Whova is a mobile event management application developed to organize event information in the form of a mobile brochure for attendees to easily navigate. The app contains features used for inter-attendee connectivity and networking, such as an in-app messaging system and an attendee professional profiles database, created by Whova, Inc. using data and mining technology. Whova is designed for corporate and social events, trade-shows & expos, conferences, performances, workshop, Meetup (website), etc.
Whova operates on both the iOS and the Android systems. On both operating systems, event organizers are allowed to customize the interface. Depending on their event and its organizer, users for a particular event will experience a different interface. An email verification is generally required to access the customized interfaces of specific events. Once in, users can then proceed to access certain key features, such as information about the event, GPS guidance, and options to communicate with the event organizers or other attendees.
As of February 2014, Whova also released a sign-in with LinkedIn option to allow users access to Whova via their LinkedIn account. And as of March 2014, Whova launched a messaging feature that grants an event attendee the option to send e-messages to other event participants.
Event Brochure: The event brochure section is generally visible to event attendees by default. The agenda and event logistics will be constantly accessible to users. However, organizers can choose what additional information to relay, such as whether or not to provide indoor maps, additional information links, live streaming, or GPS guidance.
Networking: Upon registration, all users will receive a profile page similar to that of LinkedIn, with content featuring attendee’s professional accomplishments and affiliations. The profile is created by compiling available information from the Internet.
The “discover” feature that accompanies the profiles lets users view each other's profiles and interact with in-app messages. Messages sent through the app are subject to nondisclosure guidelines. Any personal information, such as email addresses and phone numbers, will not be visible other users.
The networking setting also includes an exchange function that features a circular blue button at the bottom of the screen. Holding this button will enable devices to connect to the Wi-Fi and perform an information exchange. This allows users to gain access to each other’s profile information for storage.
Whova, Inc. mainly uses a data analytics and mining technology, that originated from a people research engine, to gathers information from contemporary sources that are available on the Internet and create the profiles. This includes a connection inference system that processes an individual’s network information from social networking websites. These connections may include real world relationships, such as co-authors, co-inventors, colleagues, etc.
Whova began in 2011 as an academic project in a research group led by Professor Yuanyuan Zhou in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. The company formed in October 2012 when their research group received a grant from the NSF-I Corporation. Subsequently, they registered to become an official company in the state of California.
Much of Whova's early works were search engine type products. In November 2013, Whova released a browser plugin for LinkedIn profiles and the Google Search Engine to its beta users. In March 2013, it launched the initial version of the Whova Professional People Search for the iPhone. Two months later, in May, another version of this app was released for the Android. During that time, Whova also released its official website, whova.com, to the public.
In July 2013, Whova received two grants from the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research to continue their work. In September 2013, Whova launched into an additional project to create an event management app. One month later, in October, it launched the initial version of its event app for both the iOS the Android.
Whova currently provides four types of mobile and web services:
- Whova Event app for both iOS and Android platforms.
- Whova for Professional People Search for mobile devices, both iOS and Android platforms
- Whova for Professional People Search on any web browser.
- Browser extensions for LinkedIn and Google Search to add complementary information on the side. It is currently developing open APIs to allow third party software or services to perform searches and obtain people related information.
- Official website
- NSF (October 23, 2012). "National Science Foundation iCorps funding for Whova". Support. NSF. Retrieved October 23, 2012. NSF Award Search: Award - I-Corps: Automating People Research with Intelligent Analysis and Mining of Social Network Data on the Internet.
- NSF (June 13, 2013). "National Science Foundation SBIR funding for Whova". Support. NSF. Retrieved June 13, 2013. NSF Award Search: Award - SBIR Phase I: SBIR EI-IS2: Automated People Information Discovery and Mining
- NSF (Dec 13, 2013). "Congrats to NSF SBIR grantee @WhovaSupport. Their mobile event app will be the primary mobile solution at @TEDxSanDiego #TEDxSD". Support. NSF. Retrieved Dec 13, 2013. Twitter / NSFInnovateSBIR: Congrats to NSF SBIR grantee ...
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- The Guardian. "Mentioned in a Technique Talk". Support. Retrieved April 15, 2014. Inventor and Mentor | UCSD Guardian
- ISSTA 2014. [ISSTA '14: International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis "ISSTA '14 Conference App"]. Support. Retrieved July 21, 2014. ISSTA 2014
- CSE department. "Videos, Timelines from CSE 25th Anniversary Now Online". Support. Retrieved Oct 11, 2013. Videos, Timelines from CSE 25th Anniversary Now Online
- CSE department. "Whova App on Display at Women Investing in Women Summit". Support. Retrieved July 30, 2014. VWhova App on Display at Women Investing in Women Summit | Computer Science and Engineering