After months of competition, IBM’s Watson Mobile Developer Challenge has come to a close with three winning developers—GenieMD, Majestyk Apps and Red Ant—set to bring their apps to market.

The winning developer teams will be granted continued access to the Watson API and a collection of tools known as “the sandbox,” consisting of the full IBM Worklight tool suite. GenieMD, Majestyk Apps and Red Ant will also continue to work with the IBM Watson Group as well as the IBM Interactive Experience team to market and commercialize their apps for consumers.

The IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge kicked off back in February. Over the past several months, submissions have been whittled down from several hundred to 25, and finally to five finalists who gave live demos of their apps to a panel of judges from IBM’s Watson Group.

(Related: Watson’s recent forays into healthcare, retail and even food trucks)

IBM’s Watson artificially intelligent supercomputer has been in development since 2005, evolving to tackle an increasingly complex set of obstacles. Since its famous “Jeopardy!” win over Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in 2011, Watson has been dipping its metaphorical toes into new industries and applications, helping to streamline productivity and provide predictive support in fields such as healthcare, online shopping, and even food production with IBM’s Cognitive Cooking program.

The Mobile Developer Challenge is part of IBM’s push to put Watson in the hands of developers to extend it to mobile and cloud-based applications.

Here’s a closer look at the winning mobile apps:


GenieMD leverages the capabilities of Watson to give patients and medical providers the ability to ask questions in natural language—free of medical jargon—to receive targeted responses and diagnoses based on the patient’s medical history. The mobile app diagnoses symptoms, finds nearby doctors or hospitals, and provides personalized information on medical conditions to the user through a personal health-management system. Integrated with the Watson API, GenieMD can browse clinical, self-reported and even health-tracking wearable data via its cloud server to ping doctors and return easy-to-understand responses to patients.


Developed by Majestyk Apps, the Friendly Anthropomorphic Networked Genome (Fang) is an educational app that aids students through a contextually interactive user experience. Children can ask exploratory questions to a stuffed animal synced to a Fang-enabled smartphone or tablet, using Watson’s text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities to search for answers to the children’s questions and respond conversationally.


Red Ant has integrated Watson into RetailOS, a mobile app that provides a real-time sales assistant for retail employees to give them expert information on every product. The app identifies a customer’s shopping preferences using e-mail addresses, Bluetooth beacons and barcode scanners to analyze a customer’s demographics, purchase history, product reviews and wish list to recommend products and price points for the salesperson to suggest.