Mobile Innovations Group | MIG
Home Projects Downloads


Chinese Characters - First Steps

Chinese Characters - First Steps

Project in collaboration with Joanne Fellows and Dr Qian Kan, Faculty of Education and Language Studies.

Chinese Characters First Steps helps you learn, recognize and remember the most frequently used 400 plus characters. Rather than having a textbook, audio device, dictionary and a notebook to write, you get the stroke-by-stroke writing, the native-speaker pronunciation, pinyin, English definition and instructions in one interactive experience. These 400 plus characters are introduced in the Open University's Beginners' Chinese module 第一步 Dì yī bù (L197) and drawn from the most commonly and frequently used word list published by the Ministry of Education of PRC (China). By combining them, you will learn a further 230+ useful words and phrases.

There are 20 lessons which chronologically build upon each other. Each lesson has 4 sections: Writing Practice, Listening Test, Reading Test and Word Search

The first lesson with 20 characters and related activities is included free to give you a taste of what this app can do. The other 19 lessons are available via in-app purchase by tapping the 'upgrade' button.

Published 20th September 2010 (just 20 characters) and major update with in-app purchase 11the June 2011 in the Apple iTunes App Store.

Published 16th March 2012 (just20 characters) on the Android Market.


Our Story

Project in collaboration with Professor David Messer, Faculty of Education and Language Studies. The application allows the user to take their own photos to act as 'Flash Cards' and additionally to be able to arrange a selection of them as a sequence from which to tell their own story, or as a way to 'storyboard' an animation sequence. The application is initially directed as an aid for teaching children, but could equally be easily adapted as a language teaching aid.

Published 17th May 2011 in the Apples iTunes App Store.

Published 16th March 2012 on the Android Market.

Photofit Me

Photofit Me

Project in collaboration with Victoria Stead, Marketing.
Create a PhotoFit of yourself, your friends or take our celebrity challenge and re-create the face of a famous person. When you are finished you can send to a friend, share the picture on Facebook or view it in the gallery.
By seeing how tricky it is to create an accurate PhotoFit through piecing together features like a jigsaw, you’ll appreciate why The Open University has helped the police to develop a new system to describe suspects. This new approach uses the whole of the face reflecting the way our brains work – making it easier to recall individual faces. Want to learn more? The Open University’s ‘Introducing the Social Sciences (DD101) course’ is a great place to start. It’s an ideal introduction to discovering more about psychology, social policy, criminology and other fascinating areas. The app is both an iPhone and iPad dual app.

Published 7th April 2011 in the Apples iTunes App Store.

Published 20th September 2011 on the Android Market.

Study at the OU

Study at the OU

Project in collaboration with Stuart Brown, Communications. The OU Study Guide app provides the iOS user with easy access to the standard Open University prospectus pages, and displays the latest information taken directly from live web feeds. The app is designed to work on both and iPad and iPhone/iPod devices

Published 23rd November 2010 in the Apples iTunes App Store.


Virtual Microscope

The Virtual Microsscope application has been developed in collaboration with the Science Faculty. The initial application will have 4 samples, which can be viewed as if under a real microscope under normal and cross-polarized lighting conditions, and allow the user to rotate the samples. As well as containing some interesting rock samples the application is seen as a taster for courses offered by Earth Science.

Published 3rd August 2010 in the Apple iTunes App Store


Devolve Me

Devolve Me

Ever wondered what you would’ve looked like as an early human? Well now’s your chance to find out with The Open University’s Devolve Me app…
Simply upload your photo and see yourself travel back through the evolutionary timeline. As well as offering you a glimpse of how you would’ve looked at key points in man’s evolution, you can also see yourself hurtle back through history using our handy slider.
When you’ve done, why not share the result with your friends? Be prepared for amazement and amusement in equal measure!
If you haven’t got a photo handy, you can use one of ours by clicking the ‘Need Photo?’ button… while it’s not an exact science, it’s a lot of fun.

Published 2010 in the Apple iTunes App Store.

A dual iPhone & iPad version will be available imminently

Experimental developments


Virtual Field Trips

The GPS functionality of smart phones makes them well suited to enhance the experience of students engaged in fields trips.

Prototype applications have been developed and tested on a field trip to the Masaya volcano in Nicaragua and has proved a perfect demonstrator for the potential of similar applications in other Open University course related field trips.


Multimedia Similarity Search

By using the built in camera and internet connectivity it is possible to utilise powerful image recognition sytems and image collections to produce smart information searches and retrieval.

The Multimedia Similarity Search application is a protoype iPhone application built for the Multimedia & Information Systems group. This allows the user to take a photo and use it to search a salient server-side collection based on the visual similarity - colour and texture - and returns a list of matching images.