CodeNinjas award winners show app-etite for digital tomorrow

2 Apr 2012

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GMIT student Cathal Mac Donnacha from Rossaveal. The fourth-year software development student, created 'iSpeak', a Microsoft Windows Phone 7-based application which allows people with differing native languages to communicate

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iSpeak, an app that allows people with differing native languages to communicate with each other through a Windows Phone 7 device developed by a GMIT student, has won the individual award at ‘CodeNinjas’ Galway’s first app-oriented competition.

What’s the Score, a mobile application for taking scores during any type of sports game, was the winning entry for the group award and the inaugural awards.

The competition was designed by local businesses and academics to train and encourage students to be creative in the cultivation of their own tech ideas.

Individuals and groups were encouraged to build web and mobile applications, and were given a number of tutorials and workshops along the way.

First prize in the individual category went to GMIT student Cathal Mac Donnacha from Rossaveal, creator of ‘iSpeak’.

This application allows people with differing native languages to communicate with each other through a Windows Phone 7 Mobile application. One person speaks in their phrase, it is converted to text and sent to a translation service, and the result is spoken to the second person in their native language. Cathal won an iPad for his winning app.

The first prize of €500 in the group category was given to the app ‘What’s the Score’, created by NUI Galway students Mike Rockall and Con Crowley, who are both from Oranmore. ‘What’s the Score’ is a mobile application for taking scores during any type of sports game, and for reporting both ongoing and final results through a website to interested parties. In their decision, the judges cited its easy usability for small sports clubs and teams, including Facebook user logon functionality, and also highlighted its strong commercial potential.

Runner-up prizes were awarded to the group project ‘Message in a Bottle’, a web app where people cast short messages into a virtual sea and others can choose to read and keep these messages or throw them back in the ocean, and to the individual entry ‘Implexis Adiutor’, a crossword solver application for Android phones.

Fostering app development skills

“We were delighted with the high standard of apps developed as part of our inaugural CodeNinja competition," John Breslin, NUI Galway lecturer in engineering and informatics and co-founder of the StreamGlider app for iPad explained.

“It was great to see a range of areas targeted, from sports to leisure games to language translation.

“We are hoping that this will be the first in a series of CodeNinja events to raise the level of app development skills amongst Galway’s student population that will then diffuse into industry as our students take on roles in local Galway companies," Breslin added.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com