Monday, October 15, 2007

Qualcomm Innovator Challenge

The Voracious Savants: (L-R) David Wong, David Swartz, Andrew Smith, Aaron Swartz
photo credit: Chris Morrow

The biggest challenge for one of the four winners of last weekend's QUALCOMM Innovator Challenge came in a surprising moment: AFTER his team had won first prize and $5,000.

David Wong (far left) had to convince his parents to hand over his social security number so he could fill out the necessary tax-related paperwork to get his check. In the end, after a lot of convincing by the project manager at UCSD, the parents decided it was okay to share the sensitive information.

The first prize winners called themselves the Voracious Savants. They envisioned a portable device that lets you watch TV while you do your homework won first prize and $5,000 last night at the QUALCOMM Innovator Challenge. With BookPal you can also take digital notes, page through hundreds of pounds of text books and cruise the Internet. Turn BookPal on its side and you can start typing as if it were a laptop.

The Voracious Savants (majors: mechanical engineering (2), electrical engineering and undeclared) – was one of 17 teams that presented their designs for how you could use QUALCOMM’s new, ultra powerful Snapdragon platform. Three of the four winners were high school friends from Carlsbad.

The event was organized by the Jacobs School’s Corporate Affiliates Program and QUALCOMM.

Second prize and $3,000 went to another all-freshman team: Athena. The four bioengineering majors envisioned a portable electronic device with a screen that rolls up and fits in your pocket when you’re not using it. You unroll it when you want to watch Internet videos or do anything else you can do with today’s PDAs.

Athena had a
sweet video in their presentation. I think you need to be a member of facebook to see they about to roll-out (literally) their organic light emitting diode screen.

Team Athena rolls out its design concept. photo credit: Chris Morrow

Third prize and $2,000 went to the five seniors (four engineering majors and one Cog Sci major) who make up team Greek Fire. They designed “MediBoard.” This digital clipboard is supposed to help doctors and other health care professionals work together better – both within the same hospital and across the world. MediBoard will also help doctors share their medical expertise and provide better support to doctors working in areas with little or no medical infrastructure.

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