January 2006


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Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>
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Technology Discussion at UVM <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 20 Jan 2006 16:20:01 -0500
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Students Design Future Phone Concepts
Bary Alyssa Johnson
PC Magazine (01/18/06);

Spotted by ACM TechNews - Friday, January 20, 2006,

Around 500 students from 225 colleges and universities heeded  
Motorola's call to creatively communicate their ideas for "blend[ing]  
content and communications" through technology that will enable  
consumers "to live life wherever, whenever and however." On Tuesday  
the top four picks in the MOTOFWRD scholarship competition were  
honored, with their creators receiving scholarships and other prizes.

The grand prize went to Duke University biomedical engineering Ph.D.  
candidate John Finan for his conceptual Mood Phone that can detect  
changes in conversational tones and use mood-interpreting algorithms  
to translate those tones into color-coded messages; the concept was  
advanced as a way to improve social interactions among people,  
especially those suffering from Asperger's Syndrome who often have  
difficulty with social interactions and understanding unspoken social  
cues. Finan based his invention on his study of brain injuries: "The  
more I learned, the more I realized that the human brain is the  
greatest data processing computer available to us," Finan said in an  
interview with "A great technology is one that uses the  
human brain as a core component."

Runner-up Brian Ho, a computer engineering major at Virginia Tech,  
proposed the Motorola PICS-0001 (Personal Information and Computing  
System) that would incorporate a PC, PDA, GPS navigation, cell phone,  
MP3 player, and credit card into a single product consisting of a  
pair of glasses and a watch wirelessly linked to each other, with the  
watch acting as the computer and the glasses as a monitor.

Runner-up Ryan Panchadsaram of the University of Southern California  
at Berkeley suggested Outspoken Architecture that would enable people  
from around the globe to share data and ideas through technologies  
such as video Web logs via mobile devices.

The third runner-up, second-year MBA student at Northwestern  
University James Goodrich, offered his vision of seamless mobility in  
economic development at both the consumer and business level.

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