Congratulations to our App to the Future Design Challenge finalists and winners!! We asked designers to change the future by designing an app for Windows Phone that would help us create, connect or simply impress our future selves. You answered the call with hundreds of amazing and inspiring submissions from scrapbooks and font managers, trip trackers or convoy road managers, to diaries that don't broadcast your every thought or will even seal them up for the future. After hours of review and deliberation by our fantastic jurors Chris Caldwell (GSkinner.com), Jennifer Bove (Kicker Studio), Corrina Black (Microsoft), Pratik Kothari (Techark Solutions), and Eric Ludlum (Core77), we are proud to announce our 50 finalists and five winners!
All winners and finalists will receive a 1-year subscription to the Windows Phone Dev Center development community and any finalists who launch their apps in the Windows Phone store will become our notable finalists, scoring a Windows Phone. Winners not only receive a subscription to Dev Center, Windows Phone and Microsoft Surface with Touch Cover, but they also get an app design consultation with a Windows Phone design team member and their app featured on Microsoft's Channel 9. Keep checking back over the next few months as we start Phase 2 of the competition: watching the winners and finalists turn their ideas into reality. And now, the Apps to the Future...
4weather—a weather app that lets you zero in what the weather will be like when and where you actually plan to be outside by utilizing a new adaptive forecast feed at its root, an extended and more informative set of "climacons" and finally the choice of the best forecast data vendor for your region.
"Of all the weather apps I've seen this is the only one that actually does something useful for you as well as telling you the weather." —Chris Caldwell
"Lots of thought into the data/algorithm, smart use of sensors, phone in idle mode, seems like content/utility delivery is simple. Prototyping with users would show whether passive information presentation is contextually relevant / useful and if the user input is too laborious." —Jennifer Bove
"This could be boiled down to a simple AI + GPS that would quickly learn what weather conditions you like or dislike in which locations." —Eric Ludlum
"Very unique idea. The description of the app concept provides a very good explanation behind why there is a need for such an app. Instead of providing a general weather forecast, this app exemplifies the Windows Phone's You paradigm by personalizing weather based on you and your information." —Pratik Kothari
Alexander is currently a Master of Physics student and expects to graduate by the end of 2013. Right now he is working on his Masters project, which is related to an econometric subject.
At the age of 16 he gained his first insight into human-computer interaction as a tutor and not long afterwards took over the soft- and hardware- support of a small pharmaceutical company.
Getting to know different cultures, and new people with other traditions fascinates him. Right after finishing school he went to Australia on a work & travel visa. He completed the first part of his Master studies in Leeds, UK as an exchange student.
Alexander's strength is blending creative and problem solving abilities. He is passionate about solving versatile tasks and looks forward to the challenges the development of 4weather will bring along.
fitCHAMP—a social fitness app that combines the powerful APIs of the personal fitness trackers that you and your friends use onto a single, beautifully designed dashboard where you can track and compete with your friends through certain metrics like distance moved, steps taken, and calories burned.
"Could be fantastic if the platform API's work well together and you can map data onto similar and comparable points." —Chris Caldwell
"Great socialization/gamification of the dataset and activity." —Eric Ludlum
"Similar apps exist but the design of this app provides a fresh look. Social component is certainly a motivating factor to challenge someone." —Pratik Kothari
Christian Valencia and Shelby Blair are User Experience Designers who work at Ratio Interactive, a small digital agency in Seattle, WA. They design experiences for: Web, iOS, Android, Windows 8 and now Windows Phone.
Christian recently graduated from Seattle Central Creative Academy where he mainly focused on Interaction Design. He loves designing simple, yet engaging interfaces for any of the platforms listed above.
Shelby graduated from the University of North Texas and got into UX design just over a year ago. She is an explorer at heart, and will always love illustration and print design.
HappyAppy—a smile is contagious and what better way to spread a smile than by sharing a dance? HappyAppy is an interactive mobile application that allows friends to connect by dancing for one another when words are not enough. This allows people to virtually connect in a physical and emotional way that is not currently possible.
"I started smiling instantly :) You made my day! Besides being unfathomably simple, this is an experience that you'll have fun creating as well as receiving." —Chris Caldwell
"Simple, delightful, great use of physical gesture. Adorable characters, smart constraints around time limits, movements, etc." —Jennifer Bove
"It is cute and there is opportunity for a broader spectrum of sentiment (angsty appy? morose appy? estatic appy?)." —Eric Ludlum
"Uses various Windows Phone accelerometer features to create a customized greeting. This is certainly designed to connect and delight." —Pratik Kothari
"What a creative and fun way to connect with your friends and family and make them smile! This app makes me smile :D" —Corrina Black
Yian Ling and Sarah met while attending graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University. Although they come from opposite ends of the world, their backgrounds are surprisingly similar. Both Yian Ling and Sarah have a bachelors degree in industrial design and work experience in design research. When they are not designing, both of them enjoy traveling the world, collecting fresh inspiration and getting their hands on new projects.
