The presentation comes after four students won in a two-day industry hackathon event in April, where they worked as a team in developing Rich Communication Service (RCS) in partnership with Orange and Oracle.

The findings and result of the ‘UniBot’ project were presented in the fourth edition of the Mobile UX Conference on Wednesday 21 November to other industry partners including Facebook, BBC, Google, Adobe and Accenture. The conference centred around Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, connected cars and homes, voice first and mobile gamification.

The project was a live industry brief and problem set by Orange and Oracle. The Westminster project, called ‘UniBot’, involved the use of intelligent agents in messaging environments, known as ‘chatbots’. This included designing conversational interactions for a relevant and fulfilling user experience. 

The RCS brings all the features of current messaging apps to any supported handset with richer content, enhanced graphics, better interactions, and the opportunity to include conversational bots within the native environment.

Jiajing Fu (Ava), one of the participating students on the programme, said: “Our project ‘UniBot’ aims to design a chatbot that helps new students to familiarise with a new university environment as their personal concierge in an enriched environment.

“We won the competition because ‘UniBot’ focuses on new students’ needs and has a realistic goal. We also conducted market research in the right market segmentation, which helped us choose a genuine use case that is relevant, smart and solves a problem.”

Speaking on the impact of the project, Savraj Matharu, Course Leader for the Interactive Media Practice MA, said: “It’s excellent to see our students excel in a commercial environment and collaborating with leading digital industries. We have excellent relationships with industry and foster an enriched learning ecosystem, where our students solve real world problems in a digital future, with employability in industry 4.0.”

After winning the competition, mentors from Orange and IDFLondon suggested the continuing development of the ‘UniBot’ project. Several other students have been invited from the course to expand the team and Orange has also recruited students as part of the development and implementation of the project.

Mobile UX London is a community of experienced creators and innovators looking to push UX forward. They work in design, product, mobile and development and collaborate to diffuse ideas and knowledge through events, conferences, hackathons and their own Training Academy. They work in partnership with UCL, Sutherland Labs and Oracle.

Learn more about the Interactive Media Practice MA course offered at the University of Westminster.

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