Some of the most innovative, purposeful and creative apps we've seen this year
From fashion brands like Burberry to e-doctors, interactive apps are taking business to the next level. With 95 per cent of people in the UK that are aged 16-34 owning a smartphone, the market is vast. However, with this new window of opportunities comes great competition. Android and IOS stores are estimated to already host over 4 million apps.
Whilst you are probably well-acquainted with the most popular apps in the world — Snapchat, Airbnb, Uber — Springwise has highlighted 7 non-mainstream apps worth noting, plus our own Innovation App. With this said, let’s have a look at some of the most innovative, purposeful and creative apps spotted this year.
1. AI-DRIVEN APP ADVISES KENYAN FARMERS ON BEST CROPS TO PLANT
Farmsmart, a new app for farmers in Kenya, aims to help them plant the best crops for their land. The app also helps farmers sell their products and track their finances.
Farmsmart provides customised information on sustainable and climate-smart farming for smallholder farmers. The app takes the farmer through all stages of the process. First, it asks farmers to provide basic data about their plot size, location, season and soil type. Then, Farmsmart analyses the data and provides personalised recommendations via its chatbot.
It also offers information and recommendations for all stages of the growing process. The app provides a number of additional services, including connecting farmers, advice on selling products and help tracking finances. Farmsmart, developed with the help of UK-based Amido, is free to use and is currently available in Kenya. The developers plan to expand the app’s coverage in the future.
2. APP HELPS SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS FIND SUPPORT
A UK-based company, Chayn, is creating an app to support the survivors of sexual assault. The app, named You Are Not Alone (YANA), aims to be the world’s largest collaborative resource for sexual assault survivors.
YANA plans to offer information on local and community-specialised shelters, as well as sexual violence units and legal help. There will also be information on digital services available in the user’s region. The services will be available 24 hours a day. The app will also provide in-depth resources on how to report sexual assault, and how long the process should take. It will offer a safe, secure format to record details about the incident, to help file a police report.
YANA is focussed on providing culturally sensitive information and pulls from the experience of sexual assault survivors. The app is one of the 10 finalists for the Next Tech to Connect challenge, and although currently under production, will initially be available in the UK and India.
3. APP GIVES TOURISTS REAL-TIME ACCESS TO LOCAL ADVICE
The South Korean app Sidekick gives travellers immediate access to locals via text messaging. Samsung workers Scott Barrow and Jungwon Yang say that app works like a “concierge in your pocket”. The two created the app when they realised how much they depended on texting local colleagues for advice when travelling.
Sidekick links tourists with locals via text apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and LINE. Locals provide advice in real-time on everything from the nearest bakery to questions about local customs. Sidekick access costs €18 a day and is available in one, three or five day packages. The service is currently available in South Korea, with plans to expand to Japan and elsewhere. The local guides provide advice in English, Korean and Japanese.
4. TINDER-STYLE FRIENDSHIP FINDER FOR MOTHERS
Created as a Tinder-style friendship finder for mothers, the Peanut app now provides Q&A forums and dedicated community spaces. Users post on a range of topics such as pregnancy, health and fitness, work and money and motherhood. Trying To Conceive (TTC) is the app’s latest community and supports women in their journey as they attempt to become mothers.
Founder Michelle Kennedy set up the app after experiencing the isolation that often accompanies early parenthood. Finding friends by location proved immediately successful, and as the number of users grew, so too did the intimate and meaningful conversations. It was at that point that Kennedy expanded the app to include Q&A forums called Peanut Pages. More recently, she introduced Peanut Groups, which is where the majority of the app’s activity now takes place.
A recent round of venture capital funding raised €4.5 million to focus on the continued growth of the community forums. Kennedy plans to double the company’s number of staff in the next year and prioritise support for the TTC community. Available on both iOS and Android, the app is free and obtainable in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada.
5. APP LETS USERS RENT OUT EMPTY PARKING SPACES
Kazakhstan startup TuraQshare, with support from Nazarbayev University, has developed an app that allows users to register and rent out their empty parking spaces. The concept was created in July 2018 for the Astana Innovations Challenge, a startup competition aimed at incentivising young developers to solve urban technological problems in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan.
TuraQshare’s founders, Nazarbayev University students Askhat Sharipov and Anuar Baitulakov, came up with the idea to help manage traffic congestion. The aim of the app is to make it simple to promote parking spots across the city. In addition, TuraQshare provides a platform for people to earn money by renting their empty parking spots while they are away from home.
The user process is straightforward: clients register in the app, click on the desired area in the city and available parking lots appear that can be rented hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. The platform is mostly used by drivers looking for a parking space close to their workplace. The app is also in the process of launching in Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and Moscow.
6. FOOD WASTE APP CONNECTS SELLERS WITH CONSUMERS
Danish app Too Good to Go connects consumers with restaurants and stores that want to sell food that would normally be discarded at a big discount. Offerings include baked goods that need to be made fresh every day and meals from buffet restaurants that prepared an excess of food.
Customers that use the app can order a “magic bag” of discounted surplus food from a store near them, and then collect it near closing time. The app has more than 25,000 different stores registered on its app, offering food discounted as much as 70 per cent, and operates in 12 countries in Europe and the UK.
The stores benefit from earning something on food that would otherwise be thrown away, and consumers save money. The app has also recently expanded from bakeries and restaurants to include supermarkets. This is allowing the app to scale up and provide people with cheaper groceries, as well as prepared meals.
7. APP TURNS ORDINARY SHOPPERS INTO FASHION MODELS
UK-based startup Superpersonal has created an app that will allow users to try on clothes virtually. Users feed the app basic information including gender, height and weight. The app then records the user’s head movements. From this limited data, the app will create a virtual version of the user modelling clothes proposed daily by Superpersonal.
“We developed the technology because we think there is an incredible need for personalisation. The app itself is what we think the future of fashion is going to look like,” Superpersonal CEO Yannis Konstantinidis told Springwise.
THE SPRINGWISE INNOVATION APP
Whilst we really love all of the aforementioned, what could be better than an app that curates all of the above plus many more innovations? The recently launched Springwise Innovation app is available on Apple and Android devices.
The app is designed to give you fast, free and easy access to our daily innovations. You can also:
* Create a personal library of your favourite innovations to read online or offline
* Track only the industries you want with customisable innovation feeds
* Receive exclusive discounted access to Springwise and our partners’ innovation events
* Submit innovations for our consideration with your phone’s camera
* Opt-in for push notifications alerting you to the latest innovations
Once you’ve had a chance to use our new app, we would love to hear what you think of it. Please do send us a note if you have any suggestions, questions or comments, or rate and review on either the Apple or Google Play stores.
6th December 2019