Top headliners on the Las Vegas strip might include Celine Dion, Penn and Teller, and Carrot Top, but from our perspective, they’ve got nothing on the Vegas premiers of such CCNC Mobile Code Jam stars as BlueWay and Fling-It. That’s right: during the second week of January, the top three submissions for each of the Project Hawaii and TouchDevelop Mobile Code Jam Challenges took the stage in Las Vegas during the 10th Annual IEEE Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC 2013), demonstrating their innovative applications while collecting prize money and basking in peer recognition.
The main goal of the two contests was to encourage researchers and, especially, students to advance the field of mobile apps and services. And that they did, with innovative applications that ranged from games to aids for the visually impaired. Here’s the list of the winners:
Project Hawaii Mobile Code Jam
- First prize: BlueWay, an indoor multimedia navigation system, by José Fernández Gorroño of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spain. BlueWay uses Bluetooth technology and Project Hawaii cloud services to turn the Windows Phone into an “indoor GPS” that can, for example, direct you from one subway platform to another, so you won’t miss that train home.
- Second prize: Elves and Arrows, a fantasy game, by George Chen, Edward Lay, and Hui Min Lee of Singapore Management University, Singapore. Elves and Arrows employs gesture-based firing and compass-guided orientation to let your elfin avatar shoot arrows at opponents as you battle online.
- Third prize: Lens of Reality, a text-reading application, by Muhammad Naveed, Qamber Ali, Madiha Qamar, and Farah Saher of NED University, Pakistan. Lens of Reality is designed to help the world’s 285 million visually impaired people by using the phone’s camera and photo storage capabilities to capture printed text and read it aloud.
TouchDevelop Mobile Code Jam
- First prize: Fling-It, a game that tests your ability to follow directions, by Robert Hemsley and Dan Sawada of the MIT Media Lab, United States. Fling-It utilizes the accelerometer and gyroscope on the phone, instructing users to execute various gestures, such as face up, face down, swipe right, and so forth. Multiple players can compete against each other, scoring points by following the directions precisely.
- Second prize: Hungry Rabbit, a game that challenges your hand-eye coordination, by Jeevan Pokhrel and Indira Paudel of the Institut Mines-Telecom, France. The titular rabbit craves carrots, which fall from the top of the screen and must be directed by you to the voracious bunny. Players can compete against each other, with scores published on a leader board.
- Third prize: RemoteBoard, a collaboration app that enables multiple users to share drawings on a touchscreen, by Yuhuan Du of the University of Texas at Austin, United States. Remote Board utilizes the Project Hawaii Relay Service to exchange data between clients, allowing users to share drawings or illustrations and work collaboratively—and to play tic-tac-toe.
Congratulations to the winners and to all who entered the Mobile Code Jam. And just because the contests are over doesn’t mean that the fun is finished—not at all. You, too, can harness the power of Project Hawaii to develop Windows Phone apps that access a suite of cloud services, and you can use TouchDevelop to create apps on your tablet or smartphone— without the need for a separate PC. Maybe you can create the mobile app that brings Carrot Top live to your Windows Phone?
—Arjmand Samuel, Senior Research Program Manager, Microsoft Research Connections