OnStar tapping students for voice-enabled apps

General Motors knows that voice commands will power the next major round of in-car controllers, so it's tapping students from MIT, Carnegie Mellon and the Universities of Michigan, Texas and Toledo to compete to create the next great mobilility app.
The 2011 OnStar Student Developer Challenge runs from now until March 11th, and asks students to submit new voice applications that allow drivers to interact with their vehicle's infotainment system, provide location-based services and integrate vehicle information to improve driving and fuel economy skills. The students will have access to OnStar's QuickFuse voice application development platform and the judges will award the winning team or individual a $10,000 developer package at Where 2.0 in April. Full details at onstardeveloperchallenge.com and in the press blast below.

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OnStar Looking for Application Developers of the Future

  • Launches Voice Application Student Developer Competition
  • Five Select Universities to Participate
  • Competition Judges Include Thought Leaders in Technology and Application Programming Interface (API)

DETROIT – OnStar is looking for the most original and compelling in-vehicle voice-enabled application through the 2011 OnStar Student Developer Challenge. Students enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Michigan, University of Texas and University of Toledo can vie for an opportunity to bring their ideas to the road.

Through the QuickFuse voice application development platform, OnStar will provide its unique vehicle data model to students who accept the challenge.

As the leading provider of connected safety and security solutions, value-added mobility services and advanced information technology, OnStar is interested in working with students that are acquiring and utilizing knowledge in voice application development. The voice platform allows OnStar to safely provide a greater level of connectivity to subscribers.

Through March 11, students from participating universities can submit voice applications that provide solutions in one or more of the following ways:

Responsible Connectivity: Keeping drivers safely connected to infotainment options.
Informed Driving: Using vehicle information to improve the driving experience.
Location: Using location-based information to enhance the driver's lifestyle, increase productivity or plan travel.
"OnStar's services are the result of ingenious solutions that consistently deliver in-vehicle safety, security and information. We're thrilled to continue this tradition by looking for the most talented students in the nation as we develop additional voice-enabled applications that will enrich the driving experience," said OnStar Chief Information Officer Jeff Liedel.

"We're confident that participating students will leverage their creative problem solving and application development skills that they've learned at their respective institutions."

Student entries will be judged by OnStar IT and Engineering executives as well as API and technology thought leaders including Robert Scoble, Scobleizer; Daniel Jacobson, director of engineering for the API, Netflix; David Pogue, technology columnist, New York Times; and Valerie Casey, founder, Designer's Accord. The Grand Prize Winner will be announced at Where 2.0 in April and awarded a Developer Dream Package of various technology tools valued at $10,000.

During 2011 International CES, OnStar announced a public pilot of the OnStar Voice Communications App for Android mobile phones. Via a Bluetooth connection, drivers can send and receive text messages and Facebook updates using only their voices – keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. The 2011 OnStar Student Developer Challenge provides an opportunity to explore additional audio-based innovations in the future.

For more information about the 2011 OnStar Student Developer Challenge, visit www.onstardeveloperchallenge.com

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