Sensis Developer Centre - SAPI Developer Blog

RSS Feed

SAPI Bounty #1

SAPI Bounty for Zombie Apps!

The SAPI team have issued this $2,500 challenge to Developers

Create an app or a website - that uses SAPI in some capacity - that helps you survive the zombie apocalypse


REWARD: $2,500

DEADLINE: MAY 24

FOLLOW ALONG: #sapihack

QUESTIONS? @SensisAPI

 

SIGN UP NOW!!!! 

(MENTION BRAINS YUM YUM IN YOUR ENTRY)

 

SAPI asks.....

How will you survive and thrive during the inevitable zombie apocalypse?

What should you have prepared?

What do you need to know when the walking dead come looking for brains?

How do you make your way in a post-apocalyptic world?


 

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Entrants must first gain a Zombie API key by completing a SAPI key request via developers.sensis.com.au
  • When applying for a key, entrants must work the phrase “Brains Yum Yum” into their application description.
  • Entrants who have been granted a Zombie API key must then create an app that integrates functionality from SAPI.
  • Note that the term “app” refers to any widget, website, application or program and can be built on any platform so it doesn’t have to be a mobile app. Go nuts! 

App must be publicly available for judges to access (eg. Android Market, Apple App Store, or Internet) by finish date to be eligible to win!
 
Entrants will be judged on the following criteria:

Originality - How unique is the concept.
Usability and Design - How good does it look and how easy is it to use?
Effectiveness - How well does the app prepare someone for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Backstory - Entrants are encouraged to share their development story via Twitter using the #sapihack hashtag.
SAPI Integration and Use - How well did the app integrate SAPI? 

SIGN UP NOW!!!! 

(MENTION BRAINS YUM YUM IN YOUR ENTRY)

 

RULES

  • The competition begins at 9:00 am on Thursday April 26, 2012 and finishes 9:00 AM on Thursday May 24
  • You do not have to be an Australian resident to take part in this competition.
  • There are no limits to team size or weighting for or against the size of the team – it is the outcome that counts.
  • Entrants must ensure that they comply with the Sensis API terms and conditions (available when completing the API key request). 
  • Apps must be submitted for judging by the due date of 9:00 AM on Thursday May 24. The bounty due date may be extended at the discretion of the organizers and entrants will be notified. 
  • To submit an app for judging entrants must ensure their app is publicly available on the finish date and can be accessed by judges without charge.
  • Judging will take place at Sensis on Thursday May 24 at 222 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia and the judges’ decision is final.
  • A bounty prize of $2,500(AUD) will be awarded to the winning team. The bounty will be given to the individual who registered for the Zombie API key who will be responsible for distributing a share of the prize to anyone else on their development team.
  • All communications including awarding of the prize and any changes to the due date will be done via the Sensis Developers Centre, Twitter @SensisAPI and via the registered email of the entrant.  Please ensure you check these from time to time.
  • Entrants agree to being included in Sensis’ promotional activities, at Sensis’ discretion.  This may include disclosing the entrant’s name and app and information about the app.
  • Sensis is not liable for any tax implications arising from prize winnings.  Independent financial advice should be sought. 

Any questions? Hit us up on Twitter @SensisAPI or email us at api@sensis.com.au. Then grab your chainsaw and your boomstick and get to work…

 

SIGN UP NOW!!!! 

(MENTION BRAINS YUM YUM IN YOUR ENTRY)


Sapihack Sydney Results!

Category selection at Sapihack Sydney

Most people have a million dollar idea rattling away in the back of their mind somewhere. A slightly crazy scheme, fragments of a business plan, product ideas they’ve been mulling over in the shower, and usually a promise to themselves that one day, eventually, they’ll get around to making it happen.

Most people never follow through. This is what makes entrepreneurs so special… entrepreneurs aren’t like most people.

Here at Sensis we love Australian entrepreneurs. We see them as an integral part of our business moving forward, and we’re fully committed to empowering innovation and inspiring creativity through programs such as SAPI. So we decided to partner with venture capital firm Pollenizer to run our most recent Hackathon, targeting entrepreneurs. We wanted to help someone take a raw idea and turn it into a viable, funded business in just one week. Sensis offered cash prizes, and there was an opportunity for one lucky team to benefit from a $10,000 investment in their business and a 4 month enrolment in the prestigious Pollenizer business incubator program. We were excited to know that some entrepreneurs would be walking away with a brand new business venture, and the end of the Hackathon would only be the beginning of their story.

