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Verizon Powerful Answers Award Finalists
Synchronized, Holistic and Individualized Intervention for individuals with Autism using mobile technology
In the United States, 1-in-50 school children have autism. Individualized and intense intervention is the key to making these individuals independent. Our developed apps and kiosk-based programs are utilizing the evidence based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programming and are customizable for all other research supported interventions. Our vision is to be highly innovative in the area of mobile and touch screen computing using cameras and voice related technologies to create new Products and Services for the education and health care industries for Autism intervention. As K-12, as well as Higher Education and healthcare, have become a challenge for the US economy, we would like to offer a cost-effective solution for intense intervention utilizing mobile and wireless technology to the Autism community.
Team members: Dale Caldwell, Nish Parikh, Hetal Parikh, Deven Trivedi, K. J. Sharma, Dr. Michael Lewis, Upendra Chivukula, Dr. Joan Voss, Manish Patel, Dr. Vidya Bhushan Gupta, Dr. Tom McCool, Nina Finkler, Alex Popov, Dr. Padma Arvind, Dr. Malthi Srivastava, Dr. Atam P. Dhawan
The Bullying Academy
According to the National Education Association (NEA), 90% of fourth to ninth graders report that they have been victims of some type of bullying and approximately 160,000 students don’t go to school on any given day across the country because of it. The Internet and modern multi-media are some of the best tools in the battle against bullying for today’s youth. The Bullying Academy uses various anti-bullying websites and resources that engage students more than a typical in-person presentation does. The Bullying Academy program provides school staff with an easy, interactive, and cost effective way to help students recognize the dangers of bullying. The Bullying Academy strives to empower students to make a difference in reducing bullying activity in their communities, whether they see themselves as the bully, target, or bystander. The age appropriate curricula and web-based framework allows the program to be immediately available to any school in the United States with internet access. Although there are many programs out there that are helping to stop bullying, this is the only one that is age-appropriate, completely accessible from any computer with internet access, provides data on how well a child does, and gives them an incentive to perform well on the post-quiz. It brings various forms of bullying education together, which culminates in a fun, school-based national competition twice a year where schools can win prizes for top scores.
Team members: Amanda Arana, Daryl Hulce, Tommy Walser
Zapitalism - Financial Literacy for Students Around the World
World-wide, game-based learning reached $1.2 billion in 2011. The global growth rate is 15.4% and revenues will more than double by 2016. North America alone accounted for $286 million in revenue in 2011 and will reach half a billion by 2016 according to Ambient Insight's 2012 report. In 2011, China was the top edugame buying country in the world, followed by Korea, the US and Japan. Telecoms are the major distributors in Asia, Latin America and Africa. LavaMind specializes in creating business simulation games, such as Zapitalism, that are used by thousands of schools all over the world. Telecoms typically sell web-based learning platforms to schools and mobile learning VAS (Value Added Services) subscriptions to consumers. Revenue is being driven by subscriptions, in-app purchases, micro-payments for virtual goods and features, upgrades, partnerships with device makers, partnerships with telecoms, advertising and sponsorship.
Team members: Steven S. Hoffman, Naomi Kokubo
LIVEBOARD app merges the power of visual, mobile communications with any web content. It provides a powerful tool for students, educators, counselors and parents to marry any educational content with real-time, multi-party video interaction to enhance learning. LiveBoard extends the physical classroom one-to-one or group interaction - anywhere, anytime. LiveBoard provides FREE group video chat for nine users with the capability to co-browse any web content, interact with live sketch pad, share pictures and text - all at the same time from a tablet or smartphone. Contactless chat room allows a student or a teacher to start a video room instantly and invite anyone using wireless services such as SMS, email, native contact lists or any social networks, so the education community can be reached widely. Students can collaborate on a school project or seek advice on a difficult problem. Tutors can reach out to their student(s) with scheduled sessions or be available on their "video room" for specific hours for kids who may need help. Advisers can reach out to a group of curious minds who want to learn about a subject or share real-time views with kids who cannot make it to a field trip. Traveling parents can read a book to their children and keep up with their subjects. Hearing impaired students can sign language to discuss the latest news or discuss ideas. Education becomes fun and practical when content is discussed with a peer or a teacher.
