Feature Article

May 22, 2013

Erricson Names Winners from the UK and Portugal in App Awards 2013

Ericcson has announced the student and company first-place winners of its Application Awards 2013—the fourth annual competition sponsored by the Stockholm, Sweden-based communications provider. The top two entries provided a digital voice for the disabled and a monitoring application for household solar.

This year's theme was Apps for City Life. A total of 192 teams from 52 countries entered creative ideas that would “connect people, [places and things] to empower individuals and society.”

Students and small- and medium-sized enterprises worldwide had been invited to submit their original Android apps. This year’s awards competition attracted 49 more participants than the 143 who entered in 2012. Four finalist teams from the United Kingdom, Poland and Portugal showcased their apps and vied before an expert jury for a total of €80,000 ($103,000)in prize money—€25,000 ($32,000) for each of two first prizes; €10,000 ($13,000), for each second prize; and €5,000 ($6,000), for each third prize.

The winning company-category entry, Predictable, is an app that gives people with disabilities a voice in the online conversation. Submitted by the UK's TboxApps, the app uses a mouse emulator to facilitate contactless use of the Android platform. The app will learn based on the user's activity pattern—and draw from a phrase bank to give the user instant access to messages so they can quickly get help, interrupt a conversation or join in a discussion.

The jury's justification for picking TboxApps was that the team had created an app that enables anyone to control a computer or tablet with even just the slightest movement of the head—opening up the world to users who would otherwise not interact digitally in the way most of us take for granted. Team member Rebecca Bright from TboxApps remarked: "Winning this award is a fantastic honor, and we appreciate the recognition. This will drive us to continue to innovate in this important area."The winner of the student category was Portugal's GreenSpark, from the team of the same name, which reduces the complexity of maintaining and monitoring a household solar-power system through a plug-and-play device using cloud-computing technology.

The jury's justification for picking GreenSpark was that the team has focused on the performance of solar cells at a time when energy consumption and energy efficiency is increasingly in focus, and has produced an app with obvious benefits to users and all stakeholders in the energy business.Team member Poan Shen from GreenSpark commented, "We are very happy to have been selected among the finalists. It has been a pleasure and an honor."

Event host and Ericsson CMO Arun Bhikshesvaran stated, "The Ericsson Application Awards are a great way for us to engage with global talent [to] encourage, spot and reward innovation. The competition stimulates the ecosystem and is a way for us to explore new and creative ideas that can bring the Networked Society to life."

The judging of all entries started in March, when 1,000 users from eight major cities as diverse as Sydney, Johannesburg and New York took part in app evaluations.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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