Good Times app a winner for AT&T hackathon developer
Ruggero Scorcioni only showed up in Las Vegas to network with other developers, but walked away with $30,000
Computerworld - LAS VEGAS - With app development, serendipity matters. Ruggero Scorcioni knows that better than almost anybody.
Scorcioni showed up in Las Vegas last weekend to enter an AT&T 26-hour app development hackathon, primarily with hopes of networking with other app developers. Instead, he ended up winning first prize and $30,000 in prize money for building -- impromptu -- an app he dubbed "Good Times," which politely tells people phoning him to call him back when he's not especially busy.
Nothing special about that capability, really. The interesting thing is that this call management app works by detecting Scorcioni's brain waves and processing that information to keep outside callers from interrupting.
If he is relaxed, his brain activity will inform the call management software to allow calls through. When he's busy, callers are told: "This is not a good time to call, please call again later."
Conversely, if Scorcioni is about to make a call, but has just been fired or upset or is especially intent on something, the software will detect his heightened brain activity and then that will translate into a message telling him as an outbound caller, "This is not a good time for you to call."
"I expected to come here to work on software, but ended up hacking some hardware, pulling out wires from a headset," Scorcioni told Computerworld.
The inspiration for the app came from realizing how even the sound of a phone ringing or buzzing will divert his attention from an important project.
Serendipity really came into play for him when he arrived at the hackathon early and was one of 100 developers who received a free headset called Necumimi made by NeuroSky. The device is a kind of toy that relies on actual brain waves detected from a sensor on the forehead.
The brainwaves detected can move cat ears attached to the top of the headset, and the ears will move to an upright, alert position when the brain is most active and focused. The ears relax and fold downward when the brain is highly relaxed.
In addition to the headset, Scorcioni was supplied by AT&T a small, cheap Arduino processor circuit board commonly used by developers for processing the headset's data, as well as a small circuit containing a 3G radio chip and a SIM chip -- both served by AT&T's data network.
With the radio, the impulses Scorcioni was able to detect from the headset were communicated via AT&T's wireless network to his cell phone after going through the call management software in the AT&T cloud.
Scorcioni said he had no idea if his impromptu app is commercially viable or not. "I just won the money. It's exciting," he said.
- Dude, we're gonna need more wireless
- Is CES a thieves' paradise?
- Tablets, smartphones and TVs upstage PCs at CES
- IPv6 can boost mobile performance, battery life, proponents say
- HomePlug moving beyond adapters to built-in networking
- GoPro, iON cameras turn your life into a movie
- CES crowd likes FCC's Wi-Fi expansion plans
- Micron unveils its first 1TB SSD -- for under $600
- Video gallery: 2013 CES
- Augmented reality mobile app brings inanimate objects to life
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms As unprecedented numbers of enterprises build mobile applications, the mobile application development platform market continues to grow and evolve rapidly.
- The Total Economic Impact of IBM's Worklight Platform Mobile is the fastest growing consumer technology in history. As enterprises build apps to engage these new users they are facing increased complexity...
- Improve Your Mobile Application Security with IBM Worklight IBM® Worklight helps organizations extend their business across multiple mobile devices. It provides an open, comprehensive and advanced mobile application platform to help...
- Unlock the Value of Enterprise Mobility Download this guide and learn how to manage the secure deployment of enterprise mobile apps and data, while still encouraging the levels of...
- It's Chaos Out There Worried about your mobile apps? You should be; it's chaos out there. Check out this humorous video and see if you can recognize...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Mobile Apps White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!