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Project Hawaii Student Projects Spring 2011

See the apps created with Project Hawaii.

Spring 2011


MYSCIENCE is a free mobile app that enables individuals with smart phones to contribute to a variety of science research projects by gathering useful information using the sensors on their phones. The data is then made available in aggregate, on the cloud, to scientists.

Naran Bayanbat, Lu Li, Forrest Lin, Mike Ortiz, Vignan Pattamatta
Stanford University


Blind Helper is developed to assist people who are blind or visually impaired to identify their locations and contact with other people using smart mobile phones.

Mohamed Abd El Aziz, Karim Habak
Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology


Classroom7 is a cloud-enabled mobile application for the purpose of enhancing the learning process by adding more interaction and collaboration between students. Classroom7 is implemented using Windows Phone 7 and Windows Azure Cloud Computing Platform.

Moustafa Alzantot, Mohamed Hataba
Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology

PictureLock Security Manager

Traditional character passwords are difficult to remember and vulnerable to attacks from unauthorized users. We have created a method of password authentication using multiple representations of categorized pictures instead of a string. This method of authentication, named PictureLock, is incorporated into an application, named Security Organizer, that stores information for online accounts. PictureLock provides countermeasures to known access control threats.

David Chuha, Sarah Honacki, David Kronk, Marc Mustric, Peter Tefft
Ohio State University

Information Leaking Feasibility

This project aims to explore the feasibility of information leaking on the Windows Phone 7 platform. The project stores a user-entered message on a Windows Phone 7 and collects the device ID and user's geolocation, which is then emailed to a remote recipient. Students discovered that, thanks to Microsoft's security architecture, information leaking is difficult to achieve on the platform without attracting user attention (and suspicion).

Desteban Escobar, Greg Landrum, Darwin Thomas
Ohio State University

Anywhere, Anytime, Configurable Real-time Monitoring of 802.11 Networks

Network administrators need a simple, low-cost solution that allows them to monitor their wireless networks in real-time at any time, from anywhere. Furthermore, network administrators have varying needs as to what metrics to gather from their network, and when to use each metric. In this work, we develop a proof-of-concept system that addresses these points. Our system consists of a Windows Phone 7 application which displays real-time information via polling a wireless network sniffer application for results on arbitrary metrics. We show that, upon further optimization, our solution is viable for use by network administrators in practice.

Daniel Vucci, Jesper Pedersen
University of California Santa Barbara

QUEST7: A Real Life Search Agent

Human eyes have a limited range during each eye fixation. As a result, searching specific text in a document or an image is time consuming. In this paper, we design QUEST7, a real life search agent combining the advantage of mobile devices and cloud computing. Utilizing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) service provided by MSR Project Hawaii, we extract texts from images captured on a mobile device. Keywords are then highlighted for human use. Experiments show that QUEST7 is significantly faster and more accurate than human eyes for dense texts. Extensive measurements are carried out to identify sources of delays in the process. With 3G access, network transfer latency tends to dominate. In contrast, OCR on the cloud side contributes to most of the delay with Wi-Fi access. Presented at Mobisense 2011, June 12, 2011, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Eshwar Rohit Pedamallu, Hien Nguyen, Sushil Joshi, Rong Zheng
University of Houston

Alpha Marauders

This app is functionally a multiplayer game which is much like Worms, a turn based game where you need to wipe out another team by shooting projectiles at them. The basis of this game is two people are placed in an "arena" where they have to destroy the other team (consisting of two characters which are controlled by a single person). They then take turns moving their characters around and at the end of their turn they fire a projectile. They take turns at this process until the one's team is completely destroyed. At this point, the game starts up with a main menu and you are prompted to join a game. After joining the game, the player needs to type in a game name which needs to match the player with whom you want to play against. The players are then put into a match against each other. As long as one has Wi-Fi activated and connected, one can play the game; otherwise one is not able to play the game. The reasoning behind developing this app is that small gimmick games are very popular, such as Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, and Fruit Ninja. This game is meant to entertain a person while they have a few minutes to waste.

Shaobo Gu, Joshua Wisniewski
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Our project this semester is in collaboration with researchers at the Nation Center for Supercomputing Applications. It is essentially a system to enable personalized localized situational awareness by integrating heterogeneous sensor information. One might view it as Foursquare except that it is for emergencies. The basic premise is as follows: If you see an emergency before you or if you know of one happening nearby, you can quickly tweet about it and through the built in twitter plug in and it gets registered as an official tweet in your account. That information is then taken and overlayed onto Bing Maps; which any user with our app can view and see the exact location(via pushpins) that the incident occurred at and the detailed tweet associated with it. The user also has the option of viewing different layers on the map, in the event that they are looking for a specific type of event. Another important functionality is a slider that allows the user to view the change of the spatiotemporal animation on a map interface for heterogeneous sensor streams including OGC Web Mapping Services and citizen sensing twitter feeds. Each position of the slider corresponds to a time range (e.g. last 30 minutes, last 24 hours) and this allows the user to see all tweets that were posted within that time range as well as the weather radar information. We believe that with this as a basic premise, we have a prototype that could potentially be a very successful app, that people would use in the event of an emergency and would therefore get help warn others about the exact location and nature of the emergency.


Sahil Handa, Adarsh Hasija, and Pratch Piyawongwisal
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


One of the biggest problems people face when travelling is a personalized planner. This Windows phone application combines data from Facebook, Bing, and Yelp to provide personalized planning and recommendation to users while travelling. Features of the application can be found on its weburl including, History aware plans and Budget Aware plans.

