Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress 2015 is here and with it an endless influx of the technology industry’s most talented and innovative start-ups. One of the events that will be generating hype this year is 4YFN (4 Years From Now), a showcase for entrepreneurs and start-ups that aims to change the mobile world as we know it. From the 2nd till the 4th of March, 4YFN will hold 3 different competitions to decide which will be the best and most promising start-ups of the MWC 2015. The table for this battle of innovation is set and we already have our favourites, so let’s take a look to some of the possible winners of this edition.
Disrupted by Mobile – 2nd March
The first competition of 4YFN was held during the opening day of the Mobile World Congress and was “Disrupted by Mobile”. Here, 8 start-ups offered mobile solutions that promise to change and ‘disrupt’ the workflow of their chosen industry.
The first of them was ChopChop, a British app that promises to reinvent the way we cook. Chopchop won’t only chose the best menu according to our dinner guests but also will show us step by step the fastest and most productive way to prepare these delicious dishes.
Two other apps that believe the future of the mobile world is in our stomachs are Edamam and Kickdish. Edamam describes itself as a “Nutrition Wizard” and offers real time food processing, nutritional data, personalization of daily value percentages and also how appropriate is each food depending to the diet we’re following. Kickdish will also look after our health through a very user friendly app that will collect healthy recipes, make your shopping list by looking for the best deal in nearby supermarkets and even prepare all the necessary info for you to prepare your lunch or dinner at light speed. With all this help there won’t be any excuse to not eat healthily!
As you can see, food and meal planners were a big favourite in this year’s Disrupted by Mobile competition, but that’s not all. Another finalist is Caravelo, a Spanish project aimed to make any globe trotter’s life a lot easier. Caravelo disrupts the industry by allowing you to change your upcoming flight tickets or request a refund with just a swipe on your mobile’s screen. Also from Spain comes Dinube, a start-up that believes payments should be easier and safer for everyone’s bank accounts. To achieve that, the app creates an online wallet service that we can top up and use to pay in shops (and online businesses) thanks to contactless technology.
The last three finalists were Finnay, Hook Mobile, and Simularity. Finnay (website in Finnish) is a very original approach to the classic ritual of giving gifts to people. It lets you send a present to someone and turns the whole experience into an adventure, since the lucky recipient will have to find it by completing a treasure hunt via their mobile phone. Hook Mobile utilizes the power of SMS for user acquisition, activation, and analytics. Finally there’s Simularity, an ambitious project that will predict future data and possible adverse events by checking a businesses’ current data in real time.
UPDATE: Of course there was only ever going to be one winner, and this year the winner of ‘Disrupted by Mobile’ was Caravelo with their app to disrupt the flight industry. So congratulations to them!
Internet of Things – 3rd March
The second competition of 4YFN is called Internet of Things –or IoT- and focuses on how the WWW is everything we need in a mobile device to shape our future. The first finalist for this event is Circular Devices, a Finnish start-up that has created a mobile phone made of modules called “Puzzlephone”, with which you can replace and upgrade parts – it’s already part of Google’s Ara Project. Argus Labs’ Sentiance is another of the big favourites since it promises to change smartphones as we know them, giving developers a new dimension that will provide users with context aware recommendations and marketing automation. Sharing this same spirit and ideas we find Atooma, a new engine for smartphones that will actively learn a phone user’s behaviour through their interaction with their mobile apps.
Focusing on the world of courier and transport services we find Fuel Loyal and Parcel Life. The first will optimise the use of fuel during journeys while the second will offer a new way to track the status of the parcels you’ve sent; the video on their website gives you a more complete idea of what that entails. From the road we jump straight into the home with Clime, a device that can be controlled via smartphone to monitor temperature, movement, humidity, and light (amongst other things) in the household.
Last but not least we find our two remaining finalists for this second competition. Visualead, a start-up that improves interactions between people and brands thanks to their renovation of QR tech via Visual QR code technology. And Undagrid, a hassle-free universal cloud platform that connects our devices and lets them access the Internet without time-consuming configurations.
UPDATE: The winner of the 4YFN Internet of Things Award 2015 is Hanhaa with Parcel Life, for their innovative approach to tracking parcels! A very massive well done to them!
Digital Media – 4th March
The final competition of 4YFN is called ‘Digital Media’ and explores new and attractive ways to generate and consume content. The first finalist is ToyMall, a free voice message service for kids that connects colourful toys with mobile phones. ToyMall aims to improve parent-children interaction by letting grown-ups to talk to their children through a standard phone, who then receive the voice message through an amusing toy. Another surprising app is Photomath, a calculator that utilizes a phone’s camera to solve in real time any mathematical problem we put in front of it. So far, Photomath solves arithmetic expressions, fractions and decimals, powers and roots, linear equations, quadratic equations, inequalities… and much more!
To find new music, we find Rormix. This platform lets users create 15 second indie music playlists and share them socially, making it an excellent way for independent artists to get coverage around the world. Less casual than the latter is SilverPush, an analytics, targeting, and measuring system aimed at businesses that unify people, devices, and data to achieve better company results. Aiming to improve learning methods there is Ustad Mobile, a platform that delivers and fast-tracks studying and learning methods to developing countries on practically any device.
The final three contestants in ‘Digital Media’ are Tellyo, Tamoco, and TimePath. Tellyo is a new tool that will let users to share small TV clips in messages and on social media, sharing profit with TV stations each time their program’s clips get shared. Tamoco on the other hand is a new technology that will improve the way brands, media, and sellers interact with each other though NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi, and QR codes. But we think we’ve saved the best to last, at least for in terms of cool-factor. TimePath is a Virtual Reality experience that will let you enter your own film and interact in its world just like you were part of it.
UPDATE: 4YFN’s Digital Media Award 2015 goes to Microblink with Photomath. We think that their product is capable of acting as a catalyst for scientists and mathematicians around the world! Amazing work!