Tide&a Surfing forecast app that creates a more gestural way of exploring the waves through time whilst allowing fast access to the data that most is important to surfers.
"This makes me want to buy a surfboard, abandon my landlocked city, and drive thousands of miles to the nearest ocean and start surfing!" —Chris Caldwell
"Simple, quick access to info on the go. Fluid use of gesture, application interface doesn't get in the way. Easy to share." —Jennifer Bove
"Awesome and beautiful. The sine wave display feels like the pure essence of the phenomenon and is at home in the Windows UI." —Eric Ludlum
"Overall very good design and a useful app." —Pratik Kothari
Martin is a young Industrial Designer currently working for DCA Design in Warwick, United Kingdom. Having graduated from Loughborough Design School in 2011 his work focuses on creating connected products, brands and experiences. When these are designed at the same time, really new and interesting experiences emerge. This is not currently being implemented by most companies.
It is an exciting time for design, where different fields such as UI/ UX, Web Design, Packaging and traditional Industrial Design are coming together and the boundaries are becoming more and more blurred.
TripUs—connect all your social activities about a trip through one app. Organize all your pictures, Facebook updates, check-ins and tweets into a Trip timeline with invited friends and share information and photos with those friends in your network.
"Where were you on my last road trip? What a great way to spread the travel bug!" —Chris Caldwell
"An easy way to organize personal media into a narrative—trips are a natural for this." —Eric Ludlum
"Good design and layout." —Pratik Kothari
"Fun way of connecting with friends to capture shared events in a visually compelling, immersive, and memorable manner." —Corrina Black
Sittisak is a Web/UI Designer living in Bangkok.
We can't reveal too much about these apps before they're launched, but here are the finalists we'll also be keeping an eye on:HONORABLE MENTION FINALISTS
AccenTiles by Itay Galim, Israel
"Very very simple. Does one thing well, and could be an entertaining way to personalize your phone." —Jennifer Bove"This one has a way with naming—I love "accentilize"—the social aspect is the most interesting, sharing colors rather than theme-ing your phone." —Eric Ludlum
Bleblo by Steven Brewis, South Africa
"A nice idea for anyone who likes to share real objects with friends." —Chris Caldwell
Dear Diary by Madelena Mak, USA
"A great way to ponder the meaning of life, the universe, and everything without creating a massive wake of inconsequential social fodder and musings that I find most social platforms leave behind." —Chris Caldwell
DriveWithMe by Caleb Khazoyan, USA
"Seems like an easy extension of mapping/directions and social connectivity. Simple, focused, can track data in the background and only present itself /notify drivers when needed." —Jennifer Bove
Fleet Keeper by Adrian Longega, Germany
"Mobile record keeping for fleet management, nice presentation of dense data sets. Could be useful for people who need to access this kind of information." —Jennifer Bove"Really like the name and especially logo, the overall aesthetic is very appropriate—data viz / maintenance manual." —Eric Ludlum
Frigo by Marion Fr¨o;hlich, Germany
"I love this simple social twist on tracking weather." —Chris Caldwell"This could be killer, it is the ease, and then the "ambient" information that is emotionally connective." —Eric Ludlum
leadme by Alan Asher, USA
"I like how the unique UI of Windows Phone can result in a clean, easy-to-use accessibility features." —Pratik Kothari
Letter Pick by Sittitsak Jiampotjaman, Thailand (designer of winning app, TripUs)
"What a fun and creative way to create personal postcards for friends and family!" —Corrina Black"Super focused, easy to grasp, creative, delightful." —Jennifer Bove"Excellent. There should be a tough version of it called ransom note." —Eric Ludlum
Memorable by Manasphon Siripak, Thailand
"Seems simple and original. I can see application in printed photo albums if printing code onto/beneath pics in an elegant way." —Jennifer Bove"Unique extension of video sharing. I like how it utilizes QR code and augmented reality while still keeping simple design elements."—Pratik Kothari
Museo by Andrei Ganci, Romania
"Nice design and concept." —Chris Caldwell
OMG Moments by Helon Lee, USA
