Google Glass competition prepares students for success

Oakland University’s School of Business Administration is currently holding a competition among students to develop apps for the Google Glass platform, organized by Amy Rutledge, special instructor of management information systems.

According to the school’s website, the competition is split into two phases: the first, known as the business case, involves conceptualizing the app; the second, the proof of concept, requires the app to be developed through the Glass Development Kit.

The competition commenced on Monday, Feb. 10, and the first phase concluded on Friday, March 7. The second phase will end on Friday, March 28, with the winners being formally announced on Friday, April 18.

With approximately 19 teams composed of more than 40 students, the final projects will be judged by OU INC, according to the website. Finalists will be designated by phases, with the winners of phase one receiving $500, the champions of phase two receiving $2500, and the runner-ups receiving $1000.

Since Google Glass has yet to officially release to the general public, Oakland University only has one pair of Google Glasses on which students can test their apps. Due to this, teams must develop using emulators running at API 15 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or lower for their final products to run properly on Google Glass.

Computer and electrical engineering major Ziyad Al-Obaidi, however, has his own pair of Google Glasses and decided to participate in the competition as well. Along with computer science major Shaun Wassell and information technology major Arnaud Crowther, the three have dubbed themselves the Vizor Team.

Working on a musical app titled “Anthem,” the team aims to streamline music practice. Anthem plans to incorporate myriad concepts, ranging from guitar and piano lessons to metronomes, voice warmups, and more. Their website,, consolidates a simplistic design with colorful backgrounds to entice the viewer.

“With our website, we went the path of transparency,” Al-Obaidi said, referring to the concept of Google Glass being a transparent device.

The Vizor Team has goals that reach further than the end of this competition, however.

“This contest brought us together – we hadn’t worked together before, we formed a pretty reliable team, and we’re focusing now on starting a company together,” Crowther said.

Whether or not Anthem wins the competition holds little significance to the Vizor Team’s future prospects. Al-Obaidi, Crowther and Wassell said they plan to transform Anthem into a full-fledged project, adding multiple language options and eventually releasing it onto not only the Google Glass marketplace, but onto Android and iPhone app stores as well.

All three developers said that their favorite aspect of the contest was the integration between business and engineering schools.

“It’s really good for the business school, and it’s bringing together the business school students and the computer science students,” Crowther said.