University of Missouri Opens New Lab for App Development

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COLUMBIA - The Reynolds Journalism Institute in the Missouri School of Journalism celebrated the grand opening of the Microsoft App Development Lab Thursday. The lab focuses on creating apps for Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 8, which comes out on October 26.  

The lab will also host the 6th annual RJI student competition, which allows business, journalism and computer science majors to work together and create new products for Hearst Innovation. The lab features phones, tablets, Windows laptops and an Xbox system with Kinect. RJI faculty and staff will work together with students to create apps that allow improvements in mobile news gatherings, publishing and marketing. They will also work to develop new or improved systems for health-care and business. 

One of those systems is the use of Kinect to help female athletes with knee injuries.  The Missouri School of Medicine and the College of Engineering will partner with RJI to monitor, educate and rehabilitate female athletes who are more likely to have these knee injuries then male athletes.  

Students and faculty will be able to access the lab on nights and weekends, even if they are not involved in specific projects. Mizzou Alumni Steven Bock will work as the lab's full-time programmer and provide assistance to those working on the devices.

Mike McKean, director of RJI's futures lab, says that this new relationship with Microsoft should have no effect on the university's relationship with Apple.