Two teams of budding developers have been awarded kick-starter funds after being named winners at 'Isobar Create London, together with O2', a 34-hour challenge which brought together the UK’s best developers and designers at the Shoreditch Studios in London this weekend.
More than 65 people from 5 countries attended the event and made up the 20 teams that went head to head at the UK’s first Near Field Communication (NFC) developer event. Team Rollercoaster, a team that included students from the London School of Communication Arts, won funding from BlueVia for its app that revolutionizes queuing at theme parks and other attractions. The app uses NFC to help theme park visitors pay for and secure their place in a queue for a ride, as well as offering other features to enjoy while they move along the queue. Team Blue Butterfly, meanwhile, won the £10k fund from Proxama for ‘Tap-to-WiFi’, an intuitive app that uses NFC to allow people to simply tap to connect directly to WiFi in bars, cafes, hotels, airports etc. Separately, London BBDG developed a supermarket-shopping app that uses NFC to help people tailor their shopping experience to their diet, scan products from the shelf for easy check-out and more. The team won an all-expenses-paid trip to BlackBerry Jam 10 conference in Orlando.
Isobar Create London also celebrated four category winners on the day. Blue Butterfly also won the Leisure and Entertainment category sponsored by Diageo, while team Ying Yang won the Sports category, backed by adidas with ‘Total Event’, an app that provides a new way to experience events by sharing photos and viewing them over time and location. The winner in the Retail category, sponsored by Kellogg’s, was team We’re Appy who developed ‘PillIt’, an application that encourages people to complete their courses of medicine using games mechanics. The Finance category, sponsored by Visa, was won by New Found Comms who developed ‘Street Screen’, an app that enables retailers and advertisers to engage directly with consumers using NFC through digital signage, allowing consumers to purchase items directly or view additional content.
The Isobar UK event - which builds on the success of previous Isobar Create events in Boston and San Francisco - challenged participants to devise and develop NFC applications in just 34 hours, before pitching to an expert panel of judges from Isobar, O2, BlueVia, BlackBerry, Samsung, Proxama, The Guardian and Contagious Magazine. The two prize fund winning teams will now receive support and advice from a range of experts as well as kick-starter funds to help bring their apps to market thanks to Telefónica Digital’s global development platform BlueVia and NFC campaign specialists Proxama.
Participants were also invited to play NFC Bingo and take part in a Hula Hooping competition over the course of the event and won prizes including Samsung Galaxy tablets, O2 hospitality tickets to Radiohead, Westlife and Blink 182, and a VIP trip to any of Google’s offices where they’ll get to meet Google mobile engineers,
Isobar Create London saw more than 65 people from five countries attend the event, making up 20 teams who spent 34 hours developing innovative new NFC applications that will help to shape the future for this technology and encourage more creative interactions between brands and consumers. The teams were asked to develop Apps under the headings of Retail, Sporting Events, Finance and Leisure & Entertainment.
Dom O’Brien, Head of Innovation, glue Isobar, said: “We’ve been delighted to have so many talented developers and designers from across Europe at Isobar Create London. NFC is an exciting technology that we believe will have a big impact on the lives of people. It’s been really exciting to see how the ideas have taken shape over the weekend, The standard was incredibly high and the winners created something that really stood out for the judges.”
Stephen Bedggood, NFC product manager at O2, said: “We are committed to supporting and nurturing developer communities. We’ve been really impressed with the approach and creative vision of these designers and developers; and have seen the development of some truly innovative apps that epitomise O2’s brand approach of ‘fresh thinking and new possibilities’. It’s been a pleasure to be involved and we’re looking forward to working with the winning team to help bring their application to market.”