South African students win prizes for innovative app design

Six university students have been awarded with prizes for unique app idea as part of their final year projects, in an initiative spearheaded by South African operator Vodacom. The Vodacom Developer Programme (VDP) today held a national student symposium which brought together academics and students from seven local universities, including Durban University of Technology, Central University of Technology, University of Venda, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Vaal Technology University, North West University and Stellenbosch University.

“We work closely with the academic institutions to prepare student developers for participation in the mobile app industry so they can develop innovative apps that can transform society. With the types of app ideas submitted in this competition, there’s no doubt that these students have a potential to reshape our future,” says Prins Mhlanga, Managing Executive of Digital Media at Vodacom.

A total of 13 University students participated in this competition and each student submitted an app idea which forms part of their academic projects. Vodacom together with the Universities will explore the possibility of turning some of the ideas into apps which can be sold in the Vodacom App Store.

The competition had two categories, the undergraduate and post-graduate. In the post graduate category, the first prize went to Cainos Mukandatsana from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for designing My Pill Reminder app, this android app will remind elderly people with chronic conditions to take their medication, using sound and vibrations as well as visual cues.

Second prize was awarded to Luxolo Tombela from Durban University of Technology for designing the Emergency Call app. This app can help people acquire contact details of hospitals by using voice recognition, GPS and an internet connection to call the hospital in case of an emergency.  The third prize went to Arne Esterhuizen from Stellenbosch University for coming up with The Cropviewer app which can assist in assessing the Water Use Efficiency of irrigated crops.

In the undergraduate category first prize went to Stefan Bergh from North-West University for designing a puzzle 2D game app named Polygraph. Second prize was awarded to Martin Stolk from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for designing Mallcrawl app which automatically logs the user into their Facebook account to search nearby malls using Google Maps. The third prize went to Darky Matsane from Vaal University of Technology for coming up with Pressed In Time app which provides customers with convenience for all their laundry and dry cleaning needs, using an automated and paperless solution to book in laundry.

The best performing institution award went to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

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