“In the age of “untact,” communicate your emotions with non-contact devices”
KU Makerspace holds the 2020 KU Connection Hackathon
▲ Participating teams producing non-contact devices
The month-long 2020 KU Connection Hackathon contest held by KU Makerspace ended successfully on Monday, August 3.
Ten teams, composed of three to five undergraduate students each, participated in this competition under the theme of “Producing non-contact devices that help reduce the emotional distance between students.” After a month-long development from July and the evaluation of the final products on August 3, one winning and two runner-up teams were selected. During the competition, all participating teams were supported with KU Makerspace’s space and facility, basic training on equipment, materials and mentoring.
▲ The winning IU Team developing a vending machine for non-contact communication
The winner was the IU Team, which developed a vending machine called, “I Give U My Heart.” The machine dispenses hand-written letters and memos. The idea behind it is that as online communication has increased recently, opportunities to interact with others offline have been reduced; however, communicating emotions and thoughts with each other can be made non-contact in the same space by using a time interval. Kim In-won, the team leader said, "Our idea was about how to bring students to school while helping them keep their new “untact” way of living. I think that the way we struck an emotional balance between design and engineering was well appreciated."
The runners-up included the Toaster Team (led by Lee Dong-hyun) and the Princess Eoul in Machine Land Team (led by Kim Jeong-ryun). The former made Link-Shot, a beer mug that records consumption data in real time to share with others online, and the latter produced Vest-Tiger, a wearable communication costume for non-contact group cheering activities. Other teams drew attention with a variety of creative works, such as a Bluetooth speaker that reports the other person's feelings using voice signals, and a cheering stick that allows random and unspecified individuals to cheer together.
Professor Shim Joon-hyung, Director of KU Makerspace, said, "In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, non-contact has been a crucial part of our daily lives. This Hackathon Contest provided an opportunity for KU students to think about how they can share emotional communication with others in this unprecedented situation. I hope that the ideas derived from this event will be translated into business.”