Australia’s most innovative IT solutions on display at UOW

Necessity is the mother of all inventions. And there are still many needs in our rapidly changing modern society, whether in health, work, transportation or our daily lives.

That’s why the School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT) trade show, taking place at the University of Wollongong (UOW) today (Thursday 27 October), offered promising technology and software solutions, including many aim to revolutionize the way Australian industries work in the years to come.

The annual event allows final-year computer science, information technology and business information systems students to present their projects to the community and industry partners.

About 500 people visited the SCIT show to admire and test 32 cutting-edge products, ranging from mobile apps and games to innovative software.

SCIT keynote speaker Dr Mark Freeman said the projects have encouraged students to embark on bright professional futures as the next generation of Australian innovators.

“The projects allowed our students to work with industry professionals in real workplaces of employers and to use their computer, business and information technology skills – learned at UOW — to demonstrate technical acumen and career potential,” Dr. Freeman said.

The technological solutions presented at the UOW address real problems faced by Australian society, charities or businesses operating in the IT, medical, social care and computer gaming sectors.

They also highlight how information technology and computer systems can transform our lives – from improving home renovations to helping the visually impaired watch movies.

“They demonstrate the incredible talents of UOW students and show how innovation and ‘outside the box’ thinking can truly change our world,” said Dr. Freeman.

One of the projects is a pragmatic approach to bathroom remodeling called Supersize, created in collaboration between students Kyle Brookes and Dayna Briffa and their industry partner, Architectural Designer Products.

Kyle and Dayna are third-year students studying a bachelor’s degree in computer science, with Kyle majoring in software engineering and Dayna in game and mobile development.

“We know how difficult it is to visualize your dream bathroom just by consulting a catalogue. So we developed a scalable, data-driven 3D product configurator, allowing customers to interact with and visualize their product before buying it.

“What makes Project Supersize unique is its completely data-driven nature. We built the configurator with total robustness, allowing it to be lightweight and efficient. And we both used our strongest skills For me, it was 3D graphics, and Kyle’s influence was the automation and streamlining process,” Dayna said.

Another innovative solution from SCIT aims to equip modern communication tools with a deeper understanding of the emotions and intentions behind words. Called DeepPurple, the project is text analytics software that analyzes the messages people write to decipher what they’re really saying and how they’re feeling. It was created by a team of UOW students working with their industry partner, Morpheus Wealth.

“A concept for this product was presented to us by project sponsor Ray Tubman. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses have had to interact with their customers virtually. There was a great need for AI software to help businesses understand the emotional component of online conversations. So we created one,” said Veronica Nashed, an undergraduate computer science student who participated in the DeepPurple project.

The core of the text analytics software allows users to see sentiment trends (happy, sad, disgusted, angry, happy, excited, anxious, or surprised) in addition to topics (such as a service or product) and general satisfaction results (positive, neutral or negative). These trends are displayed in graphs and allow companies to share and analyze all information.

Sherry J. Basler