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article imageCanadian Students Win $275K Prize

By Bob Ewing     Aug 30, 2008 in Technology
Canadian engineering students and graduates won a $275,000 US prize from Internet search giant Google for mobile phone application.
Jeff Kao, Robert Lam, Taneem Talukdar , Gary Pong and Jason Wong,have won a $275,000 US prize from Internet search giant Google Inc. for a mobile phone application that lets users calculate and adjust their travel carbon footprint.
The five were among ten groups named winners of the top prize of Google's Android Developer Challenge, which asked developers to come up with useful applications using Google's software platform.
The winners' program, Ecorio, gives users the ability to reduce their environmental footprint with tools that provide transit options for trips, allow them to invest in carbon reduction projects and share their tips with other users.
The team is made up of recent Waterloo engineering graduates who describe themselves on their website as five guys from Ontario who "think that this environmental thing might be for real."
"There are many people with lots of ideas on how we can live smarter, greener and sustainable lives. Ecorio is one piece of that mosaic," they write.
Other winning apps included programs that help users find taxi cabs, scan product barcodes and personalize photos.
Android, a free downloadable software development kit for mobile phones, was released in November 2007, with the goal of creating a common platform that would make it easier for developers to create programs and for consumers to surf the web on cellphones.
The contest was launched at the same time with a promise to offer more than $10 million in prizes.
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