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CES 2012: Mobile Apps Showdown

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CES 2012 took an unusual approach to judging the best mobile apps around: app producers had two minutes to give a demo, and the applause decided the winners. A mobile editing app took top honours.

Mobile apps were put to the test during the Mobile Apps Showdown at 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. Apps producers had two minutes to demo their app, and an applause-o-meter measured audience enthusiasm to determine the winners. And the winner is… The Magisto mobile editing app. Whether it’s a 20-minute video of your twins’ birthday or a dozen individual videos from your latest trip to wine country, toss them into the Magisto app and it returns back an edited, excited video for you. Mobile Apps Showdown Finalists Magisto How’s this for magic? You shoot some video on your mobile phone and pop off to Magisto. It’s edited into a vignette replete with special effects and title, posted to YouTube. The video production can look a bit amateur, but hey, there’s some artificial intelligence calling the shots. Macaw There are dozens of apps to keep you healthy, making you hyper conscious of diet and exercise. What’s novel about Macaw (yes, named for the long lived bird) is that it combines US Preventative Medicine ( a company that helps change medical behaviors)expertise in monitoring activity, diet and education about staying healthy, with Qualcomm’s 2Net which lets you use any device (Bluetooth, WiFi, Ant+) into the 2Net platform to let it handle the transmission and management of the data. In a tower of Babel landscape, Macaw may provide the language all of these devices need to speak. SkyQ The heavens are an amazing place. SkyQ is an app that brings a deep meaning to celestial objects. It’s a match made in heaven. Just point your iPad anywhere in the sky and the objects are faithfully rendered. Pan down and you can even see what’s under the horizon. Multimedia explanations of what you’re seeing, layering of objects and more make this a planetarium you can hold in your hands. Foam Fighters WowWee, a company known for its sense of play, teamed up with AppGear to create Foam Fighters, which mixes physical and virtual play on your iPhone or Android. A little swivel attachment holds a toy plane about six inches from your phone. You control the plane with your movements and shoot the targets you encounter. Your plane is superimposed on your view through your phone ‚Äî simple augmented reality with hours of fun. Aurasma Lite takes augmented reality to another level by letting you augment the world in front of you eyes. Bring CD covers to life or add animated dinosaurs into the scenery in front of you, for example. True explorers can create their own augmented reality programs (Auras). CIA Operation Ajax We talk a good talk about ebooks that go above and beyond traditional books but CIA Operation Ajax delivers on infusing the graphic novel with an e- sensibility. It combines a full score, news reels and clips from the 50’s and an unparalleled artistic sensibility along with an intriguing plot. Road Bike Cycling Pro We’re talking about a phone that can act as your bike’s odometer, GPS, map router, weather updater and more. It’ll track time, speed, and even altitude, or create a special pace for your training. Share the fun with friends in real time. VIPER Smart Start Baby, it’s cold outside and that’s when VIPER Smart Start really earns its keep. Use your mobile phone to control your car and have the motor purring and car warmed by the time you’re ready to leave. It’ll control your lock buttons. Use it as ‚find my car‚ app as well, the mobile app turns out to be the biggest driver of sales in the hardware/app combo. Securafone There are many apps to protect you from texting while driving (including last year’s DriveSafe.ly Mobile Apps winner). And there are many apps that can help you geo-locate loved ones. Securafone offers a new world of customization as you can set up electronic fences to help rein in adults suffering from dementia. It can help you locate your children on their way home from school. And it help you manage a teen’s obsession with texting while driving. There’s an SOS button that can be configured to call whomever you want and you can even be notified by periods of inactivity. For the sandwich generation parents and caretakers this app can bring a tear to your eye. Cinefy Both the judges and the popular vote reflected well for Cinefy, a video editing app, that lets you feel like a Hollywood mogul. By aggregating special effects, music and other embellishments for you and you can use what you need when you need and there’s something for everyone from game developer to home movie maker. Developers submitted entries to be judged by a panel of tech experts including Gina Smith, Christopher Null, Helena Stone, Dave Whittle and other industry notables. Ten finalists presented on stage at the 2012 International CES, held January 10-13, 2012, in Las Vegas. Readers of the Mobile Apps Showdown website tried the apps and voted for the people’s choice award. Winners were awarded based on audience response, both online and live at the Las Vegas Convention Center at 2:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Co-hosts and fellow techies Gary Dell’Abate and Jon Hein, from SiriusXM Radio’s Howard Stern channels, once again brought their inimitable wit and knowledge of all things geek to the festivities.

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