A group on MIT students developed an app that lets OnStar subscribers search for restaurants and make reservations without needing to talk to the maitre d'. The voice-activated app earned the four students the $10,000 Grand Prize for the OnStar Student Developer Challenge at the Where 2.0 conference last week.
EatOn is a restaurant discovery service that lets users locate restaurants, read ratings and reviews, make reservations on OpenTable, and get turn-by-turn directions to their destination using only voice commands. The app also ties into social media and lets users post their destinations on Twitter, or send invitations by text message to friends. Audio files on the app's site demonstrate EatOn's functionality, such as searching for the nearest McDonald's and making reservations at The Hard Rock Cafe.
The competition was held by OnStar to promote automotive connectivity and find creative in-vehicle voice-enabled applications. Teams from Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, University of Michigan, University of Texas, and University of Toledo also competed in the competition.
"We were extremely impressed with all of the students' final app submissions," said Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of Planning and Business Development in a news statement. "These students represent the future of digital connectivity and I wouldn't be surprised to see one of these applications incorporated into OnStar's suite of services in the future."
The company has set aside a development budget to explore putting the winning app into production, according to an OnStar spokesperson, but a final decision has not been made.
Source: Telematics News