There are no active ads.

Advertisement

App Quest 3.0 Kicks Off, And We’re Judging the Best Apps!

by Todd Haselton | November 12, 2014November 12, 2014 8:00 am PDT

nyc

Last year I had the privilege to represent TechnoBuffalo helping to judge the best applications developed for MTA-AT&T App Quest, an annual event and an AT&T initiative that seeks out the best applications that help commuters who travel on New York City’s public transit lines. That included a hackathon in May, during which SubCulture.FM took home a $5,000 prize, and a final $20,000 award in September to CityMapper, now a hugely popular application on both iOS and Android. We’re back this year to judge again, and App Quest 3.0 kicks off today.

As time progresses, so has the technology that’s available to developers. MTA-AT&T App Quest 3.0 will include new data sets from the MTA and AT&T that developers can take advantage of, including train departure times, on-time statuses and track assignments for Metro-North and the LIRR. Additionally, the MTA is providing historical bus data that was gathered every 30 seconds for more than 3 months, and historical subway data from the 1,2,3,4,5,6 and L subway lines, 42nd Street Shuttle and Staten Island Railway every five minutes. The data will enable app developers to potentially create new and more accurate transit apps for commuters, but there’s more.

“The continued expansion of underground connectivity in addition to the wealth of information available to the MTA provides us with the opportunity to use technology to enhance the daily experience of millions of transit riders and AT&T is excited to be a leader in these efforts,” MTA chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast told TechnoBuffalo. “The innovative solutions that have been developed as part of App Quest in previous years have greatly benefited New Yorkers and we look forward to seeing the ideas created with the new data being provided to developers.”

MTA-AT&T App Quest 3.0 will also provide developers with the use of wireless beacons from Transit Wireless, the same company that has helped outfit subways with wireless connectivity in partnership with U.S. wireless carriers such as AT&T. If a user opts-in, beacons could allow a user to see where he or she is in a subway station much more accurately. If implemented properly by an enterprising developer during the contest, this could also potentially open up new accessibility options for the handicapped, particularly if an app is able to dig into the beacon data to provide voice-guided navigation for handicapped users.

TechnoBuffalo was joined on the panel by Marissa Shorenstein, AT&T’s New York State President, who is also helping to judge this year’s competition. “The continued expansion of underground connectivity in addition to the wealth of information available to the MTA provides us with the opportunity to use technology to enhance the daily experience of millions of transit riders and AT&T is excited to be a leader in these efforts,” Shorenstein told TechnoBuffalo. “ The innovative solutions that have been developed as part of App Quest in previous years have greatly benefited New Yorkers and we look forward to seeing the ideas created with the new data being provided to developers.”

We’re excited and honored to be a part of MTA-AT&T App Quest 3.0 for a second year, and on behalf of TechnoBuffalo, I can’t wait to see what sorts of new apps are developed this year. Beacon technology is particularly impressive, and I hope developers use it to help me find my way around crowded and sometimes confusing stations, but that’s selfish of me. These apps can be potentially much more powerful than anything I can imagine. From helping blind people navigate stations easier to keeping you out of the cold at a bus stop on a rainy day, the opportunities are endless.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement