MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 18, 2011 /CNW/ - From family games night to an
apps challenge, the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and Samsung
Electronics Canada are joining forces to explore and improve human
interaction with technology. The initiatives are intended to prepare
young people for the realities of living and working in the
ever-evolving digital media environment.
UTM and Samsung are collaborating on at least two projects this year - a
Design Jam and the SPARK (Sharing Possibilities for Apps in Research
and Knowledge) Apps Challenge. These innovative projects are enabling
students to better understand the future of digital design, the user
experience and the effect of new media on society. The initiatives
encourage students to apply critical thinking and collaboration skills
to designing and developing new media initiatives and to rethink the
way users relate to technology. As a world leader in the development of
technologies that facilitate knowledge sharing, Samsung has provided
SMART TVs, smartphones and tablets for these projects.
"We are excited to work with Samsung Canada on these projects that will
benefit our students, our graduates and, ultimately, our society," says
Professor Anthony Wensley, director of UTM's Institute of
Communication, Culture and Information Technology. "Through our
partnership, we are focusing on the skills our digital design students
will need when they enter the workforce and the innovative applications
that will best meet the needs of our wired and networked community."
"Samsung is dedicated to developing products that allow people to
connect and share in ways that were never before possible," says
Philippe Lozier, director business development - convergence with
Samsung Electronics Canada. "By participating in these initiatives, we
are not only expanding our strong community partnerships in Canada, but
also enhancing the hands-on student learning experiences at UTM,
instilling a passion for technology into the leaders who will drive
innovation in the future."
The first of the projects, the Knowledge Media Design Jam, facilitated
by U of T's Knowledge Media Design Institute, focused on the question:
What does a family games night in a networked home environment look
like? Four teams of undergraduate and graduate students worked together
to brainstorm, sketch, build wireframes and develop prototypes of
digital games an entire family could enjoy. Projects ranged from a
networked version of the board game Risk and family scavenger hunt to
karaoke contest and multimedia game involving household chores.
One team developed a family activity that incorporated multimedia
activities - such as photographing the family pet - into a networked
municipal, national and global conquest game. The group envisioned a
"smartTable" around which families could gather to play and share
memories, images and videos of their day. Another team used a
multi-player karaoke game to demonstrate how various platforms and
devices could be used, instead of traditional game console systems, to
play collaborative and educational games, while yet another developed a
family scavenger hunt where devices became portals into Augmented
Reality, hiding clues in the house.
Samsung and UTM are currently collaborating on another initiative - the
SPARK Apps Challenge. High school students from southern Ontario have
been invited to submit conceptual designs for apps focused on
collaboration in education, business innovation or social
responsibility. Early in 2012, the challenge will be extended to
post-secondary students at U of T, Sheridan College and OCAD and
Ryerson Universities who will be invited to submit functional
prototypes. Winners will receive prizes and opportunities to further
develop theirs apps for the Samsung and Android market.
These initiatives have been developed through a partnership of Samsung,
UTM's Institute of Communication, Culture and Information Technology
and U of T's Knowledge Media Design Institute. The Design Jam was
hosted in September by ThingTank, a U of T-led public-private academic
consortium that includes members from cultural organizations, digital
media small and medium enterprises, and other post-secondary GTA
About the University of Toronto Mississauga
Founded in 1967, the University of Toronto Mississauga is one of three
campuses of the University of Toronto. Home to 11,700 undergraduate
students, 500 graduate students and 740 faculty and staff, the campus
is located on 225 acres of protected green belt along the Credit River.
Known for its innovative programs, student-focused approach and
environmentally sustainable development, U of T Mississauga has 15
academic departments as well as an Institute of Communication, Culture
and Information Technology with 148 programs and 89 areas of study.
With deep roots in the community, U of T Mississauga partners broadly
with the City of Mississauga in business, industry and civic
About Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.
Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. (SECA), a wholly owned subsidiary of
Samsung Electronics Co., markets a broad range of award-winning digital
consumer electronics, information systems, telecommunications and home
SECA upholds Samsung's mission to provide consumers with innovative
digital convergence products that possess exceptional technology,
quality, features, performance and value. The company oversees the
Canadian operations of Samsung's consumer electronics and home
appliance division, as well as its wireless terminals and information
Samsung has been a global TOP sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1997
and has been a presenting sponsor of the Olympic Torch Relay from 2004
to 2008. Samsung is also a proud sponsor of Hockey Canada, Stars on Ice
and is the official HDTV sponsor of the NFL.
SOURCE Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.
For further information:
University of Toronto Mississauga
Samsung Electronics Canada