Students design winning app

This week a team of three Manurewa High School students took part in the Otago University Information Technology Challenge, and emerged the winners.

The challenge was held at University of Otago House in Queen Street, Auckland.  Teams were lectured on the latest IT innovations and advances.  From this material they had to select one technology and find an innovative way to use it to solve a real world problem or address a need.

Year 12 students Garion Gleeson, Daniel Blakeborough and Aimee Scott designed an eDemocracy app which they named citEvote.  citEvote is a mobile application whereby Aucklanders can receive automatic notifications as they go past areas and sites which have council or development plans in for permits.  After the alert, smartphone users can view the site through the camera lens and the image of the proposed building (as lodged by the architects in computer 3D) will be superimposed over the view by augmented reality.  The person then has the option to give instant feedback by way of a yes/no vote. They are also linked to Facebook forums to discuss the issue with others. The council and business developers can access this data for continual rate-payer feedback.  This will help them make more informed decisions, avoid financial wastage on projects with poor uptake etc. It would also be a type of data mining for the business owners wanting to enter the newly developed area, with the capacity for target audience demographics to be used to make decisions - especially if profiling is done via Facebook.

The team competed against other secondary school teams including St Peter's and Westlake Girls' High School. 

The judges were so impressed with our team that they spoke to them afterwards and offered them the chance to continue to develop their app with the help of the University of Otago. Our students plan to take them up on this option.

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