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Intellect

Student iPhone app bounces to the top in first-ever competition

Want to bounce a ball inside your phone? There’s an app for that. Two students at Brigham Young University created Awesome Ball, an iPhone application that topped the free-app charts and won $10,000 at the inaugural BYU iPhone App Competition.

“Awesome Ball is a toy designed to show off just what your iPhone can do.” said Jonathan Johnson, co-creator and electrical engineering graduate student from Henderson, Nev. “It’s like having a bouncy ball inside your phone.”

Johnson and Brian Pratt, an electrical engineering doctoral student from Fountain Valley, Calif., worked together to program an app that shows off the iPhone’s accelerometer. They also created a customizable feature that allows users to put pictures of friends or celebrities on the bouncing balls.

“Mobile technology is changing how we work, play and communicate,” said Jeff Brown, program director at the BYU Center for Entrepreneurship. “Learning how to program in different frameworks is extremely useful and profitable in the current technological environment.”

After a month of planning and programming, Awesome Ball and 11 other teams loaded their applications to the Apple Store in March. Omniture, the competition’s sponsor, tracked downloads and use through a unique code in each application during a two-week judging period. Awesome Ball had more than 300,000 unique users download and use the application in just 14 days.

“The popularity of the iPhone applications developed by BYU students is a reminder to online marketers that their customers are increasingly going digital and interacting with their brands in new and exciting ways,” said Matt Belkin, senior vice president of emerging business at Omniture.

The other top teams with the most unique devices running their apps during the judging period were MicroKart, Battle Dot and GreenWars winning $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000, respectively. In addition, March Mayhem was chosen by the audience as the “coolest app” and won an Apple TV device for each team member.

For this and other Marriott School news releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.

BYU iPhone App Competition entries included:

• 100 Hour Board — See an iPhone optimized view of the BYU 100 Hour Board

• Awesome Ball — Bounce a customizable ball in a 3-D environment

• Battle Dot — Use the accelerometer to move a dot in a battle game

• GreenWars — Buy green products and sell them in a game

• March Mayhem — Track the NCAA basketball tournament and get specific information on favorite teams

• MicroKart — Race toy cars around various obstacles in a house

• Missing Children — Help people to identify and find people who have been abducted

• Risk Calc — Determine the probability of winning a battle in the game Risk

• StereoStream — Stream music from iTunes library on a Mac over Wi-Fi to the iPhone or iPod touch

• Sunrise Sunset — Display sunrise and sunset times around the world

• Tap Memory — Tap circles by memory in numerical order

• Would You Rather? — Choose between undesirable scenarios in a game

Writer: Emily Webster

AwesomeBall.jpg

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