Mobile solutions for challenges in energy, environment and sustainability was the theme of the first “Mobilize Your Ideas!” contest, organized by the Wireless Institute, in collaboration with the Notre Dame Energy Center and the Academic Technologies Lab, all at Notre Dame. University students, staff, faculty, and alumni were invited to design and implement innovative solutions using mobile technologies. Almost 50 participants registered for this event, ultimately leading to seven application finalists competing using platforms such as iPhones, Android smartphones and tablets.
“The mobile application industry continues to build momentum and the growth potential is tremendous,” says Christian Poellabauer, member of the Wireless Institute and contest organizer. “Participating members of the Notre Dame community were invited to showcase their ingenuity while addressing important current challenges.” Planning for the second annual “Mobilize Your Ideas!” contest, which will address the theme of mobile applications for the greater good, is underway.
This competition was sponsored by the Motorola Foundation (through an “Innovation Generation Grant”) and the University of Notre Dame. The Motorola Foundation’s goal is to engage students in a corporate-led initiative to cultivate widespread literacy in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through educational programs, community activities and hands-on competitions, well-aligned with Notre Dame’s mission.
The winning applications of this year’s contest:
GreenDrive (First Prize, $10,000): Shu Liu and Wei Zhang (Grads – Computer Science and Engineering) developed an Android application called GreenDrive. GreenDrive helps users track their vehicle’s carbon footprint and provides some suggestions to reduce carbon emission. By utilizing the GPS API in the Android phone, the application keeps records of the speed and location data in the background to decide whether the user is driving or not. This data is stored safely in the remote cloud by communicating with web services. With the data in hand, users can browse their driving history charts daily, weekly and monthly.
BusMinder (Second Prize, $5,000): James Gentile (Grad – Computer Science and Engineering), Mark Easley (Undergrad – Computer Science and Engineering), Cameron Harvey (Grad – Physics) and Samuel Rund (Grad – Biological Sciences) developed an Android application called BusMinder. The BusMinder application provides riders with the live location of public transportation buses. The application consists of a bus beacon/transponder that goes in the bus to track its location and a user application that displays the route of each bus, as well as its current position.
Locate Green (Tied for Third Prize, $2,500): Brian Kachmark (Junior – Computer Science and Engineering) and Andrew Plaska (Junior – College of Science) developed a web-based community called Locate Green. The motivation behind this is creating an environment-friendly society emanating from the everyday decisions we make. The opportunities to make eco-friendly decisions can often remain hidden from the general public. Locate Green uncovers these opportunities and makes them readily available by providing a platform for users to find environment-friendly locations, as well as uploading other locations they have found for the community to enjoy. RideShare (Tied for Third Prize, $2,500): Dirk Van Bruggen (Grad – Computer Science and Engineering) created an application based on the motivation that many students at Notre Dame live in the same areas and all drive their own vehicles to campus every day. RideShare is an application that allows users to advertise open seats in their car and look for rides to and from different locations.