PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 June, 2013, 11:08am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 June, 2013, 11:22am

Chinese university students develop 'pick a good watermelon' Smartphone app


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for Amy can be reached at, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

It's summer. And nothing is worse than hauling home some 20-pound watermelons - only to find that they are mealy and tasteless.

It has happened to me before. But it seems it’s time to end the misery - a new smartphone app named “pick a good watermelon”, developed by a group of Chinese university students, now tries to solve the ancient task of choosing a perfect watermelon, according to Chinese media reports.

The instructions are simple. Open the App and place your phone next to the melon. Now tap on the watermelon as you might have seen many people do.

Traditional wisdom says if you hear a hollow thumping sound, the melon will turn out ripe and crispy. A solid thumping sound, instead, means the melon is not ready.  

But now let’s leave all that work to the smart device.

The App, now working as your ear and brain, will pick up the sound, analyse it, and decide if the watermelon is ripe enough.

With no watermelon immediately available, I tested the app on Friday morning by tapping on my desk, pretending it's a watermelon. In a split second, the app instantly delivered the result “not ripe.”

The developers of the app are undergraduate students from Northeast Agricultural University in Heilongjiang province, according to Chinese media reports. 

The app, which currently only has a Chinese version, can be downloaded at stores by searching the Chinese words "Ting Xi Gua".


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