers are healthy.

Coming in second place was the Translate Tube app, which allows for voice-over translations on to existing videos. And in third place was the Eco-Eco gaming app, which allows gamers to build their own island and resources through real-life environmental activities, with the main emphasis on making children understand the need to live in an environmentally friendly way.

Altogether 13 apps were produced by the students during the hackathon, ranging from helping disabled people locate handicapped parking spaces on their mobile, and an app that provides an SMS platform for refugees to reconnect and find their lost family and friends.