Two students from Purdue University’s College of Engineering have won the $5,000 top prize at Purdue’s Schurz Innovation Challenge. James Gerber and Aakash Gupta took home the prize for creating a communication device for people affected by autism.
The team is known as HEARD, or Handheld Educational Augmentative RFID Device. Gupta says current products are not satisfying the communication needs of children affected by autism. He says they would like to create a beta prototype to determine its commercial viability.
A team called A.C.C.E.S.S. placed second and won $3,500. They developed an online educational coding environment to help newcomers and early programmers write and test their code. Starving Sounds took third place and a $1,500 prize. They created an audio distribution platform that turns an artist’s musical career into a goal-oriented competition.
The Schurz Innovation Challenge is organized by Purdue Foundry and held once per semester. It allows participants to test their creativity and skills while developing innovative ides in media technology.