Mobile Apps Showdown
We love our apps, but it sure is hard to discover the good ones. That’s why we created the Mobile Apps Showdown, to surface the best of the new breed of apps. The Showdown actually begins months before CES starts, as contestants, who believe that they’ve got what it takes to make a great app, sign up to show their stuff. Our expert judges narrow the field to a final ten or so, and then these best of the best compete in a two-part contest. There’s an online vote in the weeks leading up to the live event, and onstage at the LVCC during an energy fueled contest where winners are chosen by sound-metered applause.
The host of the 2016 Mobile Apps Showdown was the multi-talented tech master David Pogue. David added a journalist’s touch to the event, plus a generous pinch of humour in the storied ‘Pogue’ style. During the break, David was our master of trivia. With a Las Vegas showgirl to deliver the swag.
And for the third year in a row, thanks to the generosity of the Kay Family Foundation http://www.kayff.org/ we awarded Appreneur Scholarships awards to two outstanding young entrepreneurs who have already created viable apps: Brandon Boynton who created The BullyBøx to address the problem of school bullying, and Shalin Shah who created Voice which lets the blind or dyslexic person take pictures of printed material and have it read aloud to them.
In the apps contest, iHeartLocal snagged a win both online and in the live event, which is a real rarity in the contest world. The idea behind iHeartLocal is to reward local business by creating a customer relationship system that can strengthen the bond between the business and it’s loyal customers. Without a direct salesforce, like Yelp, a small business person can take it upon themself to set up a home on the web. iHeartLocal helps provide a service for local business that they would be hard-pressed to create for themselves.
- Renewable energy is on everyone’s mind, but it’s hard for many of us to do much to make it part of our lives. The idea behind SunPort is to make it possible to for each of us to use solar energy. The app has an optional plug in hardware device to measure your energy usage and record it on your mobile device. Then you can offset your energy usage by purchasing solar energy, from your phone. And by using the app, you help SunPort install solar arrays for non-profits.
- We all have devices that can make videos, but how can you actually make a great home movie from all the snippets on your phone, gopro, and camera? VidMob lets you upload your videos and matches you with one of their freelance pro editors (the ‘mob’). Unlike algorithmic editors, VidMob’s human professionals can recognize the gems in your movie collection, and edit them together to tell your story.
- My Open Road is an app to encourage efficient energy transportation. You get points for avoiding the gas-guzzling ways to get around. You can use those points at local businesses to get rewards. This helps local businesses connect with customers, and it rewards ordinary people for taking the bike or the bus.
- Gloopt Mobile App is an easy way to make 1-minute branded videos using your smartphone. In the 4-minute live demo, Gloopt actually made a complete video, including a superimposed logo and a call to action link to lead the viewer to the next step. Gloopt could be used for marketing videos, simple support videos, or just about anything that fits into a one minute format.
- Tablets are hot at CES, and Lenovo’s WRITEit helps make a number of tablet devices more useful, by making it easy to use handwriting instead of typing. The Lenovo team did a simple but effective demo, showing how writing can trump typing in many situations.
- The PBS KIDS Party App is a fun game app that gets kids moving. It can work with a Moff band, which registers the movement of your arm, or by itself. The Moff team did a fun demo, in which team members did slapstick imitations of kids playing with the app.
- Perfect Blend is an app and Bluetooth-connected kitchen scale that lets you make blended drinks like smoothies. The app guides you through the addition of ingredients, using the scale’s reading to make measurements precise. It then suggests blending times, to produce the perfect outcome. The team blended a smoothie as their demo, then David Pogue tasted the result, and pronounced it, you guessed it, ‘perfect’.
- Kuddly lets you consult wtih veterinarians about your pet. You can select a vet, pose a question, and get a response. It’s what your pet deserves.
- WeatherBug is an app that lets you discover how the weather impacts energy usage in your home. And then based on its monitoring of your home, it can make predictions about future energy usage.
- myEmerg is a multifaceted health and wellness app. It lets you find local services, consult with your trusted health network, get medication reminders, or even call an ambulance from anywhere in the world.