by Rebecca Watson ’15 CLAS
In early November, more than 30 students from across the University participated in the College of Engineering’s 24 Hour Android Hackathon. Undergraduates and graduate students from engineering, computer science and business backgrounds competed in teams to develop an award-winning Android application within a 24-hour time period. “The most difficult challenge,” says competitor Will Kolb ’16 EE, “is coming up with an idea that is both interesting and plausible within the time constraints.” At the end of this grueling and exhilarating period, awards for both challenge and non-challenge applications were presented.
Verizon Wireless and Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network sponsored this year’s competition. Verizon Wireless challenged teams to incorporate the use of proximity beacons in their apps. “Proximity Lock,” created and developed by Christine Fossaceca ’15 CpE, Ibrahim Kargbo ’16 EE, Kirk Reinoso ’16 CpE and Shannon Rhodes ’16 CpE, won the sponsored challenge. Their app uses a microcontroller with an accelerometer along with proximity beacons that would sense when your closet door, desk drawer or even lid of your laptop are opened and notify you when you are not in your dorm room. Proximity beacons are small wireless devices that broadcast short-range radio signals that are received by your mobile phone. Using these signals, you can infer the user’s approximate location.