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AZ Tech Beat | March 30, 2017

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Phoenix Smart City App Hack winner heads to Barcelona

Phoenix Smart City App Hack winner heads to Barcelona
Tishin Donkersley

Last night five app makers pitched their businesses to a panel of local influencers in the tech space all vying for the opportunity to represent the City of Phoenix in Barcelona at the Smart City Expo in November.

The mission of the Phoenix Smart City App Hack was to help solve five of the main urban problems: energy and emissions, urban mobility, urban shopping and retail, culture and tourism, and the collaborative city.

The winner was ParkX. They walked off the stage with $3,000 and their ticket to Barcelona where they will pitch in front of the international community next month.

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Developed by two UA graduates, ParkX allows motorists to pay for parking directly from their smartphone. The app sends reminders and alerts when the meter is about up and allows users to add money to the meter. Geo-location services allows the app to send hyperlocal coupons from local businesses to the user. Fees run between $0.25 and $0.33 per transaction and are passed on to the user.

Upcoming features to ParkX include finding parking and paying for parking permits and citations through the app. The company also offers a customizable white-label solution for cities.

At the event, ParkX announced they signed an agreement with the City of Phoenix for their meters; currently they are up and running in Tucson, El Paso and Corpus Christy.

As a bonus for all app makers, Co+Hoots co-founder Jenny Poon, gave all finalists three months of free co-working space and six months to ParkX. At the event she announced the expansion of Co+Hoots into a 14,000 space, coming soon.

Other finalists and new announcements from their companies include:

Synergy AZ – This app is designed for users to promote their civic projects and connect to volunteers. This company started at Co+Hoots and is now a cohort at SeedSpot. Using Facebook authentication, people can recruit volunteers for projects through the app. Future plans of the company include selling a white-label version to companies and organizations to connect people to their projects.

HER – Think Siri meets Amazon. The company HumansFirst built a cloud-based natural language mapping e-commerce platform where one can use their voice to go on a shopping spree. The company claims to be more accurate than Siri because they assign key values (as they don’t need to search the world) and their the use of voice biometrics. If you want to purchase a pair of sunglasses, simply talk into the app, select, and checkout.

The company announced they now have a partnership with LYFT; if you want to order a ride, simply use your voice through the HER app and a driver will show up. They have also integrated the app with smart devices and appliances. Version 2.0. comes out on Nov. 14 with the ability to price comparison shop. HER is a Tallwave portfolio company. Visit Hershoppingapp.com.

Bloodhound – It’s Tile for the human or four-legged friend. The original design for the gadget was used for those suffering from dementia or diagnosed with a mental disability, they want to expand to missing pets. Using beacon technology, the Bluetooth gadget is placed on the individual and if they go missing, it will send alerts to the app on ones’ phone if they are within 50 feet of the person. The company looks to competitively price the item at $9.99 for consumers.

Bus Plus – This transportation app helps commuters track buses in real-time and other technical info such as speed, bus number, route number and arrival time estimates. Future features include: rider feedback, arrival time estimates, geo-advertising and distance walk or bike time to the bus stop.

Read all our coverage of the PHX Smart City Hack here.