HarperCollins revealed the winners of its BookSmash Challenge, a contest that invited developers to create new digital products that "re-imagine the book."
The grand prize winner was Connections, an author and book discover app in which readers find authors that share similar identities, experience, locations, and topics. The app allows users to create a personalized reading list of books by writers with similar backgrounds and experiences.
Connections was developed by education startup Qlovi, with a team consisting of Stephen Ahn, Harlyn Pacheco and Ricardo Rodriguez. The developers of Connections were awarded a prize of $15,000.
“I was intrigued by the innovative approach to book discovery presented by the Connections app. Relating to a book’s author is yet another inspired way for consumers to find and read books that appeal to them,” said HarperCollins chief digital officer Chantal Restivo-Alessi.
The runner-up prize of $8,000 went to Readsenses, which offers book recommendations based on the news users read, articles shared, and content viewed online. Readsenses was developed by a team of two, consisting of Ahmed El Kholy and Tarek El-Elaimy. The winners of The BookSmash Challenge were selected from a total of 20 submissions.
BookSmash Explorer took home the popular choice prize, determined by votes from the public. The app serves as a reader, while providing easy access to reviews, information about the author, and integration with social media. BookSmash Explorer was created by Robert Oschler, who received a prize of $2,000.
Click here to view all entries in the BookSmash Challenge.