These Young People are Changing Lives With the Skills They've Learned
The mobile application is the fastest growing digital market. According to all projections, it will continue to rise at a significant rate mostly due to increased penetration of the internet and smartphones. Various researchers predict that the mobile application market will reach $188.9B worldwide by the end of 2020. At the same time, many mavericks around the world use ios app development not only to make a fortune but also to take a stand, promote their cause and fight social and environmental issues. Let’s dive into some exciting, mobile app projects made by students.
This astonishing app was founded by a 20-year-old sophomore from the American University. Its official name is MEANS Database. Its primary purpose is to connect people, businesses and organizations with extra food with pantries and food banks that desperately need it. During the first year, this food saving notification system saved more than 4,000 pounds of food. Furthermore, it became the only non-profit to win the GW New Venture Competition. This app is also on its way to become self-sufficient and make enough money from operations to stay in the black, which is rare for non-profits.
Thomas Smulders, Joep Annega, and Melvin Wezenberg started working on this idea and crafting a business plan in 2017. They noticed that there was just no digest of all the events hosted by student associations that are happening on and off campus. The Uni-Life app is accessible through Google Play and the App Store. It provides information on all student-run events and associations at every partner university. Students can filter events that correspond to their interests or look for new things to try, plan the past time for tomorrow, next week or next month. Additionally, students can register for events with the help of the app and set reminders and updates.
As of right now, six universities partnered with the app: University College Tilburg; Erasmus University Rotterdam; University College Groningen; Amsterdam University College; University College Utrecht and Leiden University College The Hague.
Water Well Forecasting and Analysis App
The group of high-schools from Alabama have created this award-winning app that could make a real difference to a country where only half the population has access to clean water. It is a water well mapping tool. With the help of machine learning technology, their app displays real-time information about 59,400 water wells around Tanzania. Furthermore, their model is capable of forecasting the state of every water well at any given time. The target audience of this application is primarily people in charge of maintaining water wells. It simplifies the work of engineers to resolve any potential issues in water well before real trouble happens. Additionally, the app is open-source and public. In such a way, all interested citizens have access to it, and it could potentially be revamped to be used as a crowdsourcing platform for local repairs.
Another groundbreaking student app was created in Cape Town. CJ Dumeni, a Namibian national and recent marketing graduated emerged as one of the four founders of Chommie app. The idea behind Chommie is to create a digital “personal service marketplace”. Dumeni and his team astonished the judges, and the app won the 2017 prestigious L’Oréal Brandstorm Competition in France. According to Dumeni, Chommie provides a wide range of services and opportunities tailored for but is not limited to, the student community. In terms of its structure, Chommie app contains four categories of services.
The first section is ‘the Fixers’, covering students with electrical and IT related skills. ‘Movers' are those who can render services that require physical, heavy lifting and packing of particular products. The third section is ‘Runner,’ which involves various kinds of pickups and deliveries of different items and goods. The fourth and last section is ‘Sitters,’ encompassing those who can offer guided tours for tourists and house-sitting for elderly and disabled.
Salvation for people with ALS and other neuromuscular diseases came when it was least expected. A group of Stony Brook students crafted an app that can improve their quality of life. The app, “EyeCanDo,” was one of the winning designs at the third annual Mount Sinai Health Hackathon in October 2018. The team consists of Hongyi Daunmu, Furqan Baig and Sina Rashidian, students in computer science and Xia Zhao, a student in applied health informatics. The team worked under the directions and supervision of Dr. Karl Bezak, hospice & palliative medicine doctor at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine.
Collectively, they worked for the hackathon final goal — creating innovative solutions for problems in healthcare, concentrating on the topic of rare diseases. The team created a low-cost application that supports people with physical disabilities. The main focus of the technology is to target ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The team built an app that provides patients with ALS or paralysis the capability to interact and control features in their home. The app enables patients to manage their device and smart home accessories solely with their eyes, by utilizing the front-facing camera of a phone to follow their eye movements. If a patient gazes at a particular button for longer than two seconds, it activates the switch.
The students behind this app believe that this technology will improve patient quality of life, improve the interactions with friends and family and ultimately life satisfaction.
In closing, hats off to all of these amazing students and these brilliant solutions! No doubt these young people will go on to do even more good in the world.