Team Name: MobilePet

Group Members:
  • Bo Han - Computer Science Graduate Student, email: bohan AT cs DOT umd DOT edu
  • Ran Liu - Computer Science Graduate Student, email: ranliu AT cs DOT umd DOT edu
  • Kan-Leung Cheng - Computer Science Graduate Student, email: klcheng AT cs DOT umd DOT edu

Motivation:
College students often feel tired or lonely in a busy campus life. If they just play computer games to relax, they may miss the chances to social and meet new friends. Making friends is very important for students. For example, finding groupmate for class projects, forming study group, dating, etc. Usually it is not easy to find someone you like. Even if you can find them, sometimes it may be difficult to start a conversation with these strangers.

Target:
We target at UMD students who want to breed a virtual pet and meet new friends.

Approach:
Our app breeds a digital pet living in smartphones. At the beginning, a user chooses a pet. It can be a dog, cat, chicken, rat, turtle, or a new creature defined by user-plugin (e.g., alien pet). Users can select their favorite attributes (like Facebook profile), e.g., name, gender, size, color, hobbies, activities, etc. Users can dress up their pets, play simple games with them, and feed them, etc. Usually It is not time consuming to raise a digital pet (maybe few minutes per day).

In return, a pet can help its master by performing the following tasks:
  • Searching and meeting with other pets;
  • Carrying message - like twitter;
  • A pet can also do some other (minor) tasks (can be added as a plugin later): reminder, carpooling, event scheduling (e.g., party)

Risks:
  • Designing a fun virtual pet may be tricky and difficult.
  • UMD students may be too busy to play it.

Technology:
  • Application on smartphones, e.g., Nokia N900 (preferred), iPhone or Andriod phone.
  • It will leverage the local wireless communication capability of smartphones (e.g., Bluetooth, or WiFi) to perform phone-to-phone discovery and communication.