Creating New, Useful Technology with the Connect Ability Challenge


Though we often take it for granted, and some may argue we’ve become overly dependent on it, technology is a marvelous thing.  On a day to day basis, it connects us, makes our jobs easier, and allows us to accomplish tasks once thought impossible.

When used properly, technology simply makes life better.

And it’s no different for those who live with a disability.  Technology can be utilized for therapy or even the restoration of abilities that have been lost.  But as much as we can do with technology right now, many believe we’ve barely scratched the surface.

So, to spur further innovation, AT&T is partnering with NYU to host a competition called the Connect Ability Challenge.

It’s About Empowering People to Live Fuller Lives

Connect Ability Challenge is a global competition leveraging mobile/wireless technology in an effort to improve the lives of those with disabilities.   Programmers from all over the world with be utilizing familiar smart-technology and portable devices to create new innovations.

And yes, there are prizes.  About $100,000 worth of prizes.

The grand prize for the person (or team) who creates the best solution is a $25,000 cash prize.  From there, there are a few $10,000 prizes for different categories, and a number of other awards after that.

To kick things off for the main competition, there was also a week long hackathon where participants competed for $10,000 in various prizes.  Though the hackathon has ended, many of those participants are now competition in the main competition.

Can I Join?

Assuming you meet the requirements listed on the official website, you are free to submit your own protect for review.  Teams and organizations (up to 50 people) are allowed to enter as well.   The submission deadline is June 24th, so you still have a little time.

If you have an idea for a piece of technology or some software that a person with a disability could benefit from, now is your chance to get it out there.   Maybe you could find a way to connect a handicap van of ours to a smart-device in a beneficial way.

For full rules, registration info, additional resources, and a full list of awards/prizes, make sure to visit the Connect Ability Challenge website here.

Do you have any ideas for an innovative piece of technology?  What would you like to see someone create?  Let us know in the comments below!

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