App Start Contest: Socially responsible Oculi wins

Once again, App Start Contest drew us into its world of student coding, learning and mentoring.

May 29 2014

Once again, App Start Contest drew us into its world of student coding, learning and mentoring.

ASC is an influential student competition in mobile phone app development, traditionally hosted by the eSTUDENT organisation, bringing together inspired young developers and senior software engineers from the region’s leading ICT companies, likely their future employers.

There was one app that stood out in the crowd filled with talented young people and inspiring apps - it was Oculi, developed by the eventual contest winners Tomislav Tenodi and Petra Zoric, the duo awarded for both the best presentation and project design.

Based on the Semantic Web, Oculi helps blind people to easily consume web and phone content on their smartphones, providing them with tools to adapt the content by navigating through the application. As such, Oculi allows an easy and complete use of smart devices for blind and visually impaired people. It took Tomislav and Petra a few months to develop the app, making it functional and ready for the further usage.

Of course, this was not the only original idea. One of the teams have come up with a solution for those difficult moments when music at a party need some push. Their app allows users to choose songs by connecting them to the club’s or DJ’s laptops, empowering them to save the party when the rhythm goes off track.

This year’s ASC gathered 50+ teams of young developers; 10 of them were persistent enough to go through all the project phases, submit a mobile app to the jury and make it to the grand finale. Infobip’s Dragan Bencic was on ASC jury once again, participating in app evaluation.

The App Start Contest is recognised by the official university grading system. Students of the Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science can get 4 ECTS points by attending ASC lectures and completing their coding project.

- Through their own choice of project topics, students can show their creativity and innovation, present their ideas to the potential investors, and face a real business environment. For sure, mobile apps development is a fast growing industry with lots of potential just waiting to flourish- we love to see how students think this potential can continue to develop, and what problems they believe can be solved with mobile technologies, says Dragan.