The Sensis/Pollenizer Hackathon was held in Sydney across two days - March 24 and March 31. Fifteen teams came together to build products and services in a competition for cash prizes and seed funding. The broad range of business ideas was staggering, we saw products and services aimed at families with kids, young urban socialites, party planners, occasional gardeners, brides to be, hungry late night cubicle slaves, rogue cyclists, and many more.

Team Post, Pick & Party planning their attack

By the time it was all over, it became clear to us that the quality of entrepreneurial vision and innovation in Australia is as healthy as ever. Between Sensis and Pollenizer 3 teams had been awarded prizes.

The $5,000 Best Commercial Concept award went to: DateNyt an app for anyone who wants to impress on a first date but has no idea where to go or what to do.

The $5,000 Best Product Execution award was declared a tie and split between: Yellow Fridge a local business directory pitched as 'magnets on your fridge door meets Pinterest', and BarHop! a platform for bars to publish immediate offers and a mobile app for local patrons to find deals

The $10,000 Pollenizer investment went to: Locationally a business intelligence tool for businesses to help them launch and grow.

Pollenizer was also so impressed by the Yellow Fridge team that they were also offered a spot in their Incubator Program.

We’d like to congratulate everyone who took part, with special mention going out to Post, Pick & Party, Open Late, and GiftScoutr who finished very close as runners up. Our hope is that none of the product ideas that we helped spark this week get left behind, we truly believe that every single one of them have enough potential to be turned into something special.

We’d also like to thank our friends at Pollenizer, who brought so much experience and valuable insight to the process. We can’t wait to see what Locationally and Yellow Fridge grows into under your guidance!

For a more detailed overview of what happened, photos from the event, and a rundown of all the final product concepts, please see below.

............................................................................................

On the first day participants arrived as sunny, bright, and optimistic as the gorgeous Sydney weather. Pollenizer graciously opened their doors to over 50 people, while their industrial themed workplace provided people with the perfect range of interesting and inspiring spaces for teams to breakout and work up their ideas. We saw people hanging out on the balcony, in the lounge, in boardrooms, in the garage, and even outside soaking up the fresh air and sunshine. Most importantly however, we watched teams hard at work coming up with some truly brilliant ideas.

Hackers gather to begin Sapihack

Pollenizer co-founder Mick Liubinskas arrived to give an exhilarating talk to everyone about the importance of focus when creating a new business. Mick shared stories taken directly from his extensive experience building over 100 businesses, and teams returned to their groups more enthusiastic than ever. Mick and a few other Pollenizer experts spent time with each and every team, helping them focus and refine their ideas, challenging their assumptions, and even pushing teams to go out and talk to potential customers right away. Those who followed the advice were rewarded with immediate feedback and new insights that would be fed back into their planning.

Sensis staff were on hand to guide teams through the process of using SAPI and to offer advice around the most appropriate features and content, answering questions about location based searching, opening hours, purely mobile businesses, and more.

Mick from Pollenizer inspires the teams to focus

The highlight of the day was when all the teams took turns pitching their business ideas to the group. Everyone received a tremendous amount of helpful feedback from both a panel of Pollenizer judges and other teams. We listened to pitches that resonated with us (“Who here has had a bad date, and it was all your fault?”) pitches that made us laugh (“When you are cycling and you really have to pee, it’s no joke!”) and pitches that made us just a bit queasy (“It’s 3am and your toilet is overflowing!”)

Sensis announced a surprise $250 prize for the best pitch, which was won by developer Eric Bae who worked independently on a product called Locationally. Eric’s pitch was a case study in effective simplicity, he bravely said nothing and instead took the panel on a silent walkthrough showing how Locationally can help businesses find the best places to set up shop and open their doors. As Eric explained later, “Why explain something if you can show it?”