Team members: Pulin Patel, Shubh Agarwal, Alin Jayant, Umanath Lanka
WomenLEAD, Inc., A global online educational platform, designed to advance women as leaders
WomenLEAD’s mission is to make an impact on the global economy by educating and advancing women in their careers, increasing the retention of women in organizations and closing the gender gap. WomenLEAD, Inc. is an innovative online educational platform designed to accelerate women’s advancement as leaders. It combines the power of the social network with the appetite that women have to advance, and is out to disrupt and revolutionize mentorship with its online “Personal Advisory Board” platform. The platform also functions as a professional development engine whose online training offerings address issues that have been identified as areas where women must focus if they are to make substantial inroads in the corporate world. On the WomenLEAD, Inc. platform, women can search for advisors using an innovative proprietary matching algorithm that helps them find people who can address their needs. They can also invite people they know (both men and women), who have been past and current advisors to join their personal advisory board. This innovative “Personal Advisory Board“ platform is based on systems dynamics. It is designed to enable virtuous cycles within each person’s personal advisory board, thus causing exponential growth for each member.
Team members: April Monchik, Bob Fischer, Carol Lee, Ilene Fischer, Jami Schwartz, Kayla Carden, Shiva Singh, Tracy Moscato, Vincent Zhang, Yaniv Corem
TinyTap - Create your own kids apps & Learn from others
TinyTap was built from watching children interact with mobile devices. Touch devices are great for children but only offer a predefined consumption experience. TinyTap is the first mobile platform that lets you create your own fun personalized apps from your photos and designs in seconds. Today, TinyTap is a growing social platform where children, parents, schools and special needs teachers enjoy and share the apps they create while learning from each other. Together we are building a community which celebrates creativity and knowledge. TinyTap is allowing children, parents and teachers to create fun educational games that can be tailored to suit a child’s unique learning needs. With cloud capabilities, TinyTap is building the world’s first UGC (User-Generated Content) educational app store.
Team member: Yogev Shelly
SignBytes - The Native Tongue for the Deaf
Statistics from World Health Organization show that there are approximately 275 million people globally with moderate-to-profound hearing impairment. The majority of people with hearing disability are not born deaf, and only a small percentage constitute Deaf children of Deaf parents. SignBytes Suite is a set of innovative tools to foster communication, connection and understanding by assisting its users in acquisition of sign language skills, providing opportunity for dialogue and promoting development of social and linguistic competencies. In the 21st century, technology is advancing rapidly and myriad communication challenges experienced in the past between the Deaf and the hearing can be solved by skillful application of the available technologies to bridge the communication gap. We believe that with the right technological innovation, early interventions such as providing access to sign language early to both the Deaf child and the family members will aid the Deaf child in communicating effectively at an early age.
Team members: Gerald Kibugi, Jacqueline Kisato, Samuel Irungu, Jamlick Maina
More than 8 million students are currently enrolled in online courses, but on average, only 50% of students that begin an online course will successfully complete it. Schools have three key goals around online education. The first is to increase revenue. Clearly the more students you retain, the higher your revenue. The second is to reduce costs. Schools spend money both delivering education and in providing student services. Today, there are inefficiencies because schools don’t know where to focus their efforts to get the most “bang for their buck.” The third goal is for the school to maintain its accreditation. Accreditation allows the students at that school to receive federal financial aid and to be able to transfer their credits to other schools. Dropout Detective™ proactively identifies students at risk for dropping out of or failing online college courses by recognizing patterns as precursors to student attrition. The system has been developed over the years, starting as a checklist on a piece of paper, migrating to an excel spreadsheet, and finally evolving into a software program. Using this proprietary technology, Dropout Detective assigns a ‘risk index score’ to each student and produces an easy-to-use dashboard that allows college administrators to determine which students are currently at the highest risk for not completing a course.
