UCD EPITA Android Workshop 2010

From Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th April, on EPITA’s campus: 5 students and a research professor from University College Dublin (UCD, Ireland) and 17 students from EPITA Graduate School of Computer Science (including 3 international Software Engineering masters students) developed five Android applications in an intensive workshop in the form of a competition. The applications were tested in real time on a simulator and five HTC phones (ARM V6 based 500 MHz) provided by Google at UCD. The company Backelite launched the workshop after an inaugural conference and made a remote assistance available to students throughout the three days. 

Several projects were in competition: "Social match" – for meetings via geolocation, Twixi – for tweeting  a taxi with geolocation, Offline Collaborative Text Editor (OCTE) – for shareing notes without being connected to the Internet, Keep Spongebob Alive – a game based on the augmented reality and Easy Notes – for note taking with the possibility of synchronizing with the computer. Each team worked hard to make a functional application before a jury of Sébastian Berten (Backelite President), Joël Courtois (Director Epita), Catherine Coquan (Head of International Relations) Sean Murphy (Research Professor, UCD), Yvan Rooseleer (Computer Coordinator – University of Brussels), Laurent Trébulle (Director of Corporate Relations).

Twixi.jpgCharles Vu, an EPITA student in fourth year, coordinated the project OCTE: "We are developing a small application to manage collaborative text. In the future we are more likely not to carry our laptop into the class and will prefer taking notes directly on our smartphone during the course. Suppose we are multiple students taking notes of the teacher and there is no internet access. The sum of all these mini notes constitutes a complete course: everyone has a mini note. The "main phone" designated as such will send a signal to the other phones around – “I have a document, so attach yours”. As soon as people return to their homes, they can then switch the entire document on to the web, for example into their Google Docs account and thus distribute it.”

Twixi, developed by fourth year students (ING 2, MTI specialization with Guillaume Badin, Rudolph Frederiksen, Nazim Benbourahla, Jonathan Verrecchia) came out on top: it allows to tweet a taxi in an area of 15 km for 30 minutes to allow the nearest car to call the client before coming to fetch him. Keep Spongebob Alive, the smart game allowing moving characters in a photgraphed background, came in second with a great graphical interface and good sound effects. Each member of the winning teams received a phone offered by Samsung.

During the closing of the workshop, Sébastien Berten was impressed by the quality of the proposed applications and the level that teams reached in two days of actual development. The integration of other new technologies like Twitter was equally hailed by the jury.