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Where's the Closest AED? Miami University Students Have an App for That

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 General News J E 4
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June 1-7 is CPR/AED Awareness Week

OXFORD, Ohio, May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of Miami University students has developed an iPhone application focused on heart health awareness that also integrates GPS and augmented reality, allowing users to locate Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).  AEDs aren't always easy to find, especially in an emergency situation.

(Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090618/MULOGO )

After being contracted by a company that plans to take the application to market, students in Miami's Armstrong Interactive Media Studies (AIMS) capstone class designed, developed and created a marketing plan for the HEARTifacts app, which also gives users information on heart attack risks and symptoms.  Computer science and software engineering students then took the concept and developed the first iteration of the application.  The company is currently reviewing the design, projected for release later this year.

"We hope our project becomes an indispensable tool for people with heart health problems," said Sarah Olinger, a senior strategic communications major and interactive media studies minor.  "I love finding ways to make the technology I'm learning apply in meaningful ways to my life and to society."

In this application, users can hold up their iPhone and be directed to the nearest AED by an arrow that overlaps the output of the camera's viewfinder, a technology known as augmented reality or AR.  "AR works by enhancing real-time views with virtual imagery," said Jerry Gannod, associate professor of computer science and software engineering, who worked closely with the AIMS team on the project.  "With the release of more powerful smart phone technologies, access to AR is about to become more prevalent."

Students from various disciplines worked on the project, an example of experiential learning opportunities in Miami's liberal arts curriculum.  "As the leader of the promotions group, this project allowed me to gain some real world experience working on a client-based project, while at the same time helping to improve people's health and potentially save lives," said Michael Hauss, a senior marketing major.  

"The students have been effectively running a consulting business -- performing all aspects of an actual, paid, real-world challenging project on the cutting edge of mobile phone technology," said Rich Lewis, instructor for the AIMS capstone course.  

Miami students have worked on a consultative basis through the AIMS capstone program with other companies, including Bank of America, Procter & Gamble, Cintas, Cardinal Health, HP and the Miami Tribe.  

For more information on this project, follow the class on Facebook with the group "HEARTifacts," and on Twitter at "@myHEARTifacts."  To view how the application works, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPI15XM7xGU.

SOURCE Miami University

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