Today we presented the winners of the CodeNinja student app building competition with their great prizes.
First off, as it was the first year of the competition, we were really impressed by the standard of the entries we got. By looking at the standard of the winners & runners up in both categories, you can see how they bought into the idea of creating something innovative & interesting.
In the Groups Category, the first prize winner (of €600) was What’s the Score, an Android-based mobile app that integrates with a web application; it is:
A free, live score updating service for local clubs and teams. What’s the Score makes it easy for anybody to post live score updates online.
The guys behind the app, Mike Rockall and Con Crowley (both of NUI Galway), created a simply designed, easy to use mobile app, along with a web API and application that benefits small clubs. They are planning an Apple iOS version of the app this summer. Along with the novelty value, we felt there is commercial potential in their idea. If you don’t have an Android phone to try it out, Like their page on Facebook to get updates on when new versions are out.
The Runner-up Group (winning €300) created the app, “Message in a Bottle”, and are made up of Aleksei Lorenz (NUI Galway), Yan Chak Or and Karolis Turcilla (both GMIT). The idea behind the app is:
Our project is a messaging system where a conversation is started not by sending a message to a person that you already know like facebook or email, but it’s started when you send a message to some random person, who can be anywhere around the world.
The app is designed for mobile use, but as it was built using HTML5, it works in (most) modern web browsers without a problem. They’ve used lots of emerging technologies, such as MongoDB, Node.js and Redis on the back-end, with HTML5 Mobile Boilerplate, CSS/Less, and jQuery on the front-end.
The winner of the individual prize (of a shiny new iPad) was Cathal Mac Donnacha from GMIT, with his project, iSpeak. iSpeak is a Windows Phone mobile app, which, in his own words:
…is a speech and text translator which allows two people to have a normal conversation while speaking in two different languages. To make the app unique and improve usability I took advantage of the phone’s accelerometer to allow for the use of a more natural hand gesture approach therefore the phone’s orientation is changed to speak, translate and reply.
- Speech Translation.
- Text to speech translation
- Share text translation (SMS, Email, Facebook).
- Save multiple conversations for future reference (handy when asking for directions).
The runner-up in the Individual Category (who wins an iPod Touch) was Carles Sentis from GMIT, with his mobile app Implexis Adiutor. This crossword solving app is built for Android mobile devices and is:
…an application which searches the built in dictionary for words. The user can enter word with wildcards (?) such as “c?r?ot”, and the user will get a list of all the possible word with such a combination like: carlot, carrot…There’s also the possibility to search for anagrams…when the user enters a word such as “cinema”…the user will get a list with all the possible words that can be written a combination of all the characters like: anemic, cinema and iceman…when a word from the list is pressed a definition of the word is shown in a built in browser. The definition shown will be the one chosen from the preference screen.
Congratulations to all the winners, and I hope you enjoy the prizes (especially the iPad, which I’m jealous of). When we started out with this competition we weren’t sure what the response would be like from the students; thankfully it was positive from the very start and right through-out the three workshops we ran in NUIG. It was really great to see the quality of submissions coming in at the end of the competition. That some have the potential to be developed into commercial products is particularly impressive given that the students involved were juggling course-work and upcoming exams at the same time. Well done to all!
The team involved in running the CodeNinja Competition were:
- Michael FitzGerald
- Paul Killoran
- Jim Duggan
- John Breslin
- Michael Lang
- Clodagh Barry
- and myself, Dave Kelly