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Prototype Development for Mobile Applications

Since I’ve been dragging my feet on building my portfolio site, I’ve decided on uploading school work here on the blog. First up is the work from the course Prototype Development for Mobile Applications. The goal of the course was to learn about the capabilities of mobile devices and use the current technology to create prototypes of applications.

The course started with some basic knowledge about databases and SQL commands which then  was followed by development of Web Services. One of the assignments was to create a web application, connected to a Web Service, where one could add, delete and edit entries for specific users.

Depending on which user was selected, different recordings appear.

The next step was to create a mobile phone application that used the techniques we were taught. The application allowed users to create an avatar on the screen which one could move around, the next time the user opened the application and choose their avatar, it would have to show up on the same location that it was left the previous session. Since it was based on a Web Service it meant that several users could have the application and see and move each others avatars.

The prototype GUI for the application.

The flowchart depicting the relations between all elements.

The assignment that followed had a similar structure as the previous, in the sense that it was layered into user-application-WebService-database. The mission was to create an orienteering application for Windows Mobile. The application allowed users to login using their username and password. After logging in they got the choice to either choose a map and start orienteering or view past results.

The UI flowchart of the application.

The log in start screen.

The home/manager screen.

Before being able to start the timer, the user has to locate the first starting flag.

Once the starting flag has been reached, the timer can be started.

The user then walks from flag to flag and marks them down on his phone.

When finished, the user can review his results and choose whether to upload the or not.

Saved results can be accessed anytime on the device.

Users can also view specific flag times in order to better their results the next time.

The last part of the course was a several weeks long project where we got to develop and create a prototype of an application of our choosing. My group chose to do a location-based game and after discussions we agreed on basing it off the bluetooth inside the mobile phones. The reason for this was because we wanted  the game to work well inside buildings as well as outside in the open. GPS has its limitations such as a higher battery drain and a weak-to-no signal when placed inside buildings or other places where the signal has a problem to reach the phone. The project resulted in the mobile game TagWar, a game similar to Tag. When logged in, the user is put into either the red or blue team, the outcome decides who the user can tag and vice versa. When the user gets tagged the opponents team receives a point and the user gets a time-out, meaning he can’t tag anyone or be tagged for a certain amount of time. The game senses other players through their bluetooth, if their bluetooth ID is stored in the server database, then that means they are a player.

The mock-up design of TagWar.

The log in screen for the game.

The game searches for enemies while displaying the current score.

When tagged, a timer is displayed counting down the time before rejoining the game.

When the game finds enemies, it displays a list of them all.

The course was a first taste of the capabilities of mobile devices and the possibilities of mobile applications. While the course contained some programming for mobile platforms, it wasn’t until the following course, Innovative Mobile Services and Systems, that I got to really dive into the development of mobile applications. The works from that course will be posted later.


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