Team members: Kimberley Munzo, Christopher Munzo
BridgingApps - Using Verizon Wireless and Mobile Technology to Bridge the Gap in Education for Children with Special Needs
One in six children now has some type of developmental delay, according to a 2011 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Young children with developmental disabilities are at risk for significant communication problems. These problems may be related to deficits in cognition, language, speech motor control, sensation, or several of these areas. Regardless of the cause, communication challenges can lead to educational and social isolation and can have a detrimental impact on nearly all aspects of development, but most importantly on educational development. Recently developed mobile technology has the power to revolutionize education for students of all ages with disabilities — if it is properly used. BridgingApps can help bridge the gap in education by providing access to the mobile technology and applications needed to enable children with special needs to communicate for the first time, participate in the classroom, and exceed educational goals. To address the gap between available technology and its effective use in the classroom for children with disabilities, BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Houston, proposes a project that will focus on the development and use of assistive mobile technology, applications, and training to improve the educational outcomes of students with disabilities. Touch-based, low-cost, commercially available tools can augment or, in some limited cases, replace traditional therapies, expensive equipment, and/or curriculums, leading to better physical, educational, and social outcomes for children who are naturally engaged by iPads, tablets, and Android devices with their combination of touch, sound, color, movement, and fun.
Team members: Evan Jones, Elise Hough, Kelly Klein, Cristen Reat
Language Learning Virtual Pet
The foreign language learning industry is a $5 billion per year business within the US. People love learning languages to facilitate traveling to other countries, understanding different cultures, and communicating in popular foreign languages within the melting pot that is the US. One of the first challenges in learning a new language is picking the right materials to study, because many learning methods still rely heavily on memorization of new vocabularies. The virtual pet keychain or bracelet can help you learn a new language through progressive core vocabulary lessons in a fun game where you can systematically build up, customize, and upgrade your virtual pets on the go by answering language questions before playing through fun and exciting levels in the game on your smartphone.
Team members: Isabel Carneiro, Neo Young, Bowen Lee, Yi-Hsuang Lu, Ming-Hsiang Cheng, Joesam Liu
Health Care Finalists
The healthcare industry has many challenges when it comes to the quality of patient care. According to Healthcare Financial News, the Physicians Foundation identified the top five biggest problems that doctors will face in 2013, and among these is the estimated 30 million new patients entering the healthcare system within the next two years. Recent studies have shown that the average wait time for a patient to receive care in a hospital is already four hours, so the main concern with the increased number of patients is the decreased number of staff members to provide the quality of care necessary. Quick Request is a software service that allows customers to use their smartphones to report problems, request services, and provide feedback. The system provides companies with a more effective communication strategy to instantly receive feedback from customers to fix an issue and to better manage internal operations. The system also allows employees to use their smartphone instead of a computer to maintain and manage facilities and work orders.
Team members: Tim Hunt, Hari Miyagi, Per Anderson, Andy Jorgenson, John Sydnor
Non-invasive Non-pharmacological medical device for people with Brain disorders such as autism, PTSD, and ADHD
Our technology has been designed specifically for the unique needs of the mentally ill or people with neurological disorders. The goal is to provide the first evidence-based, insurance-reimbursed medical device for people with autism. This device may take the form of a garment that can be inflated and deflated to apply firm pressure to the body (like swaddling a baby) but in a discreet, safe, and customizable way to help address the unique needs of people with autism, PTSD, ADHD and some anxiety disorders. The design is modular allowing for easy customization based on the needs of the individual and has plug and play components such as different types of air pumping systems based on the safety and cognitive abilities of the user. The use of pressure is commonly used in occupational therapy and is one of the most commonly used interventions for people with autism.
