Illinois Mobile Development Contests

.Illinois Mobile Development Contests

Woman Behind Laptop, Public Domain via PublicDomainPictures.net

Development competitions are encouraging mobile developers through out Illinois. Government and businesses are providing ongoing access to their data through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This allows developers to continue building and enhancing mobile applications. Colleges are holding mobile development competitions to increase student involvement in creating useful and valuable application software for mobile devices. Some competitions are held yearly, so if you missed it this year you may still be able to compete next year.


,Illinois Open Technology Challenge



Illinois Open Technology Challenge

In March 2013 the Illinois Open Technology Challenge (IOTC) organized a software developer competition. IOTC will award $15,000 prizes for applications in two different categories. The first category is software that will serve civic needs and promote economic development. The second category is for software that uses statewide data to address a statewide issue. The state of Illinois provides the data for these applications from its online repository of information. Below are the details as release by the IOTC:

The Illinois Open Technology Challenge will award a $15,000 prize to a single submission in each of the four pilot communities (Belleville, Champaign, Rockford, and South Suburbs). There is also a $15,000 prize for a submission that uses statewide data to address a statewide issue.

The contest entry period is now closed and the applications are being judged. Two of the three submission from Champaign are mobile applications:

  • Reroute - an Android app providing safe alternative routes for pedestrians. It was developed by Eric Mills and Gang Chen.

  • C-U There! - an iOS app featuring local news and events. It was developed by Joshua O’Neal and Stephanie Gould.

More information about the Illinois Open Technology Challenge and the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition are available online.

Update (06/26/13): C-U There! is a winner in the Illinois Open Technology Challenge. Congratulations to Joshua O’Neal and Stephanie Gould.


,Champaign-Urbana MTD Mobile App Challenge



Champaign-Urbana MTD Mobile App Challenge

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD) has several mobile applications in their App Garage that were created by local programmers. CUMTD is providing developers with access to their real-time bus departure data. Details are available at MTD Developer Resources. CUMTD announced the release of version 2.2 of their Application Programming Interface (API) on April 29, 2013. The new API provides additional methods for accessing CUMTD's data.

On March 7, 2012 CUMTD announced the winners of their MTD Mobile App Challenge as:

  • RideCU an Android app created by Thomas McGinnis.
  • Catch MTD a Windows Phone 7 app created by David Grochocki.
  • CU Transit an iOS app by Sukolsak Sakshuwong.
  • CU Buses an iOS app by Benjamin Esham.

These applications are available in the MTD App Garage as well as Goggle Play or iTunes.


,The Saluki App Competition



Saluki App Competition

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale held The Saluki App Competition during the spring 2013 semester. The Saluki Idea Competion facebook page provided the forum for communications about the competition. Students used the facebook page to organize informal meetings and post reminders of events.

The Saluki App Competition Rules specified the following:

  • Each team, of one or more individual(s), must have at least one member who is a currently enrolled (Spring 2013) student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, undergraduate or graduate, full time or part time.
  • A team can be any size and include students, alumni, faculty, staff and the general public, but at least half of the team must meet the SIU student enrollment requirements of #1 above.
  • Any kind of software application/platform (Apple, Android, WIndows, etc) to be utilized on mobile devices.
  • Work must be original and not knowingly infringe upon any existing intellectual property rights.

The Saluki App Competition crowdvoting site provided a place for entrants to post information (descriptions, screen captures, youtube video demonstrations) about their applications. Students were able to vote for their favorite application. Prizes were awarded from two categories, People's Choice, and Judges' Choice. It was possible to win an award from both categories.

The Saluki App Competition awards were presented on April 16, 2013. The winners were:

People's Choice

  • First - Saluki Write: A Mobile Writing Lab, by Robert Calton. Saluki Write is an easily-accessible and intuitive composition and research reference assistance for every stage of the writing process. It covers both academic and professional writing tasks, and it fits well in every classroom and curriculum at a variety of institutions!

  • Second - Life at Southern: Discover Carbondale from the palm of your hand, by Jeremy Packer. Life at Southern puts everything relevant to the college experience in the palm of your hand. Food, events, drink specials and more are just a click away. Created by students, for students to promote Life At Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

  • Third - ofCourse, by William Blankenship, Jake Bock, Patrick Brown, and Drew Murphy. With the ofCourse Android application, we look to solve the problem of organizing your homework, quizzes, tests, and even general tasks in an easy-to-read and easily accessible android application. ofCourse keeps track of your school schedule and assignments/exams using Google Calendar so your schedule can be accessed anywhere. When you add an assignment to one of your classes, any of your classmates who also use the app will get a notificiation asking if they too want to add that assignment to their calendar.

Judges' Choice

Additional prizes also went to the honorable mention winners:

  • Duncan, by John Leco. How would you like to see your upcoming assignments and projects via your mobile device. With Duncan you will be able to view your academic assignments in simple intuitive info graphics.

  • Saluki Tracks, by William Welling. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale campus map providing paths from current location to desired location. Student login and registration to store class locations and times. Alternate between satellite and map view. Zoom in and out using gestures. Providing overlays for dining locations, bus stops, buildings, and custom locations (tracks). Capture custom locations by using camera utility to take a picture and store on sdcard.

  • Workout Into the Future, by Michael Henley, Ashley Schoolcraft. Why waste time finding information about the Recreational Center; when all the center's information is in the palm of your hand?

Additional information about the Spring 2013 Saluki App Competition is available in the The Saluki Times article titled App contest rewards student entrepreneurs.