Runner tracking app wins inaugural wireless competition

Posted on 22. Jun, 2011 by in Academic Departments, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Issues, Magazine, Students

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The Qualcomm Wireless Innovation Prize, sponsored by the San Diego, California-based mobile technology company, rewards students who present creative wireless technology products and well-developed business plans to make those products profitable. The inaugural competition was held April 28, 2011, in Union South.

“We have a lot of outstanding UW-Madison graduates at Qualcomm, and we felt a contest like this would help broaden students’ academic experience,” says Jim Thompson, Qualcomm vice president of CDMA Technology and a UW-Madison alumnus. “We also hope to encourage students in business, engineering and computer science to pursue careers in wireless.”

A smartphone application that will allow running race observers to keep track of particular runners won first place and $10,000. Developed by master’s degree in business administration students Stephen Ranjan, Eric Baum, Tyler Heslinga and Vinothkumar Narasimhan, the app allows users to monitor a runner’s progress along a race route. The app also provides statistics about the runner’s pace and health by syncing with existing apps that record heart rate or other data. The app could be useful for other sports, such as cycling or cross-country skiing.

Second place and $5,000 went to biomedical engineering undergraduate student Tyler Lark for Live Healthy, Do Good, a program to simultaneously make healthy food choices and charitable donations via a portable
electronic device. The app encourages users confronted with an unhealthy fast food choice to redirect their funds to a charitable food organization, either locally or internationally.

Third place and $2,500 was awarded to Touch Live Connect, an enhanced online chatting program invented by industrial and systems engineering undergraduate student Nai-Wen (Claire) Yu. The software creates a variety of shared experiences for up to six video chat users, such as allowing people to put themselves in a shared background (like space or famous cities) or watch videos together while simultaneously seeing others’ reactions.

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