Jeddah: Fuelled by caffeine, pizza pie and internal secretion, sleep- disadvantaged programmers in a very marathon Saudi contest in the week explored high-tech solutions to forestall a repeat of past calamities within the annual hajj journey.
In a cavernous hall within the Red Sea town of the metropolis, thousands of computer code professionals and students competed within the kingdom’s first ever hackathon, a cryptography competition prior the world’s largest journey later this month.
The Haj, expected to draw quite 2 million pilgrims to Mecca this year, represents a key ceremony of passage for Muslims and a colossal logistic challenge for Saudi authorities, with stupendous crowds cramming into comparatively little holy sites.
Launching headlong into thirty-six hours of computer code development, the participants from across the world battled sleep deprivation to crowd supply answers to a key question that has long vexed hajj organisers — the way to avert future deadly disasters.
A group of 5 Saudi, Yemeni and Eritrean girls, bushed their 20s and lined head- to- toe within the Islamic face veil, stooped over their laptops to style AN app for paramedics to rapidly reach folks in want of medical attention exploitation geo- trailing technology.
If multiple emergencies arise right away, the ladies hoped their app would facilitate order the foremost pressing cases.
Two Pakistani professionals paired up with 2 East Asian students to develop a “virtual leash” application to find relatives lost within the ocean of humanity by exploitation Bluetooth wristbands.
Four Saudi men sought-after to style sensors for garbage bins that might alert cleaners after they square measure full to avert any hygiene scare.
And Another cluster of Saudi girls written algorithms and programming codes on a whiteboard to style an app to assist non- Arabic speakers translate directions into multiple languages while not an online affiliation.
With nearly three,000 programmers — UN agency Ate and slept at the venue — organisers aforementioned Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had broken the Guinness record for the biggest variety of participants at a hackathon.
While their solutions square measure still untested, the event, that concluded on a weekday and offered money prizes of around 2 million riyals ($ 533,000), was beaked as AN invention marathon by organisers.
“We aim to upgrade the expertise of hajj for all pilgrims from everywhere the globe,” aforementioned Nouf al- Rakan, chief
The Haj, expected to draw quite 2 million pilgrims to Mecca this year, represents a key ceremony of passage for Muslims and a colossal logistic challenge for Saudi authorities, with stupendous crowds cramming into comparatively little holy sites
executive of the Saudi
Federation for Cyber Security and Programming, that union the event.
“This ( hackathon) can enrich that have, can offer North American country many solutions and ideas that we will truly adapt and invest in,” she told fetoprotein.
Saudi Arabia’s position of Mecca and Medina — Islam’s 2 holiest sites — is seen because of the kingdom’s most powerful style of political legitimacy.
But a series of deadly disasters over the years have prompted criticism of the Sunni kingdom’s management of the annual journey, most notably from arch-rival and Shia powerhouse Persia.
In Sept 2015, a stampede killed up to two,300 worshippers, together with many Iranians, within the worst disaster ever to strike the journey.
Earlier that month, one hundred folks were killed once a construction crane toppled into a curtilage of Mecca’s Grand house of worship.
The tragedies prompted scalding criticism from Iran’s supreme leader religious leader Ali Khamenei, UN agency aforementioned the Saudi ruling family didn’t need to manage Islam’s holiest sites.
“I imagine the Saudi authorities square measure terribly anxious to avoid a repeat of past mishaps that would mirror badly on the ‘ modernising’ narrative around prince prophet bin Salman,” aforementioned Kristian Ulrich Sen, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute within the North American country.
Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 reform arrange seeks to shift the economy of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — the world’s high crude businessperson — removed from oil dependency towards alternative sources of revenue, together with non-secular commercial enterprise.
The theme for the post-oil era aims to draw six million hajj pilgrims annually. to boot, the dominion hopes to draw in another thirty million pilgrims to Umrah, a lesser journey to Mecca which will be completed throughout the remainder of the year.
Last Gregorian calendar month, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund declared plans to line up 2 investment corporations to develop infrastructure in Mecca and Medina, in a very bid to accommodate the increasing numbers of Muslim pilgrims.