Amazon: Amazon India announces Toyathon Challenge 2020 – Latest News


E-commerce major Amazon India has collaborated with Skillenza to host a ‘toy hackathon’ that aims to provide a platform for young innovators to design toys as pedagogical tools for children. The #ToyathonChallenge2020 will offer a platform for young innovators from top institutes across the country to come together and design toys as pedagogical tools for children with a key focus on education, entertainment and engagement, a statement by Amazon said on Thursday.

“#ToyathonChallenge2020 is in line with the National Education Policy’s 2020 vision, which emphasises toys to serve as tools for cognitive development for children across the country and is instrumental in imparting India’s identity, history and narrative,” it added.

Further, the initiative will create an indigenous market with new toy technologies and provide an immense scope to re-purpose India’s traditional craft making processes to develop toys as learning tools for all-round development of children, along with recreational use, it said.

By providing this opportunity, Amazon will give a boost to homegrown emerging Indian brands and manufacturers and promote ‘Made in India’ toys while supporting the government’s mission, the statement added.

The toy industry is massive and there is immense scope for India to repurpose traditional craft making processes to develop toys that can be used as learning tools for all round development of children, Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal was quoted as saying.

“I am pleased to launch #ToyathonChallenge2020, a toy hackathon by Amazon to promote innovations in toy technology & design to reflect Indian ethos and values,” he added.

Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice President and Country Head at Amazon India, said India’s toy manufacturing industry is unique and can help increase contribution to the global industry.

“We have been committed to enabling the MSME ecosystem through different initiatives to support local artisans and manufacturers. The ToyathonChallenge2020 is another step towards our commitment to local empowerment where the winners will get a chance to partner with a leading Indian toy manufacturing brand to showcase their creation,” he added.

Students enrolled in any higher education institutions in India will be eligible to participate in the hackathon. After registration and a 9-12 week long virtual competition to be conducted in four phases, the entries will be evaluated by the jury and the winners will be announced.

In a separate statement, Amazon India said it has deployed ‘Distance Assistant’ across its operational sites in the country, following the successful rollout of the technology in the US and a few other countries.

The AI-powered innovation will remind associates while on site to maintain a safe proximity from others by providing social distancing feedback, in real-time.

‘Distance Assistant’ leverages artificial intelligence, augmented reality and machine learning to track individual movements and gauge their physical distance from others.

Similar to the radar speed check mechanism, the innovation creates a magic-mirror-like experience to provide associates with immediate visual feedback via a monitor, camera, and local computing device when moving in an Amazon India site, the statement said.

The standalone unit uses machine learning models to differentiate people from their surroundings. Combined with depth sensors, the algorithm creates an accurate distance measurement between associates giving them proximity indicators on the monitor, it added.

The self-contained standalone units will be stationed across entrances and high traffic areas across Amazon India’s Fulfilment Centres, Sort Centres and Delivery Stations.

As people walk past the camera, the monitor will display a live video feed with visual cues to show if associates are within six feet of one another. The on-screen indicators have been designed to remind associates to maintain appropriate distance from those around them. Individuals remaining 6 feet apart are highlighted with green circles, while those who are closer are highlighted in red.

“With a safety-first approach, we have been investing in scalable technology solutions to prioritize safety of our teams at all times. We are pleased to introduce this global innovation across all our sites in India,” Karuna Shankar Pande, Director – Fulfilment Centers and Safety at Amazon India, said.


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