IBM Announces Watson Mobile Developer Challenge Winners

IBM yesterday announced the three winners of the 2014 Watson Mobile Developer Challenge. This first-of-its-kind global competition encouraged developers and entrepreneurs to create consumer and business apps made with IBM’s Watson cognitive computing capabilities.


The teams, spanning 18 industries from 43 countries, submitted more than 400 business concepts that demonstrated how cognitive computing innovations can tackle some of the most challenging societal and business problems. The submissions addressed a wide range of issues, including micro-finance in developing economies, early education learning, and remote diagnosis and treatment using evidence-based health protocols. The winners each will receive support from IBM to advance their concepts into market.

The winning Watson mobile app concepts represent collaborative efforts among software engineers, data scientists, entrepreneurs and mobile developers who share a vision with IBM for addressing important business challenges by applying cognitive innovations to strengthen decision making, augment knowledge and unleash creative thinking.

The Watson Mobile Developer Challenge winners are:

·    GenieMD – (Pleasanton, California) Empower individuals to take a more active role in managing their health by delivering a holistic view, making health data actionable and shareable. GenieMD can provide highly relevant and personalized medical recommendations, enabling family caregivers to have access to relevant patient data and enabling them to be more effective and efficient, as well as facilitating better communication between the individuals and their healthcare providers.

·    Majestyk Apps – (New York City) F.A.N.G. (Friendly Anthropomorphic Networked Genome) provides an adaptive educational relationship with a child and their parents. The first iteration is a cognitive, cuddly plush companion, using Watson to provide a customized educational experience assisting each child to develop through a series of contextual interactions.

·    Red Ant – (London) A retail sales trainer that lets employees easily identify individual customers’ buying preferences by analyzing demographics, purchase history and wish lists, as well as product information, local pricing, customer reviews and tech specs. The app provides customized selling points unique to that customer onscreen or via text-to-speech on an earpiece.

“These bright and enterprising organizations have discovered innovative ways to apply Watson that can deliver demonstrable business benefits,” said Steve Gold, vice president, IBM Watson Group. “Their ideas, along with many others we received, confirm our belief that putting Watson into the hands of entrepreneurs will make cognitive systems the computing standard of the future.”

IBM launched the Watson Mobile Developer Challenge in February, allowing developers to tap into Watson’s unique cognitive computing power. Hundreds of concepts were submitted and narrowed down to 25 finalists, who were then given access to the Watson Developer Cloud to build, train and test their apps. 

Submissions were evaluated on several criteria including the potential impact on providing innovative approaches to social and business challenges, compelling use case for Watson, degree of unique mobile characteristics of the solution, as well as the identification of a specific target market, and a clear vision for how the app addressed the identified issue.

Five finalists were invited to present their business concepts and prototype apps to a panel of IBM senior executives at the IBM Innovate 2014 conference in Orlando, Florida where the three winners were announced. The winners will join the Watson Ecosystem Program and will work with IBM’s recently launched global consulting practice, IBM Interactive Experience, that will provide design consulting and business support from IBM experts to further develop and deploy their app commercially.

In November 2013, IBM announced Watson as an application development platform in the Cloud. Today, over 2,500 individuals and organizations – ranging from start-ups and VC-backed companies to established players – have shared ideas with IBM for building cognitive apps that will redefine how businesses and consumers make decisions.  Some of the early adopters advancing apps made with Watson include Fluid Inc., Welltok Inc., Modernizing Medicine, Reflexis Systems, Inc. and Modulus.

The IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge is part of the IBM MobileFirst strategy to help businesses of all sizes adopt mobile technology to better engage with customers and extend their businesses to new markets.


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