A few weeks ago, our resident mobile analyst, Kelly Matthews, blogged about the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge. The competition invited developers and entrepreneurs to submit ideas for mobile apps powered by IBM Watson, a breakthrough cognitive computing technology. Kelly paired her mobile expertise with the findings of our IBM Center for Applied Insights Tech Trends industry dashboard to predict which industries were likely to be represented by the Challenge finalists. She highlighted Insurance, Retail, Professional Services, Media & Entertainment, Chemicals & Petroleum, and Healthcare as front runners.
Now the 25 finalists have been announced. How did we do?
- Though our Tech Trends Dashboard didn’t highlight Healthcare as a leader in mobile, Kelly’s read on that industry was on point. By far, the most finalists were related to health and wellness – from apps that assist expectant mothers to a virtual fitness trainer.
- Retail had many finalists – all aimed at improving the shopping experience for consumers.
- Both Professional Services and Media & Entertainment had two finalists, emphasizing our Tech Trends finding that they’ve got the right skills when it comes to Mobile.
- Although we have high hopes for Insurance and mobile, not a single finalist came from that industry. There were also no finalists from the Chemical & Petroleum industry, another candidate.
- And the surprises? There were several finalists in industries we hadn’t predicted, including Automotive, Education and Financial Markets.
The takeaway? When it comes to Watson-powered apps, innovation can easily blur industry lines. For example, one proposed app helps family farmers get answers to their questions about agriculture, pulling from government, academic, literature, and web resources. With the breadth of applications featured, we anticipate that the finalists will spark ideas in all industries.
And what’s next? Read more about the submissions and keep up with the IBM Watson Challenge to discover the ultimate winners.