Call it Crowdsourcing, call it co-creation, or just call it plain cool. The TopCoder Community is embarking on a very creative endeavor to design, develop, and produce an iPad app that will help NASA astronauts more seamlessly and accurately track their dietary intake while living aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Throw into the mix some very unique technical variables, such as this new iPad application will not be connected to the Internet, and we’ve got a sincerely interesting challenge on our hands.
The official name for this newest Open Innovation project is the NASA Tournament Lab ISS-FIT (Food Intake Tracker) Challenge and the first contests helping to comprise this overall challenge, a voice command idea generation contest and a conceptualization contest have just been launched. Follow those links to learn more about the individual contests and to register to compete. These competitions are the latest in an ISS focused series of challenges running on the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) which is powered by TopCoder and is in partnership with Harvard Business School. To help kick-off this particular challenge NASA was kind enough to arrange a Skype video sit down between TopCoder and NASA Astronaut Dr. Donald Pettit and that interview is just below for your enjoyment. Dr. Pettit has logged more than 370 days in space and has lived on the ISS for a total of 13 months. So to say we sat down with a subject matter expert would be putting it mildly!Understanding our readers and community members are busy, we created this helpful video legend. We of course encourage you to watch the interview in its entirety, but if you wanted to focus on Dr. Pettit discussing potential new user experiences for the forthcoming iPad application, that section begins at approximately 12:13 – Thank you.
Sincere thanks are owed to the team from NASA who helped arrange the interview and of course to Dr. Pettit who was gracious in every manner. We look forward to tracking what the TopCoder community will create and hope it benefits the astronauts performing incredible science aboard the ISS for many “moons” to come. The first two contests to create this out of this world iPad application are now live here: voice command idea generation contest and conceptualization contest – Good luck to those registering and competing
image credit: NASA