UKZN students presenting their ideas at the
Hackathon.

Four Information System and Technology (IS&T) Honours students took part in the Discovery Hackathon 2015 during which they used latest technologies to exhibit their expertise in the design and development of software.

Team Valiant comprising students: Mr Athish Singh, Mr Mishaan Chhagan, Ms Lekisha Maharaj and Mr Abdur-Rahim Kamdar, competed against colleagues from other South African universities, coming up with innovative applications during the two-day event.

The UKZN team created an In Case of Emergency  app that in an emergency can detect a person’s GPS location and use it to display information about the nearest local police station or hospital. The victim would then either have the option to call or navigate directly to that area thus reducing the turnaround time.

‘As an additional feature to save time, the user would also be able to store “buddy numbers”, contact details of reliable family members or friends that would come to your aid in such situations,’ said Singh. ‘In an emergency situation, the user could hold down a distress button, say the # key, and this would immediately message their “buddies” that they are in trouble with information relating to their GPS location.’

The students heard about the Hackathon after attending a presentation by Discovery during a graduate recruitment event at UKZN. They were required to propose an idea relating to how IT could improve Discovery’s business processes along one of three different strategies. Their idea was chosen out of 200 applicants.