As part of EMEA’s 2011 Android Educational Outreach program, we recently granted over 300 Android-powered mobile phones to 40 universities across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. These phones will be used to support mobile related project work in university teaching and research. Our steering committee reviewed applications from 77 universities in 24 countries across the region and selected finalists based on each proposal’s scope to generate interest in mobile engineering, reach many students, and be applicable both within and outside the university.
This is the second year we have awarded mobile phones to universities. This is largely attributable to the enthusiastic feedback from last year’s recipients who were interested in continued support for Android project work. The phones donated last year were used in a range of interesting projects, including:
- George Candea, EPFL (Switzerland): The Pocket Campus, an application that helps students, graduates, staff and visitors to find their way around the EPFL campus was created as a course project. After the course, some of the students decided to continue development of the application. It has become so successful that it’s now EPFL’s campus-wide smartphone app.
- Andrew Rice, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom): Students in the summer programme developed Learn!, a flashcard-based learning application that is available in Android Market. This project investigated how one might incorporate features of modern phones such as multimedia capture and playback, data communications and significant computation power into a learning application.
- Alan Smeaton and colleagues, Dublin City University (Ireland): Undergraduate, master’s, and PhD students embarked on a wide variety of projects, which included lifelogging (recording everyday activities using the phone); measuring the strengths of wireless networks as an aid to mapping wireless propagation; and interface design for an augmented reality application.
- Nicolae Tapus, University Politehnica of Bucharest (Romania): Numerous applications were developed by students, including: TaxiFinder, an application that finds the closest taxi number with the lowest price, and Viewlity, an augmented reality engine for showing nearby points of interest (e.g., gas stations, restaurants, ATMs, places of worship) on an Android phone.
- Gerhard Tröster, ETH Zurich (Switzerland): Martin Wirz and his team are using mobile phones to conduct research in the field of wearable computing and machine learning. The devices are used to collect all kinds of sensor information (e.g., accelerometer, magnetometer, microphone, GPS) to infer personal activities, psychological behaviors and social phenomena.
We are looking forward to sharing the great projects resulting from this year’s Android Educational Outreach program early next summer.