2015 Big Ideas Finalists Announced in “IT for Society” Competition

2015 Big Ideas Finalists Announced in "IT for Society" Competition

CITRIS is delighted to have seven finalists in the IT for Society category of the 2014-2015 Big Ideas@Berkeley competition, which provides funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have “big ideas.”  This year’s finalists will compete in a poster session in April to award the $22,500 prize money available this year. Congratulations to this year’s finalists!

Smart Diaphragm: Vaginal infections in pregnant women pose two major health risks for the unborn child: preterm birth and vertical transmission of infection. Currently, there are limited options that accurately monitor vaginal conditions. Our device incorporates pH and temperature sensors to ascertain vaginal health and incorporates wireless technology for real-time physician monitoring.

Aqua Power: Feed forward to a secure water future. Aqua Power is a water use measurement device installed on faucets and showers to provide feedback on the quantity of water being used. Our product is based on the concept that providing continuous real-time feedback is the best change agent, similar to roadside radar speed signs influence drivers to slowdown.

Lifenik: Lifenik makes games that help kids develop their brains in ways that promote optimal emotional health. Just like learning math or a foreign language, research has shown that practicing certain skills can lead to greater emotional health, well-being, and fewer mental health issues. Lifenik helps kids learn these skills.

OhMyCause!: We know there are causes and issues in the world and want to make a difference but don’t know where to start. OhMyCause! is a web platform that connects people with causes and non-profits. A one-stop place for curated information, actors and projects that match your skills, passions and situation.

Piezoelectric Shoe Sole GPS Tracker: We endeavor to manufacture a low-cost and ergonomic children shoe with an embedded GPS data logger powered by piezoelectric materials. The technology will provide a powerful, more reliable, energy efficient tracking solution to the growing child abduction epidemic.

BCAPI: Controlling electronics with your mind is no longer science-fiction. Recent advancements in Brain-Computer Interfacing (BCI) have enabled people with physical disabilities to drive wheelchairs, write, and communicate. We are developing an open-source BCI software API that will enable developers to create BCI assistive technologies.

PINVoice: PINVoice tackles the problem of wage arrears experienced by construction workers in China. PINVoice is an Interactive Voice Response system that acts as an intermediary between labor supplier subcontractors and construction workers. We connect workers to various projects spreading the risk of non-payment over a diverse set of employment options.


The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute drive interdisciplinary innovation for social good with faculty researchers and students from four University of California campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz – along with public and private partners.

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