Technology is an important part of our daily lives. Imagine a world without cars, computers or other smart devices that make communication and life in general easier. Without technology, life would sure be a nightmare. And the world is daily becoming more aware of this fact. Recently, chofam’s Tech Watch came across something spectacular at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology’s (JKUAT) 9th Tech Expo.
The Expo which held on thursday, January 24, 2019, birthed many first-rate technological innovations. However, from the field of over 20 new inventions, Walking Buddy and Safari Wiz emerged joint winners
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The Walking Buddy Innovation
The Walking Buddy innovation exhibited by Sackey Freshia, is a smart walking stick that will be useful to the visually-impaired. The stick alerts the users when they are approaching obstacles, and can predict their distance from the obstacles, using vibrations and audio cues.
“The stick is integrated with Google Maps, enabling the user to navigate to a given location on their own, using an audio guide.
“It also comes with a button that a user can press to immediately contact a person (their emergency contact) in case of anything, and sends their precise location to the contact,” explains Freshia.
The Safari Wiz Innovation
Safari Wiz is a portable Mobile App that employs GIS, GPS, Maps and Real-time alerts to enable road users; drivers and passengers alike, to send and view alerts on accidents, bad weather conditions, police roadblocks, potholes among other road eventualities along the road they are travelling on.
According to Gilbert Waliuba, Safari Wiz will play a critical role in reducing road accidents, congestion and enhance the response time of emergency services to road accidents.
The Path Finder App
Another app presented by Job Muchama, Elias Koome, Hassan Adan and Gideon Omangi with their innovation, Path Finder bagged the 1st runner up position at JKUAT Tech Expo 9.0.
The innovation, using light dependent sensors, redefines the way we mount our solar panels so as to maximize the exposure to sunlight.
“An active tracking system is used where the solar panel is placed on the shaft of a motor and the motor is given maximum rotation such that the solar panel is always oriented at 90 degrees to receive the maximum sunlight,” said Waliuba.
He is confident that this will enhance efficient utilisation of the power generated by the solar panel giving the user optimum use of solar power.
Drink driving has been a menace on our roads, causing death and grief to many families. Paul Rukwaro, Liz Kasomo and Stephen Muchiri with their Auto Alcoblow innovation have just the answer to curb drink driving.
Auto Alcoblow App
Claiming the second runner up position at the Expo, Auto Alcoblow is an automated alcohol detection system that senses the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of a driver and prevents ignition of the engine if the allowed alcohol limit is exceeded.
“We have also incorporated an aspect where the system sends a text message to a relative or close friend of the driver informing them that the driver is not in a good condition to drive in the hope that they can come and ‘rescue’ the driver,” explained Muchiri.
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Zima na Text App
Exhibited by Joseph Ngatia Mwaniki, Denis Mwangi Kariuki and Marystella Natasha Zima na Text innovation is a home automation system that is designed to make use of SMS to control home electronic appliances and save electrical power.
“Zima na Text innovation brings a solution to home automation that gives both safety and remote control of electrical appliances hence, protecting your home, and electrical devices from electrical losses,” explains Ngatia.
Since its inception, the Expo has seen people throng the exhibition booths where through a social media campaign they pick their favourite innovation under the People’s Choice Award. Through this campaign, Zima na Text innovation scooped the fiercely competitive award.