- Best of Electrical and Computer Engineering Award: Smart Heart
Chris Direnzi (EE), Mike Ratterman (EE), Josh Rarick (EE), Jon Skeans (EE), Dr. Fred Beyette (advisor). Smart Heart is a project that has been designed to design, track, and follow specific workouts for users. From a hardware standpoint, we integrated an accelerometer, a GPS locator, and a user interface with a PIC microcontroller. The Smart Heart device has a computer software interface, where the user can enter specific workout goals. Our software designs a workout specific to the user and downloads the workout plan to our portable Smart Heart system. The system suggests activities based on the user’s goals, such as running/walking, push-ups and sit-ups. The onboard GPS tracks the distance and speed of the user’s runs. During push-ups and sit-ups, the accelerometer counts the number of repetitions the user completes. After a work-out, the user downloads the data to the computer program for a workout summary and compares it to previous workouts. While a production quality product like this project would need to be small (possibly watch sized), our goal is functionality, not physical size. We will identify how the product could be made smaller, but we will not actually fabricate the portable sized device. We want to research ways to make our GPS function in low signal environments (indoors), but perfecting a low signal GPS system is beyond the scope of our project.
Sam Banzhaf (CE), Adam McClain (CS), Gary Sigrist (CE), Jeff Webster (CS), Dr. Fred Annexstein (advisor). In the last five years, music distribution has seen a shift from physical media such as CDs to digital forms such as MP3s. For major artists iTunes is the dominant seller of MP3s. Artists without a record label have a difficult time promoting their music, and the prevalent method for doing this digitally is via MySpace Music. Given the difficult nature of promoting and distributing music by independent and local music artists, it would be beneficial for both the artists and the listeners to have an easy way to increase exposure in the music industry.While independent artists can have their music sold on iTunes, it provides no active promoting of their music. Furthermore, samples of songs are limited to the first 30 seconds, which often does not give a robust preview of the song. For artists who use MySpace as a means to promote their music, the quality is poor, searching is cumbersome, service is unreliable, and sales again yield little or no profit. This calls for an online service that allows independent artists to easily promote their music, as well asallow potential fans to easily find new music.The overall goal of our Bragi Online Music Recommendation software is to provide musical artists with an easy way to promote their music, and for potential fans to be able to easily find artists according to their musical tastes via an intuitive and adaptive recommendation engine.
Matt Harbaugh (CS), Greg Hill (CS), Kurt Prenger (CS) , Dr. Chia-Yung Han (advisor). Microsoft’s video game system, Xbox 360, has an online marketplace, Xbox Live Marketplace, where users can purchase and download smaller, less expensive games (compared to retail games purchased at a store) to play on their systems. They have recently released the XNA Game Studio for developers to create and distribute their games. Prospective developers can use this studio along with Microsoft’s Visual C# Studio to create games to distribute on the Xbox Live Marketplace. There is an online community that reviews and approves games for distribution. If a game is approved, it will be released on the Xbox Live Marketplace.Our design idea takes the game play of Tetris but places a new twist on it: along with being able to rotate the individual blocks, the player will be able to rotate the entire playing field. Two-player battle mode will also be incorporated with special blocks that give bonuses to players as well as other opportunities to disrupt an opponent’s playing area.In the current video game market, there are very few video games that expand upon a previous idea to make something unique and popular. Creating a game similar to Tetris with the additions mentioned above would fill this gap in the market. It will also require a lot of mathematical, graphical and programming knowledge.