EECS Students Win 2010 U-M Mobile Apps Challenge with "HiJack"

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Student-made video explaining the project HiJack, with Ye-sheng Kuo, Sonal Verma, and Jordan Schneider


Winners have been announced in the Fall 2010 U-M Mobile Apps Challenge, and a team comprised of EECS students and researchers took first place with HiJack, a hardware/software platform that includes a compact module that can be plugged in to an iPhone to power peripherals and establish bi-directional communications with them while drawing power from the smartphone. The HiJack platform enables a new class of small and cheap phone-centric sensor peripherals that support plug-and-play operation.

In addition, students enrolled in EECS and other computational programs took a large portion of the additional awards granted.

The Mobile Apps Challenge was open to university students, faculty and staff and encourages the development of iOS, Android, Windows 7, and web applications. 20 entries were received in the challenge; videos of all entries are avaiable on the U-M Mobile Center website.

The top three winning applications were:

Winner - Overall (iOS): HiJack
Ye-sheng Kuo, a doctoral student in Electrical Engineering, Sonal Verma, graduate student in Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science undergrad Jordan Schneider won the top prize for an app that can harvest power and bandwidth for a peripheral device when plugged into the iPhone's headset jack. The app currently measures temperature and humidity, soil moisture, and heart rate. Kuo’s team envisions many possibilities for the app, making HiJack appealing to general consumers and professionals in many fields.

Winner - Android: Arbor Park
This Android app serves as a guide to the U-M parking lots on the Ann Arbor campus, allowing users to search campus lots based on permit type, day, and time. Created by CS-LSA student Dhineshkumar Muthu in collaboration with Adam Kelly and Yumin Pan, Arbor Park can also locate handicapped and motorcycle parking.

1st Runner-Up: Checkmate for Foursquare (iOS)
Enhancing the location-based social networking tool, Foursquare, this iPhone app automates the "check in" process that users complete when visiting their favorite venues. Created by Hung Truong, an Application Programmer for North Quad, Checkmate also allows users to share their "check-ins" on Facebook and Twitter.

Additional Runners-Up:

  • friendFM (Android), by Michael Kelley, College of Engineering student, in collaboration with Nikhil Sharma, Danny Hyon, and Otto Almeyda
  • PressBox (iOS), by Chris Augustyniak, Computer Science and Engineering student
  • Tadpole (Android), by Alexander Itkin, Computer Science and Engineering student
  • Emotioner (Android), by Pei-Yao Hung, School of Information graduate student, in collaboration with Ying-Yu Chen
  • Tasks Maestro (Windows 7), by Peter Ludwig, Computer Science and Engineering student

The Fall 2010 U-M Mobile Apps Challenge was sponsored by Apple Inc., Google,U-M Information and Technology Services (ITS), U-M Computer Science and Engineering, and the U-M Office of Technology Transfer.

More Information:

U-M Mobile Center Website: Winners in Fall 2010 U-M Mobile Apps Challenge
U-M Record Update: Winners in Mobile Apps Challenge Announced


Posted: January 18, 2011