Sultan Alfarhood
University of Arkansas

Parking Manager

Park Manager helps drivers to find nearest parking spots for their vehicles at nearest available parking areas. Also Park manager manages parking areas that are participating in the system.

Sameh Abo Samra
Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology

Home Automation using Project Hawaii and HomeOS

CSE 481M worked on a set of home automation projects using the Project Hawaii Platform and the Microsoft Research HomeOS.

Home Networking Capstone, University of Washington, CSE 481M

Course website

SMS Encryption

This project encrypts SMS messages sent from one person to another using a four-digit symmetric key (PIN). The sender enters the message and the PIN; the message is XORed with the PIN. Any eavesdropper only sees meaningless gibberish.

Patrick Mulac, Jason Carrier, Jacqueline Telljohann, David Reing, Daniel Spagnuolo
Ohio State University

Class projects at University of Massachusetts Lowell (91.564, Data Communications II)

  • UML Parking Finder by Peng Xia and Shan Lu, for finding parking spaces at UMass Lowell.
  • ZurianSwap by Steve Bilozur, Swapnil Gewande and Ian White for sign translation using smartphones.
  • iBridge: Augmenting Reality with Barcode by Ke Huang and Liuying Peng, to scan product barcodes with smartphone and obtain relevant information (e.g., stores nearby, compare price, nutrition analysis, etc).
  • UML Shuttle Tracker by Jason Chan, I-Hsuan Lin and Xiawei Liu, a user friendly smartphone application to look up the shuttle bus location in real time.
  • SleepSafe by Bhanu Kaushik, a smartphone based approach for sleepwalking detection.
  • Language Translator by Darshan Darbari and Rachit Mathur, language translator on smartphones for storing translated text.
  • UML App by Kavya Kona, Prathiba Dyavegowda and Sunil Kumar Balaganchi Thammaiah, All-you-want to know information about UMass Lowell (shuttle services, dining services, on-campus residence, athletic centers, libraries, emergence notifications, etc)
  • UML 4-Ride by Malav Parikh, Purva Patil, Puneet Agrawal and Pragya Singhal, providing UML students with ride service at ease with smart phones.
  • RSS Reader by Naiem Sleiman and Naji Dagher, RSS Reader for keeping up with news and information on smartphones.

  • Read university blog

Adaptive Accuracy-aware Localization for Smart Phones

Location-based smart phone applications like social networks, traffic information, health services, food services, entertainment, etc., are becoming increasingly popular, especially that GPS functionality is becoming a standard in new phones. However, GPS is a power hungry service, and using it as the only location service will quickly drain the phone's battery especially if users need continuous updates from location-based applications. Moreover, GPS accuracy degrades in urban areas where tall buildings are present, and where the user needs accuracy the most. We propose and implement an energy-aware and accuracy-aware system that utilizes other common functionalities available in a smart phone, specifically: Bluetooth, WiFi, and accelerometer, to provide location information service that could be used by location-based applications. In Bluetooth, a smart phone device requiring to update its location information can scan nearby devices, and obtain the locations of those devices. Due to the relatively short range of Bluetooth, the device can safely copy the acquired location to be its own, and assign a 10m uncertainty on it. When using WiFi, by creating a network with nearby anchor nodes, the position of the device can be determined on triangulation basis. The accelerometer can predict how and where the device is moving, and using this data, the next position of the device could be estimated. Bluetooth, WiFi, and accelerometers require less power than GPS, but they provide varying accuracy depending on a user's location. For example, WiFi would be more accurate than GPS in urban areas due to the high density of access points, and other people owning mobile devices. An investigation of the power consumption and accuracy of each of the four mentioned technologies will be made. An algorithm will be implemented to dynamically select the proper technology for the location service based on the input of the required accuracy, the detection of the current battery level, and the user's setting for the battery quota provided for location-based applications. A Bayesian estimation framework will be used to model the investigated accuracy, and the available power, which can then be contrasted with the input requirement.

Salim Mohamed, Reza Hajisheykhi
Michigan State University

Illinois Phone

We propose to overhaul the current authentication system used on UIUC's campus and automate and integrate other tasks such as room scheduling with our system. Our architecture proposes an innovative multi-step authentication approach to this problem so as to get around single point of failure. Given the proliferation of GPS enabled smart phones, each user in our system can be identified by their personal smart phones. The GPS within cell phones can authenticate that the given user is indeed within the building. Authenticating whether the user is indeed by the resource or a room to which access is being demanded however is non-trivial. We use QR codes as the second layer of authentication in our architecture for this purpose. The user can use the camera on his mobile phone and take a picture of the QR code and thus authenticate his presence right by the resource. This QR code is decoded and the string is sent to the cloud which then authenticates the user and could then unlock the resource for the user.

Amey Chaugule, Joe Fernandez, Abhishek Pradhan
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


WiPAX is a chat client developed for Windows Phone 7. The client is built on the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), an open-standard communications protocol used by Google Talk, Jabber, and other chat providers. The ubiquity of XMPP allows WPAX users to communicate with any other users on the same protocol that have authorized them. Of particular interest, is Google Chat which has been adopted by a large number of users. We were able to find only one, poorly rated application on the Windows Phone 7 marketplace that offered Google Chat support, which was clearly still in the early stages of development. WPAX is a fast, simple, stable, easy-to-use alternative.

Henry Beberman, Tomasz Kalbarczyk, Brian Patzin
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign