5 innovative enterprise-sanctioned B2C mobile apps

It's hard to argue with the statement that enterprises are not as innovative as startups - in fact our very first blog piece was about why NCR couldn't have thought of Square Wallet. However, every once in a while enterprises do innovate, and in rare cases they even inspire startups. Below is a list of 5 apps that have managed to do just that.

Ikea 2014 catalog: This app turns the typical catalog app available on iTunes on its head. It uses augmented reality (AR) to superimpose catalog items into the room that you are viewing through the app. The app essentially enables you to do a virtual preview of furniture in a given room, without having to buy the furniture or move the furniture around. The app is also an example where an enterprise-sanctioned app provided inspiration to a startup

Audi eKurzinfoWhen was the last time you opened the drivers manual that came with your car? Well, with this app you won't ever have to. Again using AR (and built by the same team that built the Ikea catalog app), the app enables you to learn more about a particular control in your vehicle with just a few taps on your phone. Have trouble knowing which compartment is for the coolant, engine oil, or break fluid? No problem! Just point the camera towards it and the app provides you with the information you need.

Nike+ Fuel Band: Yes, we know its not the app by itself that makes the Nike+ Fuel Band magical, but the overall product. To those of you that have lived under a rock for the last few years, the app works in conjunction with the Nike+ Fuel Band, and allows you to track everything from how long you sleep, to how intensely you perform physical activities. Set at the intersection of both the quantified self and wearable tech movements, the product has the potential to change how Nike views itself as a company - transforming from a sports accessories company to a tech company.

Iron Man 3 - JARVIS: A Second Screen Experience: Every entertainment major in the US is looking to build a second screen experience for everything from popular TV shows to sporting events, but few get it right. Marvel got it right with Iron Man 3. Per one of the reviewers, the app makes you feel like you are sitting next to Tony Stark on his couch and you have the remote for his TV. Using the voice of Paul Bettany (the voice of JARVIS) adds to the realism. In the not too distant future studios might look at licensing out actor voices for apps like Siri, in much the same way as they do with skins and wallpapers today.

TurboTax SnapTax: From the insanely fun to the insanely boring! The reality is that taxes are a part of life, and since you have no choice but to do them, then you might as well get them out of the way as quickly as possible. This app allows you to do just that. Take a picture of your W-2, answer a few simple questions, e-file securely from your phone or tablet, and viola you don't have to worry about Uncle Sam for a whole year. OK, maybe its a bit more complicated than that in reality, but by all accounts it is a step up from scanning your W2 and filing it through a web browser.