IndiBlogger Meet – Nokia AppTasting

When: Sunday November 11, 2012 – 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Venue: ITC Gardenia, Bangalore
Hosts:
Vikas Khanna (New York based, Michelin Starred, Celebrity Chef!)
Rajiv Makhni (Popular TV anchor, one of India’s leading technology analysts, gadget guru!)

This was the first IndiBlogger meet I attended and believe me I was really excited and the event did not let me down.

The venue for the meet was ITC Gardenia one of exotic hotels in Bangalore. The time for the meet was mentioned as 5:30pm and I reached the venue around 5:15pm expecting to be among the few early birds, but to my surprise there was already a sizable number of bloggers already at the ‘Mysore Hall’.

Since I have not interacted with any IndiBlogger’s before everyone was a stranger to me. The organizers were helpful since there was soft drinks, bottled water and appetizers provided to keep everyone happy.

IndiBlogger - Nokia AppTasting Event

Around 5:45pm the main doors of the hall were finally open and we were let inside the hall. Those who had not yet registered had a opportunity to register, I was already registered but before I moved on I was provided with a card to write down a innovative idea for an app under the head ‘You Wish is My App’ contest being held by Nokia.

I filled in my app idea dropped it into the box provided and took seat at one of the tables. The arrangement was quite distinct to the other meets I have been to, this was set up more like a board meeting style. One the table I was sitting had the bloggers http://www.techtikka.com/, http://blog.pulkitanand.com/ and http://www.anupamtimes.com/. Had a good time interacting with them till the event started.

Around 6:15pm, the event finally started off with a weird kind Hurr Hurr cry and first gesture which I came to know is associated with IndiBlogger and it is the way the meeting get started. This was followed by a quick introduction about why Nokia chose to have a blogger event, incidentally this is the fourth edition of AppTasting event, the first two events were for Page3 celebrities and the third was a IndiBlogger event in Mumbai. Nokia did not have any issue in disclosing the reason for moving from Page3 celebrity event to blogger event as they feel bloggers are more expressive and give better coverage/feedback than Page3 celebrities.

Then the moment finally arrived when the two well known hosts for the event took the stage. I had seen both of them on TV earlier, Vikas in Master Chef India and Rajiv in various technology shows. Both of them started from the last row and moved towards the stage passing by almost everyone. The first feeling I had was that Rajiv was more open and free flowing anchor and Vikas was a bit held back.

Nokia AppTasting was supposed to be a combination of apps, food and wine. It had a combination of contests and apps demo.

Let me start by mentioning all the contests first and then move on to the apps. The first one was the Blogger introductions. Few bloggers were randomly picked up in groups of three and asked to mention the reason why they blogged and whose team they were Foodies or Techies and the best answer as chosen by the judges won prizes. There were many people who gave various reasons, but the blogger who goes by the alias Tiger stole the show with his words (imaginative I would say).

Quiz was the next event, for which Vikas and Rajiv created four teams of two members each from the audience. The first two round were direct questions from Rajiv and Vikas with not many questions getting passed to the audience. The final round of this event was a bit different, in this round the blindfolded contestants were asked to identify the ingredients of the soup provided to them. According to Vikas there were around 12 different ingredients which the participants would have identified. While others were able to guess around 4-5 ingredients, the winners managed to identify around 7 and walked away with cool Nokia Lumia phones!!!

One funny moment during the quiz was where in one of the contestant unaware that the mike was on, went on speaking as Vikas was asking a question to the another team, Rajiv a class act he is pulled the participant onto the center of the stage and as a punishment made her to act and speak like the quiz master and ask the question. Rajiv handled this very well, experience coming into picture.

This was followed by the a quick competition which was open to all where in we were mentioned about three objects in the hall which needed to be photographed using the mobile. The first two ‘Exit’ board and the wording on the bottled water bottle were easy guesses. But the final object put most of us on the wrong foot, it finally turned out to be the angry bird cookie.

Moving on to the apps, Rajiv showcased an app which within seconds converted any video into the Charlie Chaplin style fast motion video, it was quite funny to view and quite easy to make. To showcase this app, he called two audience members onto the stage and made them cat walk along with Vikas and on the fly captured the video and showed the output.

Next app on the cards was City Lens, which is a cool app which makes uses of GPS to show you the nearby places of interest depending on the direction in which you are pointing the mobile. This is a cool app to have in case you are in a new place. This app is unique in the way it renders the information on the screen.

Before the next app was demoed, every was provided with wine to drink, since I don’t drink I skipped it. One everyone had downed the drink, Rajiv asked who has drunk most number of glasses and called the person who pointed at 5 glasses onto the stage. He mentioned that the app would tell the user if they have alcohol limit over the prescribed limit as per law. Before starting the app required entering the details on the gender, weight and how much food the person has had. Once done the person was asked to blow into the mic piece after which the app showed the person to have alcohol levels over the prescribed limit. Though the app seems on the outset to be something which the police might happily use, I am not quite convinced it works, but as people say some apps are meant for providing information and fun.

The best and the most fun filled time came up when Rajiv and Vikas demoed the dance teaching app which showed how to perform the Gangman style dance. Around 10 participants were chosen from the audience based on whether they were Foodies or Techies without informing what was the event. Once they were on stage they were informed about it, I really appreciate the spirit of the people who found them self on stage and having to dance on the Gangman style. Both the teams performed on this and both were really good for on the fly performance and bonus points for both the hosts for joining in on stage and dancing on it.

The final event/contest was the declaration of the results for ‘Your Wish is My App’ contest. Five suggested apps were chosen as finalist. The idea which I gave did not make it to the top five, but I feel it was more practical than the ones that made to the top, what was more surprising was that the winner of the contest was an app which would let users shoot an item and find out from where they can purchase that item. This according to me is an highly futuristic idea which cannot be implemented due to technical limitations. Rajiv tried to make this point, but there were other members in the judging panel who would have like the idea from the wow! point of view. Let’s see how Nokia implements it.

Not to lose hopes, there is still opportunity for me and you all to have a shot at fame as this contest is open for every one and app ideas can be submitted at You Wish is My App.

After this announcement it was dinner time, since it was already 9:30pm, I quickly had a couple of quick bites and headed home since I use public transport to get home and it being Sunday the buses would be fewer than regular days, luckily I got one quickly and reached back home by 11pm.

To conclude it is good to see Nokia trying to promote their phone and the app space, being a Nokia user my self it was good to be a part of the whole experience. By the way my first and the only phone which I have owned in my entire life till now has been Nokia 6030 phone which I bought just before I joined my first job about 6 years back. Yes!! Six years! It been working fine without any issues, battery was the only thing which I had to replace that too just 10 months back. That is Nokia for me, so it would have been really good if I would have managed to get one of those prizes in the event.

Finally I would like to thank the IndiBlogger team for putting together such a meet, even though there were few opportunities to interact with other bloggers but overall what counts is that I meet a few new people and had 3 hours of good quality fun filled evening.

Thanks once again to IndiBlogger Team, Nokia, Rajiv and Vikas.

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