At the close of that first day, teams may have been emotionally drained after pitching but you’d never know it from the laughter, smiles and excited chatter throughout the room. Yet even while everyone was relaxing, it was clear they were already looking ahead to the next week, and mentally preparing for the fact they had to demo their product in front of judges in just 7 days.

During the following week participants settled down and continued to work. One team split into two, a few teams asked questions, but most stayed silent. As a result we weren’t quite sure what to expect when we reconvened on the final day.

Day eight was another gorgeous Sydney Saturday, and it meant a lot to us that people were willing to give up two weekends in a row to take part. Happily almost everyone who was there on day one returned, and somehow we even picked up a few extra bodies along the way as teams recruited extra talent to help them get across the finish line.

The bulk of the day was spent with teams franticly hacking code and mashing graphics together in an attempt to get a viable demo up and running. With some tech support on site, and access to our Melbourne development via Skype, everyone managed to get something built in time.

Team Brideplanner presenting their demo

By the time 3:30 rolled around you could see the exhaustion on peoples faces. The demos went well, with only a few inevitable technical glitches, and it seemed like the bar for quality was being raised over and over again after each entry. Once all 14 demos were completed, the Sensis and Pollenizer judges sat down and tried to tackle the unenviable task of picking the winners. It wasn’t easy with so many quality submissions, not to mention the fact we had 3 times as many entries to judge as we had in our last Hackathon. It took almost an hour, with nervous attendees left to socialise in the meantime while desperately trying to avoid thinking about their chances.

A summary of all the entries:

GiftScoutr
Discover interesting gift ideas through photos that are tagged to retailers, join the GiftScoutr community and add your own.

 

Brideplanner
An end to end planning tool covering engagements, weddings, receptions, and honeymoons.

 

KweekFix
When you need an urgent home repair Kweekfix will contact all your local service providers instantly with a single click. Suppliers respond with quotes and you choose the cheapest or fastest.

 

Yellow Fridge
A Pinterest inspired virtual fridge door with local businesses rated, ranked, and sorted according to multiple review sources such as Facebook, Eatibility, Foursquare, etc.

 

Post, Pick & Party
Helping you to plan any party event by compiling your needs and soliciting quotes from local businesses,.

 

Open Late
Helping you find food options when most places are closed, and helping businesses find customers late at night.

 

bicycli.st
A cycling guide and services directory.

 

Yellow Circles
A private social network to connect businesses with shared interests.

 

DateNyt
A tool to help you quickly discover, rate, and review romantic itineraries that can be tailored to the interests of your prospective date.

 

Playlocal
Helping families with children find local events and services, and tools to organise your child's busy social calendar full of drop offs, pick-ups, and play dates.

 

Beauty Book
Tools to help hair and salon businesses manage bookings, plus a customer app that makes it easier than ever to book an appointment.

 

Locationally
A service for any business looking to expand or grow, Locationally provides business intelligence to determine optimal locations and markets for your business. 

 

BarHop!
A platform for bars to create and manage time limited offers, and an app that enables local customers to discover them.

 

Gardens
A Facebook app that showcases your garden, helps you identify what's growing, and provides tips and business listings in order to help you get better results.

Once the scores had been debated, re-scored, debated again, re-scored again, and finally tabulated, we had ourselves 4 winners.

In the end both Yellow Fridge and BarHop! dazzled us with their demo, the products looked almost market ready. The user experience was well thought out, the interfaces were nicely designed, and everything just ran smoothly and looked extremely professional and polished. As a result they were jointly awarded the $5,000 Best Product Execution award.

Team BarHop! and team Yellow Fridge tie for best execution

It was obvious that team DateNyt had taken all the Pollenizer feedback on board, they had done their research, clearly identified their target market, and most impressively they had identified a number of ways to generate revenue. The end result was a promising commercial concept that genuinely meets a customer need and shows tremendous potential. All of which led to them winning the $5,000 Best Commercial Concept award.

Pollenizer then announced the winner of the $10,000 investment award. Despite everyone in the room expecting that team DateNyt would follow up their best Commercial Concept win with an investment commitment from Pollenizer, team Locationally (who was actually one-man-band Eric Bae) was shocked to hear his name announced.

