Spreading ‘appiness at Vodafone Appaid

Lately wherever you turn someone is running a mobile app hackathon, but Vodafone Appaid was an application developer meet with a difference. The event held last week, brought together Australian charities and mobile application developers over 48 hours to create apps that help charities better do what they do.

We saw some truly innovative apps at the final presentation at the MCA on Saturday.

Guy Kawasaki, famous Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Apple evangelist, was one of the judges, along with Vodafone CEO Bill Morrow. The indomitable Dr Karl hosted the show effortlessly blending iSheep jokes with news from the Large Hadron Collider.

Here are some apps that caught our eye.

Winners - St John Ambulance and GoCatch

St John’s Ambulance (overall winners): Developers from GoCatch created a handy tool for volunteer paramedics on the road to help treat emergencies and communicate back with base in real time. GoCatch team are the brains behind an award winning taxi location app and they used these skills to develop an intuitive route management program for the St John’s paramedics.

2 Bob’s worth: Mobile app designed to encourage impulse volunteering. People with a bit of free time can use this app to scan their surroundings for volunteering opportunities on a map and lend a hand at their own convenience. Great idea but the developers weren’t able to run their demo for lack of time.

Star Dash: A simple game to keep kids happy and engaged while they battled illness while admitted in a hospital.

OzHarvest (overall runner up): Very useful tool to digitize the process of taking leftover food from restaurants and feeding it to the hungry. In 48 hours the developers created a mobile app for the restaurant owners to schedule pickups and a web-based backend for managing the pick ups.

Leukemia Foundation: A handy app to remotely monitor for patients undergoing treatment and help them report on how they are responding to various drugs.

There were many others and the judges were impressed with the quality of apps produced in a mere 48 hours.

“The concepts produced for App Aid were so impressive considering they only had 48 hours to come up with an idea. St John Ambulance proved to our panel that their idea could assist in saving lives on a state and a national level. The passion from the winning team was clearly demonstrated through their inspiring and convincing pitch.”

- Guy Kawasaki, on first place App

The only gripe with this otherwise well run event was that the teams did not get enough time to fully showcase their ideas. After 48 hours of non-stop effort they deserved more than 5 mins to describe and demo their creations.


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