Mozilla And The National Science Foundation Challenge Developers To Build “Apps From The Future”

In June, Mozilla and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the Mozilla Ignite challenge. During the first phase of this $500,000 challenge, the two organizations invited anybody to submit ideas for applications that could make use of ultra-fast, next-generation networks. These ideas had to be related to education, healthcare, public safety, clean energy, transportation, workforce development, and advanced manufacturing. Today, Mozilla and the NSF announced the eight winning ideas and launched the second phase of the program, which focuses on putting these ideas into reality.

Here are the winning ideas:

  • Real-Time Emergency Response Observation and Supervision
    Jeremy Cooperstock, Shared Reality Lab, McGill University

    This app saves lives. The goal: arm firefighters, rescue workers and first-responders with powerful new real-time data and communications. Combining live, high-quality video from multiple feeds with real-time sensor data — like heat and smoke levels — could dramatically improve decision-making and coordination.
  • Real-time 3D Interactive Telepresence
    Andor Salga, Seneca College, author of XBPointStream
    A giant leap beyond video-conferencing. This app proposes using 3D Kinect sensors for two-way, three-dimensional “tele-presence,” allowing doctors to gain a real-time views of their patients, or let teachers to teach remote classes in 3D.
  • Remote Process Control Using a Reliable, Real-Time Protocol
    George Adams, Purdue University

    Reliable, super-fast remote control. Gigabit networks can provide new ways of controlling processes from afar, allowing engineers, artists, and experimenters to remotely control advanced manufacturing processes like 3D printing — regardless of how close they are to the means of production.
  • Long-Term Monitoring and Crisis Management System
    Amr Ali, Biomedical Engineer and Dmitri Boulanov, Software Engineer, Boston University 2010

    Ubiquitous sensors plus high-speed networks can revolutionize healthcare. This app would allow you and your doctor to aggregate and analyze your health data in realtime, detecting and preventing potential crises before they occur.
  • High Quality Open Source Web Conferencing
    Fred Dixon, BigBlueButton

    Combining high-speed networks with new web standards like HTML5 and WebRTC. The result: a robust remote classroom experience and high-quality education for any student equipped with a simple web browser, no matter where they’re located.
  • Kinect Health 3D
    Bob Summers, graduate of Virginia Tech and MIT
    Helping users get in shape with peers — from the convenience of their living rooms, using real-time 3D scans of participants plus high-speed computing resources in the cloud to monitor and share their progress over time.
  • Smart Streets for Smart Cars
    Eric Endlich and Julian Valencia, EndlichStudios

    Cars are getting smarter, so why shouldn’t streets? From traffic lights that dynamically respond to changes in traffic, to street lamps that automatically dim to save energy, to roads that communicate real-time traffic updates and emergency broadcasts to drivers.
  • The Rashomon Project: “Multi-Perspective Chronology”
    Camille Crittenden, Data and Democracy Initiative at CITRIS, UC Berkeley
    Using social video improve our understanding of complex events. Rashomon would allow visitors to study an event from multiple perspectives, zooming in on particular moments to examine sequences in detail.

At this point, developers can still submit completely new proposals, but Mozilla and the NSF are also looking for developers to build prototypes of these winning ideas. Developers can win part of the remaining $485,000 for their winning proposals and prototypes. Winners will also receive additional funding and access to the NSF’s Global Environment for Network Innovation test-bed network. You have until October 25 to apply for the second round, after which there will be two additional development rounds.