UK app for disabled people comms wins Ericsson prize


Apps for household solar-system monitoring and communication for disabled win top prizes in Ericsson Application Awards 2013

Ericsson has announced the winners of the 2013 Ericsson Application Awards at a ceremony at the Ericsson Studio in Kista, Sweden.

The UK's TboxApps was the winner in the company category, as the team's user friendly solution solves a major problem. The winner of the student category was Portugal's GreenSpark, which offered a solution based on energy efficiency with truly global reach.

Winning company category entry, Predictable from the UK's TboxApps, uses a mouse emulator to enable contactless use of the Android platform, giving people with disabilities a voice. The app will learn based on the user's use pattern, and draw from a phrase bank to give the user instant access to messages so they can quickly get help, interrupt a conversation or join in a discussion.

The jury's justification for picking TboxApps was that the team had created an app that enables anyone to control a computer or tablet with even just the slightest movement of the head, opening up the world to users who would otherwise not interact digitally in the way most of us take for granted.

Team member Rebecca Bright from TboxApps said: 'Winning this award is a fantastic honor, and we appreciate the recognition. This will drive us to continue to innovate in this important area.'

Winning student-category entry, GreenSpark, from Portuguese team of the same name, reduces the complexity of maintaining and monitoring a household solar power system through a plug-and-play device using cloud-computing technology.The jury's justification for picking GreenSpark was that the team has focused on the performance of solar cells at a time when energy consumption and energy efficiency is increasingly in focus, and has produced an app with obvious benefits to users and all stakeholders in the energy business.

Team member Poan Shen from GreenSpark commented: 'We are very happy to have been selected among the finalists. It has been a pleasure and an honour.'

Event host and Ericsson CMO Arun Bhikshesvaran says: 'The Ericsson Application Awards are a great way for us to engage with global talent, encourage, spot and reward innovation. The competition stimulates the ecosystem and is a way for us to explore new and creative ideas that can bring the Networked Society to life.'The judging of all entries started in March when 1,000 users from eight major cities as diverse as Sydney, Johannesburg and New York took part in app evaluations.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the competition has been held. This year's theme was Apps for City Life; it was about creating ways to connect people, things and places to empower individuals and society. Students and small and medium sized enterprises from anywhere in the world had been invited to submit Android apps.

In all, 192 teams from 52 countries took part, beating last year's 143. Four finalist teams from the UK, Poland and Portugal showcased their apps before an expert jury. This year, the participating teams were vying for a total of Euro 80,000 in prize money: Euro 25,000 for each first prize; Euro 10,000 for each second; and Euro 5,000 for each third.


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