Editor’s note: This post is part of a series of posts sponsored by Microsoft Finland. You can read the other posts over here.
Last week saw Mobile Acceleration Week (MAW) take place in the Aalto Venture Garage, where a group of mobile developers gathered to create applications for the Windows Phone platform. The series of events under MAW take place in many different parts of the world Moscow, Shanghai, London and Berlin to name a few. In Helsinki, 16 team participated in the program. On Thursday, the teams finalised their work and came on stage to present their results.
The winner of the competition was Entetrainer, which had by far the most impressive app, even in our opinion. We’ll outline in the list below all the different apps and what they set out to do. The runner up was Star Arcade, which enables gaming to hundreds of thousands of people.
So here’s the list of apps in the order they presented on stage.
- Tässä.fi – This app helps you find the nearest grocery store through your phone’s positioning. It also taps into the opening times of that store and is able not only show you when the store is open, but also show the food items on sale at that store. The app is free and paid for by the bigger chains in advertising.
- Teletext App – This simple app brings the teletext service from television to your mobile. This may sound awkward to use such an old technology on a touch device, but the service has around 1 million regular users in Finland. They served more than 17 million pages in 2011.
- Chinese Camera Dictionary – This offline, mobile dictionary could come in handy when in China. It reads the characters in a photo and is able to translate the meanings of those individuals characters. The app will be sold online later this year.
- EHYT & KYY Games – Cabalt card game is a mobile and digital version of the traditional trading card games where you try to collect different cards by trading them with your friends.
- Entetrainer (Winner) – These guys have partnered with NHL to create a game where you’re able to measure how fast someone shoots a buck. You enter the distance between the buck and the goal and once the buck is shot, it will calculate you how fast the shot was taken. It’s sold for 1,99€ and the company owns the IPR completely.
- Exove Design – Exove designed a mobile app for sellers using the Finnish huuto.net classified service. The app allows sellers to perform certain tasks on the go faster than trying to have to do those through the browser.
- Karttakeskus – Karttakeskus is building an app to bring their 100 years of history to the mobile devices. The app would have been targeted for recreational sailors.
- Kiosked – Kiosked wanted to bring a mobile app to extend its mobile webshop to mobile devices.
- Mobile Backstage – Extending their reach as a service to combine fans and artists to the Windows Phone platform. Really powerful tools for artists.
- Mobile Brainbank Pro – MBP combines mobile developers with small businesses wanting to develop mobile apps. Their app for the Windows Phone would be targeted towards developers who can then bid for projects.
- Play My Song – Play My Song app allows users to pick and choose songs at a bar to be played on the jukebox. It’s like a modern remote for the old jukeboxes.
- Star Arcade (Runner up) – Creates cross platform, real-time multiplayer games for mobile devices. Free to play games that are funded by mobile advertising.
- Order A Cab (Tilaa Taksi) – This app enables you to order a taxi in what ever city you are in Finland. It combines SMS ordering with traditional calling.
- Sunduka – A new mobile loyalty card that combines the tens of different cards into one mobile device that you can then show at the counter for benefits. This was the most discussed application by the judges.
- MealLogger – These guys allowed you to take photos with your phone of the meals you’re consuming. These meals would then be commented on by professionals to help you steer clear of bad choices.
- Whatamap.com – Whatamap is a mobile mapping service that continues where the street map ends. They were looking to extend their platform reach.
The judges that decided the winner were Brian Hoskins (the program director), Tom Halabi (Business Development Manager at Microsoft), Ville Heijari (Bird Whisperer at Rovio) and Mikael Stendahl (Ecosystem and Developer Experience Manager at Nokia).
To me, the quality of the results differed greatly. This might be partly to blame on some of the teams and their effort towards the week in general. While some who had no experience in developing for the Windows Phone were able to come up with well functioning (and beautiful) prototypes, others resorted to giving more of a simple company pitch.
This in my opinion was a wasted opportunity as many of the teams thanked Microsoft in many ways for organising the week. It really does look like that learning to develop for the Windows Phone is not going to take all that much time if you have experience on other platforms.
The apps that we saw on stage where really fresh looking and beautiful too – I’m sure there are a ton of consumers who will fall in love with their Windows Phone (and I’d say this even if Microsoft wasn’t supporting us through the partnership).
Hear it from the startups
This series of posts is sponsored by Microsoft and produced in co-operation with ArcticStartup to share experiences from startups in using Microsoft technology as well as in participating in the many different programs Microsoft has to offer.