Touch-Based Virtual Reality For The Blind Developed At Startup Weekend Education Hyderabad

Original post can be found on Imgur. Written by user SathvikP.

We built a wearable device that can help people sense a virtual object (like a square, a map of the world, a cube or an entire solar system), through a small vibrating motor on their hand by moving their hand around in the air. This would be particularly helpful for the blind and the visually impaired as it can help them better visualize shapes, learn geography and access images like they never could before. And I’m very proud to tell you that our team at Color Me Black won Startup Weekend Education Hyderabad!

Congratulations to the rest of the team! And many thanks to all our avid supporters and friends. Also a very special thanks to Faisal from Dialogue In the Dark – India for sparing his valuable time. He helped us fine tune the idea to better help students and showed us how technology has been helping the visually impaired. Stay tuned, you’ll be hearing more about this soon! #MakeInIndia #Wearables #InternetOfThings #VirtualReality #Haptics


The prototype is a glove that people can wear. When they move their hand around, an arduino onboard detects the movement and turns on a small vibrator-motor on the glove. If we have the computer simulate the shape of a square, the glove-wearer would feel a vibration on their hand as they move it along it’s imagined boundaries, allowing them to get a sense of it’s shape.



Blind students and blind people in general have a tough time visualizing, understanding and using images. With the help of this smart-glove, we can give them a sense of what things in the image might be shaped like, enabling them to better use that information.

Learn more about our startup, Colour Me Black and how we will continue to innovate for the blind!

Your Winners: The Greatest Hashtag Battle In History

As the final hours in Global Startup Battle close in, we thought we would get the party started early and award the prize for the top cities in our 2nd annual Hashtag Battle. We added this battle to GSB last year and what a lot of fun it has been.

In fact, let’s take a quick look back at 2013 for reference:

 Last year’s numbers (2013)

city rank

Impressive. About 3 years ago we started tracking every single event hashtag via SimplyMeasured (a great local startup that is now the leader in social analytics) and we typically see anywhere from 300-2,000 tweets on a regular weekend hashtag throughout the year, resulting in average of 3-5 million impressions.

During GSB, those averages are blown out of the water, you guys are determined! The amount of photos, stories, inspiration, encouragement, and yes, some trash talk has been amazing for our team to watch throughout these two weeks. It offers us a window into things that are happening across the world we wouldn’t otherwise have. For that, we can’t thank you all enough for being a part, we hope you enjoyed the view as well.


Now, our winners for 2014. As you may know, we’ve put up a prize for the hashtag battle for the first time. That will be a trip for 3 members of the Organizing team in the winning city to UP Summit, our annual meeting of global Community Leaders. It includes flights, as well as hotel room and most meals! We also planned to host a happy hour in the winning city for all the participants.

Unfortunately, we’re not doing that anymore. 

Because we’re hosting one in EACH of the top FIVE cities instead! After seeing how hard all of you worked, we just didn’t feel right about one city getting all the goods. Every single city that participated is certainly a winner, but as a reward for their incredible participation, the Top 5 will all get a sponsored party/happy hour.

Organizers, we’ll be in touch shortly, we’re still in the midst of the contest portion of GSB still, so things are hectic, but we’ll have the details to you shortly.

Without further ado, here they are, the final Top 10. Congratulations to you all!

2014 Results

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 5.00.18 PM

Congratulations to Giza, Toulon, Lyon, Amman, and Lille. If you look at this year’s numbers compared to 2013, you’ll note that the winner last year would have placed just 7th!

Great Tweets



Sam Woodard: math teacher turned startup founder at SWEDUsea 2013

Winner of Startup Weekend Education 2013

It was pretty late on a Friday evening of November 2013. Sam Woodard, a math teacher at the Cleveland High School in Seattle, was watching the Startup Weekend Education pitches from his seat in the University of Washington Paccar Hall Auditorium.  He did not know anyone at all and was initially planning on joining a team and seeing what the event was like for his first Startup Weekend. But as he heard more and more 60 minute pitches he felt that he could present his own idea. A nudge from another teacher seated next to him was enough to get Sam to stand up and wait in line for his time to share his idea: MyWorksheets, an iPad app to capture worksheets and make it possible for students to fill them in digitally.

Sam recruited a multi disciplinary team of developers, designers and business people and they built the app that ended up winning the first prize of Startup Weekend Seattle EDU 2013. Using the prizes that they won, the team ended up pushing the project further with a video for the Global Startup Battle and the winning pitch for the Northwest battle pitch competition in December.

mathchatIn another serendipitous event, Software Engineer Kostub Deshmukh, Sam’s current co-founder and CTO, discovered the MyWorksheets video on the Global Startup Battle website and decided to join forces with him. Based on the feedback they got during customer validation sessions, they decided to pivot and work on MathChat instead. MathChat is an iOS app that makes it easy for students to help each other to solve math problems over chat. Sam and his co-founder are now going through the Imagine K12 incubator in San Francisco and getting more and more users for their app!

Why should you go to Startup Weekend EDU? In Sam’s own words “You don’t know what’s going to happen but this may be the event that sparks an idea that ends up being your startup!”

It’s your turn. Sign up for Startup Weekend Education Seattle.

Not in Seattle? Find a Startup Weekend Education near you!