Team member: Brian Mullen
The smartphone as a hearing instrument to enable a child with hearing loss to improve his/her educational, social, health and economic conditions
Millions of young children with hearing loss in developing countries are not given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Their hearing is not screened, and they are excluded from education and isolated from society because they show learning difficulties. Our proposal centers on screening these populations, where there is very limited access to hearing testing, hearing aids and hearing-care facilities. We know how important this detection can be – the earlier the child gets care for his/her hearing loss, the earlier the child learns to communicate and integrate into a public school, and through education the poverty trap can be broken. This project will contribute to testing, fitting and providing therapy to millions of children worldwide, and will enable them the opportunity to learn to communicate, get an education, become integrated into society, find a job and enjoy of a better quality of life.
Team members: Dr. Jackie Clark, Dr. Nick Clark, Dr. Duke Duncan, Dr. Ted Glattke, Dr. Richard Lytle, Dr. Gerardo Murillo, Uma Pishati, Andrea Resende, Vinay Venkatraman, Howard Weinstein, Modesta Zabula, Forest Zhou
Infant Sleep Environment Monitor for SIDS Prevention
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the number one cause of infant death after the first month of life. Premature, African American, American Indian, and chronically ill infants, as well as siblings of SIDS victims, have higher risks. Reducing SIDS risk is a major public health priority. Numerous heart and breathing monitors on the market give a false sense of security, but none has been completely effective in preventing SIDS. The ISEM system detects the two sleep states that put infants at high risk for suffocation and SIDS: non-flat sleep positions and bedding covering the face or head. Unlike all earlier SIDS monitors, the ISEM focuses on changes in the baby’s sleep environment. Almost all SIDS victims are found in a prone/side sleep position or with the head covered by bedding. Therefore, focus is redirected from physiologic signs (e.g., breathing) to these environmental risk factors. With timely warning, these high-risk situations are easily corrected by parents. By maintaining babies supine during sleep and keeping bedding off the head, SIDS occurrences can be reduced by 75% or more.
Team members: Ruey-Kang Chang, MD, MPH; Pai Chou, PhD
The Healthy Exchange Program
With the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are under pressure to reduce preventable hospital readmissions. In addition to ensuring adequate education at the time of discharge, hospitals are now teaming up with local community organizations to ensure that patients are connected to the health, social, and behavioral services that they need to get and stay healthy. The most effective programs for reducing hospital readmissions involve assigning social workers (or health coaches) to the most high-risk patients to help them navigate the healthcare system and connect with community services. The Healthy Exchange Program is a solution designed to provide health education/health coaching to underserved communities—utilizing mobile technology to connect and inform patients, and empower them to take charge of their health. A customizable, basic smart phone is provided to program participants to enable them to: (1) access health-related, localized information; (2) stay connected to their providers and to local health service resources; and (3) receive technology-based support to supplement in-person interactions with a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider. Patients can access their personal health records, e-mail or text their providers, access patient portals, use tracking and reminder tools, and learn about health conditions.
Team members: Susan Collins, Tara Rice, Lisa Weisberg, Venessa Perez, Jill Balderson, Marissa Addalia, Stephanie Murrin, Janine Churchill
Seratis™ is bringing healthcare providers highly dependent on care coordination and information exchange, such as radiologists, out of the pager era and into the 21st century with a suite of smart communication and workflow management tools. Our product is a patient-centric mobile platform that will allow doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to visualize the network of care providers around each patient, allowing them to communicate more easily and request and share patient-specific care data. With an emphasis on patient safety and satisfaction, Seratis™ utilizes a number of innovative analytics tools that promote collaboration among medical professionals and ensure that every team member is on the same page. By doing so, we will reduce the rate of medical errors and improve patient outcomes, getting patients out of the hospital sooner.
