Idea to personalise news content with a simple voice command wins top hackathon prize

(From left) Mr Mark Lven Tupa Palejaro, Mr Choo Yan Sheng and Mr Alexander McColl, together with Mr Albert Puah (not in picture), won the top prize at the Smart Living Hackathon on June 24, 2018.
(From left) Mr Mark Lven Tupa Palejaro, Mr Choo Yan Sheng and Mr Alexander McColl, together with Mr Albert Puah (not in picture), won the top prize at the Smart Living Hackathon on June 24, 2018. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

(From left) SPH chief product officer Gaurav Sachdeva, principal software engineers  Paramanathan Nirosan, Jeffrey Monte, Hector Cordero and Ralph Buna, and SPH chief technology officer Glen Francis at Mapletree Business City on June 24, 2018.
(From left) SPH chief product officer Gaurav Sachdeva, principal software engineers Paramanathan Nirosan, Jeffrey Monte, Hector Cordero and Ralph Buna, and SPH chief technology officer Glen Francis at Mapletree Business City on June 24, 2018.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
(Back row, from left) Mr Shishir Jayant, head of business development, India & South-east Asia, Google; Mr Justin Ang, head of product, StarHub; Mr Milind Sanghavi, head of digital payments, OCBC Bank; Mr Gaurav Sachdeva, chief product officer, SPH;
(Back row, from left) Mr Shishir Jayant, head of business development, India & South-east Asia, Google; Mr Justin Ang, head of product, StarHub; Mr Milind Sanghavi, head of digital payments, OCBC Bank; Mr Gaurav Sachdeva, chief product officer, SPH; Ms Yeong Mun-Ling, head of business strategy and payments, StarHub; Mr Howie Lau, chief marketing officer, StarHub; Mr Glen Francis, chief technology officer, SPH, posing with (front row, from left) winners Mark Lven Tupa Palejaro, Alexander McColl and Choo Yan Sheng. Their fourth team member Mr Albert Puah was not present.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - They spent more than 24 hours - including working through the night - to build on their idea that news content can be personalised for a user with just a simple voice command.

The creative solution went on to snag four technology enthusiasts the top prize of $10,000 at the Smart Living Hackathon held over the weekend (June 23 and 24).

Their creation involves using a person's existing data, such as his interests, to figure out what kind of news to compile and present to him after he speaks a command, such as asking for the day's news.

The team comprised advanced software engineer Mark Lven Tupa Palejaro, 32; full stack developer Choo Yan Sheng, 30; project engineer Alexander McColl, 27; and cyber defence account manager Albert Puah, 28.

Mr Choo said: "When a user says a command, the content received is much more relevant. So he doesn't have to take extra steps to find what he is looking for."

Over two days, 35 teams of four, using the voice-controlled Google Assistant platform, explored how voice technology can transform the way people live.

The event was held at co-working space Level3 at the Mapletree Business City in Pasir Panjang. It was organised by StarHub and OCBC Bank in collaboration with Singapore Press Holdings.