A 16-year-old programmer named Ash Bhat is attending Apple’s WWDC next week for free. How? He created an iOS app that earned him one of 150 scholarships.
Tickets to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference sold out within two minutes after going on sale in April. But the company held out hope for student developers, promising scholarships for 150 of those able to create an app that would knock Apple’s socks off.
The scholarship awarded one free ticket to join the conference, which runs from June 10 to June 14 in San Francisco.
And that’s just what Bhat did.
The app that Bhat developed, which he dubbed simply myWWDC, uses voice commands to navigate the iOS landscape. Just tell your device what you want to do or where you want to go, and it complies. The app can also read aloud text on your device.
Here’s how it works: the app greets you with with a screen that prompts you to say hello. After it acknowledges your greeting, the app asks you to say the word “apple” to move to the next screen. Using just your voice, you can then navigate different screens that serve up information on Bhat’s background, education, skills, and projects.
Issuing commands like “next” and “back” moves you forward or back a screen. You can even access a help menu simply by saying “help.”
Bhat’s app shares some features in common with Apple’s Siri but goes at least a step further.
Siri requires you to press the Home button or lift the iPhone to your face to activate it. But Bhat’s app continually listens for your voice without any trigger required, avoiding the need for touch interaction.
Bhat told me he got the idea for his voice recognition app after reading the guidelines asking the student developers to describe themselves. He came up with the concept of recording his own voice to interact with his phone.
“I’ve always been a big fan of alternative means of interaction,” Bhat said. “The results are something similar to the Wii/Kinect/Leap motion. I don’t plan to release the WWDCapp (I don’t think I can) but I do plan to use the voice recognition that was used in the app in my future projects.”
Developing the app took Bhat around 16 to 17 hours over the course of five days. Setting aside enough time to create and submit it was a challenge.
“Apple purposely made a time constraint on submitting the application,” Bhat said. “That being said, all the student devs were rushed to put everything aside to focus on creating a kickass app that would impress Apple. In my case, it became a balancing act between school and development.”
This news was taken from Writer: Lance Whitney
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