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UCLan students’ success in Barclays and BBC tech challenge

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Savvy technology students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have impressed bosses at Barclays with their innovative design ideas as part of a regional competition.

The eight-strong group of students studying games development and web design came third in the annual Barclays and BBC Technology Challenge which invites participants from North West universities to take part in business simulation tasks that focus on the latest technology.

Run by Barclays Personal and Corporate Banking, BBC Future Media and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, this year the students were asked to come up with a proposal for the delivery of an augmented, virtual reality application using emerging technologies targeted at Barclays customers. Each team was required to produce a prototype application and supporting project proposal.

The students worked really hard to deliver a professional pitch sharing some inventive ideas, so it is a thoroughly deserved success.

The UCLan team took its proposal of an innovative app to remotely open a student bank account to the final, hosted by BBC Future Media at MediaCityUK, before being declared as a runner-up in the competition.

The students in the UCLan team were: Adam RidgesCallum Humpage Catherine Neale Jacob Shaw Jason Dumont Luke Nelson Richard Hadfield Thomas Tijssen

Second year games development student Catherine Neale commented: “Our research showed that the majority of issues Barclays customers were having was with going into a branch. Our idea was to allow customers to set up student accounts via an app on their phone to save them from having to take their documents into a branch. The app would take pictures of the documents and a two-step selfie to prove that the user is genuine. We also implemented an augmented guide.

“The team produced a fantastic proposal document and prototype that we displayed to the judges and we all presented our idea to the BBC as a strong team. Through the project I have met some really clever, dedicated, hardworking people who not only helped ensure that it was a success but made even the stressful moments fun. We also made contacts at the three companies and managed to get an insight into working at them.”

Mark Porter, UCLan senior lecturer in media technology, said: “This is a prestigious technical competition with household names so it’s great news to see that UCLan has finished in the top three for the second year in a row. The students worked really hard to deliver a professional pitch sharing some inventive ideas, so it is a thoroughly deserved success.”

Lyndsey Boardman | 22 December 2015