Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Four Finalists Announced by FamilySearch in Innovators Challenge

One of the most interesting parts of the #RootsTech experience has been talking to and listening to the new app developers at the BYU Family History Technology Workshop and then again with some of them at the Innovators Summit. The competition is heating up and the final four challengers were announced today at the end of the classes and during a light meal provided by the conference. Here is the announcement with descriptions of the winners so far:
Over 50 software developers from all over the world entered a challenge to create the best new innovations in family history for an opportunity to win $25,000 in awards. Today the 50 entrants were whittled down to the top four contestants in phase two of the judging round. 
The Final Four: 
ArgusSearchPlanet's magic Full Text search engine, ArgusSearch, is based on a brand new Artificial Intelligence technology (pending patent) and Planet's outstanding award winning handwriting recognition technology. It allows us to find matches for any arbitrary search request within billions of ancient documents within seconds! 
GenMarketplaceThe market that makes getting family history help easy. Genealogy requires diverse expertise. The existing professional services market focuses on people with relatively large budgets for family history.  GenMarketplace's focus is not the big project, but the small, specific job. Creating jobs is free and easy. We encourage our customers to post many jobs. Experts are able to select the jobs they find the easiest or the most intriguing, focusing on the jobs that they are best able to do. The quickest and easiest jobs will be done first at lowest cost, more difficult or tedious jobs will take longer to be selected and will cost more over time. 
LucidPressStorytelling has always been the best way to explain, to persuade, and to remember.  Lucidpress was born out of a desire to allow people to better tell their stories -- to share these stories in a rich and interactive way by taking advantage of the new technologies that today's readers expect. Rosina's story here shows how a 65 year old grandmother, Linda, can engage her young grandchildren and future generations, and explain to them the life of her great grandmother Anna Rosina. They can see pictures and maps, read Linda's story assembled through meticulous research over many years, and even see and hear their grandmother talking directly to them through videos.  Stories can now be more rich for the storyteller, and more engaging for the readers. 
StoryWorthStoryWorth is based around a very simple concept: any task is easier to accomplish if you break it into manageable chunks. Rather than asking our storytellers to write their autobiography, we email them a simple question once a week. This encourages a regular habit, and a simple email a week turns into several hundred pages of stories by the end of the first year. Watch LiveFollow the action on Friday at 10:30 a.m. MST, as we host the #InnovatorShowdown.  The final four finalists will take the stage and battle for the prize of $25,000 in awards.  The #InnovatorShowdown will be broadcast live at

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