The competition, which attracted 100 entries, was held in collaboration with the Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, whose 100 Innovations exhibition – the biggest exhibit that the museum has ever produced on its own without the help of partners – is sponsored in part by Ericsson. The exhibition highlights the 100 most important innovations of all time, as voted for by the Swedish public.
As part of the exhibition, young people were asked to draw, describe and then submit their ideas for a mobile application that they would like to see developed, with a focus on concepts that could help people in their daily lives.
Tindra Bott's singing tiger
Eight-year-old Tindra Bott likes to come up with new ideas to help or entertain people. Bott won with her "singing tiger" concept, which would allow users to search for and download animal noises on their phones.
"Almost everyone has a mobile, and many people try to make their mobile more fun," she says. "A lot of people like animals and enjoy showing pictures of them and the sounds they make to their friends. So I wanted to create an application that allows people to search for the sounds that different animals make, and then download the sounds and use them in a mobile phone. It’s fun to come up with things that help people enjoy themselves. And this way you also get people more interested in animals."
Daniella Karlsson, 16, was another winner in the Ericsson Application Awards mini-competition with her description of her "save a life" application, which would enable mobile-phone users to transfer funds to any recognized charity. She says she wanted to come up with something simple, so her conceived app would allow users to select from a list of all registered charities arranged into subject categories. Users would then only have to click on their preferred amount to donate to that charity.
"I don’t pay bills, so I don’t really know how things work with forms and internet banks; it seems complicated," Karlsson says. "But a lot of people like me want to be able to give a little of their money from their own bank account, or get their parents to help them do it. This application would make it easier to make a donation. Everyone wants to help, so why not make it easy?"
Linda Hallbom, Event Project Manager at Ericsson, says that the competition is not about the applications as such, but about inspiring innovation. She adds that Ericsson therefore wants to do its part to show young people that technology and innovation are "cool."
"The Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology and Ericsson share a goal: to make technology fun for young people," she says. "At Ericsson, we believe technology can be used to give people equal opportunities no matter where they live, and that it can help solve major problems such as poverty and climate change. We received a lot of entries designed to reduce CO2 emissions or end starvation, for example. And Ericsson needs the best engineers it can get, so in the future we will need these kids. We want to encourage them and show them that it’s cool to be a bit of a technology nerd."
The third winner of the Ericsson Application Awards mini-competition was Veysel Tekes with his concept of a "CO2 diary" app that would help people record the CO2 emissions they have caused and thus inspire them to reduce these emissions.
Each of the three winners received a smartphone for their entries.