A team of Saudi Arabian women took home the first prize at the Hajj Hackathon, an event held by the Saudi government in partnership with search engine giant Google. Thousands of technology enthusiasts participated in this innovation-based competition that called for high tech solutions to improve the Hajj experience for pilgrims.
The all-female team, known as "Turjuman", developed a technology that would provide instant translation through the use of an app to help nearly 2 million global pilgrims communicate during Hajj and Umrah. The technology won the first prize of SAR1 million, beating nine other teams.
Among the panel of judges for the competition was Apple Inc. co-founder, Steve Wozniak, and co-founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales. Wozniak was then appointed by the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones as an ambassador for the Saudi TechHub.
The competition drew a total of 2,950 developers from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and around the world. The number of participants made the Guinness World Records for most participants in a software development jam.