Eric Bae wins $10K for Locationally

As Pollenizer explained, while there were a number of ideas they would have been proud to invest in it was the combination of team Eric’s product idea and the enthusiasm, energy, and ability to pitch it that really sold Pollenizer. It’s not just an investment in the idea; it’s an investment in the people behind the idea. Which is exactly why Pollenizer surprised everyone by announcing they would also be offering the Yellow Fridge team of Nathan and Tristan a place in their prestigious Incubator Program. Phil Morle of Pollenizer explained that he saw a lot of potential in the young pair and wanted to see what they could do with the resources and connections of Pollenizer behind them.

Looking back at the past 8 days, we can’t imagine any greater outcome. From our point of view at Sensis, we’re excited to think we’ve inspired teams of people to go away and keep working on new business ideas that utilise SAPI. For Pollenizer, they’ve got a brand new business to start shaping and growing. And for the participants, whether they’re walking away with an oversized novelty cheque or not, they all get to leave with a sense of excitement for having created something from scratch, immense pride for having taken part and surviving the week, and a true product launch experience that most entrepreneurs would consider priceless.

Sydney Hackathon

Sydney Hackathon

The SAPI team is thrilled to announce we're going to run another hackathon, this time in Sydney!

Our Sydney hacakthon will be a 2 day event:

  • Day 1: Saturday March 24 will have a focus on the entreprenurial side of things, as teams come together to brainstorm product concepts and business models.
  • Day 2: Saturday March 31 will have a focus on design and development, teams will be working to complete a prototype of their product.

There will be up to $20,000 in cash prizes available, including an opportunity to pitch your concept to startup incubator Pollenizer Ventures who will be on the lookout for the best new business idea to invest in.

For more details see our registration page, and follow us on @SensisAPI or #sapihack for the latest news.

Melbourne SAPI Hackathon Results

Android developers at the SAPI Hackathon

At 10am on Saturday 19 November, 21 Android and iOS developers gathered at the York Butter Factory in Melbourne to compete in our first ever iOS vs. Android Hackathon. On Sunday 20 November at 6:30pm, the judges announce team Bonobo+1 had taken out the grand prize of $10,000 for their iOS app ‘Medic’.

Now that's a great way to spend a weekend!

To be honest we weren't quite sure what to expect, this was our first SAPI Hackathon. How many developers would give up their weekend to participate? How much could teams really be expected to complete in just over 40 hours? What would the quality of app concepts be? Did we order enough breakfast burritos?

Turns out we really didn't need to worry. We were blown away by what we saw. We had 8 teams competing, and after one team dropped out (the overnight Saturday shift was just too brutal) we ended up with 7 apps developed. All 7 were brilliant app concepts, some included slick designs, and one app was even put live to Android market in time for the judging! The amount of work that we saw was simply staggering. Our panel of judges spent twice as long deliberating as was intended, leaving anxious teams with no choice but to pass the time with video games, beer, and pizza. Picking a single winner was much harder than any of us thought it would be. A terrific problem to have, but a problem none the less.

Ultimately after almost an hour of deliberations 'Medic' was crowned the $10,000 grand prize winner, "Friend Compass' was given the $500 Peoples Choice award, and the best platform was declared to be... well, a tie actually. While the iOS apps scored higher on average, we just couldn't ignore the fact we had almost 4 times as many Android developers competing than iOS developers. So in the end it seemed to be a fitting allegory for the current state of the mobile platform market... Android has the platform numbers while iOS has the apps.

So what did the SAPI team get out of the Hackathon? We engaged with the developer community and received valuable feedback on how we might improve SAPI in future. We now have a terrific group of developers out there in Australia who know what SAPI is and will hopefully help spread the word that we exist. We continued to share our message that Sensis is evolving and adapting as a digital business, and that embracing APIs is good for business. And we saw amazing Aussie innovation and ingenuity in action.

Will we do it again? We've been asked this a few times already! We're absolutely committed to working closely with the developer community in Australia in order to promote SAPI, and future hackathons are just one of the ways we think we can do that effectively. So we've definitely got more activity planned, your best bet is to follow us on Twitter @SensisAPI and whenever we have event announcements you’ll be among the first to know.

