ITC Infotech service provider of technology solutions and a fully owned subsidiary of ITC Ltd, successfully concluded the 2nd chapter of ‘iTech 2016’, its annual technology innovation & co-creation platform aimed at promoting entrepreneurship. As part of iTech 2016, ITC Infotech organised a 30-hour hackathon on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) at its Bengaluru campus on July 16 and 17, 2016.
The event concluded with ITC Infotech hosting a unique ‘Showcase’ session where the winners were provided the opportunity to directly present their solutions to ITC Infotech’s biggest global customers as well as the business division heads from ITC Ltd. to explore real-time business opportunities.
The hackathon was organised for professionals, developers and students as well as talented individuals from start-ups. It provided the participants with an opportunity to develop their ideas into prototypes, addressing a host of crowd-sourced business challenges from the Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Retail, Hospitality, Education & Stationery Products, Banking, Financial Services & Insurance and Agriculture sectors.
A total of 45 teams were shortlisted from over 1,700 entries. The winning teams received cash prizes in addition to mentorship and go-to-market partnership offers. The winners, a team of 4 students from SRM University, created a smart phone app, titled ‘Nomi’, that would re-define the shopping experience in stores. The app, designed using artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning, creates an immersive and interactive AR and VR environment to assist customers choose the right product.
The first runner-up, a team of 3 students from M. S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology, created a Smart Helmet, ‘ridAR’, based on AR to help bikers navigate smoothly on roads. The second runner-up, a team of 4 professionals from SAP India, created a Virtual commerce platform aimed at increasing the sale of lifestyle retailing products by reaching customers through the various digital communication channels available in the market today.
The teams ranking fourth and fifth were also recognised for their AR/VR solutions in the categories of hospitality and education & stationery products, respectively. Further, 7 teams were identified and felicitated for conceptualising, prototyping and presenting business-relevant solutions.
The panel of judges consisted of business leaders from ITC Infotech’s partners and global clients, such as KONE, BAT, Microsoft, PTC and SAP Labs along with senior leaders from ITC’s businesses.
Commenting on his experience as a jury member, Mr Jason Schern, Senior Vice President, Global Services, PTC, said, ‘It was great to see a mix of both students and professionals from start-ups applying emerging technologies and combining augmented reality and virtual reality to create business transforming solutions. I am taking back with me a really great perception of the level of capabilities of both of students and start-ups here in India. iTech 2016 made it much easier for me to understand the skills and capabilities that can be leveraged for companies like PTC global services and others.’’
Commenting on the success of the event, Ms Sushma Rajagopalan, CEO & MD, ITC Infotech, said, “Though AR and VR technologies are still at a nascent stage, they have the potential to revolutionise customer and employee experience. The maturity of the solutions that emerged at the hackathon was indeed encouraging. In addition to selecting 3 winners, we were compelled to award prizes to the two other teams in the top 5 as well as 7 ideas that had high business relevance. Through iTech, our annual technology festival, it is our endeavour to offer a platform that will build an ecosystem of students, IT professionals, entrepreneurs from start-ups, technology enthusiasts, clients and partners and help create solutions for real business challenges. We will help the winners implement their solutions and assist them in gaining global market access in an accelerated time frame”.
ITC Infotech believes in promoting innovation and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in the ecosystem. iTech 2016 is a step towards nurturing entrepreneurs and start-ups in creating the technologies of the future.