Galway’s first app competition reveals talented coders at NUI Galway and GMIT

Judging the competition were NUI Galway’s John Breslin, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Dr Jim Duggan, Information Technology, Dr Michael Lang, Business Information Systems, Clodagh Barry, Bright Ideas Initiative, and local company founders Paul Killoran, Ex Ordo, Michael FitzGerald, OnePageCRM and Dave Kelly, BeautyBoss. Professor Chris Curtin, Vice-President for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway, presented the prizes.

GMIT’s Software Development students and lecturers have been working with four client companies specialising in app development in GMIT's Innovation in Business Centre (IiBC ). Known as the GMIT App Cluster Group, the four client companies and staff and students hold an App Bash Session every two months with each company presenting their commercial app for review by the other client companies, the students and lecturers. In turn, the students present their apps and have them reviewed by the app cluster group.

These sessions have been of great benefit to the GMIT software development students. They also serve as a good sounding board for ideas and as a focus group for testing and feedback on work being done.

Group Projects

€500 First Prize: What’s the Score

Mike Rockall (NUI Galway ) and Con Crowley (NUI Galway )

What’s the Score is a mobile application for taking scores during any type of sports game and reporting both ongoing and final results through a web-based server to interested parties. This project was chosen as the winner because of its easy usability for small sports clubs and teams, including Facebook user log-on functionality, and also because of its strong commercial potential.

€250 Runner-Up Prize: Message in a Bottle

Aleksei Lorenz (NUI Galway ) Yan Chak Or (GMIT ) Karolis Turcilla (GMIT )

Message in a Bottle is a web-based application whereby people cast short messages into a virtual sea and others can choose to read and keep these messages or throw them back in the ocean. This project was selected as the runner up because of its fun game value, strong graphics design, and good use of HTML5 and CSS3 with compatibility for most browsers.

Individual projects

iPad First Prize: iSpeak

Cathal Mac Donnacha (GMIT )

This application allows people with differing native languages to communicate with each other through a Windows Phone 7 Mobile application. One person speaks in their phrase, it is converted to text and sent to a translation service, and the result is spoken to the second person in their native language. The application was selected as the winner due to its novel use of both software APIs and hardware elements like the phone’s accelerometer to achieve its aims.

iPod Touch runner-up prize: Implexis Adiutor

Carles Sentis (GMIT )

This crossword solver application for Android phones was well realised and potential was described for multi-language versions later on.

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