BICTA 2018 winners look forward to greater challenges

|     Danial Norjidi     |

THE Tertiary Project category of the Brunei Info-Communication Technology Awards (BICTA) 2018 saw the top three prizes awarded to teams with projects focussed on the use of virtual reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT) and crowdsourcing during the award ceremony that took place on August 30 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

In the category, grants for product development amounting to BND7,000 and BND3,500 were awarded to teams in first and second places, while the third place team received a cash prize of BND1,750.

All three teams were also awarded with trophies and certificates.

A team of two sisters, Nursheila Ziziumiza and Sarinah Ziziumiza, who are Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) students, garnered first and third places for their projects ‘MechSim’ and ‘GoBacker’.

They said they were happy and overwhelmed with the honour of winning two awards, which they said was unexpected.

Nursheila Ziziumiza and Sarinah Ziziumiza from Universiti Teknologi Brunei, first place and third place winners of the Tertiary Project category at the Brunei Info-Communication Technology Awards (BICTA) 2018. – PHOTOS: AZROL AZMI
Mohammad Azizi bin Saiful Rizal, Reneiro Andal Virrey and Abdul Mu’iz bin Maidi from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), the second place winner for the Tertiary Project category at the BICTA 2018. Dean of Faculty of Integrated Technologies at UBD Professor Liyanage Chandratilak De Silva is also seen

The first prize-winning project, MechSim, uses VR to run simulations on mechanical installations.

The sisters explained that MechSim is a virtual training platform used for learning and training of mechanical equipment, providing users a hands-on experience that encourages personalised learning.

They said, “The mechanical equipment can comprise compressors, motors, pumps, chillers and many more. It’s not limited to only mechanical” before saying that it can include any complex equipment.

They added, “It uses a Leap Motion sensor to mirror real hand movement at work, especially during the assembly and disassembly of equipment. You will learn how to assemble, disassemble and do maintenance, as if you are there. It’s good for customers or institutions that are limited for equipment.”

On what is next for the project, they said, “We first want to improve the content further, and want to collaborate with companies and institutions to improve the product itself.”

The team also won third prize for its second project, GoBacker, a crowdsourcing platform to advertise projects which aims to help bring innovative ideas to life by giving opportunities for creators to introduce themselves and their projects to potential supporters and backers.

“GoBacker is very good for people who want to venture into business or have a project idea or competition,” they said. “What it does is it allows the creator – the person who wants to advertise their project – to advertise here, put their layout, timeline and finance, and most importantly, the target goal”. It was explained that “the target goal can be in terms of supporters who actually like your idea”, as well as a target for those “who want to buy your product or services”.

They added, “When he or she meets their target goals, it means that there is a market, there is a demand. Then he or she has to complete the request of the customer.”

A notable feature of GoBacker is that it is not just to market users’ products and services but also to recruit people.

The sisters said, “So let’s say someone has a band in need of a drummer. He or she can advertise ‘I need a drummer with this type of specification’ and then send the CV and everything. Once the group is complete, then he or she can go for the target goal.

“For us, the focus is more varied. It can be for a charity, it can be for a competition, it can be for foundation or a concert or an activity.

“There are no limits. And it has that feature for recruiting people who have the same ideas. And if it meets its goal, then it’s good.

“So it’s basically supporting local talent to present their idea. It’s a platform.”

Meanwhile, a team of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) students – Mohammad Azizi bin Saiful Rizal, Reneiro Andal Virrey and Abdul Mu’iz bin Maidi – took second place in the category for ‘Droplet’, an IoT system to monitor water in the environment.

Speaking to the Bulletin, Mohammad Azizi said that Droplet has great potential and is an environment quality management system as well as an energy controlling system.

He said, “Basically, it monitors the environment. One of the applications of Droplet is keeping a water pond healthy. Water ponds in their nature are stagnant. Droplet is connected to a waterwheel. The waterwheel helps the water be dynamic.

“That’s important because when it’s stagnant, the water will produce some unpleasant smell and it is the breeding ground for mosquitos. So when it’s dynamic, there’s no surface tension. When there’s no surface tension, the mosquitos cannot lay eggs.”

He said that this also helps to oxygenate the water to provide nutrients and also to help organisms such as fish, plants and also bacteria to break down waste, so that more organisms can thrive in the water.

On what is next, the team said, “We’re going to expand the features of Droplet itself. So right now it can sustain and manage a water pond. However, it also has a rain gauge now; it has a water sensor. This water sensor can also measure rain data – so basically the period of rain, when it starts and when it ends.

“The future developments are going to be integrating multiple sensors like pH, soil, temperature, moisture and also infrared cameras. So basically we want to monitor all kinds of variables in the surroundings.

“With that in mind, we can also make this as a platform where we can collect data, gather it and upload it to a server or the Internet so people like researchers, lecturers and students can have access to this data, so it’s an open source.

“The potential is huge. Now we’re just waiting for the components and making the integration work.”

Mohammad Azizi also thanked his colleagues Reneiro and Abdul Mu’iz as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Integrated Technologies at UBD Professor Liyanage Chandratilak De Silva.

In addition to winning second place in the Tertiary Category at the BICTA 2018, the Droplet team also won the Internet of Things special award.