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How would you feel if your best friend in your twilight years was a robot? It’s one of the many thought-provoking questions being posed at QUT’s Robotronica event on Sunday.
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An iPhone application that instantly measures people to help them find the right sized business shirt is among innovative student-developed apps from Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
And aspiring iPhone developers will have the chance to hone skills needed for the growing apps industry at QUT's new two-day iPhone Programming Beginner course to be held in early August.
Information Technology postgraduate students Capsen Lu and Ahmed Al Jafary presented the ShirtSize app at a QUT Gardens Point campus event as part of their Mobile App Development unit.
ShirtSize, developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch, takes the collar and sleeve measurements of people from photos and then calculates the best shirt size by popular brands.
"This is an app to try to help people find their shirt size. Some people don't know their size or if they want to buy a shirt for their friends or family members, it's hard without a tape measure," Mr Lu said.
"Once you enter a person's height into the ShirtSize app, it can quickly figure out which brand and which size is best for you."
App owner and developer Mr Lu said ShirtSize would be linked with Global Positioning System (GPS) information to inform people of different brands available in Australia, the USA and Europe. Mr Lu said the app would be available in 20 countries from September through the Apple iPhone store.
Other apps presented at the QUT event included Convoy, which allows people travelling in a group of vehicles to communicate and locate each other on the road through GPS and online maps.
"I think it will be very useful for people going on trips and on cruise days for car clubs. It's easier and safer than picking up the phone and calling each other when you're on the road," QUT student and developer Rod Howarth said.
Aaron Shiels, who designed and developed the first-person shooter augmented reality game Ghost Hunt with fellow QUT Master of Information Technology student Bjorn Smette, said there were many opportunities in the mobile app industry.
"Smartphones such as the iPhone have only come on board in the last few years. Apps are definitely an emerging technology. It makes companies look cooler and it's also more convenient for reaching their customers," he said.
Information Systems senior lecturer Dian Tjondronegoro, from QUT's Faculty of Science and Technology, said businesses were keen to hire people who understood app development.
A QUT iPhone Programming Beginner course, scheduled for early August, will be targeted at developers and people with some knowledge of computer programming to learn how to design and develop apps.
"There is huge demand for people in this area. Smart phones are rapidly becoming an integral part of everyday activities; from working, socialising, obtaining information to playing games and listening to music," Dr Tjondronegoro said.
"There is a vast opportunity to innovate, develop, and offer new mobile applications that can have a real impact."
He said workshop participants would be able to build a simple app from scratch by the end of the beginner course, with an advanced workshop to follow at a later date.
Register your interest for the iPhone Programming Beginner course by emailing Dr Tjondronegoro at firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact: Stephanie Harrington, media officer, 3138 1150, email@example.com
App creator Capsen Lu (right) and QUT postgraduate student Ahmed Al Jafary recently unveiled the ShirtSize app.