Team members: Divya Dhar, Lane Rettig
Factor 14 - Home monitoring of patients on anticoagulation therapies
Poor management of the anticoagulation therapy warfarin is responsible for 40,000 deaths and more than $8 billion in healthcare expenditures in the United States every year. We are developing the first fully integrated warfarin management solution, combining an easy to use sensor, wireless data transmission and an intuitive user interface. Our products will give patients and healthcare providers the ability to efficiently and accurately make warfarin dosage adjustments resulting in improved patient outcomes and substantial savings to insurers. Warfarin has a very narrow therapeutic window and subtle changes to diet, lifestyle or other medications can push patients out of that window and leave them susceptible to stroke or hemorrhage. Patients on warfarin must visit their healthcare provider once a month to have their blood coagulation level checked. Not only is this inconvenient for patients, most of whom are senior citizens, but the majority of complications occur between these clinic visits when the patient is unmonitored and off the grid. Using proprietary technology developed at the University of Michigan, we are developing a painless, one-step blood coagulation sensor that can be operated by users of all ages in the convenience of their own home or on the go. This sensor will then transmit the patient’s coagulation data to the cloud where data analytics capabilities can identify patients at risk for complications and quickly alert their healthcare provider with actionable recommendations on how to care for the patient.
Team members: Ryan Bloom, Suresh Gurunathan, Raman Talwar
Reduce the FDA's approval cycle time for new drugs to market by 40%. This improves the health of Americans!
The prescription drug market currently generates $950 billion in annual sales, and it is likely to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2016. Every drug brought to market must go through the FDA approval cycle. The FDA requires detailed records from drug companies to get new drugs to market as part of an approval cycle that typically takes years. One of the toughest issues and obstacles that all drug companies face is locating the proper patients for clinical trials. There is no methodical process in place to locate and secure the correct patients/volunteers. There are thousands of clinical studies going on; the need for finding those patients is monumental. Using Verizon’s Terremark Dynamic Cloud services, we could resolve this issue for the pharmaceutical industry by providing access to a live network of qualifying patients, thus making them instantly available for clinical trials.
Team members: Mark Weislik, Mary Sandro, Michelle Skupien, Kevin Mabley, Michael Tucci
Approximately 1 in 10 children in the U.S. have asthma, and the number continues to grow every year. Asthma is one of the leading causes of school absences and sick leave. In hospitals across the country, it accounts for 60 percent of all Emergency Room visits. The only answer is to control it – something that, until now, could not be achieved on any meaningful scale. Imagine a control system that fully integrates child, parent, and doctor. Imagine that this system would allow for all three to have, for the first time ever, the opportunity to take action to really control a child's asthma, instead of merely reacting to the asthma taking control of the child. Imagine a system that actually goes beyond the hospital, and improves the child's quality of life. Imagine if this system could not only improve a child's life, but aid in providing critical data to medical researchers, increasing the chance of finding a cure. Imagine if this system could secure that data, in accordance with HIPPA regulations. Imagine, but do not stop there... We are happy to announce that such a system exists in Control A+.
Team members: Matthew Fischer, Daniel Kirk, Aaron Fischer, Michael Potter
The greatest healthcare costs come from late stage diseases, and survival rates are much higher if these diseases are caught earlier. The core problem in detecting disease is that everything we do is symptoms-based. If you have an ache or a cough, doctors make assumptions and spend a “ton” of money trying to extrapolate what illness you may have. Freenome can tell you exactly what is going on, all the way down to what biomolecular pathway is turned on that should not be turned on. Recent advancements in biophysics prove that nanotechnology empowered to data-mine and monitor biomolecules in real time is possible and will revolutionize healthcare. What we have done is begun to answer the biocompatibility, biophysical, cellular, and big data questions surrounding this technology platform in order to engineer the device. The future is not telemedicine, big data, or biotechnology, but a hybrid of the three to provide an innovative and cost effective solution for monitoring patients and populations over time.
