We Asked our Hackers about their Hack to the Future

Most recently, we participated in the HackMIT 2017 and here is the story.

From the left, Selina, Jian Sheng and Carina from NCNY8 at the HackMIT 2017

HackMIT is an annual student-run hackathon held in the fall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to envision and develop the technology of tomorrow. This year, three of our NUS Overseas College (NOC) New York students from NCNY8 (Jian Sheng, Carina & Selina) joined the challenge with their brilliant solution — Put A Name On It.

Put A Name On It is a facial recognition application that links to the person’s social media account. The application detects and recognizes a person’s face in real time. By simply putting up your phone and pointing the camera at the targeted person’s face, the application will direct you to the person’s social media account. The user has to sign into Facebook beforehand for the application to work. Also, the targeted person will have to be a friend of the user for the application to recognize.

What served as the inspiration behind “Put A Name On It”?

It was inspired by a common pain point we had — a difficulty to remember the name of someone whom you’ve just met. This will lead to awkwardness and embarrassment if you happen to see the person again and had forgotten his or her name.

How did the team come about and what roles do each of you take on?

We (Jian Sheng, Carina & Selina) planned to go to this hackathon together and our team stays in the same apartment in New York for NOC! Jian Sheng was in-charge of developing the product, Selina was in charge of analyzing and collecting the data while Carina works on the design of the application.

Did anything interesting/funny happen while in New York or while working on the project?

There were a lot of free food and swag giveaways during the hackathon! So it was a constant debate between rushing for those or continue working on the project.

Do you have any plans on furthering Put A Name On It?

We definitely think that this would be a fun project to work on! Using the skills learnt from this project, we intend to come up with a more refined product which makes use of image recognition to help people with disabilities explore the world better. Stay tuned!

Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Jian Sheng: NOC is a really rigorous yet rewarding experience that many people should try out. Come here with the right mentality and you’ll definitely find yourself growing much more than just staying in school!

Selina: Take charge of your life and be spontaneous!

Carina: Be sure of what you want to achieve out of your NOC journey before deciding to embark on it!