Exeposé News Issue 623, Page 2 (7 May 2014) and Exeposé News online (10 May 2014)
Three first-year Exeter students have reached the world finals of the 2014 Microsoft Imagine Cup in Seattle, after winning the UK finals this week.
Business and Management student Guillaume de Boisséson, Economics student Femi Awomosu, and Business and Economics student Mikky Adedeji worked together to design a new app for the Imagine Cup’s Innovation competition, which invites students from across the globe to attempt to develop “the next big thing” in software innovations.
The team – named Vanguard – created an app called Ripple, which will allow users to connect with those in their vicinity through simple instant messaging.
Exeposé spoke to the team, who say they recognised that sites like Facebook, while allowing us to connect with people worldwide, can also mean we struggle to connect with those immediately around us. Femi explains: “We thought: what if you had an app where you could just send messages to people around you?”
Users will be able to send messages to anyone in the vicinity with the app, with no need to first “connect” or become friends. Vanguard hope that this will change the way people communicate with those around them, giving examples for possible usages – for instance, finding out if anybody nearby is interested in sharing a two-for-one offer, or checking with others in a lecture theatre what has just been said.
Femi says: “We expect every Exeter student to have the app,” which the team plan on launching in time for Freshers’ Week this September.
Vanguard are currently working on further developing the app for the world finals, which take place this July in Seattle. The winners of the world finals will receive $50,000.
In the 2013 competition, Exeter University team Colinked won the world finals with their SoundSYNK app, which allows music-playing devices to connect and produce music simultaneously.
Reflecting on the next stage of the competition, this year’s team say: “We have a lot of work to do.”