"This app is well-designed. The storytelling/journaling experience is delightful, focused, and appropriate for the phone, and the interface is clean and feels like it belongs on Windows Phone. Looks like fun and I would love to try it out." —Corrina Black"The appeal of the function being to keep things orderly and accessible, and the name which indicates the crux is capturing (ranking) your immediate reaction to various things and see what sticks out over time." —Eric Ludlum
Pomo by Polina Flegontovna, Spain
"Simple and intuitive interface. Everyone needs a good task management app. This app focuses on one method of achieving tasks and does it well." —Pratik Kothari
Proto Hound by Geof Harries, Canada
"I like the ease of use in this design. An app designed to allow creation of prototypes can become very complex and challenging. This design focuses on the key items and keeping things simple." —Pratik Kothari"This is Balsamiq-like in my opinion and apps like this are great for quick and dirty wireframe type prototyping. I like where this is going." —Corrina Black"Nice simple design with an easy to understand guided introduction into the usage is refreshing and one of the only apps to really address the first time usage of the app." —Chris Caldwell
Scrapd by Andreas van der Griendt, Netherlands
"I like how the designer has thought through the various buckets (steps) of design process." —Pratik Kothari"Designer scrapbook! Love it. The different sections that are contained in each project are great and communicate what I can do in the app (concepts, inspiration, thoughts, and reads). I like the clean and simple design as well. Nicely done!" —Corrina Black
Showmehow by Peter Lackman, Finland
"The ability to easily find do-it-yourself content in a phone optimized form sounds great, as browsing the web on the phone is often times not awesome, and an app like this could provide a better experience if it had sufficient, high-quality data to make it a compelling source. Interesting concept!" —Corrina Black"Simple navigation of/access to potentially useful information. The corporate implementation idea is interesting." —Jennifer Bove
Slice by Regimantas Vegele, Lithuania
"This is a nice idea, which has undoubtedly been tackled a million ways." —Jennifer Bove"Interesting idea." —Eric Ludlum
SnapCals by Roman Pohorecki, USA
"Great idea to build a data base of calorie content for foods." —Corrina Black"Apps that help you determine your caloric intake in a useful and easy way are almost non-existant. This app takes a unique approach to helping address that problem." —Chris Caldwell
Think Creative by Mitchell Dunn, Australia
"I was skeptical at first but this is a nice implementation of a project organization tool that doesn't over-constrain the process. Clean, easy to navigate, incorporates phone functionality and considers web." —Jennifer Bove"The basic concept is "mood-boarding IRL" which is great, but success will hinge on ease of acquisition, categorization and notation. Seems like it might be ok in these regards, uses visuals well." —Eric Ludlum
Time Vault by Mark William Salerno, Italy
"A great idea, its dominant use will be gifting, and the waiting is a delicious part of the present." —Eric Ludlum"The whole count down idea certainly would build excitement, and it would be great to see interesting content left by friends and family once opened." —Corrina Black"A visually wonderful experience that could be really fun and engaging on a social level." —Chris Caldwell
Adventurist by Anuranjan Pegu, USA
B-Link by Quoc Luu, Vietnam
BandFunk by Cameron Saul, USA
Book Tracker 7 by Adib Toriq, Indonesia
Bucket Lister by Sherwood Forlee, USA
Chronicle by Sam Beck, Canada
Circle of Trust by Akos Birtha, Hungary
Cuevid by Phyek Tofigi, USA
Dextr by Prajwal Seth, India
Double Take by Sarah Tayler, Great Britian
DropUp by Marcelo Franceschini, Argentina
Eventman by Arjun Ganesan, India
ffont. by Corey Ginnivan, Australia
FieldCREW Design Research App by Rob Tannen, USA
FIUFIU! Voyage through the Space by Raul Gonzalez, Spain
Free Hours by Carlos Montoya, Chile
Kidtivities by michelle hendrickson, USA
MONEY by Tyler Eide, USA
MyOwnWay by Nikolaus Fischer, Germany
Notair by Jasna Trengoska, Macedonia
Octalytics by Bart Claeys, USA
Orai by Alius Petraska, Lithuania
SecureMe by Ashish Sharma, India
Spoonacular by David Urbansky, Germany
Tsumiki by Misato Yamada, USA
Wishfull by Michael Padilla, USA
yapAgame by Michael Lant, Canada
All finalists are eligible to become notable finalists (and win a Windows Phone) by developing and launching their app in the Windows Phone store. Core77 will feature a gallery of all the App to the Future app that have been published by the end of May at apptothefuture.core77.com.