Written by Brian Husta Saturday, June 29, 2013 11:00 am
Frank Sposaro of Brigantine has created a Windows smartphone application that allows a user to send a message for help if you fall and hurt yourself. Sposaro was inspired to create the app after his grandmother fell and had no way of contacting anyone for help.
Sposaro, 26, was born Sept. 23, 1986 in Philadelphia. He lived alternately in Brigantine and Tampa, Fla. for most of his life, and attended Brigantine North School and Atlantic City High School. Due to the constant moving, he spent a lot of time by himself playing video games and passing time on the computer.
Sposaro lived two distinctly different lives between the north in Brigantine and south in Tampa. In Brigantine, his parents provided him with lots of toys and video games, while in Tampa his grandparents were strict, making him go outside and play.
Spending most of his time on the computer, he was able to learn quickly. Coming from a family that was far from tech-savvy, he was left to teach himself at a young age.
?I taught myself how write my vocabulary sentences on my first computer, a Commodore 64,? Sposaro said.
These years of computer and video game use sparked his curiosity and love of technology.
Sposaro started taking C++ classes at Atlantic City High School. His teacher was Joe Tosh of Ventnor, and Sposaro is still in contact him. This is where he was introduced to programming and instantly fell in love with it.
He took four years of programming in high school in the computer language courses C++ and Java. This introductory learning boosted his skills and aided in his decision to major in computer science.
Sposaro attended Florida State University studying computer science, where he began ahead of the game. He received a bachelor of science degree at FSU, where he continued his learning and received a master?s degree. He is currently working on a doctorate.
He took a liking to a current professor within his major who got him involved with the compilers and architecture group. Then the first open-source phone, Openmoko, was released. He began his research on that right away. However, it failed and was followed by the release of the Android. He then knew that working with mobile phones was exactly what he wanted to do.
This is the area in which he did his thesis, ?A Geriatric Suite of Medical Applications for Android Powered Devices.?
Focused study of mobile technology and contacts he made at school provided him with opportunities to progress.??????????????
While at Florida State, Sposaro taught and assisted with several courses. He helped create both the Android and Windows 8 programming courses for his department. He also founded The Mobile Lab at FSU. This organization, a research group that focuses on mobile applications, was born from the compilers and architecture group he was originally involved in.
Sposaro also assisted in grant writing on career development to help other members find jobs. He also held several positions that forced him to plan, execute, and follow up with social events. He was the EA Sports campus representative, Microsoft student partner, and ACM president.??????????????
Despite being a student nearly his entire life, he dabbled in the real world, seizing and tackling all the opportunities he was given.
Sposaro?s first internship was with a private government contractor in Oklahoma City, Aeronautical Radio Incorporated. The following summer he had a job in Tallahassee, Fla. for traffic and criminal software. The next summer offered a big jump ? an internship at Google in Mountain View, Calif.
Pursuing further, he tried a startup in Jacksonville, Fla. called iMobile3, which is a small contractor. Finally, he moved back to a well-known company in Redmond, Wash. ? Microsoft.
Sposaro was selected to participate in Microsoft?s startup boot camp at the company?s Silicon Valley Campus along with 14 other teams as a part of Microsoft?s Imagine Cup. Team iFall has used the Windows phone platform to create an app using sensors to monitor the user?s actions and contact the user?s social network for help upon falling.
The team aspires to one day have its technology within every senior citizen?s home to limit the risk of injury and offer peace of mind for loved ones.