Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#RootsTech – Developer Challenge 2014

Click this image to see a short video about Saving Memories ForeverRootsTech was born partly out of a conference for software engineers. It retains that aspect today, including a contest, the Developer Challenge.

“The annual RootsTech Developer Challenge rewards developers who introduce the most innovative, new concepts to family history,” according to the RootsTech website. The challenge is to “create an application or service that introduces a compelling new concept or innovation to family history.” Winners were announced at the end of the keynote session Friday.

First prize went to “Saving Memories Forever,” a smart phone app by Harvey and Jane Baker, of St. Louis, Missouri.

“The Bakers saw that smart phones could serve as a mobile recording studio and as a tool to upload stories seamlessly to a private website,” wrote FamilySearch’s Thom Reed. “The app provides prompts and questions to encourage recording life stories and make them available for generations. It creates an easy way to connect families through the richness of voice and the warmth of storytelling.”

I ate dinner with the Bakers on Wednesday and found them to be very nice people. The Bakers won $2,000 cash and a Dell laptop computer. Click the picture above to view a 100 second introductory video of Saving Memories Forever.

Click to see a short introductory video to Find-A-Record.Second prize went to “Find-A-Record,” a creation of John Clark and Justin York of Genealogy Systems LLC in Provo, Utah. They won $1,000.

“Find-A-Record is a searchable worldwide index of records collections,” wrote Reed. “A family history researcher can enter available information about where and when their ancestors lived and discover the various record collections available. The search is integrated with popular online trees through a browser extension.” Click the picture to see a 90 second video.

Click to see a short video about PhotoFaceMatch, a technology shown at RootsTech 2014.Third prize went to PhotoFaceMatch, a technology developed by Charley Smart and Steve Miller of Eclipse Identity Recognition Corporation. PhotoFaceMatch uses facial recognition technology to compare a set of photographs of a known person against a photograph of an unidentified person and determines if there is a potential match. Third prize was $500. Click the picture to see a 90 second introductory video.

Congratulations to all who participated in this year’s Developers’ Challenge.

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