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Finnish Grafetee providing an App platform to bookmark real-world locations for later reference and share them with friends.

August 2, 2012

It has been a while since I had a spotting published in Springwise but here it is. Click the pick to see the original spotting.

Real-world locations can be digitally bookmarked with new app

Grafetee aims to provide users with a tool for bookmarking real-world locations for later reference and sharing with friends.


Finland 25th July 2012 in Lifestyle & Leisure.

We’ve already seen a number of ways to connect physical objects to the digital world, by attaching QR code stickers or assigning items a unique digital identity. Now Finnish app Grafetee aims to provide a platform to bookmark real-world locations for later reference and share them with friends.

The free app is available to both iOS and Android smartphone users, who can build their own social feed of locations they have tagged with information – whether a good spot for food or drink, a potential house on the market or a place which holds special memories. This feed can only be seen by users’ contacts, although separate public feeds can also be created, which share location information with the entire Grafetee community. The app also offers feeds from business, which can act as a store locator or a recommended locations list. For users worried about their likes being monitored by third parties, registration is not necessary and the app can be used anonymously. For those who want to share their information, Grafetee activity can be reposted onto a linked Facebook account.

Although marketed as a social network revolving around real-world locations, it is possible that Grafetee could be used to post crime eyewitnesses, encourage citizen journalism or quickly get across information to emergency services on the ground. One to keep an eye on?


Spotted by: John Greene


Google Online Marketing Challenge a tool for Education

April 18, 2012

As part of my plan to add more to my blog besides my latest entrepreneurial spottings and details of my work and interests I thought I would start with my students assignment of my digital marketing course.

Currently in My Digital Marketing Course my student teams are taking part in Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC). Google’s explanation of GOMC in their own words:

The Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMC) is an exciting opportunity for students to experience online marketing and creating online marketing campaigns using Google AdWords & Google+. As well, students and their professors can win great prizes. Over 50,000 students from almost 100 countries have participated in past years.

With a US$250 budget provided by Google, students develop an online advertising strategy for a real business or non-profit organization that has not used AdWords in the last six months. The global winners and their professor receive a trip to the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California to meet with the AdWords team. Regional winners and their professor receive a trip to a regional Google office.

Students have been excited at the outset to try out their digital marketing skills and have been working hard on their AdWords campaigns. The excitement has been tempered at times by the hard task of selecting appropriate keywords and trying to understand how to get a better Click Through Rate CTR, how to maximise the budget as well as a returning a strong ROI.  Teams also have to meet with and discuss their proposals with real life client companies a number of which are internet startups. Client companies in turn are monitoring their website traffic and Google Analytics accounts to see if the adverts are resulting in increased traffic and use or purchase of their products and services.  We have been working in class using Google AdWords but since this is the first full class to try out GOMC (I had one team take part last year) we have still been covering other digital marketing lessons and practice and I have not covered all aspects of Google AdWords in full detail.

The plan is to use the experience of this year’s group to aid the teaching of the course next year as well as take feedback and decide if more class time needs to go toward GOMC and less on other digital marketing lessons. I will update shortly on the class progress and students experiences.

Finnish boosts presentation interaction through slides, polls & dedicated URLs

April 13, 2012

It’s been a busy time but a while back I had this spotting mentioned added to Springwise.  Click the image to go to the original spotting.

App boosts interaction at talks through dedicated URLs’s Slides and Polls app enables speakers to offer extra resources to their audience through a dedicated URL that is unique to their presentation. Simultaneously, the app will gather data and information from those in attendance.

Finland 2nd March 2012 in Marketing & Advertising.
Conference organizers already have the ShowGizmo app at their disposal to help them make their event more interactive for audience members, and now we’ve come across another app hoping to achieve a similar goal for when that audience have taken their seats.’s Slides and Polls app enables speakers to offer extra resources to their audience through a dedicated URL that is unique to their presentation, while the app simultaneously gathers data and information from those in attendance.Lecturers using Slides and Polls are able to upload their slides, images, videos and documents to a unique URL which is given out to the audience at the start of the talk. Attendees can then access all of the information being discussed in the presentation on their smartphone, tablet or laptop, enabling them to explore the content as the presentation goes on.’s app also helps speakers create their presentation and produce interactive polls, and once they have finished drafting, lecturers can practice their talk with a simulated responsive audience to get used to dealing with greater interaction. In a live setting, data from the polls is sent back to the lecturer and the app then offers tools to help them analyse it. Slides and Polls is available for USD 9.99 from the App Store and companies already taking advantage of the app include Orion, Technopolis, Korjaamo and EIT ICT Labs.
Spotted by: John Greene

Estonian Qminder App lets consumers wait in line remotely

October 17, 2011

As said in my last post, I have a few spottings lined up in Springwise and now a second spotting has appeared hot on the heels of my recent Scoopshot spotting. This time the spotting is across the water in Estonia. As per usual click the image to go to the original spotting.

App lets consumers wait in line remotely

No one likes to wait in line, well now you don’t have to, Qminderoffers a smartphone app that lets consumers wait in line remotely for just about any kind of service.

