Fing’R Mote won the Grand Prize in the MyScript App Challenge. The app, created by Patrick Percevaux, allows you to control your TV or IP TV box from a smartphone using handwriting. With Fing’R Mote, users can easily find programs and change channels through inputting data with handwriting. Intuitive gestures are also used to browse device menus, control volume, and for other functions.
We talked to Patrick about his background, developing Fing’R Mote, and his experience using MyScript tools for developers.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and experience as a developer? Why did you choose to get into development?
I started out my career with a master’s degree in engineering, electronics and computer science.
I have been working for more than 15 years, so I have extensive development experience in the telco industry, both for operators and providers, mainly in payment and charging systems.
In recent years, my work has been more oriented toward project management and product management, but I have not completely let go of my tech past. Finally, beginning of this year, I had the opportunity to start my own business, so I dove back into development activity (Android development particularly), to create my own mobile payment product.
Why did you want to incorporate handwriting recognition into the Fing’R Mote app?
I wanted to come up with a more sophisticated interaction between the human and machine (remote).To ease this interaction, faster and more natural orders have to be provided other than clicking buttons. For humans, the simplest ways to provide commands include voice and writing. For this particular app, voice recognition is not very applicable, as background noise (such as children playing near the TV) could interfere with the commands. Therefore, I opted for handwriting recognition to power my app.
How did you hear about the MyScript App Challenge?
I heard about the MyScript App Challenge on LinkedIn, and the challenge was a perfect fit for my concept of incorporating handwriting recognition into Fing’R Mote — a stroke of luck! I started to prepare for the challenge at the end of August and initially had to overcome some technical barriers on Android. By mid-September, the concept and feasibility were validated, and I started the full development of Fing’R Mote.
What motivated you to enter the MyScript App Challenge?
My first motivation was of course the opportunity to roll out my concept, which I already intended to power with handwriting recognition technology. Of course, the prizes are an interesting draw, but I never thought I would win facing opponents who were likely more skilled than me on Android/iOS development.
A secondary motivation was to see how my development work would be judged by professionals. As I’m also developing an innovative mobile payments product, this kind of challenge is a good opportunity to be critiqued on the job quality I’m producing and learn more on development techniques.
Can you share a bit about your experience using MyScript products? What are some of the benefits?
Thanks to the sample available on the developer portal and API documentation, I think it’s quite easy to integrate MyScript technology. The main challenge I had to overcome was the addition of gesture detection (up/down – right/left) on top of the MyScript inking.
We also want to give our readers some insight into who you are as a person. Do you have any interesting hobbies outside of development?
Outside of development, I’m interested in sports such as trail running and road cycling. I’m currently training a lot for longer distance trails. One of my last challenges was 80 kilometers (50 miles) in the Pyrenees (French Mountains) with 5,000 meters of ascent (16,000 feet). I’m also passionate about old cars and motorbikes. I hope to one day have enough time and skills to restore some vintage vehicles !
Note to developers: Check back soon to meet the rest of the MyScript App Challenge winners. Visit our Developer web site to learn how you can build your own app using MyScript technology.