Team TAWI from Kenya Wins Microsoft’s Innovation Award

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Team TAWI from Kenya was crowned the winner of the annual Imagine Cup World Championship.

Team TAWI from Kenya was crowned the winner of the annual Imagine Cup World Championship.

The team consisting of John Onsongo Mabeya, Muna Said, Syntiche Musawu Cishimbi, and Zakariya Hussein Hassan is a group of students who met at a Hackathon.

TAWI tackles the communication challenges faced by children with Auditory Processing Disorder. The accessible solution works by suppressing background noise.

In addition, the solution enhances the quality of speech. TAWI also converts speech to text. Remarkably, the solution makes use of earphones, a smartphone, and the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence.

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), is a hearing condition in which your brain has challenges processing sounds. Indeed, TAWI will help children hear better and focus on the person they are listening to.

In an educational environment, this will help them focus on their studies and reduce existing communication barriers. Hence, they will have the confidence needed to reach their dreams.

TAWI Innovators Goodies

The award was accompanied by prize money of USD 100,000. In addition, the students will receive mentorship from Microsoft’s Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella.

Furthermore, they will now be part of Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, level 2. This will be a great chance to take their innovation to the next level.

It is no surprise that the innovation came from personal experience. One of the TAWI team members has a sibling who suffers from APD.  Indeed, the first-hand experience inspired them to use their skills to develop a viable solution.

As a team, we are very excited about the potential impact that our project, TAWI, could have on the lives of children with APD. We believe that TAWI, which uses real-time speech recognition and amplification, could be a game changer for these children, allowing them to participate more fully in social and educational settings. Our hope is that TAWI will eventually become widely available and help to address a critical community need.” : said Muna a member of Team TAWI.