For now though, we're just trying to recover from a truly amazing and inspirational weekend (see for yourself, we put together a short video highlight.) Take a look at the apps that were delivered as part of the Melbourne SAPI Hackathon 2011.

Medic for iOS

Medic App

Business Category: Health
App description: Medic is an app for when you need medical advice but don’t feel calling 000 is appropriate. Medic helps you determine the nature of your situation and uses SAPI to find the closest doctor, chemist, or hospital that is open right now.  You can then give them a call or get directions from your current location. In addition to features such as SMS or email a family member to let them know what’s happening and where you are, judges were most impressed by the simple yet effective interface and user experience. The app takes into account that if users are in a panicked state, providing them with a long list of options can be ineffective and overwhelming. Instead Medic generates a series of large, clear information cards with a simple layout to help users focus and remain calm, with only one recommended option presented at a time. And if users run out of viable options, the app is set up to automatically call the one person who can always help… it calls your mum !
Team Name: Bonobo+1
Team Participants: Michael Del Borrello, Nathan Hamey, Ben Hamey, Daryl Teo
Team URL: http://www.bonobolabs.com/
Judges comments:

  • A simple, cool & incredibly easy to use app that has a terrific user scenario that we can all relate to
  • Well designed & thought through from a user-perspective
  • Incorporate some really nice features to “tell others” in the case of a medical emergency
  • Terrific use of opening times, with some work-arounds where that SAPI content wasn’t available
  • An easily scalable solution that could easily translate to other industry segments
  • A real “wow-factor’ in terms of design & integration


Meet Me For… for Android

MeetmeFor... App

Business Category: Food & Drink
App description: Meet MeFor… is an event planner for friends that brings transportation information into the discussion. Users can create an event and send invitations to their friends, and based on the event type SAPI is used to recommend destinations. The app also uses the Jeppesen Journey Planner API to calculate transit times for each invitee to get to the event from their current location, and home at the end of the night. Invitees can compare the effect different venues have on their own transit times in order to help them select the optimal venue location for everyone.
Team Name: Katsu
Team Participants: David Healy, Gabriel Lagos, Sonia Morgan, Maurice Cifuentes
Team URL: http://www.jeppesen.com/land/journey-planning/
Judges comments:

  • Terrific integration of public transport – from the meeting organiser & the meeting invitee perspective
  • Terrific contact integration with the phones contact list
  • The app provided significant commercial “hooks” – providing advertising opportunities for related businesses & ROI opportunities for Sensis that went over & above what we currently capture through ORP
  • Nice integration of “known search” & “unknown search” terms


Platinum for iOS

Platinum App

Business Category: Home Renovation
App description: A reinvention of the standard business listing & search results pages you see on directory sites such as yellowpages.com.au. Using SAPI and other sources to source rich media such as images and videos, mashing business data up with RSS and social media feeds, adding language translation, voice features, offers integration, a “self-service” interface for business owners and compiling it all together in a format that elegantly scales for web or mobile devices.
Team Name: Platinum
Team Participants: Eric Bae
Judges comments:

  • A “spectacular mash-up” of all things Sensis
  • Aesthetically appealing & compiled in a way that seemed so effortless
  • Innovative & terrific case-study in thinking outside the box
  • Had a real “wow-factor”


Friend Compass for Android

Friend Compass App

Business Category: Transport
App description: Friend Compass attempts to solve the problem of organising a meet up with a friend and sorting out the last few hundred meters. Once two friends arrive in a general location (eg. Melbourne) the app will calculate the geographic mid point from wherever you both are, and will use SAPI to suggest a meeting place that is equally convenient for both (eg. a café located between Southern Cross Station and Melbourne Central). Once you select a meeting place, the app will guide you there by providing real time geo-tracking of you and your friend, as well as providing directional guidance to point you in the right direction.
Team Name: Porknbunny
Team Participants: Eric Villiers and Amelinna Luu
Team URL: http://porknbunny.com
App URL: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.porknbunny.friendcompass
Judges comments:

  • An “easy-to-relate-to” user-case scenario around where to meet-up with your friends. Took the user-proposition to another level of finesses, focussing on the last couple of hundred metres when you are planning to meet-up.
  • One of the more innovative apps of the weekend
  • Loved the real-time tracking & update & the concept of the compass.
  • Terrific opportunity around augmented-reality integration


SuburbRate for Android

SuburbRate App

Business Category: Real Estate & Relocation Services
App Description: For anyone looking to move, this app helps them evaluate new suburbs against your personalised criteria. Using listings data from SAPI mashed up with a range of government APIs the app calculates a score for every suburb in Australia by analysing education, health, food, banking, etc.
Team Name: PinkDroid
Team Participants: Viet Ha, Phuong Ha, Rajesh Raman, Hai Dang
Judges comments:

  • A really cool approach to quantifying a real-life problem
  • Impressively pulled in data from a wide variety of different sources
  • Nice integration of SAPI images
  • Nice customisation option for users to change suburb rating based on their own individual preferences


What’s Next? for Android

What's next App

Business Category: Entertainment
App Description: An app to help you and your friends determine where to go next during a night out. Tell the app what you are doing now (eg. dinner) and it uses SAPI to find related businesses nearby that are open (ex. drinks, dancing, etc.)
Team Name: Spark
Team Participants: Kirill Brodski, Joanne Brodski
Judges comments:

  • Great layout & design – a great app name
  • Engaging & inviting, with a nice “gamification feel”
  • A terrific effort for some first-time Android Developers


Hair to Eternity for Android

Business Category: Hair & Beauty
App Description: A planner for related hair and beauty services. The app uses SAPI to suggest a range of businesses you might want to visit in an area, users use the listings or map view to choose one from each category which generates a simple itinerary to follow.
Team Name: Sensis
Team Participants: Andrew Louth, Jol Blazey
Judges comments:

  • A nice practical implementation
  • Cool implementation that dropped irrelevant information from the map in line with user-selections
  • A terrific effort for a first-time Android Development effort

Hackathon Wish List

Are you planning to attend our upcoming SAPI Hackathon in Melbourne Nov 19-20? (If not, register now!) Perhaps you've been wondering what kind of apps you can build with SAPI?

We wanted to spark some ideas so our team put together a short list of ideas that showcase the level of SAPI integration that our judges will be looking for. Teams are welcome to draw on anything in this list and adapt them for use in the competition.

  • A ‘House Call’ app that identifies any purely mobile businesses within SAPI who are willing to come service you at your location, rather than you going to them.
  • A ‘Mystery Dinner’ app that lets you browse restaurants based solely on random pictures of dishes/interiors drawn from SAPI, you share with your friends and collectively vote on where you all want to go to dinner before revealing the name and location.
  •  A “Find Better Service’ app that lets you publish a business experience you didn't like, share on Twitter and Facebook, and use SAPI to help compile a list of alternative suppliers based on that business category.
  • A ‘Get Out Of Trouble’ app that helps you assess what kind of trouble you’re in, suggests some ‘excuses’ you can use to ‘explain yourself’ on Facebook, and uses SAPI to find a lawyer, accountant, bank, or whatever you might need.
  • A ‘Try Something New’ app that checks your FourSquare check-in history to identify businesses you visit all the time, and uses SAPI and other sources to find and recommend alternative businesses, so that you can break out of your routine.
  • A ‘Major Event Planner’ app to help you organise a major life event such as a birthday party, a wedding, a move, etc. SAPI helps you find businesses to service your event, and the app uses the Meetup.com API to organise and track attendees.

We're sure you can come up with even more innovative ideas than we did, so we encourage you to mash SAPI up with other APIs to bring your best concepts to life. Start thinking ahead of time about what you can do with SAPI business listings, and we'll see what you come up with on Saturday.

Also note that to make it interesting (and because we know you can handle a challenge!) teams will be choosing from a pre-determined short list of business categories on the first day, Whatever you create must work to support that business category. Categories may range from broad industries like  ''Entertainment' or 'Health' to more specfific business segments like 'Florists' or 'Hairdressers'. You won't know what category you get until you start, so be ready to adapt your ideas on the spot!

Happy hacking...

 


[ Previous | Page 2 of 2 ]