Now in beta, Estonian Qminder is a queue management system that spares consumers the need to wait in line in person, not just at hospitals and doctor’s offices, but also at banks, restaurants and stores. Consumers begin by downloading the smartphone application, which is compatible with iPhone and iPad as well as Android and Nokia devices. Once that’s done, they can “take a number” remotely, which marks their place in the virtual queue. In return, Qminder estimates how long the wait promises to be and sends a notification when the user’s turn approaches. For venue owners, the app can be used to determine when peak hours are occurring, enabling managers to better schedule extra staff. The app can also be set up to work with existing queue systems, or using a web service.

Qminder recently won the Garage48 hackathon event in Tartu. Service businesses around the globe: one to try out on your own time-strapped clientele?

Something not mentioned and perhaps not part of Qminder’s plans but one to think about. Selling your place in the queue hmmmm!


Spotted by: John Greene

Finnish Scoopshot App powers crowdsourced global news photography

October 11, 2011

I have spottings approved by Springwise for some time now, which hopefully should start appearing soon. Here is one I spotted some time ago which appeared in Springwise today. Click the pic to go to the original spotting.

App powers crowdsourced global news photography

Scoopshot is a mobile platform enabling global crowdsourced photojournalism.

Now, in Finland, a crowdsourced photography app called Scoopshotenables photographers to choose what to charge for their pictures, create professional portfolios, and receive global coverage.

Anyone can download the Scoopshot app for free to their iPhone or Android device and begin using the service by taking photos of newsworthy scenes. They can then price their photos — EUR 29 is a typical price for a news photograph worth publishing —  and post them on Scoopshot along with a sentence to explain the story. Journalists seeking photos can either set location-specific assignments, or search for photos to accompany stories by location, keywords or International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) category. Scoopshot ensures all photos on the site are fresh by removing them after 48 hours. Photographers are sent a notice to their phone if their photos are purchased, and can then transfer money earned directly to their bank account.

Freelance photographers can also create a portfolio of nine images, which are accessible to media organizations around the world, and can promote themselves using feedback from previous buyers. Scoopshot organize the publishing rights and payment, which removes the hassle for journalists and enables them to access quality images at low cost from photographers around the world. A free 48 hour trial is currently available, during which time users can browse the Scoopshot photo stream and try out the Scoopshot features.

Sourcing photos for news stories abroad can be costly and complicated, and Scoopshot seems to offer a much needed helping hand.


Spotted by: John Greene

Finnish Senseg: Replicate the feeling of texture on touchscreen interfaces

July 8, 2011


8th July 2011
Springwise has just published my latest spotting. You can review the original spotting by clicking the picture above.

Tactile sensations on-screen, no mechanical vibration required

Multitouch interfaces are becoming increasingly common in computing devices of many kinds, but most still rely on mechanical vibration to create a tactile sensation. New technology from Finnish Senseg, on the other hand, uses small electrical fields on-screen to produce a wide range of subtle sensations without the sound radiation and other unwanted side-effects that physical vibration tends to cause.Now available for early incorporation into devices large and small, Senseg’s E-Sense technology uses an electro-sensory phenomenon to replicate the feeling of texture on virtually any touch interface surface, whether it’s flat or curved, transparent or opaque. Whereas most such “haptic” implementations today use a mechanical vibration of the device to confirm a key press, for example, Senseg uses technology it calls “tixels” — short simply for “tactile pixels” — to generate a controlled electric field that extends several millimeters above the device’s surface. Tiny electrical charges are allowed to pass into the tixel elements on a localized basis without ever exposing users to any electrical current; instead, fine-tuned sensations are created on the user’s skin that can delicately replicate the feel of textures ranging from rough to smooth and sticky to slippery. Tixels are highly durable, Senseg says, and can even be incorporated into non-screen materials such as wearable fabric.With elements of hardware, software and effect design, E-Sense is provided to hardware partners through a combination of the necessary tixel laminate technology, an electronic module and software APIs. Senseg maintains offices in Helsinki and Tokyo, and demos are available; early partners include Toshiba, the company says.

Finnish Holvi offers clarified banking for groups & small business teams

June 25, 2011

My latest Springwise spotting comes from the entrepreneurial Kristoffer Lawson aka The Travelling Salesman who has made a number of inspirational guest appearances in my courses in Metropolia Business School. Kristoffer has together with his team launched a new company called Holvi.

Billed as “a revolutionary netbanking service for creative projects and group activities,” Finnish Holvi aims to serve such users with a raft of business-oriented functions. Kristoffer has noted on Holvi’s twitter account @HolviCom as regards the Springwise spotting that (though we don’t currently do small businesses — only fun projects + activity groups).

New from the founders of Scred — which I spotted and Springwise reviewed back in 2009 — Holvi aims to give small teams a better understanding of how their money is spent and received. Users can create a budget for their activities and see a graphical report of everything happening in real time, for instance. They can also build income by selling tickets and t-shirts, for example, and then see their bookkeeping updated in real time. Expense claims can be received, fully tagged and categorized, and photos of receipts can even be uploaded directly to the site. Meanwhile, users can pay bills as they would with any internet bank; every payment is tagged and automatically updated to their budget reports.

Holvi is currently in closed pilot testing. Interested users, however, can apply for early access on the site.


As usual view the original Springwise spotting by clicking the image above.