Nextury Ventures, a venture capital fund, organised a competition for programmers of Android in June. The participants in the Nextury Challenge competition had to create a mobile application that would work on the Android platform and change people’s habits connected with reading and seeking news on the Internet. Thirty teams expressed their willingness to compete, and fifteen prototypes of the application were created. The commission decided that the best application was created by the Next Hop team. It was awarded a 2,900 euro prize and the fund’s 29,000 euro investment.
The winning team, Next Hop, was the only team to offer a solution based on a general analysis of the interests of consumers. In the opinion of the commission, this kind of analysis could provide better customisation of news feeds. In comparison, other algorithms provided for the competition were based on semantic text analysis and categorisation of news. “We hope that Next Hop creators will continue to develop and improve this system and that they will succeed in commercialising it in the future,” Ilja Laurs, founder of an independent mobile phone application store GetJar and Nextury Ventures, said.
According to Jurijus Laneckis, leader of the Next Hop team and co-founder of PriceOn, the prototype for the mobile software submitted to the competition allows news feeds to be customised by analysing the browsing habits of visitors to the news portal. The news provision system generates and selects the flow of news for consumers according to their habits, i.e. the news articles that they read earlier. Customised selection is performed from all news data. The software also allows using other customisation tools, i.e. links that have been visited, articles that have been read, articles that have been commented on, recommended articles, etc.