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Can an iPad App Help NASA Track Astronauts’ Diets?

TopCoder, an open innovation platform and community of digital creators, has launched the first two of a series of open innovation challenges to create a new dietary tracking application for use by astronauts in an International Space Station (ISS)-type environment. The idea is to track astronauts’ diets.

The ISS FIT (Food Intake Tracker) iPad App Conceptualization and Voice Command Idea Generation and other competitions are now open on the ISS FIT Challenge home page.

These are the first two of multiple phases of the challenge which will build a fully functioning iPad application from concept to deployment using TopCoder open innovation Community and process.

The complete challenge series is sponsored by NASA through its NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), an online virtual facility that harnesses the capabilities of the TopCoder Community to create solutions for specific, real-world challenges being faced by the space agency.

[ Also Read: Six Health Benefits of Vegetarian Diets ]

“We at TopCoder are delighted to be working on a new challenge with NASA and the ISS, following so closely behind the Longeron Challenge which was a highly specialized algorithmic contest,” said Rob Hughes, president and COO of TopCoder, Inc. “This challenge will appeal to a broader set of digital creators and will span all areas of idea generation, prototype, develop and delivery through open innovation.”

Astronauts’ Diets

NASA’s Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory, in the Human Health and Performance Directorate at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, is seeking an open innovation solution on the iPad platform that monitors the dietary intake of crews during missions to prevent the possibility of crewmembers in an ISS-type environment not consuming enough calories and to prevent nutrient deficiencies and various health risks.

[ Also Read: Exploring Curiosity with Social Media Platform Foursquare ]

The ISS FIT (Food Intake Tracker) iPad App challenge follows in quick succession to the recently completed Longeron Shadowing Optimization Challenge, a $30,000, open innovation competition to make the energy-gathering solar arrays of the International Space Station (ISS) more efficient by eliminating the shadows it casts upon itself at different points during orbit.

According to TopCoder, more than 4,000 individuals registered for Longeron with 459 competitors producing 2,185 unique solutions in less than three weeks.

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