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Cogswell Student Apps Named Finalists in Google’s Project Tango Contest

‘Room Modes Calculator’ and ‘We Are Cubed’ among 48 finalists for Google’s 2015 Project Tango developer contest.

SUNNYVALE, CA -- Cogswell College, a historic, 600-student educational institution offering a unique curriculum fusing Digital Art, Engineering and Entrepreneurship, has announced that two original apps designed by students of the school have been named as finalists within Google’s 2015 Project Tango developer contest. These two projects, which are now competing for Grand Prizes against professional developers and companies, were selected among only 48 finalists selected from hundreds of submitted entries. 

Google’s Project Tango Developer Contest is a skill contest where developers may create and submit an original Android application to the Google Play store that uses the Project Tango Tablet Development Kit. The apps that each qualified entrant or entrant team develops and submits are evaluated by judges, who in accordance with the contest’s official rules will determine winners of prizes. Grand Prize winners in each of three categories, UTILITY, AR OR VR, and ENTERTAINMENT, will be announced on October 26, 2015.

In the ENTERTAINMENT category, an app called We Are Cubed (WeR3), created by Cogswell College students Christian Sasso and Steven Ulrich under the submission entry name WeR VR, has been named as a finalist.

Originally prototyped by Sasso and Ulrich during the 2015 Global Game Jam, and demonstrated during SIGGRAPH 2015’s “Appy Hour,” We Are Cubed is the next evolution of the 3D puzzle game. In WeR3, each level presents players with a colored canvas they must recreate using their own colored avatar. Players must develop a strategy for moving their six-sided avatar across the landscape, as some faces of the avatar “paint” different colors.

Developed in the Unity Game Engine using Google Cardboard technology, the game can be enjoyed as a standalone smartphone experience using touch controls or, much more interestingly, as a completely hands-free Virtual Reality experience.

“The success of Christian Sasso and Steve Ulrich’s WeR3 original app points to a critical note of differentiation about our school’s approach,” said John Duhring, Director of Strategic Alliances and Alumni Relations with Cogswell College. “Most colleges request that students graduate first before they are allowed to create experiments. Our students have the opportunity to paw through brand new technologies and generate their own experiences while they are still undergrads. The fact that this remarkable student project was presented during SIGGRAPH 2015, and has just been named a finalist in the Google Tango contest, is proof positive that the success of our approach clearly speaks for itself.”

In the UTILITY category, an app called Room Modes Calculator, created by Cogswell College graduate Caleb Madsen with coding assistance by fellow Cogswell student Dylan Hart and submitted under the entry name Audio Architects, has been named as a finalist in the Google contest.

Room Modes are a collection of resonances that result in standing waves when a room is “excited” with the introduction of new audio. Standing waves are made up of frequencies that, when added up, create modes, or anti-modes. The Room Modes Calculator app presents the user with augmented reality visualizations -- it is a tool that can be utilized by visually minded people when planning how to create and build a proper listening or recording environment.

“This is an exceptional accomplishment for a student who is not an engineer, but rather a savvy audio student with a passionate vision,” said Cogswell College professor and Director of the school’s Digital Audio Technology department, Timothy W. Duncan. “This was a project Caleb Madsen began during guest teacher Chuck Knowledge's Interactive Audio class last spring. Caleb’s finalist nomination deserves a parade and banners!”

“Caleb and Dylan have done incredible work on their Room Modes Calculator app,” added Chuck Knowledge, Front-of-House Engineer for Nero/Dizzie Rascal, & Chris McCarron (Pigeon Detectives, Maximo Park, The View). “They even submitted their prototype entry into the Google contest in advance of the deadline!”

Source: Cogswell College

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.