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Good Times app a winner for AT&T hackathon developer

Matt Hamblen | Jan. 8, 2013
With app development, serendipity matters. Ruggero Scorcioni knows that better than almost anybody.

He said he's very familiar with studies of brain waves being detected by EEG's, most recently with more than 64 sensors reading a person's brain activity from a special skull cap. "I have no idea about the science with the headset, but I just processed the data it produces to the call manager," he said.

Still, he is convinced that there's no question that a more active brain will consume more oxygen and produce more electrical signals that are picked up by sensors, as NeuroSky's device does.

The Good Times app idea could become valuable eventually, he said, and could be used for many purposes beyond screening calls. "It could be used to change music on your smartphone that you're hearing based on your mood," he said. "If you are watching TV and are bored by the show, it could change the station."

Jeff Bradley, senior vice president of devices and developer services at AT&T Mobility, called Good Times an exciting prototype that could get more life at AT&T, although he didn't make any commitments. The app was chosen by the audience at the AT&T Developer Summit here, after three finalists including Scorcioni made fast-pitch presentations onstage.

For "breakthrough" apps, AT&T will give a 12-week support process, backed by an AT&T sponsor, at one of three AT&T Foundry centers which function like innovation centers. AT&T actually got the idea for its Drive Mode app used on smartphones to prevent texting when a car reaches a speed above 25 mph, Bradley said.

Part of the reason AT&T has been able to foster so much app development -- including 28 hackathons in the past year -- is because of the Web RTC (Real Time Communications) cooperative created by Google, Mozilla and Opera, he added.

Scorcioni is eager to see where his fledgling idea might lead. "It could be interesting," he said. For now, he's glad his family back in Italy got to watch the his fast pitch and prize award via the Web live.

 

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