George Town, 10 July 2018 – A week’s development paid off in 36 sleepless hours when UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College students managed to imbue billboards with the power of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Three UOW Malaysia KDU Penang students teamed up with another student from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Johor and developed a smart solution for local authorities to keep tabs on illegal or expired billboard advertisements.
By adding a system that let’s billboards ‘tell’ local authorities if an illegal billboard poster is put up, or if the poster’s permit has expired, the students devised a way for such authorities to check on every billboard in their jurisdiction in real-time.
For that, the students won the first prize of RM6,000 and another RM3,000 worth of vouchers for Microsoft Certification training programmes at The Grand Challenge held in George Town, Penang, from 29th June to July 1st.
“We were required to create an IoT- based solutions for outdoor billboards which will monitor the content of the advertisements displayed,” said N.R. Sriram from the School of Computing, UOW Malaysia KDU Penang. Sriram teamed up with two more participants from UOW Malaysia KDU Penang and one participant from UTM.
“We developed an embedded system, which consists of Raspberry Pi integrated into a 360-degree camera to do image processing of the billboard displays. The image recognition technology will match the billboards’ images with those stored in the database sof local authorities.
“To detect illegal billboard ads, the system will capture the images, location, time and send the data from Raspberry Pi to a cloud database which will alert city council officers through an Android app,” explained Sriram.
Dr.Joshua Thomas, Senior lecturer of Department of Computing, UOW Malaysia KDU Penang and Dr Gomesh Nair, Senior lecturer of Department of Computing, UOW Malaysia KDU Penang, trained the participants and helped them to develop the initial idea, as Dr Joshua has experience in deep learning and image processing. The four participants are not from an engineering background and at first faced difficulties developing an IoT system with Raspberry Pi and sensors.
“I have some experience and knowledge about sensors from participating in various hackathons before this and some of my teammates have experience doing IoT systems for their final year diploma project.” said Sriram.
The team was selected to pitch their creation for investment or commercialization in the “Next Big Tech Asia 2018” on 2nd October 2018 in front of over 1000 people crowd.
Preparing and developing the creative and critical thinking skills of students will be continued after UOW Malaysia KDU Penang opens its flagship campus in Metropolis Batu Kawan next year.