Undergrads develop apps for Axis
LAS VEGAS—For camera customization, network camera giant Axis Communications is tapping the talent and imagination of undergraduate engineering students at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.
The ISC West Axis Press Breakfast included the launch of three new cameras, an upgraded Axis Camera Companion and the announcement of a partnership with Wentworth.
The cameras of the future will be customized for customers with apps, the same way we currently customize our smartphones, Fredrik Nilsson, GM for Axis Communications in the Americas, told the audience. One Wentworth professor, Charles Hotchkiss, and two students, Joshua Ramirez and Nicholas Gelfman, attended the breakfast to discuss the apps they’ve already developed.
Gelfman is working on a 3D multi-tracking app that is intended to alert operators if someone is trying tamper with a camera. The app determines where an approaching object is distance-wise from the camera and sends an alert if it gets too close. Gelfman put it in simple terms for me: “Cameras see in 2D. This app basically allows them to see in 3D.”
Ramirez is a sophomore computer information systems major from Hanover, N.H., who is the manager of Wentworth’s radio station WIRE.
“I had a selfish reason for developing the app,” he said. Students are supposed to sign in and out when they come to work at the radio station, but they often don't do that, he explained. So Ramirez developed an app that automatically records the time that a student comes into or leaves the station, and it sends Ramirez an email alert under certain conditions.
He named the app Alibi. It "tracks students and if they log in, [the app] is their alibi to say that they were [at the station]," he said.
“It’s still a work in progress. I’ve spent six weeks on it but it was during exams and finals,” Ramirez said.
Nilsson said that Axis didn’t give the students any ideas about what kinds of apps to develop. They approached the project with no preconceived notions and Axis has been amazed with the results, he said.