Coders Hunker In Brooklyn Bunker To Come Up With The Next Great MTA App

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UPDATE May 6: 05 p.m.: See below for a bit more detail on the winners with links.

About 300 software developers spent the weekend together in a large room on the NYU-Polytechnic campus in downtown Brooklyn, all competing for three prizes in an MTA app contest.

First place, and a $5,000 prize from event sponsor AT&T, went to an app that would let riders scan a subway musician's QR code to get more information about their music. Second place went to an app called Subway Sheriff that would allow riders to use their phone to report problems on their commute, like broken subway turnstiles. And third place went to an app that would use voice commands and other signals to guide visually impaired riders through the transit system.

A second round of the competition, with $40,000 in prizes, will be held in August.


UPDATE: Here is a bit more detail on the winning apps. 

  •  Grand Prize ($5,000) was awarded to SubCulture.FM, which would allow MTA customers to identify their favorite subway musicians that perform in the NYC subway area, locate them, and buy their singles. Featured subway performers can sign up and be assigned a unique QR code that will be linked to downloadable links to their music.
  •  Second Prize ($3,000) was awarded to MTA Sheriff, an app that would allow subway riders to submit and view reports about current subway conditions and concerns.
  •  Third Prize ($2,000) was awarded to Accessway, a mobile way-finding app that would help visually-impaired or wheelchair-assisted individuals navigate the subway. The app incorporates text-to-speech technology and pulls real-time service status updates from MTA timetables.