NJ Technology Council Holds App Forum

By Lauren Wanko

Isn’t there an app for that? It’s a question that’s become ingrained in our culture and one that’s inspired developers to submit their apps to the New Jersey Technology Council’s Mobile Applications Forum.

“Do you know that apps have only been around for the past eight years and that in 2008, the word apps was defined as the fastest growing word by the American Dialect Association?” asked New Jersey Technology Council Founder and President Maxine Ballen.

Of the 41 submissions, 10 winners were chosen in categories like Health & Wellness and Personalized Services. Eight of those winners are from New Jersey, like Internet Creations’ Chad Meyer. His team developed Front Desk For Salesforce.

“We set our sights on what just might be the last paper based process in the enterprise — the sign-in book at the front desk,” Meyer said.

Here’s how the app works. If you had a business meeting with someone at their office, you would check in using their iPad, type in your email address, specify who you’re visiting and that person would be notified via email or text message.

“The ubiquitous sign-in book is everywhere and we’re on a mission to eliminate that,” said Meyer.

Combat Veteran Lloyd Deans, who served eight years in the New Jersey National Guard, developed the Deans List app — a database of resources for vets — after seeing the need first-hand.

“When active duty soldiers return home to base, they have all their services and support centralized to them. When the National Guard and Reserves return home, we do just that — return home,” said Deans, owner of Deans List App LLC.

Deans List is already available for free after installing the app. Vets can search the resource they’re looking for and they’ll be directed to the site.

The winners aren’t limited to professionals. High school student Michael Reininger developed Eco-FuelNet. The app records instantaneous fuel economy for any particular route and the data is shared with other drivers.

“It’s useful for finding the most fuel-efficient route for any vehicle,” Reininger explained.

The driver would place a wireless on-board diagnostics sensor under the steering wheel, chose their vehicle and hit record. That connects the app to the sensor.

“As they’re driving on that particular route, my app is collecting the GPS location of the driver and is also calculating the fuel economy based on the variables that the sensor is passing to my phone wirelessly,” said Reininger.

AT&T sponsored the forum.

“Every aspect of the industry is moving at lightening speed,” said AT&T Vice President Paritosh Bajpay.

“Ninety-one percent of apps download for free,” Ballen said. “People only pay for 9 percent of them, but that equates to billions of dollars in revenue.”

For the apps not yet on the market within the winner’s circle, these developers say they’re working toward that goal.