Team members: Riley Ennis, Dr. Kary Mullis, Dr. Charles Roberts, Dr. Steve Quake
Portable Vision Examination
Refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia) result in an unfocused image falling on the retina. Globally, uncorrected refractive error is the second leading cause of permanent vision loss, following cataracts. There are over 500 million people worldwide suffering from refractive error related visual impairment, and a majority of these people do not have access to sufficient medical attention. Notably, most of the cases are in developing countries given the high cost of medical devices and the scarcity of trained medical professionals. In the U.S., vision disorders are the fourth most common disability and the most prevalent handicapping condition during childhood. We believe a new vision diagnostic device that is (1) mobile, (2) low cost, (3) can be used for self-examination or by caregivers with basic instructions, and (4) does not require patient feedback – can solve a significant market failure, preventing the unnecessary loss of vision for patients and improving educational readiness for children. The Smart Aberrometer is a portable vision examination device. With a single snap shot, the Smart Aberrometer will be able to measure refractive errors of the eye and generate prescriptions – all without patient interaction. The pocket sized and low cost Smart Aberrometer uses the flash light and camera of the smartphone, combined with an add-on microlens array. The Smart Aberrometer will dramatically improve the way people get their vision evaluated.
Team members: Yaopeng Zhou, Marc Albanese
Social Cops - Building a Civic Solution
Social Cops allows citizens to easily report civic issues via mobile, web application and SMS. A seamless process, the entire complaint filing process, is accomplished within 1 minute. Google maps integration & GPS tracking allow us to identify the relevant authority and the complaint is then forwarded to that authority who views the complaint through a customized dashboard with automated daily/weekly analytics. They can easily engage with citizens by sending notifications, emails and SMS directly via the dashboard. Crowd sourced data from the citizens and problem fixing rates from the councils pinpoints what and where the biggest civic issues are. This data is important to councils, as it allows them to make a better allocation of resources. This data is also important to corporations as it allows them to make informed decisions regarding the use of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) funds. Via Social Cops, Companies can “Adopt a Location” or “Sponsor a Cause,” thus channeling funds to collaborating local NGOs (Non-governmental organizations), who can carry out the necessary ground work to transform an individual problem into a community one.
Team members: Prukalpa Sankar, Varun Banka
Calculating the environmental and financial impact of products is expensive, time consuming and reliant on manual data entry. Each product takes an average of 100 + hours to assess by an expert. Product analysis is not being adequately shared across company departments and information is scattered across company databases. International regulation and reporting standards are intensifying and reporting is costly. Our web application generates product and portfolio analytics to store and explore product portfolios. Through a regression model the application can rapidly generate life cycle assessments (LCA) in a fraction of the time it currently takes to produce one. The application provides intra company access to product analytics via the web and the sharing of product and impact analysis across different departments. This product data analysis is designed to be used by sustainability officers and consultancy firms for large consumer brands and corporations.
Team members: Sally P. Paridis, Erika B. Whillas, Nick Turchak, Daniel Chen, Christoph J. Meinrenken, Saami Sabiti
Automated and Integrated Agricultural Pest Management
Semiochemicals, also known as pheromones, have been used for more than 25 years in limited areas to manage pests, such as the codling moth in Apple Orchards. In order to enable the much wider adoption of this safe, sustainable means of pest control, SemiosBIO developed an automated pest management system that integrates pheromone dispensers with camera-enabled pest traps, all connected wirelessly across fields and centrally managed from any online device. Collaborating with a team of researchers and engineers with expertise on agricultural pest management, pheromone plumes, system engineering, and wireless and sensor technologies, the development of an effective pheromone deployment and monitoring system of this type will revolutionize agricultural pest management. The system will deliver a cost-effective, sustainable alternative to pesticides that will offer tremendous applications the world over.
Team members: Michael Gilbert, Chris Van Natto, Natalie Leon-Davis, Victor Chempinsky, Albert Unrau, Ron Eggler, Magdolna Gombos, Diana Kidd, Chelsea Eby, Chris Meschino
Smartster: Taking the Waste Out of Dumpster Collections
Dumpsters are a necessary evil for most businesses and buildings in the world. Since managing waste is usually not a customer’s core focus and since few business and building operators have the time or inclination to actively monitor waste management activity to adjust their dumpster sizes and collection frequency, customers are typically at the mercy of their hauling contractors who get paid per pick-up, and accordingly may not always provide the most efficient service. Smartster solves the waste management problem by marrying sensor technology with wireless connectivity to remotely monitor dumpster fullness and collection activity. Emptying these dumpsters is expensive for the waste generators, consumes an estimated 300 million gallons of fuel annually, and creates approximately 3 million tons of CO2 annually in the U.S. alone. This solution will introduce sorely needed transparency, accountability and efficiency to a $13 billion industry.
