Reverse Pitch yields winning innovative projects to power smart cities

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June 20, 2017

Imagine driving into a crowded parking lot knowing exactly where to find the best empty space.

This idea is on its way to reality by winning one of the top prizes in the Richardson US Ignite Smart Cities Gigabit Reverse Pitch.

A team at UT Dallas developed the second winning idea: an application that allows students to practice interviewing medical patients through augmented reality.

The two teams will have up to 6 months to develop a working demonstration of their application ideas to earn another $5,000 award. The $20,000 prize money was provided through a US Ignite grant. 

The competition seeks to spur development of new apps to power smart cities of the future. Mike Skelton, director of the mayor’s office of international business for the Richardson Economic Development Partnership, served as a judge for the challenge. Read more about the program here.

Security on the Poles would use smart LED-powered street lights equipped with HD cameras, microphones and sensors to monitor UTD parking lots for safety as well as parking space availability; campus streets for congestion and provide driver exit and entrance alternatives via smart phones, and license plate tracking. More information about the project is available at

Another UTD team will work in collaboration with UT Southwestern Medical Center to create an Emotive Virtual Patient (EVP) as part of the Emotive Virtual Reality Patient System. The team is developing an augmented-reality application for training nurses and healthcare workers using Microsoft Hololens viewer and an “emotive virtual reality patient” with complex natural-language conversation paths that accurately represent the emotions, unique cultures and overall behavior patterns of real-life patients for training healthcare professionals on patient interaction and diagnosis. More details are available at the UTD Mercury.