A University-wide competition to design a new iPhone application has had entries of such high quality that there were two winners.
One winning design was an app which tells you how many minutes it will be till your bus arrives, using existing GPS technology already on buses in many UK cities. The other is a business organisation tool, which allows users to give objects, for example emails on their phone, a voice tag to make them easy to find again.
In “The Oxprentice”, a competition organised by Oxford Entrepreneurs society, ten participating teams brainstormed an idea for an app. They then considered what were the necessary features, designed the app, and came up with a marketing strategy.
The competition was in partnership with technology firm Inside Mobile. Teams also received advice from marketing company Happen. The winning apps will be developed by Inside Mobile and sold in the iPhone store. Although the teams will not be paid for their ideas, they will stay involved in the creation and implementation of their apps.
Karl Curtis, designer of the winning bus timetable app said, “The information on when your bus will arrive is already on bus stops, but would be much more useful if it were portable. You would be able to see it in the pub or when you are leaving for work, and so not waste time waiting for the bus.
“The day was very useful; the experts advising us were very informative and knowledgeable about the industry as a whole. For instance, it is useful to look at Japan, which is more technologically advanced, to see where the UK mobile industry is heading. Lots of apps make very little money in the iPhone store, and are primarily used to raise brand awareness.”
Jordan Poulton, President of Oxford Entrepreneurs, said that the organisation was “trying to reinvent the traditional workshop model. We want to give students the opportunity to experience business in the real world, so that they can make things actually happen, rather than just make-believe. All our events aim to give students the opportunity to do real business.”
Future Oxprentice events include a competition to invent and market two new flavours for popular Oxford ice-cream parlour G and D’s. The winners will have their ice-cream sold throughout Oxford.