Fashion and IT students win at Kent State hackathon


George Brown College fashion and IT students teamed up to create wearable technologies at the Kent State University Fashion/Tech Hackathon and came home as winners in two categories. 

Nine George Brown students worked on their wearable tech projects at the event January 25-27, 2019. There weren’t many rules, but students couldn’t build or create anything for their project before the event. 

George Brown teams won in two categories: Best Concept That Addresses User/Customer Experience and two teams won the Most Market/Venture Potential mentorship award. The students were mentored by professors Milan Shahani and Vladimira Steffek.

Harkirat Khurana, a Computer Systems Technology student, was on the team that won the Best Concept That Addresses User/Customer Experience award for a project called Shine. To project aims to improve the accuracy of oxygen and pulse measurements on smart watches. 

See the project at New Browser Window

“One of the biggest things I took away from this experience was that even huge problems can be solved by small solutions,” Harkirat said. “ Smartwatches are a very complex, high-tech device and the solution we created solved one of the biggest problems with them.” 

Luis Matute, a student in our Fashion Management program, worked on a tech wearable garment that features infrared technology for therapeutic purposes. Luis worked alongside fellow students Dana Newman, Riley Ford, Christopher Benton and Revathi Varatharajan. The team won the Most Market/Venture Potential award. 

See the team’s project at Open New Browser Window

“The big takeaway for me was being able to take the idea/concept and make a prototype within 36 hours that meets the criteria of an innovative product yet functional, fashionable and commercial,” Luis said. “It was a great experience to lead a multidisciplinary team (Fashion Management, Fashion Design, IT) to achieve a winning product.” 

Elza Yusufova, a Fashion Techniques and Design student, was on a team that created another winning project—a wearable band to monitor an infant’s temperature called Care Safe Open New Browser Window

"At the beginning I was a little afraid to work on a team with people I didn't know. This was the biggest challenge, but we worked well together," she said. "The best experience I got during hackathon was to work in a team and rely on each other and listen for suggestions from team members."  

Congratulations to all George Brown students who competed!