Contest Seeks Smartest Smartphone Ideas
Feb. 16, 2010
A campus-wide contest is challenging students to come up with content for a smartphone application that will put site-specific information at the fingertips of UT Dallas users.
Winners of the contest, sponsored by the School of Management, will divide $5,000 in total prize money. The contest is open to any undergraduate or graduate UT Dallas student regardless of major. Details will be available at an organizational meeting set for 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, in School of Management Room 2.711.
“We want students’ creativity – their thoughts, their ideas and their perspective,” said Michael Savoie, director of the Center of Information Technology and Management (CITM) at the School of Management. “Students can be as creative as possible.”
The content must be compatible with InView Mobile, a location-based Web portal for smartphones and mobile devices. Ben Guthrie, product manager for InView Mobile at Plano-based Symon Communications, said the platform can be summed up as, “You are here – here’s content based on where you are.”
Symon is one of the contest’s co-sponsors, along with CITM and the UT Dallas President’s Office.
“We’re very excited to see what people come up with,” Guthrie said. “If there is data out there, it can be aggregated and shown.” He’s curious to see what data students will uncover on campus, and how it might be made available.
Savoie says UT Dallas plans to integrate successful components from this competition into its own geotracking application that will be available to iPhones or any device that has Web-browsing capabilities, such as a laptop on campus or a smartphone. Savoie suspects about 80 percent of UT Dallas students have phones with connectivity.
Jim Gary, vice president and chief information officer for The University of Texas at Dallas, said several vendors are willing to sell the university an application resembling the one envisioned for the contest. “But we didn’t see a great value to us in doing it (that way),” Gary said. “We’d rather do something that’s uniquely ours.” UT Dallas students are best suited to deciding what would be in a useful application, he said.
“This is about developing content,” Savoie said. “You will be able to have a real opportunity to showcase your talents – whether it’s a graphic artist or a marketing major or a tech student.”
And besides, he noted, “there’s $5,000 on the table.”
IPhone and smartphone users can receive location-specific information with InView Mobile. The University will integrate ideas from the competition into its own geotracking application that will be available on iPhones or any device that has Web-browsing capabilities.
The next information session will be at 4-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in School of Management Room 2.711.
Information, rules and important dates can be found on the contest Web page.
Awards will be $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second and $1,000 for third.
Students may work in teams or individually.
Contestants must e-mail their intent to enter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contest rules give the University rights to submitted content.
The Symon site offers more about the InView Mobile platform that will be used at UT Dallas.