How cool would it be to have your smart phone or tablet find your misplaced keys?
That’s the idea that caused three Kamiakin High School freshmen to win the Technology Alliance’s Youth Apps Challenge.
Vincent Gizzarelli, Jordan Blum and Zachary Sylvester, all age 15, will present their winning NekSol app during an awards event May 2 at Washington State University Tri-Cities.
Jordan didn’t think they would win, he said. In fact, Vincent thought they were in trouble when computer sciences teacher Doug Reppe called them into his office last week to tell them they had won.
Reppe had mentioned the contest to his computer sciences class, including Vincent and Jordan. The duo decided to recruit their friend Zachary to help with the project.
Inspiration hit when Vincent lost something and couldn’t find it. “Everybody loses stuff,” he said.
So they decided to create a concept of an app to find lost items. It’s something they may actually make in the future, but for the contest, they didn’t have to program the app, Vincent said.
They did create screen shots of what the app would look like and made a video explaining their idea.
Vincent previously had seen an app that can make a three-dimensional image of an object from a photo, he said. Their idea takes that a step further by putting the images in a database that the app can then use to locate a missing item when asked.
The three came up with the name using a thesaurus. Jordan found that “los” can mean loss of sight, and Vincent landed on “ken” as a word for knowledge. While LosKen was a possibility, flipping it to NekSol just sounded cool.
“You have the loss of sight and the app has the knowledge to help you find it,” Vincent said.
All three are considering careers in computer-related fields. Jordan said he’d like to design video games, while Vincent plans to be a “white hat” hacker, also known as a cybersecurity expert.
Want to watch their video? Check it out on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPzXRuI_oP0.