Winners of AppStar 2014!

AppStar is a contest that has been happening for the past 3 years at The Hub. This is a chance for students to design a tech project, built it in The Hub, and showcase it with a chance to take home prizes of up to $3,000! Let us congratulate the winners of the 2014 AppStar contest!

AppStar Awards

AppStar Awards

  • First place: UTSC BaseCamp by Vlad Vassilovsky and Victor Belokour.

UTSC BaseCamp is a mobile app that provides students with a smooth transition into University life. The app does this by integrating campus resources, mentoring programs, student clubs and services, and personal growth opportunities. In addition, BaseCamp is working with the UTSC Department of Student Life to keep the content up-to-date for the students.

Some additional features include a Frequently Asked Questions section, a checklist of things for students to do, sessional dates, and even a link to UTSC email! Students will be able to quickly access these resources anytime and anywhere on their Android devices with the help of UTSC BaseCamp!

UTSC Basecamp can be downloaded from Google Play now!

  • Second place: ARIN by Ryan D’Souza and Jamie Tung.

ARIN is a mobile application being created with help from the Department of Biological Sciences. The purpose of this app is to help with the identification of fish – which can be helpful for fishers and biologists alike.

Its features include: fish family selection, taxonomy filtration process, image recognition, user identification, crowd-sourcing data management, and a website component.

ARIN is an excellent and ambitious project, yet to be released.

  • Third place: UTSC Chat by Cheuk Man Kit, Xu Wei Xue, & Ma Samson.

UTSC Chat aims to be an official communication tool for UTSC students. This app delivers a live chat function for students enrolled in the same courses. It allows each user to chat and send images or documents, and offers settings that make it highly customizable. What’s really cool is the common search tool where students can reach out to other students taking the same course, in the same year or program. With this new app, students on campus can become more connected!

UTSC Chat is yet to be released.

  • And special mentions of: WhereRUTSC by Nick Olson Harris, ShiXian Liu, Raymond Mendelovits, & Chengyu Xiong.

WhereRUTSC is all about helping UTSC students locate one another and setting a time to meet up. As busy students we all know what it feels like to have trouble coordinating when to meet up with a classmate. This mobile app includes features like a friend list, a map showing where your friend is, settings, and even a way to plan out those complicated group meetings.

The developers of this app are currently redesigning it, for consideration for how its functionality might be integrated into existing utilities.

William Mak and Lyra

Meet William Mak, a 4th year computer science student that has been working in The Hub since summer 2013. Since joining The Hub Will has had the opportunity to develop four projects! Let’s ask him some questions about his time innovating at The Hub.

William Mak

William Mak

  • What is Lyra?

Lyra is essentially a music player that activates through computer vision.

  • What is your motivation for creating Lyra?

The goal is that Lyra will someday replace current music players. I often hear people complaining that the shuffle on their music player just isn’t good enough and I’ve experienced the problem myself. That was why I decided to create a music player that knows what you want to hear.

  • What is it like working on a project at The Hub?

The process of working on Lyra has been a difficult but rewarding one. Working with computer vision can be challenging. As we all know, computers are very exacting; they need a great deal of help to interpret what they see and sense.

We’ve been working on this for six months, and honestly, The Hub gives me great motivation to work on stuff. I hear a lot of computer science students say they want to work on side projects but they never do. But with the Hub It really motivates you to do it! It has been a great experience working in The Hub.

  • Tell me about your other projects.

The first project I worked on is called Hermes, it is a distributed cloud file storage system. It was created based on an issue we saw with file source systems like Dropbox and Google Drive. There are a lot of privacy issues involved, and there’s always limited space. With Hermes, no one else can access your files and there’s unlimited storage. It’s an open source for anyone to join and use, it’s free for all!

I’m also working on an URL shortener for specific GPS locations. It’s called Talon and it helps narrow down a location just through a link. It’s already workable so look forward to the release!

Finally I have Selenate which is a web automation for programmers to write a small script that automates a browser.

  • Why is innovation important?

If we don’t innovate, we die. This is what The Hub is all about, giving you that space to nurture your innovation and ideas.