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Five University of North Texas students, including three Computer Science and Engineering students, and business reaped awards at the first-ever LeadingAge HackFest Oct. 25 – 27 in Dallas for designing technological tools that can be used to improve the lives of older adults.
First place — Global EngAge
David Adamo Jr., a doctoral student in computer science, and his four teammates from other universities clinched first place with a videoconferencing app that allows seniors to connect with others even if they can’t leave their homes. Seniors can virtually attend community events through the app. The first-place team received $5,000.
“All of this technology already exists. We just created something to make it incredibly easy to use,” Adamo said. “Simplicity was the most important concern.”
People’s Choice Award — AMAZE
Quentin Mayo, a UNT student working on a doctoral degree in computer science, and Mahsa Kia, an undergraduate studying computer engineering at UNT, served on the four-person AMAZE team that earned the People’s Choice Award for creating a tool that sends a text message when a senior takes his or her medication.
“We are trying to enrich lives,” Mayo said. “We want to give them positive encouragement to take their medication on time. They get a reminder to take medication through a text, and then they are connected through a call with another person.”
The People’s Choice team earned $1,000.
“Winning this award meant that we got heard and that our product will hopefully one day help the elderly in order to extend their lives even more,” Kia said.