Layar wins mobile competition; jury says it has a 6 month window


This year’s Vodafone Mobile Clicks competition was a battle between Dutch and UK startups with 3 finalists from either side of the Channel. The prize money was ramped up to €150,000 this year so it was all to play for in the fight between the cloggies and the rosbifs. The prize was awarded based on a combination of votes from the public, Mobile Monday members and an expert jury. The jury gave the finalists a hard time on stage (in particular Rummble and MyNameisE) with most questions focusing on the money.

The Dutch Contenders

My name is E offers an alternative to the traditional business card in the form of multiple electronic cards for different situations. The card contains contact details including accounts on 50 social networking services and websites. The cards can be exchanged via phone or an RFID-enabled device called a connector (when two connectors touch the data is automatically exchanged). The company will charge for professional accounts and the connector.

Mobypicture shares content (which may also be geotagged) directly from a mobile phone with 25 social networks and content sites and it is also embedded into many 3rd party applications. The company provides a “backchannel” to businesses which groups all tweets and other content associated with a particular product, event or location. The business model involves charging niche publishers who want to push content to their site, the back-channel and white labeling. A premium service will be added later.

Layar makes an augmented reality mobile browser. The browser can be used to view layers which overlay data over the camera view of the phone, e.g. the asking price of an apartment for sale in the building in your camera view. Hundreds of layars are now available for the current free browser for Android. Revenue will come from featured layers, publication fees and white-labelling.

The UK Finalists

Woobius gave a great presentation on Woobius Eye, a mobile to desktop (building site to office) live collaboration tool for architects and contractors. This extends the existing Woobius desktop offering. A user on site can take photos, draw on them and get support from someone at the office viewing the same thing. The business model will be freemium. Woobius Eye is still at prototype stage but the company is already getting interest in the tool from other industries like inspection and maintenance.

Audioboo is an audio blogging platform which allows users to record, location-tag and share audio via an iPhone app. There is a free version which is ad-supported and premium versions for businesses or heavy users. Many newspapers and radio stations in the UK use the service.

Rummble currently offers an iPhone app for discovering content related to a particular location. It uses trust scores (users who rate locations similarly to you get higher trust scores) to return personalised infomation in searches. The company also just launched Twitter features which will search for tweets linked to a particular location, use sentiment analysis to decide whether the comment is positive or negative and link this information into Rummble. The free service is ad-supported, there is also a premium service and a B2B offering licensing  the APIs.

And the winner is…

The first prize of €75,000 went to Layar who also won the public vote. 2nd (€50,000) and 3rd prizes (€25,000) went to Mobypicture and Woobius. The jury commented that Layar has a window of opportunity of 6 months to become a global phenomenon. Watch this space.