In the first of our ‘Spotlight’ series with Scent partners, we spoke to XTeam Software, a software development company based in Veneto, Italy.
XTeam – an intro from Riccardo Braga
Riccardo Braga is a mobile and video game developer at XTeam. He talked us through the company, its motivations to get involved with Scent and their role in the project.
Riccardo describes XTeam as a communications and software company, which specialises in developing communications techniques and software apps.
Using technology for the environment
Riccardo points to the role technology plays throughout all aspects of people’s lives as a motivating factor for XTeam to get involved with Scent– “the fact that it’s so widely used and has such varied applications offers an opportunity to encourage people to use the technology for good, such as helping the environment.”
The harsh extremes of the environment are familiar to Riccardo and his XTeam colleagues.
“The town where XTeam is located, Veneto, is very close to the longest river in Italy, the Po River. In the 1950s, the river overflowed, causing serious flooding in nearby towns and communities, submerging local farm land beyond use.”
Riccardo tells us XTeam is currently working on a ‘captcha plugin’ for Scent. This is key software for the project app, which will be able to tell whether each user of the app is a human, or an online bot. Riccardo is working on the graphics and coding of this plugin, as well as finalising key tasks for the Scent project, “This includes the ‘Best Practices in Serious Games’ task. We’ll also be starting a new project activity soon, the ‘Game Design Document and Engagement strategy’ task.”
Working with U-Hopper & making Scent user-friendly
As with any research and innovation project of this scale, some of the best results and outputs come from collaboration. Riccardo gave us some details on the collaboration that has been taking place between XTeam and fellow Italian partner company U-Hopper.
U-Hopper is working on a crowdsourcing function for the project, as well as the ‘Tag It’ application, “this is an in-development web application where users of the Scent app will receive photos that are already online and will have to ‘tag’ them.”
XTeam’s work with U-Hopper focuses on the development of this future app’s functionalities.
XTeam’s next milestone will be achieving initial functionality for obtaining images from the captcha. Riccardo says they are also expecting to complete the preliminary game design for the Scent app soon.
Of course, all of these individual tasks are pieces of a much larger effort. The progress in the captcha functionality for obtaining images, as well as the preliminary game design development, means that XTeam will soon be able to demonstrate the Scent user interface. They will also be able to show how the Scent architecture will work, as well as some of the ideas for the type of game XTeam aim to develop for the project.
Riccardo says that Scent will be extremely useful for the prevention of environmental disasters.
“We want Scent to connect people and authorities. For example, Turin in North-West Italy gets a lot of rain. Flood prevention is a key milestone for the project. Scent is important and useful for all flood-prone areas across Europe- we can trial our approach with other European areas in mind.”
Coming Up Next…
Riccardo and XTeam have a busy schedule for Scent over the coming months; including the 2017 Nordic Game Conference at Malmö, Sweden in May.
The Italian software company will also be producing the first draft of the ‘Game Design Document’, as well as the ‘Front-End Tool’, the user interface for Scent which allows photo-tagging. Not to mention ongoing software testing to secure the Scent data being used.
Riccardo finishes the interview on a few final points about the project and its unique aspects,
“The words and phrases I would use to define Scent are ‘prevention’, as Scent will ensure that we are more prepared for natural disasters, ‘data’, as there will be a lot of data used in the project, and ‘our final objective’, which is that Scent is ultimately a fun project for people!”