The challenge was to create an application takes advantage of the new Ultrabook capabilities using Windows 8, to be innovative, imaginative, to show off what an Ultrabook can do, and to get your application in either the Intel AppUp store or the Windows Store. There are seven categories for entries
Each category winner will receive a $10,000 prize, with the grand prize winner receiving a cash prize of $20,000. Winners will also be featured on the app stores, in Intel and CodeProject newsletters, as well as on Intel and Microsoft websites. There is fame and fortune to be won.
Ultrabooks and Windows 8 are here and are changing how we interact with our devices. Be part of it.
Congratulations to all of the following category winners in the AppInnovation contest:
|Total Innovation||World Time Clock||Alan Anderson|
|Healthcare||NeuroControl BlinkTalk||Bryan Brown|
Each category winner receives $10,000
The grand prize of $20,000 goes to
Sumerics. Well done!
A huge thanks to our judges for their time, their expertise and their patience.
The focus of the contest is innovation. The Ultrabook is a new way to interact with a Windows based machine and invites different solutions and different ways of thinking. For example, touch enablement comes out of the box, but touch optimising an application to invite interaction through touch may require a different approach.
The questions judges asked themselves while judging the applications were: Would I use this application to explain to a friend the difference between a laptop and an Ultrabook? Would this app make someone want to buy an Ultrabook as opposed to a regular laptop? Does this application make it clear how an Ultrabook differs from a traditional (but modern) laptop?
Four judging categories were then scored:
All entries had to pass the relevant AppStore submission criteria regarding quality, suitability for the app store, stability and free of defects and malicious code. They then had to pass through the hands of our four judges for sorting, judging and final scoring.
Scott Hanselman, Web Technologist
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, web technologist and teacher. He works out of his home office in Portland for the Web Platform Team at Microsoft. Scott is known for his extensive writing, podcasts, teaching, and his work on Microsoft technologies. There are, however, some things you don't know about him.
Creating a compelling application is hard, but I wonder if judging them is harder? I've judged a number of programming contests and as a judge, we want to encourage, inspire, and move people forward. It's clear when someone has poured their passion and many late nights into their idea. You should feel great not only that you created an application but that you published it. It's in an App Store on and competing alongside some of the best apps out there.
Some of the great apps I saw had something in common. Polish. Design. Thoughtfulness. They may have been created by a single person or a team but you couldn't tell. You just saw a great experience from the moment the app ran. Some of these apps I'll be keeping on my Ultrabook and using long after my stint as a judge is over.Thanks for sharing your ideas, your passion, and your apps with us!"
Steve Smith, Executive Vice President, Services
Steve is a software developer with a passion for building quality software as effectively as possible. He's also EVP, Services for Telerik. He's a Microsoft Regional Director and MVP, a frequent speaker at developer conferences, an author, and a trainer. In the past he's co-founded and sold Lake Quincy Media and NimblePros (recently acquired by Telerik). Steve's an ex-Army Engineer officer and Iraq veteran who enjoys playing games and spending time outdoors.
I had a lot of fun looking at these submissions. Some of them were quite useful and I'm sure I'll keep using them, and others were very enjoyable or entertaining. The things that really stood out for me were making use of many of the Ultrabook's sensors, including but not limited to optimizing the interface for touch. Many of the submissions didn't take advantage of any of the hardware, or seemed like they might be better-suited to a pure tablet or desktop scenario. The other thing that made some of the apps really stand out was the extra care that was taken by some apps. Having an overlay explaining the UI, a help screen, configurable options, simulated sensors for devices that lack built-in sensors, and multiple options for user input are all examples of polish that helped set some apps above others as I judged the contest. Overall, I hope the contestants enjoyed participating, and I'm sure many users will benefit from the apps that were created as part of this contest.
Alvin Ashcroft, Expert Software Engineer
Alvin Ashcraft is a Microsoft Visual C# MVP, blogger, technology geek and family guy. Alvin is currently an Expert Software Engineer in Allscripts' Acute Outpatient software team, working with C# and WPF. There he helps create software solutions for enterprise healthcare organizations using Microsoft platforms and solutions. Previously, Alvin worked for Oracle's Health Sciences GBU and several consulting firms as a software developer. During his consulting years he developed solutions for clients in the manufacturing, financial and healthcare industries. You can find him online at www.alvinashcraft.com.
I found that the applications I rated highest did a good job of balancing a good user experience with extensive use of the Ultrabook's advanced capabilities. Many of the apps in the competition did one or the other really well. They were really fun to use but had some touch integration and that was it. Other had extensive use of sensors, multi-touch and audio but looked like they were only built to exercise those APIs and had a less impressive user experience.
Chris is the cofounder, dev lead and CTO of CodeProject. His career and experience lurches haphazardly between Astrophysics grad, Geomorphology PhD candidate, Defence research, MFC developer, to finally settling down, out of breath, as the cofounder, community punching bag and principle hack at CodeProject where he now specialises in top-to-bottom ASP.NET web development, sustainable online advertising and kitten herding. He's a road cyclist, a coffee snob and has been known to have a bottle of red now and then.
The Ultrabook is the love child of a tablet and a high end laptop. It invites you to interact with it it in a different way. You don't sit back and type on it; you touch it, swipe it, pick it up and tilt it and spin it. It knows where you are and it's always connected and ready for you.
In judging this competition a few comment trends stood out. First, the applications that shone were those that were designed with the Ultrabook in mind, rather than applications that tried to use the Ultrabook features as icing. Second, it's not enough to design for the Ultrabook: you need to design for the person using the Ultrabook. Use large elements for touch-enabled areas, allow lists to be scrolled via swiping instead of relying on the scrollbar, and if an application goes full screen, allow the user to return to the previous screen if this makes sense.
The winning applications were those that made us stop and realise that we were using a totally new device. Given the time constraints I raise my hat to the contestants who clearly put their heart, their soul and every hour of every day into building these apps. I only wish we had more prizes.