Crowd-sourcing mobile app ideas

Crowd-sourcing mobile app ideas

Earth Ripper: A mobile app that tells you what is on the other side of the earth when you point your camera to the ground. Vulnerability Index: An app that helps women see vulnerability index on a street using crowd sourced location data of harassment logged in by real women. What’s on my plate: An application that recognizes food just by taking a picture and gives its nutritional chart, ingredients, and recipe. 

If these out-of-the-box ideas floor you by their audacity, here’s a point to ponder: A whopping 38,000 such ideas were proposed by ordinary people with zero knowledge in app development, to a leading mobile maker last year. Choosing the best from Bangalore and across the country through Ernst & Young, the mobile firm developed 1,300 apps for the Windows Phone Store. In its second avatar, the “Nokia-Your Wish is My App” initiative has already had 40,000 ideas queuing up to get real!

A big share of the idea bank was from Bangalore. As tech entrepreneur, Vishal Gondal told Deccan Herald, “Bangaloreans had proposed many app ideas related to social networks, mobile networking and cloud computing. Last year, people -- young and old -- from different fields had given a lot of interesting ideas. One such was how to find a restroom in your area.”

During this month, the initiative will touch down in Bangalore hitting colleges and universities for audition festivals. The festival will climax with an on-ground audition in Delhi, leading to the finale featuring 30 shortlisted apps. These will be showcased in a nine-episode reality TV show, where six winners will be chosen on originality of idea, relevance and practicality. 

Also on the Nokia agenda is a hunt for ideas at the Social Media Week 2014, scheduled to hit the city from February 17 to 21. Here’s the rationale for the bottom-up approach to app development, as explained by P. Balaji, Managing Director, Nokia India: “App culture today is a way of living. Superior smartphones, constant connection to Internet and great content has ensured that apps have woven themselves ever deeper into our daily routines.” The big idea is to accelerate consumption of apps.   

Four thousand top ideas will be made available to developers from India and abroad to be converted to live apps. “Beep” was one such Windows app that grew from a crowd-sourced idea. A safety app, Beep lets you inform your near and dear ones of your location in moments of distress via a text message. You can instantly configure your emergency contact list, and a template message. Beep also adds your location to alert messages.

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