If asked ‘what is one of the most used words talked about in the last few years?’ there is a great possibility that “technology” is the first word that comes to people minds. For the past few years, and even until now, technology has accounted for countless headlines of news articles around the world. It is no exaggeration when it is said that this is the era of technology, innovation and digitalisation.
Recently, nations worldwide have been putting huge effort and investment into technology, with numbers reaching, and often exceeding, ten digits. According to CNBC, in the EU region, UK tech investment is growing faster, in which the total deal amount has far outstripped that of its continental rivals. With this being said, the Tech Week Humber event was launched and became the first of its kind to facilitate the growth and innovation of technology in the UK region. The event aimed to showcase the latest trends in tech, create skills for the future and celebrate all that the region has achieved.
This year, due to COVID, the 2020 Tech Week Humber shifted to digital platforms and was held virtually from 9th to 13th November with a series of sub-events including KCOM Innovation Hothouse, in which NashTech was a participant.
The KCOM Hothouse event allowed teams to be formed and compete to solve provided problem statements in either education or healthcare. Alongside the challenge, a wide range of presentations were delivered by partners of the Tech Week to provide insightful content supporting the teams to best deliver their submission. This year, Jon Last, our Head of UK Delivery, shared his insight about the different delivery options available to see a project end to end. NashTech was delighted to be announced as the winner the KCOM Hothouse challenge with our solution for the education sector, E-academy.
The KCOM Hothouse challenge was divided into several sub-phases, which included: Empathise & Define, Ideate & Prototype, and Test & Submit.
The problem statement for healthcare focused on;
The education statement touched on;
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the traditional way of studying. It also presents a challenge to academic organisations to deliver education when travelling is restricted, and it is challenging for people to collaborate from distance. But, since this is the Industry 4.0 era where organisations are demanded to transform, to digitalise and keep up with the fast pace, the pandemic is a catalyst rather than a cause to change, and people need to adapt to cope with it.
With these problem statements, the NashTech’s team recognised and defined that how to enhance the engagement as well as the efficiency for both lecturers and students is a math that we need to solve. This had marked an ideation of our E-academy platform.
During the challenge, we formed a core team with members from two locations: Vietnam and the UK. We decided to name our team Nam Anh, in which ‘Nam’ comes from the word Vietnam; the home of our development centres and ‘Anh’ means England in Vietnamese, where we are headquartered. This name is perfect to highlight and bridge the fantastic teamwork and collaboration between our team members across geographies, to come up with the solution for this challenge.
The Nam Anh core team consisted of:
Despite some challenges along the way, such as different time zones and teammates not sitting in the same room, clear processes were outlined to collaborate smoothly, which resulted in an extraordinary outcome.
During the ideation phase of building the solution, the team were clear about the goals that the output needed to achieve, which were;
NashTech applied emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to bring the magic alive.
To address the first two determined goals, the E-academy platform enables users to have a better experience in studying and for lecturers giving lectures by applying a set of AI technologies that include:
In the future, we intend to extend the functions to bring more diversity. For example, if the student raises his/her hand to ask questions, it is also reflected and illustrated in the system.
To support providing more insights on the session’s performance, data is captured from online studying activities and recorded on the system. Key information will be captured about the students’ attendance, their concentration and emotions. This will help lecturers to understand more about his/her students’ attitude towards the studying activities, which will lead to improvements in future sessions based on learning. The system can also monitor concentration rates so that they understand their current performance and where to put more effort in.
The E-academy platform, with its functions, is expected to create a game-changing shift in the education sector.
“I think we have been able to use our imagination and show how we can apply it with the magic of technology to solve real life problems. We can see how this (platform) can evolve. The possibilities, the power of this solution, is endless.”
Engagement Manager of NashTech
Besides education, this can be evolved and utilised in various sectors with diverse settings. Jenny went on to say, “we can extend and develop the functions to fit with different settings. Banks can use this to authenticate identity, businesses can apply it in the workplace, especially for online meetings, and the healthcare industry can apply it to know if the patient is understanding what the doctors are saying, etc”.
The face expression functionality can be applied to better understand human emotions and help with their emotional well-being. Judges from the challenge had given positive feedback towards the platform due to its high feasibility and scalability.
According to Dan Wilkinson, Managing Partner at Nordstar, the organiser and judges at KCOM Hothouse:
“The magic that E-academy adds is the ability to gauge the emotion and, by extension, the engagement in the lecture. I think the application for seminars, panels, workshops etc. is really exciting as it allows the facilitators to understand how the messages are landing and makes them able to adjust their delivery of the message accordingly. With the prevalence, and for some preference, for remote working the need for something that adds warmth to these communication tools is bound to grow.”
Managing Partner of Nordstar
NashTech is striving continuously to explore the full potential in technology and contribute to the growth of this industry worldwide. We were delighted to participate in such a meaningful event and are proud to have been chosen as the winner for the Hothouse challenge. We will continue our efforts in delivering technology excellence.