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WiDrive project wins BIMA accolade

08 December 2010

WiDrive project

2010 Bournemouth University (BU) graduate recieves British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) accolade for final year project ’WiDrive’.

Gavin Williams’ innovative final year project ‘WiDrive’ captured judges attention at the British Interactive Media Association Competition. He was awarded first place in the student category at a ceremony in Charring Cross, London at the weekend.

‘WiDrive’ allows users to drive a remote controlled car over any Wi-Fi connection. Accompanying camera and glasses make it what Gavin describes as “one of the most immersive driving experiences”.

Gavin developed the device for his final project during BU’s BA Interactive Media Production course, which he graduated from with a 2:1 last month.

“Being an Interactive Media Production student should mean more than pushing together a bunch of XHTML or being a PHP master,” he said. “It's about looking at things in a completely different way.”

It took Gavin two months to come up with a viable solution for his idea, eventually settling upon AsyncLabs who had modified the Arduino to make it WiFi capable. He said: “After I bought that everything else just fell into place, it was just down to common sense and programming.”

BU’s Interactive Design Lecturer, Mark Shufflebottom supported ‘WiDrive’, which he described as a “difficult, expensive and risky project, but it has all paid off.”

Gavin, who now runs his own company called Fishrod Interactive, isn’t planning to sell the idea for profit but is uploading the applications on 25 December for every one to download, modify and enjoy.

“In the future I want to be able to make something like this for the general public, not just developers,” he said, “so you can choose the kind of car you want, customise it online and order it. BU helped me to understand it's not just the technology you use, or the implementation, but how the person you're developing something for really interacts with your work. Something can be technologically amazing by every standard but if nobody uses it, what's the point.”

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