AT&T and One Economy recently coordinated a cash-winning contest for developers to come up with some helpful apps for low-income Americans. The apps were aimed to help with finances, education, and health for its users. The contest was called, “Applications for Good,” and the judges concluded five winners.
The $10,000 grand prize winning app was Remás, created by Brendan McBride and his colleagues in New York. The app is designed to make it easier for immigrants to send money back to their home country. It lists banks, services, money transfer websites, and fees that come with certain transfers. It is available in English and Spanish, on mobile and standard websites.
Nutrition Missions is an app that is helpful for finding healthy food. It includes 68 “missions” of nutritional guidelines and cooking healthy food. Robert Hellestrae, the creator, received a $4,000 Gaming prize for this.
SnapFresh, created by Ysiad Ferreiras, is an SMS-based app that helps people get the most value from their food stamps. It helps find locations where food stamps can be used to buy healthy foods. Ferreiras received a cash prize of $5,000 for the Health category.
TalkChalk is making a step in education by connecting students, teachers, and parents safely on social media—such as SMS, e-mail, and Facebook. The app was created by David Simnick and Daniel Doll, who also won a $5,000 prize for the Education category.
Nick Jacobsen created MobileSaver, a bank application, and won a $5,000 Banking prize. It manages individual development accounts and helps families save and build their wealth.
Although not all low-income Americans may own smart phones, many of the apps are accessible on regular web browsers.
As consumers, this is a great thing to see. Instead of just coming out with new 3D games and social media apps, this is a refreshing and productive project. It’s very admirable to see companies working together towards a positive, efficient way of using the Internet to make our lives better.