New mobile apps disrupting shopping, credit card payments, translation services

By Dennis Clemente

Five mobile app startups, Canopy Apps, CardFlight, Pickie, Viewfinder and Visiware presented their apps to 80 attendees at the NY Mobile Forum last November 4 at the AOL offices. Three startups, CardFlight, Pickie and Viewfinder, have received million-dollar funding in the past year or so.

Developers may like the fact that CardFlight can create a branded app and take in-person credit card payments within iOS and Android apps.

How does it work? It allows developers to use CardFlight’s encrypted mag stripe reader and SDK/API, so they can securely accept card present payments in their apps with support for virtually any payment processor or merchant account.

The company received $1.6 million in funding mainly from ff Venture Capital, with other investments coming from Payment Ventures Apostolos Apostolakis, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Plug & Play Ventures, and Great Oaks Venture Capital.

Elie Toubiana, senior sofware engineer and Natalio Tango, business development manager, presented the open platform for mobile payment. “We provide the hardware. You add a few lines of code. We support your processor,” Toubiana said.

New York-based Pickie presented next with its iPad shopping app that also features content from its own editorial team. It’s a personalized catalog with a magazine feel.

How does it work? The app scans Pinterest and Twitter for product recommendations on personal car or fashion. It then allows you to click to go to a retailer’s site and buy an item without leaving the app.

Co-founder Sonia Sahney Nagar said women are its core audience but it is also targeting businesses looking for a white label solution. “We’re looking for 3 to 6 partners.”

Viewfinder presented next with ex-Googler and co-founder Spencer Kimball showing how the photo organization utility has a built in private social network functionality.

The app shows how users can quickly share photos with friends who can then comment on the items as well as search through its photo collection.

In demonstrating the app, the Viewfinder dial or jump scroll got most of the people’s attention. You can use dial to see location and date. You can sort through photos “Google-like,” in the sense that it locates photos easily, from what we saw. But it will certainly need to scale faster in a crowded category.

Another ex-Googler came by way of Jerrit Tan of Canopy Apps who came with Justin Mazzocchi, previously from Raj Jhaveri, not present, completes this young team looking to replace archaic phones used in hospital translation services.

Tan showed how his app contains pre-translated phrases and if that doesn’t work, there’s a way to call a telephone interpreter right from the app. “It’s a high tech way of integration to a low-cost solution.”

Tan said the idea came from his parents who are not well-versed in English. Also upon studying the market, he learned that the United States spends $5 billion a year in translation services. “We have signed up Mt. Sinai Hospital.”

Next up was Harris Larney of Visiware, a provider of second screen and gaming solutions and technologies since 1995 in Europe with a global reach that reportedly extends across 70 countries and 30 operators.

Not exactly a startup but new in the United States, Visiware’s products include its PlayAlong™ platform, which allows TV producers and networks to launch social applications such as games and interactions synched with major broadcast programs.

With Visiware, he said millions of TV viewers can simultaneously participate during a TV show via the web, their iPhone, iPad or even through Facebook. Its clients include NFL, ESPN and Disney.

The NY Mobile Forum is hosted by Amanda Moskowitz.

Dennis Clemente

Shuttling between New York and other US cities, Dennis writes about tech meetups when he's not too busy working as a Web Developer/Producer + UX Writer and Digital Marketer.

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