Team members: Jim Poss, Matt Volpi
Smart Drop Box - Making Package Collection More Efficient
The Smart Drop Box solution will make package collection more efficient. There are hundreds of thousands of drop boxes in the United States, all of which are collected based on routes and schedules without regard for the contents. The Smart Drop Box solution will provide collection personnel with real-time data about which locations need to be serviced and, more importantly, which ones can be skipped. By using sensors to remotely monitor deposited contents and characteristics inside a drop box, fleets will be able to employ dynamic routing solutions and capacity planning to slash expenses, fuel consumption and carbon footprint. Not only will this solution bring efficiency to the business by limiting trips and stops, it will also bring previously nonexistent transparency and accountability to the operation as supervisors and customers see when boxes that need to be collected actually have been.
Team members: Jim Poss, Matt Volpi
Wireless Structural Health Monitoring of Wind Turbines to Drive Down the Cost of Sustainable Energy
One of the fundamental challenges of our generation is the creation and use of sustainable forms of clean energy. As of 2012, the wind turbine installations in the U.S. had a power generating capability of 60,007 mega-Watts, representing 5.6% of the U.S. installed electric generating capacity. The land-based wind resource within the U.S. is abundant, underutilized, and can supply more than ten times the nation’s current electrical needs. A significant limitation that restricts the widespread adoption of wind energy globally is the cost of energy compared to fossil fuels. The primary factors that contribute to the cost of clean-wind energy are reliability and the ability to comprehensively monitor the condition of wind turbines to improve energy capture and predict premature failure. By implementing an inexpensive wireless sensor network, we will be able to perform total turbine structural health monitoring, thereby reducing the economic impact of schedule-based maintenance while decreasing the likelihood of structural catastrophic failure, and optimizing turbine energy generation efficiency.
Team members: Christopher Niezrecki, David Turcotte, Benyuan Liu
Bandwagon takes advantage of the growing popularity of collaborative consumption, also known as the sharing economy, which is the coordinated, shared use of resources, and applies it to taxi-sharing software for mobile and web-applications. This solution addresses the tremendous inefficiency in the current transportation infrastructure. Currently in New York City alone, hundreds of thousands of taxi trips each day carry with them empty, usable, monetizable seats and fuel is wasted getting one passenger to their destination when three passengers could have shared portions of the trip. Using a sophisticated back-end server, Bandwagon optimizes, matches and prices rides in real-time as they are requested through our mobile and web interfaces, with a focus on providing service at major transportation hubs where long lines for taxis accumulate.
Team members: David Mahfouda, Daniel Luxemburg
Givingplace: Disaster Relief Portal
The Givingplace: Disaster Relief Portal from Good360 takes a holistic view of a community’s recovery from disaster by recognizing that it is a long-term process rather than a problem that can be solved in a matter of days, weeks or months. The ultimate goal is to ensure communities and people are not forgotten in the latter stages of recovery. Through the development and launch of a cutting-edge e-commerce and crowd-funding technology, Good360 will implement a portal that will utilize Google Earth to highlight disasters around the world, assist nonprofits working in disaster areas to submit product needs, and enable donors – corporations and micro-philanthropists – to fulfill these critical needs at the appropriate time. Good360 will use its existing logistical capabilities to deliver goods to designated nonprofits working to get affected communities back up and running.
