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Students' Smartphone App Promotes Good Deeds

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University of Michigan student Jason Bornhorst

The DoGood app is meant "to empower the 40 million iPhone and iPod Touch users to collectively do acts of kindness," says developer Jason Bornhorst.

Eliyahu Gurfinkel / The Ann Arbor News

University of Michigan computer science students have developed DoGood, an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that encourages users to perform acts of kindness, such as cleaning up their surroundings, leaving inspirational messages in a public place, or getting in touch with a family member. "We simply wanted to empower the 40 million iPhone and iPod Touch users to collectively do acts of kindness," says senior Jason Bornhorst.

The application, which has been downloaded by more than 10,000 users since its release on June 8, enables users to leave stories on how they performed a good deed, and integrates with Facebook and Twitter so participants can send messages to their friends after performing an act of kindness.

DoGood users say the program helps them feel like they are part of a larger effort. The application's developers say they were inspired by a mobile programming class that focused less on the specific technical elements of programming and more on analyzing the movement of people, products, and companies in mobile computing. Students in the class are tasked with learning iPhone and Android programming on their own and designing and developing a product.

Another program developed by students in the class is Talking Walls, which enables users to create oral histories of places by recording a story and tagging it with their location.

From University of Michigan News Service
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