Android* application developer and Intel® Software Innovator Arturo Jamaica explains what got him interested in mobile apps and the work he is currently doing. Based in Mexico, Arturo was one of our top Innovators of 2016 and as his Twitter profile states, he believes in making a difference, one app at a time.
What got you into wanting to learn about technology?
When I was a kid I use to love electronics and I had lots of games and consoles. As a kid I decided to start developing my own games and when I was about 15 years old I started working in areas related to software development. I tested the back-end and front-end of some of the technologies and learned that mobile was the area I really wanted to get into.
Why Android* apps?
The thing I like about mobile is the ability to quickly turn-around and show your products and inventions. For example when you talk to someone not involved in development, they don't really understand what software is, but when you talk to them about an app they get it right away. I’ve taken the opportunity to learn about Android development at events like Google I/O. Android is super cool because it is what the majority of people use globally and has the best building blocks for developers, allowing them to go very deep into the core of the device.
Tell us about some of your apps.
Drop the Crab was my main game project and it took about 3 months of development. It is a puzzle that allows users to scratch their heads trying to solve all 100 levels. All art, levels and puzzles were made by me. It was very well received and the app was download about 10,000 times.
I made the Away - Travel app with the purpose of solving my own travel schedule issues. I used to travel a lot and I needed a point-to-point solution for solving my travel needs. So I developed this app to be a single platform for all travel options and routes including auto, taxi, flight, ferry, boat, bus, train, metro, and even hiking!
Tell us about Cleanbox.
Cleanbox was an outsourced project and I was in charge of the embed software at the machine. It was my first attempt to work in a project that uses lots of small components. It is one of the most ambitious projects I have worked on. It manages all the logistics of leaving and picking up clothes without the need of human intervention. You can think of it as a Laundry Vending Machine.
On the outside, Cleanbox is just a huge container with lots of doors. But on the inside it has two important components. An Intel® Joule™ processor and a small PCB for managing all solenoids. All interactions are on the front where you can see a touch panel, a scale, and a NFC/CC reader. Users have access to the app where they can track all their services, pay, and see their laundry expenses.
Now the Cleanbox is also mounted in an old VW Van. It has a driver that goes through a route where clients arrive and drop their clothes and in less than 24 hours they return them clean.
What projects are you working on now?
Earlier this year I was working on some 3D adventure games for virtual reality, and currently I am working on AI related apps. Some of them run on TensorFlow using Convolutional Neural Networks. One of them is called NewsOnGifs, where a service analyzes the news and looks for videos which are then summarized into beautiful gifs that are posted on social media.
I own my own company, Brounie, where my team of 20, based in Querétaro, Mexico, develop and deploy around 10 Android and iOS apps per month. Most of my clients are entrepreneurs and organizations and the apps generally fall into three categories: marketing apps, games, and utility/business apps.
What challenges do you see in regards to Android apps?
I believe that software fragmentation is still a very bad thing. Users do not get the latest features of the platform fast enough. I also think that the software stack may need a boost but it can be solved using Android’s* NDK.
You trained almost 8,000 developers last year, what type of events do you expect to participate in this year?
I have the objective to train even more developers in other latitudes including Europe and more places in South America. I believe that by inspiring people is how new developers get on board.
What hobbies do you have outside of building apps?
I love flying my quadcopter and play lots of video games to understand how they are made. My passion is in modern art; I especially love Modernism and Impressionism.
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