Team members: Cindy Hallberlin, Carly Fiorina, Mikel Durham, Bob Schwartz, Shabab Gruberg, Melissa Trumpower
Abundant Clean Energy For and By the People
Over 1.4 billion people in the world lack access to electricity. Solar developers and clean energy providers in the developing world have found huge market traction but lack the capital to grow their businesses. Companies that provide mobile based, pay-as-you-go models for solar power are expanding dramatically because they remove the major obstacle for poor people to go solar: the upfront cost. Mosaic is the first online platform for individuals to invest in clean energy projects. Rural and unelectrified communities can now adopt low-cost solar technologies including microgrids, solar home systems and solar lanterns rather than wait for a centralized grid infrastructure that requires massive capital expenditures. After lending more than $4 million to solar projects across the U.S., Mosaic plans to take its model to a global level and offer crowd-funded investment to the developing world. This incredible transition is possible due to SMS and mobile banking technology. Its international lending program, developed with an accompanying mobile app, will finance the transition from kerosene lamps, diesel generators, and unsustainably harvested wood directly to clean, renewable power. Millions of households will leapfrog over the era of fossil fuel infrastructure.
Team members: Billy Parish, Dan Rosen, Marco Krapels, Steve Richmond, Greg Rosen, Tony Bako, Howard Solovei, David Goldman
Building.AI: A Hyper-Intelligence for Sustainable Smart Buildings
Lack of real-time data on different electrical loads and associated costs in a building cripples decision making of facility managers and CFOs. The present day solution of manual one-time energy audits is cost prohibitive and inadequate. Managers are reactive, rather than proactive about energy efficiency, thus consuming excessive energy at continually increasing costs. Building.AI is a machine learning analytics platform that enables real-time identification and disaggregation of all load signatures in buildings. Building.AI's technology provides unprecedented granularity in energy consumption data, disrupting traditional metering methods in a commercial building market of $100 billion per year.
Team members: Mark Chung, Jonathan Chu, Thomas Chung, Jessica Kinloch, Andrew Jo, Chaitanya Sharma
Meet the Final Round Judges:
President and CEO, Digital Promise
Executive Director of Girls Who Code
Program Director, Technology and Learning, AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Health Care Judges
Chief Executive Officer, Clinton
Health Matters Initiative, Clinton Foundation
Executive Director, HEP
Network, Health Evolution Partners
|Richard Garfein, PhD, MPH
Professor, Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego
|Michael S. Blum, MD
Associate Vice Chancellor for Informatics; Director, Center for Digital Health Innovation, University of California, San Francisco
VP, Merger Integration Strategy & Corporate Development, Cardinal Health
|Gerald I. Susman, PhD
Emeritus Klein Professor of Management; Director, Smeal Sustainabilty Council; Director, Center for the Management of Technological and Organizational Change
|Bill Olson, PhD
Director Product Sustainability, Motorola Mobility LLC – A Google Company
EVP, Advisory, Cleantech Group
President and CEO, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) ®
VP Emergining Technology Commercialization, Alcatel-Lucent
Innovative Solutions Wanted:
Your Solutions to Big Challenges Could Be Worth $1 Million
At Verizon, we believe that powerful technology can help solve many of society's biggest problems and that a good idea can come from anywhere. So we're proud to present the Verizon Powerful Answers Award.
Verizon is offering $10 million in prizes for innovators and companies who propose the most innovative solutions utilizing Verizon’s unique combination of network, device and platform technologies to help reinvent and empower the three core areas of healthcare, education and sustainability. The prize awards in each of the three core areas include the following:
- 1st place: $1 million
- 2nd place: $850,000
- 3rd place: $700,000
- 4th place: $500,000
- 5th place: $285,000
Entries must be submitted to powerfulanswersaward.com by June 30, 2013. Entrants selected to submit full proposals will have until August 15, 2013 to do so. The final phase of the contest will begin on or around October 1, 2013, where the top 10 proposals in each core area will be asked to pitch their idea to a panel of renowned judges. Winners will be announced at the 2014 International CES event in Las Vegas.
Submit your innovative solution today—because the world's biggest challenges deserve even bigger solutions.