The RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown received 41 submissions. Innovators from all industries were encouraged to submit their family history related ideas for unique hardware, software apps, or services in the contest.
I eagerly looked at all of the submissions. Here are the ones that stood out:
Cuzins – see how you’re related to friends and celebrities and how celebrities are related to each other
Little Family Tree – This app was submitted last year but has new games, including water coloring pages created from family photos. My 3-year-old daughter enjoys this game and I love seeing her interact with the photos of our relatives pulled from FamilySearch.
The Family Nexus – A mobile app that plots family history events and locations on a google map and alerts you when you’re near a place special to your family history
Genquizitive – interactive social game that allows users to challenge each other to genealogy quizzes
RootsFinder – a tree building platform that integrates video, social media, and research challenges to appeal to younger audiences
Double Match Triangulator – combines two different people’s Chromosome Browser Results files from FamilyTreeDNA to provide Double Match and Triangulation data that can be used to help determine genealogical relationships
Long Lost Relatives – uses a person’s DNA relative matches from 23andMe’s API and adds them to FamilySearch’s shared family tree service
Kindex – collaborative indexing – learned about them at the last RootsTech conference and was very impressed
CSI: Crowd Sourced Indexing – a tool for groups to set up indexing projects
QromaTag – seeks to solve the problem of adding metadata to photos using voice recording
weGather – new app from Rachel LeCour Nieson of #savefamilyphotos on Instagram for preserving metadata for family photos and collaborating with family members to reminisce about the photos
PostcardTree – a website to search for ancestors in digitized postcards
Lifey – Helps you organize a video interview with relatives into sections/tabs and small clips
Pass It Down – website and app that simplifies writing personal history for yourself and others with prompts called “pathways”
Emberall – Allows cousins to collaborate on video interviews with grandma without duplicating the same questions
Generation Story – An iPhone app that helps you organize your heirlooms and keep track of the stories that go along with them.
JoyFLIPS – an iPhone app for preserving family photos that provides historical context
Project Life – a scrapbooking app that streamlines memory book making
ColorFuel – software that colorizes black and white photographs
Champollion – sets the digitized image of a historical document next to its transcription to aid in transcription and analysis
Old News USA – this mobile app helps you search the newspapers at the Library of Congress Chronicling America website and gives suggestions for newspapers near your ancestors’ location. It also saves your research goals and search history.
It’s exciting to see at all the submissions! I’ve already downloaded Old News USA and can’t wait to get started using it to make discoveries about my ancestors in newspapers.
If you were going to start using one of these innovations today, which would it be?
The semi-finalists have already been announced and you can see them here. The finalists will compete for $100,000 in prizes as they pitch their ideas on stage before a live audience on Friday, February 10, 2017 at 10:30 am MST at RootsTech. The judges for the showdown have also been announced, and include Alan Doan, John Richards, Amy Rees, Kenyatta Berry, and Thomas McEntee. It looks like a well qualified group.
Thank you to all the family history innovators out there!