STUTTGART, Germany – On the eve of Nokia World 09 the winners of the Calling All Innovators developer competition were announced. Three winners were revealed for the three main categories covering Internet Innovation, Flash and Emerging Markets (Apps on Maps winners will be announced later in the week). Over 1,700 submissions were made for Calling All Innovators from developers representing 85 countries. But that’s hardly a surprise, given the $250,000 prize purse on offer.
Taking top slot in the Internet Innovation category was Tech Buzz Homescreen by Mippin. The folks from Mippin treated us to a demonstration of the app which integrates the N97 homescreen with its new Tech Buzz app. The latest tech stories flash up on your homescreen widget as soon as they appear on the device. What’s more, the stories are chosen depending on what Mippin users are actually reading. It’s definitely worth installing for any tech-hungry N97 user.
Reuters Slideshow from TUI Interactive picked up top slot in the Flash category. The app is actually pre-installed on the N97 and certainly makes the most of the 3.5-inch screen, using it to show off the latest picture stories from the Reuters news feed. Four countries are on offer, UK, USA, India and Japan, which users can choose to see news from. Controlling the app is easy with sideways swipes of the screen enabling you to move between images and an upwards swipe to bring up the actual story. The app also links directly to the Reuters mobile site where you can pick up more info on any of the stories.
Singapore based 2C2P picked up top prize in Emerging Markets for its Mobile Credit Card application. Although still to be released, the app demo showed us how a Nokia device can be turned into a credit card terminal. The team are hoping to launch the service in Thailand later in the year where many smaller hotels and hostels are too remote to have a regular credit card machine, and some don’t even have landlines. No, this doesn’t mean your Nokia device will soon be coming with built in chip’n'pin readers – the system works the same as if the cardholder isn’t present, so the card number is simply typed into the device. That aside, all other credit card processing facilities are on offer, giving smaller, more remote businesses access to a service previously considered too expensive.
Two apps also picked up special recognition awards – Mobots and Audio Aid. Mobots brings application deployment to a wider audience, whilst Audio Aid enables the less abled to get the most from their mobile device.
Once again Calling All Innovators has offered a great showcase to the many and varied applications being developed for Nokia devices and we’re looking forward to seeing the next generation coming through. Check back later in the week for news of the Apps on Maps winners. Meanwhile your cheery Conversations correspondent will be helping some of the winners work their way through the celebratory fizz!