Portuguese Team is one of the Finalists of the Ericsson Application Awards 2013

The GreenSpark team, which involves a Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program master student, is one of the finalists in the student category of the Ericsson Application Awards 2013, an international competition for Android application developers. The application created by the team helps to manage solar panels, making their use simpler and more cost-effective.

The team includes Joel Rodrigues, a post-graduation student in Human Aspects of Technology at the Universidade da Madeira, and Poan Shen, a student in the dual degree Masters Program on Entertainment Technology, of the Universidade da Madeira and Carnegie Mellon University, as part of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program. The GreenSpark team seeks to promote innovative ideas to boost the use of green energies.

For the competition, the students created a smartphone app that focuses on solar power (video about the app at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOrnEbJKxyc). The idea was to use a customized device to replace the regular PC in order to reduce energy costs. The technology also uses a cloud service to store data from a solar panel monitoring system, which according to the students is safer and easier to access. The Android web application also allows users to access their energy output on the go.

"Cities are now larger, and in order to cope with faster and more dynamic life styles they have increasing energy needs. It is important to have applications to raise our awareness on energy wastes to promote a sustainable future," stated Joel Rodrigues on a press release sent by the company. The students believe that their idea will boost the use of solar power in households. As a result, future cities could have lower levels of pollution and lower energy prices.

The team went on to the semi-finals after their smartphone app, which helps to manage solar panels, making their use simpler and more cost-effective, was one of the most voted by users from all over the world. The GreenSpark team is now a finalist in the student category together with Girlpower, from Poland.

The next step for the finalists will be to participate in the Award Ceremony at Ericsson’s Headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, which will take place on May 22. At the event, the teams from Portugal and Poland, along with the other two finalists of the company category, will pitch their app idea to a jury. The winners will not only receive a monetary prize, but will also have the opportunity to showcase their work to the telecom world.

The Ericsson Application Awards (http://www.ericssonapplicationawards.com) is an annual global competition for Android application developers. The theme for this year’s awards is “Apps For City Life”.

May 2013