Skip to main content

Creativity, innovation shine at ASU appathon event


students working on computers
|
October 18, 2016

Three ASU students who didn’t know each other before this past weekend are now bonded for life, thanks to their innovation and participation in the Great Mobile Appathon.

screenshot of ASUFit app

Their winning app, called ASUFit, taps into a unique market — on-campus fitness — and efficiently pairs students with gym buddies.

Arizona State University was one of five schools to host the Modo Labs event, Oct. 15–16, which encouraged students from a non-technical background to learn how to develop apps in a competition for scholarship money. Other host schools included Harvard University and Notre Dame. 

Sixteen students formed teams and participated in the event, held at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus and sponsored by ASU’s University Technology Office. Each team chose a theme or idea that was geared toward campus life and efficiency.

Lindsey Moen had no prior app development experience before participating in the event.

“It seemed like an interesting opportunity and neat way to apply for a scholarship, so I signed up,” Moen said.

She then decided to use her interest in basketball and an issue she often faces — finding people to play with — to create the idea behind ASUFit.

“I enjoy playing basketball,” she said, “But not a lot of girls are found playing at the gym. Even though there is a gym buddy sign-up system, it wasn’t as efficient as I thought it could be. Plus, why use pen and paper when you can have an app!”

screenshot of ASUFit app

With the ASUFit app, users can select preferences to help match them with a gym buddy.

ASUFit was designed to allow students to set their gym preferences — from activities they enjoy, to what they would like to work on and whom they would like to work out with. It then pairs students from a database, and students are able to set times to meet up at the gym.

Moen’s teammates agreed that it would be a useful app on ASU’s campus. 

“I’ve seen that ASU has a big fitness culture, but it can be a hard for a newcomer to jump into going to the gym; this app can help with that,” said Vincent Truong, a computer science sophomore.

Samantha Muro, a community health major, was surprised by how much she enjoyed the competition. 

“Thinking about how innovative this campus is, I was really surprised I was selected,” said Muro. “But it was really neat to see how much goes into creating an app. It changed my view on the apps the we use every day.”

The three students won $3,000 as their first-place prize and now will compete against other first-place apps from the other host universities across the country. They all intend to continue competing next year.   

“I hope that this becomes more popular at ASU,” Truong said. “It would be interesting to see what other people’s ideas are as well.”

The team is excited to see how they will rank nationally, and to see their app through completion and come to life here at ASU — plans are in motion to move it toward production.

“I think it is so awesome that this is could potentially be used by ASU,” Muro said. “I love this school and seeing something that I did will make a difference on campus.”

Top photo: ASU students participate in the Great Mobile Appathon on ASU's Tempe campus Oct. 15. Photo by Kanak Jha/ASU Now

Save

More Science and technology

 

A man kneeling down at the edge of a pond next to several ducks.

More than 60 distinct viruses found in feces of common park duck

Billions or even trillions of tiny microbes, like bacteria, fungi and viruses, live inside every single animal, making each one of us hosts to entire ecosystems. Those invisible microbes outnumber…

A gila monster is perched next to a cactus with its mouth open.

ASU researchers first to fully sequence Gila monster genome, thanks to crowd-funding campaign

The Sonoran Desert is full of wild creatures, from sharp-tailed scorpions that glow under black light to desert toads that secrete hallucinogenic toxins from their skin. Perhaps no creature, though,…

Assistant Professor Zhe Xu with students and their robots outside in a grassy area.

Sparking an evolution in robotics

Thinking about swarms of robots might conjure up images from old sci-fi movies in which Earth is invaded by armies of mechanical androids from another world that are programmed and weaponized to…