App Circus London Write Up #appcircus #apps #mobile #yam cc @appcircus @techhub

Last night I had the pleasure of sitting on the judging panel for App Circus London, hosted in TechHub.

Here is a quick run down of the results and a few of the notes I made about each pitch.

 

WINNER: EchoEcho

This is a social location app which solves a practical problem of guiding you to the location of a friend near by. You can send your location to a friend so they can come directly to you, or pick a venue close by for you to rendezvous at. It was a clear and concise pitch, articulately demonstrating how the app removes the need for a multiple text message exchange to zero in on someones location. There was also a nice build in member get member feature as sending your location to a friend encourages the download of the app. They already have users in 165 countries even though they only launched in September, and also expose an API.

RUNNER UP: Siine Writer

A 3rd party keyboard for Android devices I have seen before, but what struck me about Siine Writer was the use of icon buttons to enter long strings of text into the device. This I’ve not seen before, and can be fully customised by the user by adding their own buttons, and even uploading their own images to label those buttons. I think there is a huge accessibility opportunity for technology like this, and also really interested mobile health application.

HONOURABLE MENTION: Runtastic

Yes the a 10 a penny health and fitness tracking apps in the various app stores, but this was an accomplished pitch, with a beautifully designed UI. They have already generated over 4 million downloads of their apps, and they are extending the utility and accuracy of the app by supporting external sensors. When I challenged on what set them apart from the competition, they have a nice feature where friends can track a race live and give you on the spot encouragement to squeeze every last second out of your performance.

Eeve

Social location network for iPhone. Its a photo driven event app where you create events or “eeves” and share live photo streams with friends. You can also go back and browse historical eeves to reminisce about all those awesome parties you go to. The app is currently only available for iPhone, so it we be good in future pitches if they could clarify how friends on other platforms can participate in the fun  (e.g. mobile web site) or if they are excluded.

 

Foodzy

I liked this one. Tracking app for the food you eat. Turns the confusing concept of  calories into “bits” which is their virtual measurement. Some nice gamification to encourage repeat use by unlocking badges and challenges.  The UI looked intuitive and engaging, and localisation of the food database was a nice touch. Some pretty stiff competition is out there so it will be interesting to see if they can carve a niche for Foodszy.

 

Hipsnip

A personal shopping app, the pitch was saving you the time and hassle of comparative shopping on the web and asking friends for their opinion via social media. Via the app you have access to “experts” who can make you personalised recommendations. The part that left the panel unconvinced was these experts are supplied by retailers. This immediately brought into question the impartiality of these “experts”. They did say there was a rating and recommendation system build in to govern the experts, but I think future pitches need to focus on reassuring that recommendations are really legit independent.

 

Pugpig

An App generator focused on the publishing industry, allowing a publisher to deliver HTML that is then turned into beautiful and functional tablet based apps using a hybrid mix of native and web capabilities. Think The Times iPad edition without all the production hassle. It looked great and the demo I saw in the networking was impressive. Because it wasn’t a consumer facing app it was a little specialised to stand out to the panel, and a 3 minute pitch wasn’t really enough time to do something a little different to the average app justice. If it is as powerful as claimed, I’m sure they will tie up some interesting deals.

 

The Girl in the Spaceship

A home brew Interactive ebook aimed at young children, focusing on learning through touch, sight, sound. You have options to let the child explore the story themselves or let the app read the story to them.

 

Slickflick

A story telling app with photos, kind of like a photo blog. Allows you to add text to photos to tell your story. They had a concept of matching brands with users as a business plan, but I think the panel needed more detail on how this could work, and how they would cope with competition from all the existing photo services out there today.

Congratulations to all, it was a fun and positive evening with a high standard for the apps on show.

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