Demola works with Finnish companies (like mobile mega company Nokia) to think up the most amazing new project ideas in the digital service industry. Once these Finnish companies have thought up their most next gen idea yet, instead of passing them off to experienced developers, they let Demola’s task force of rock star students from Tampere, Finland give them a try. Devoting three to eight months of their time, students embark on these projects to create real-life innovations for companies around Finland. Out of the 30 projects that were completed in the first year, 95% of them were then licensed by the companies involved. Can you imagine if Nokia thought that your project was so good, they licensed it? Way better than an A for effort!
One of the student presentations we saw was a Facebook application called Illtags. When the H1N1 swine flu scare began, these students were inspired to create a tool that would help parents, individuals, and even health care workers track the virus. What better way to do it than through the social media tools that people use daily to update their status. Users can sign in through Facebook or Twitter and choose their location and symptoms. You can post your health status on Facebook, which means if you’re feeling sick, you can command sympathy and homemade chicken soup from friends and family. A partner site designed especially for parents of day care aged children lets parents check out on how many kids are sick at a particular daycare. What’s really cool is that you can search maps and see outbreaks in your area. Perfect for paranoid parents and germaphobes alike.
Another cool project was Local Buddy, a cell phone application that uses geolocation and your cell’s magnetometer to create an informational radar to help you navigate your surroundings. Point your phone towards the site you’re interested in and pull up relevant information including hours of operation, menus, reviews, and write-ups about the place. Perfect for tourists, city dwellers, or adventurers alike, this application has total real world potential and could possible revolutionize travel. Plus you don’t have to look like a total tool carrying around your guide book and pop-out map.
I left feeling a little disappointed that I worked as a lifeguard during college rather than creating an app for Nokia, but totally amazed at the caliber of work these students produced. Get the Illtag’s Facebook application and read more about Local Buddy on Demola’s website.