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Apps World North America: Day 1 Recap

Cross-posted with permission from Digital Disruption

After eight hours of panels, startup and app presentations, and a keynote by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, day 1 of Apps World North America is complete. Here are some of the highlights:

Steve Wozniak's Keynote

Right off the bat, Wozniak urged the crowd of about 8,000 to really think about what it means to be innovative. He pointed out that IBM had claimed to have been an innovative brand for 20 years, but more groundbreaking creations were happening at Apple in a month's time. What stood out most about his keynote for me were his insights about about wearable technology and the goal to provide a great digital experience that transcended the product itself.

“When we first started building our products, we actually hired an agency that helped us understand that the look and feel of those products needed to be as important as the functionality itself," he said. "But I think we’re always going to want something physical to go along with the technological advancements that make our lives easier.”

Not surprising, personalization, omnichannel marketing, app development, social and creating great digital experiences through mobile were hot topics today. Some of the apps that impressed me the most included:

Streetline

This app brings parking sensors, parking data and analytics to mobile users to help them find places to park their car. Let's say you wanted to take a trip into your local city for the day, but you aren't sure how parking is going to be. Well, thanks to these parking sensors, you'll be able to see the location, rates and quantity of spots in a certain area. I'm sure we'll be seeing this type of technology be implemented in the next series of "smart" cars.

LifeSaver

LifeSaver is really neat because it solves one simple problem: operating your mobile device and driving. How many times have you been driving and you get a text or phone call, but choose you respond just to let the person on the other end know that you can't respond. It happens more than you think, and LifeSaver allows users to have parts of their phone disabled when the app senses car movement, and even goes as far as letting people know you're driving when they try to contact you. The company's founder came up with this idea to help his son be a more cautious driver when he got his license, but this app has the potential to have a vast impact on the safety of drivers today.

tvbay

Ever watch a commercial on TV and wish that you could just buy it when you see it? Well, tvbay is looking to capitalize on that emotional decision to make an impulse buy. Now available in select parts of Europe, it works through an icon in the corner of the TV screen that will be shown during any program. By pressing the [OK] button on the remote control, the set-top box launches a menu allowing you to purchase the currently displayed goods or services. Heck, they've even implemented a betting feature for sporting events, but it's unlikely that that feature will make it to the states.

You can follow me on Twitter at @rkmacinnis for live blogging on Day 2 of Apps World North America on Thursday.

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