UAE student's invention makes smartphones smarter

$10 device transforms smartphones into 'multipurpose tool' for engineers

Tags: Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (www.masdar.ac.ae/)United Arab Emirates
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UAE student's invention makes smartphones smarter Alaeddine Mokri, a PhD student and research assistant at Masdar Institute.
By  Roger Field Published  July 18, 2013

A PhD student at the UAE's Masdar Institute of Science and Technology has won an award from Intel after developing a device that can turn a smartphone into a "powerful multipurpose tool for engineers and scientists" at a cost of $10.

The ‘UltraSmart' project developed by Alaeddine Mokri, a PhD student and research assistant in the inter-disciplinary doctoral degree programme at Masdar Institute, was one of four winners in the Intel Business Challenge Middle East & North Africa 2013 regional finals ceremony held in Abu Dhabi last month.

The four winners will now compete at the Intel Global Challenge, to be held at UC Berkley in the Silicon Valley in October 2013 for a chance to win up to $50,000.

The Masdar Institute entry, which represented the UAE, competed against more than 700 projects presented by more than 2,300 students and engineers from 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. A committee of business experts assessed the projects to shortlist the top 25 before selecting the four winners.

UltraSmart allows smartphones to perform functions such as 3D scanning, and to scan plots and charts to gather data. It can also be used to measure the distance, curvature, or the surface area of a given object. Furthermore, it can be used as a computer mouse with extra features that do not exist in standard computer control devices.

The integrated smartphone tool will help developers of applications for smartphones and tablets to cater to scientists and engineers, especially in industrial design. The device is also likely to benefit designers and manufacturers of solar cells, and engineers involved with nanotechnology and nano-science.

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