During his speech at Mendix World today, Forrester analyst John Rymer gave four examples of mobile apps (not necessarily developed by Mendix) that show how organizations are moving quickly to dominate their particular markets and come up with some clever solutions. I have seen all four and they are among my favorite ones too.
The first is from insurance/banking powerhouse USAA. If you have ever served in the US military, or have a near relative who has, this should be the insurance company of first choice. They have the best customer service, the best rates, and they are quite innovative. They were one of the first online banking folks to allow you to scan in an image of a check to deposit it from your home PC. They have developed a mobile app to make it easier for servicemen and women to do their insurance and banking from the field, which you might imagine doesn’t have the best Internet connectivity.
Tripit.com has changed travel management. Rymer and I both use it extensively, as a way to forward all the emails we get from the travel companies in a dossier and it is all stored up in the cloud. They also make their app very easy to use so you can track where you are going to be traveling and who among your contacts will be nearby. I have a wide base of contacts and don’t always remember where someone is actually physically located, so Tripit helps a great deal to stay in touch with people that I have met over the years.
What I found astonishing is how many third-party add-ons they have included in their site, as you can see with the screen shot above.
Rymer’s third app is the Nike FuelBand which he uses to track his training and workouts.The sensor records things like blood pressure and heartbeats and uploads them to the cloud for future reference. A great example of how a physical object and a Web-based service can work together.
Finally, there is the story of Tesco, a Korean store that uses QR codes on an electronic display board. They have become the leading grocery retailer with far fewer stores because of their use of this technology to make it easier for shoppers to pick their groceries before even entering their stores, as this YouTube video shows.