Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, May 14, 2010

Winners in Mobile Apps Innovation Challenge announced

Mobile-device applications that help people manage their frequent-shopper cards, build their playlist while listening to music, and find their friends through location-based social networking are among the winners in the 2010 Mobile Apps Innovation Challenge.

Ryan Donnelly, Web application developer for the U-M Campus Computing Sites, created the winning Web application in the 2010 Mobile Apps Innovation Challenge. (Photo by Lisa Raycraft)

Information and Technology Services (ITS) and the Office of Technology Transfer sponsored the contest.

“We’ve been hosting this competition for two years now, and the growth and energy is exciting,” says Doug Hockstad, associate director of software and copyright licensing at Tech Transfer.

More than 24 apps were entered in three platform categories: iPhone, Android and Web applications by U-M students, faculty and staff.

“There’s an amazing mobile application culture taking root in Ann Arbor,” Hockstad says. “Thanks in large part to faculty like Elliot Soloway (Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and professor of electrical engineering and computer science, education and information), who are building courses around the creation of mobile applications, and the new efforts of the Information Technology Services group to help coordinate development resources and information, we’re giving the students the tools they need.”

View some of the contest entries on YouTube.

The categories and the winners in each one are:

• iPhone Category — Andy Lin, a computer science engineering graduate, and his colleagues won the top prize for Amp Music Player. Amp Music Player allows users to add, delete, edit or save playlists all while browsing and listening to their music library. Amp Music Player has been submitted to the Apple iTunes store for distribution. 

First runner-up Ari Grant, a computer science engineering and physics graduate, was recognized for MagicCalc, a calculator that supports standard math input, imaginary numbers, units, built-in constants, lists, matrices and graphing.

• Android Category: Computer science student Erik Barbara and his teammates won the Android award for Cardex, an app that manages gift, frequent shopper, and reward cards. It stores card information on a cell phone, and integrates Google Maps services and barcode scanning. Cardex was released to the Android market and already has been downloaded more than 20,000 times.

• Web Application: Ryan Donnelly, a Web application developer for ITS Campus Computing Sites took first prize for his application, Lokuu, a location-based social networking application that allows people to see what their friends are doing and where they are. 

The judges also recognized eight runners-up: Tricia Jones, research associate for the Museum of Zoology; Junxian Huang, computer science graduate student; Dimitrios Liakakos, electrical engineering graduate; Kumar Mayank, website designer for the School of Social Work; Alex Pompe, School of Information graduate student; Janani Sundar, School of Information graduate student; Mark Yang, engineering student and Yuandong Zhuang engineering student.