Earlier this week, Motorola crowned the winner of its MOTOFWRD contest, which is devoted to finding the best new technology created by students all over the country. The winner (picking up a $10,000 scholarship, new Bluetooth-enabled car and apprenticeship with Motorola s Chief Technology Office) was John Finan, a Duke University graduate student, who came up with a "Mood Phone" that would be able to help "improve social interactions," especially for those suffering from Asberger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism. The technology would allow for a cellphone to light up in a bunch of different colors depending on what's being said. The warm red to cool blues would then let the user figure out the mood and inflection coming from whomever is speaking, depending on the words and phrases.
Other ideas included mobile technology that could access information, contacts, music and video with the blink of an eye and location-aware cell phones that they hope "could lead to new friendships, inspire public debate, or help identify and book a vacant parking spot in a crowded downtown." Though I'd be a little more careful about that one.