Three software developers have won $25,000 each in an international competition to write applications for Nokia mobile phones.
Forum Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone maker's contact point for developers, announced the awards last night at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, and said it would repeat the competition this year.
The forum challenges programmers to address specific issues. The theme was to help improve the quality of life on Earth. Grand prize winners were GreenDrive by Road-Guard of Israel (Eco-Challenge category), Nano Ganesh by Santosh Ostwal of India (Emerging Markets) and X Dancery by Simlife of China (Technology Showcase). First and second-placed runners-up in each category received $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. (See below for full details.)
The competition attracted almost 1,000 entries from 57 countries. Nearly 250,000 unique visitors and more than 12,000 developers from around the world registered with Forum Nokia.
Forum Nokia director Rob Taylor said he was now looking for applications to drive the enhanced use of mobile devices in real-world scenarios that involved the Nokia N97, Flash technology or users in emerging markets.
Prizes include cash, a chance to demo at Nokia World in September, and Spotlight placement of the winning applications in Nokia's new Ovi Store.
The forum is also inviting consumers to submit their best ideas for new widgets to be featured in Ovi Store. The winner will receive a Nokia N97 pre-loaded with a working version of the winning widget.
And the winner is...
Applications or solutions to minimise mobility's global environmental impact and enable consumers to make sustainable lifestyle choices that reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Grand prize: GreenDrive (Israel) – An application that promotes vehicle fuel efficiency by sensing current and impending road conditions that influence fuel consumption and provides real-time driving directions for the shortest route in the quickest time legally allowable.
First prize: TigerMap (China) – An eco-friendly city guide that makes choosing public transport easier, and combines up-to-the-minute mass transit information with recommendations of the best restaurants, entertainment, hotels and shopping in more than 150 cities in China.
Second prize: Ticketek Mobile Ticketing (Argentina) – A Series 40 and S60 Java electronic-ticketing application that reduces paper consumption by allowing consumers to use a barcode stored on their phone to gain admission to events.
Runner-up: Green Phone (India) – An S60 application that maximises battery life through improved regulation of device backlight, WLan, Bluetooth and charger power consumption.
Emerging Markets Challenge
New mobile solutions to improve the daily lives of millions in developing nations, focused on areas such as education, health data access, infotainment and agriculture.
Grand prize: Nano Ganesh (India) – This application allows farmers in India to contact remote, modem-equipped electric irrigation pumps to check on power supply and pump operation, so reducing the need to travel long distances.
First prize: mPedigree (Ghana) – An application that allows users to send a free text message to check a quality-authentication code on the packaging of anti-malarial and other medications against a provisioned mobile shortcode. The aim is to guard against counterfeit drugs that kill many people, especially in the developing world.
Second prize: DigitalICS (Digital Internal Control System) (Mexico) – This application lets agricultural co-ops inspect the farming practices of their members and upload the data to a website for reporting and analysis. It allows them to verify the growers' adherence to standards that include Fair Trade Certified and Certified Organic.
Applications using Flash Lite, Java, Python, open source or other technologies supported by Series 40 or S60 devices that create a compelling end-user experience for individuals or communities.
Grand prize: X Dancery (China) – This application, fully optimised for the S60 5th Edition's touchscreen user interface and motion sensor technology, and with advanced 3D graphics rendering capabilities, analyses any MP3 file to generate automatically a unique tempo-based game for each selected musical track.
First prize: kReader Mobile (US) – This multi-language text-to-speech application with cross-language translation capabilities uses the camera phone to digitise any book, letter, receipt or other printed document and translate the captured text into audio that is "read" back to the user.
Second prize: Neuscreen (Thailand) – This application uses the drawing, touch-screen and camera functionalities of a Nokia N95 connected to a normal television set to track the motion of a pen light and enable "virtual" drawing, as well as projection and manipulation directly on the TV screen of images stored on the mobile device.
Runner-up: PhotoMap (Germany) – This application digitises and stores a photograph of any fixed public map taken with a camera phone for easy access, browsing and geo-referencing on the mobile device.