Sensordrone – the 6th sense for your smartphone

Sensordrone is an external sensing device, which adds some interesting features to your standard sensor phallanx of your smartphone. Sensordrone is a Kickstarter project which pledges for your support in order to publish this useful device. Sensordome is designed to run many different applications, such as monitor the carbon monoxide and air quality, find gas leaks, measure your child’s temperature, log the weather, and much more. For me it could be interesting to use sensordome as a home weather station in combination with an Android based central house touch panel.

LeanInvestments Summer Challenge

Lean Investments

If you have a great idea for a web or mobile app and you and your team is able to implement this idea and you come from a European university, then maybe you’ll want to enter the Lean Investments Summer 2012 App Challenge.

In the contest, you build an application or service – for iPhone, the web or Android (by yourself or with a team we connect you with). The winner gets £10,000 (€12,500) of investment, three months of office space, six mentoring sessions with our founder, and introductions to three seed and venture-capital investors.

This isn’t a business-plan or pitch competition, where the winner is the person with the best slides or the most persuasive presentation. It’s about building something – a simple and quick prototype – that actually works and is useful. Real users are a bonus, but not required.

If you plan to return to full-time education after the summer, don’t worry – you can still enter. If you win, you can work on your killer app part-time while we assemble a team of people to help you take it forward.

The final deadline for app submission is at the end of the summer, but to enter you will have to have registered by 15 July 2012.

Lean Investments LP is a seed fund which invests in early-stage Internet and other technology startups based in Europe. The fund is the private vehicle of Tim Jackson, a leading figure in the European technology scene as a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, angel investor, commentator and technology journalist.

Busuu – The language learning community

Busuu is a nice and useful app i came across, which animates people to learn new languages, or to refresh already existing language know-how with the help of a huge community of native speakers. The app is available for all major smartphone and tablet platforms and it allows you to train a multitude of different languages and to check the results with thousands of native speakers worldwide. Learn directly from native speakers of the busuu community via integrated video-chat application, or practice your language skills in a live conversation. I checked the french language app for myself and i really liked this simple and intuitive approach. The base version with starter courses is free, the pay version offers additional courses and more features. So check it out for yourself and learn a new language fast!

SAGA – your personal recommendation agent

SAGA – Offers a mobile companion app that records your activities in order to give you personalized feedback about possible future activities. So SAGA is a personal recommendation agent, which helps you to organize your day and gives suggestions for restaurants at lunchtime or for great places you could visit. SAGA is continously learning your habbits in order to improve the quality of recommendations. It also records and measures the actual activity and the actual context, such as the weather or who is nearby.

 

Deeper Smart Sonar Fishfinder – Fish will hate your Smartphone!

The idea of this project is completely crazy, Deeper Smart Sonar enables your smartphone to detect fishes and any underwater objects, by using a Bluetooth sonar sphere. This waterproof sphere transmits fish depth and location info, along with temperature and floor depth to your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet within 150 feet via Bluetooth. One battery load lasts for at least six-hours which should suffice for a long relaxing fishing session.

Insert Coin Deeper Smart sonar Fishfinder for Android and iOS

Microsoft publishes on{X} Android App

A little surprise was Microsoft’s publication of a new Android App on{X} (yes its no typo, Microsoft published an Android exclusive App) App for automating context-sensitive tasks with the use of simple user defined scripts (called recipes). on{X} (pronounced like ‘on-ex’) lets you control and extend the capabilities of your Android phone using a JavaScript API to remotely program it. These recipes are much the same approach i published within my PhD thesis, except the fact that in my work they were called rules (ECA = Event Condition Action Rules). Its good to see that finally this idea of letting users customize their smart devices to react context-aware on user defined situations, got general acceptance by big players like Microsoft.

In order to push user defined rules to your Android phone you just have to install the on{X} application on your Android phone, log in to the website and app, and push rules to your phone. Rules you create using the on{X} website are immediately sent to your phone using the on{X} application. The rules you create run on your phone, using the phone’s abilities such as GPS, text messages, phone calls, and more. The phone’s abilities are exposed in the on{X} API as Triggers and Actions (as i already mentioned before within the global community this concept was published as Event, Condition Action rules).

on{X} can be used to set specific triggers based on the phone’s sensors and abilities, which typically define the context in which the user and his/her phone are in the moment. A wide variety of triggers are described in our documentation. Some basic triggers are location, weather, time, news, battery and wifi (what about activity, acceleration, movement, sound, light, direction, photo, companions and friends, …?)

Finally, i have to admit that on{X} is a nice tool for every user of a smartphone and that Microsoft published a work that very much goes along with my own implementations in my PhD work (which was published in 2004).

If you would like to try on{X} for yourself, scan the QR code and go on testing…

download the app

scan the QR code or enter
http://aka.ms/onxapp on your Android phone.
source: www.onx.ms

Capture 3D Objects with 123D Catch App

If you’ve own an iPad, you can now use it’s camera to capture 3D objects using Autodesk’s new 123D Catch app for the iPad. It is similar to Autodesk’s desktop software with the same name. Just take a series of photographs of an object or setting and upload them to a server. The service will then compile a fully textured 3D model for display and manipulation.

iPad Screenshot 1
source: iTunes.com

 

Physical Computing with your Android Phone


One of the most interesting aspects for every maker is to remote control physical things by using a wireless connection. If you plan to communicate with a microcontroller over large distances and without a WLAN base station, you have to consider to use a GSM/UMTS modem or a smartphone instead. As GSM communication prices became quite low in the last years, using a smartphone for remote communicating with your microcontroller or with your mobile bot seems a pretty good choice. Unfortunately it is quite hard or even impossible to simply connect a smartphone with a typical microcontroller, such as a ATMega or an Arduino.

With the new Sparkfun IOIO board (pronounced “yo-yo”) communication with your Android smartphone gets really easy. You just have to connect the IOIO board with your smartphone over USB or Bluetooth and the board is completely controllable out of your custom Android App. So you are free to implement applications such as remote controlled bots or a remote intruder detection system. No embedded programming or external programmer is needed to program the IOIO board. The IOIO board contains a single microcontroller that acts as a USB host and interprets commands from an Android app. In addition, the IOIO can interact with peripheral devices in the same way as most microcontroller. Digital Input/Output, PWM, Analog Input, I2C, SPI, and UART control can all be used with the IOIO. This is really an amazing little board that opens the implementation of completely new and autonomous physical computing applications!

Estimate the cost for your coding projects

You need a new customized software solutions and want to know the implementation effort?

ReqPOOL Pocket Estimator offers a nice online and mobile tool for estimating the overall effort for the coding of your planned software project. You just have to fill in some stats of your planned software product and the tool calculates an estimated effort in person or programming hours.

Even if you think you know the effort for your coding project much better, this tool could give you another hint to replan 😉