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Las Vegas high school students awarded for app idea at CES

Updated January 10, 2020 - 7:33 pm

Three Las Vegas high schoolers were named Future Innovators at CES on Friday, the last day of the annual convention.

Gabrielle Floratos, a senior at Palo Verde High School, James Wang, a junior at West Career Technical Academy, and Josh Ferguson, a senior at Spring Valley High School, created an app designed to control other apps’ notifications.



“We frequently get notifications when we don’t want to,” the students’ product description reads on the CES website. “Not only is it extremely inconvenient, but it also makes using and interacting with your device unnecessarily more difficult.”

Their Unotify app syncs to a users’ calendar to change phone notification settings based on scheduled events.

“When it comes to the competition, Unotify is truly unmatched,” Ferguson said Friday. “Sure, you can go and set a smart reply, or you can go into your settings and change every little thing. But it’s slow, ineffective and sometimes doesn’t even work, let’s be honest. Unotify streamlines the process by using curated notifications.”

The average American receives around 42 notifications a day, totaling 11 billion nationwide, according to the students’ research. Workers are getting distracted by social media alerts during working hours, causing lost productivity, they said.

Floratos said that “2.35 hours is spent on social media in the workplace every single day and an estimated 13 percent of productivity is lost due to social media alone.”

Unotify’s founders plan to integrate Google Calendar and work with apps such as Slack and LinkedIn to give feedback on when and how the apps are being used by consumers. They also plan to sell the app in the Google Play Store and the App Store for $2.99.

The other two teams presented bitLoop, a computer science class that could be franchised nationwide, and YAM — Quokka Savings, a finance management app.

The three Clark County student teams were selected from 25 teams at a preliminary competition Nov. 19.

More than 7,000 Clark County students across 127 classrooms have participated in the program over the past five years, according to the Consumer Technology Association, which produces CES.

Students who participated in the competition completed CTA’s Future Innovators program, which provides a digital curriculum resource to high school students across Clark County. The program aims to drive students to explore careers in entrepreneurship and science, technology, engineering and math.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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