Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ITS announces winners in Spring Mobile Apps Challenge

An iPad application that enables users with fine motor control disabilities or vision impairment to send and receive email messages is the overall winner of the Spring 2011 Mobile Apps Challenge at Information and Technology Services (ITS).


More information

Click here for more information and videos of all the entries.

Improving communication and collaboration for people of different abilities and needs emerged as a theme in the contest, which had 18 apps were entered in three platform categories: iPhone, Android, and Web applications. All active UM students, faculty, and staff were eligible to compete.

"With each Mobile Apps Challenge, we're amazed at the mobile development skills flourishing across the university," says Holly Nielsen, interim executive director of application and information services at ITS. "Not only do the contestants get a chance to showcase their ingenuity and win great prizes, but they also provide useful apps to the U-M community."

The winning applications were:

• ASK Messaging (Winner-Overall): Kimberly Hunter, an undergraduate student in computer science, and her colleagues developed an iPad application that offers a unique "scanning interface" that allows users with fine motor control disabilities or vision impairment to easily compose messages using a custom keyboard, select and read messages in their inbox, and navigate menus without requiring precise on-screen touches.

• Communicate (Winner – Android): Andrew Sapperstein, an undergraduate student in engineering, developed a real-time translator allowing communication with someone who speaks a different language.

• Epiphany (Winner – Mobile Web): Carl Anderson, a web designer for the College of Pharmacy, developed Epiphany to help students organize study groups or "meetups" based on their location. Students can quickly and easily find nearby study groups and add new meetups.

• intelli-Diet for iPhone (1st Runner-Up): Brian Atz, a graduate student in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, developed a simple-to-use meal planning app that crafts customized meal plans and generates shopping lists to help you reach your weight loss goals. Users also can email a printer-friendly shopping list, which will make sure they purchase the right foods.

The four runners-up and their projects were:

• Christopher Best, Rackham graduate student, 3dssApp – ergonomic job safety analysis.

• Alexander Haefner, engineering undergraduate student, Draw With Me – interactive drawing experience.

• Zev Youra, LSA undergraduate student, Dodac Tiler – math-based puzzle game.

• Hung Truong, employee in the Health Sciences Library, Mapskrieg – Craigslist apartment listings app.

The competition was sponsored by Apple Inc., Computer Science and Engineering, Google, ITS, Microsoft, and the Office of Technology Transfer.