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Canadian University of Dubai students tackling obesity through technology

: Tuesday, December 17 - 2013 @ 05:52

Students at the Canadian University of Dubai have developed a health-focussed mobile application for the UAE Government’s Best m-Government Service Award.

Three students from the School of Engineering, Applied Sciences and Technology and one from the School of Communications this week submitted their entry into the competition which has an Dhs1m prize fund.

Their state-of-the-art Android application, called ActiveUAE, combines a pedometer with a calorie counter allowing users to check their calorie intake and how many they are burning each day.

Social media features heavily in the application, with Facebook and Twitter functions to encourage users to share their calorie burning tips and fitness experiences with an online community.

Fitness apps are nothing new in the mobile world but the app’s programmer Mohammed Baziyad believes the ActiveUAE app has a few new tricks up its sleeve.

“There are many things about this application that make it unique,” he said, “but two elements really set it apart.”

“The first is that there are very few, if any, applications that combine a way to monitor calorie intake and usage with an online community. The last part is key. The idea is that it will act as a support group for people who need encouragement and inspiration. It is also as a way for people to see where around the emirate they can go and get fit – users will be able to send messages about walking round Safa Park, for example.”

“Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the app is very simple to use. The idea was to make an app for the mass audience. Everyone has to be able to use it and we had to understand from the start how people use and understand mobile technology and how it differs from one person to the next.”

In May 2013, the Government of the United Arab Emirates announced the launch of “Best m-Government service”. According to the webiste www.mgov-award.ae it “aims to motivate government agencies to provide innovative solutions in the field of smart phone applications, mobile websites and SMS.”

The winners of the Best m-Government Service Award competition will be announced in February 2014. The AED1m prize is split 50:50 between the winning students and their university.

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Tuesday, December 17- 2013 @ 5:52 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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