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Five Southeast Michigan-made mobile apps to watch for

UpTo App Social Calendar for iPad and Android

Michigan is known for motors, but these five apps would like it be known for mobile apps as well.

Xconomy Mobile Madness Motor City check in sign In an afternoon filled with tech talk ranging from advancements in mobile app technology in cars to mobile security and even talks about batteries, Xconomy introduced to the crowd a host of interesting speakers. The very last segment of the event was dedicated to those with an entrepreneurial spirit. These five companies are all from Michigan and are trying to make the lives of people easier in this increasingly more mobile world.


Greg Schwartz, the CEO of UpTo, would like its app to become the social media app focused on the future. Upto integrates with your existing calendar so it is easy to save events or to share them with other people.  So far it has more than 1,000 threads of events from professional sports teams to concerts in your area (as well as a partnership with Ticketmaster). You can find UpTo in the iTunes App Store, or in the Google Play.


iRule was developed after CEO Itai Ben-Gal got fed up with the price of high-end home remote systems. He wanted to make a remote control system that could use your smart phone or tablet.  If technical jargon gives you a headache (like me) you can contact one of iRule’s independent integrators to set up your universal remote.  There are two different packages customers can choose from. The basic package is $49.99, and the pro package is $99.99. The app is available in both of the iTunes and Google Play app stores.


SafetyGrid is a silent alarm similar to one at a bank. Jim Hankins believes his app could help in situations where you need to be discrete like a kidnapping or home invasion. The basic app for iPhone and iPad is 99 cents in the iTunes App Store; you can also add a 24-hour monitoring service through GEOS for $7 a month.  While calling 911 should be the first thing you do in an emergency, sometimes that is not possible and this app is there to help.

Protean Payment

The people behind Protean Payment want to change the way people use their wallets. They are currently in the process of developing a payment card made of flexible glass called Echo. It works along with an application on your phone that stores all of your card information. The Echo card then uses the Bluetooth chip inside to link with the application on your phone. The Echo card is expected to make its debut sometime in 2013.

Detroit Bus Company

I know the last four companies have been mobile based, but hear me out. For the past year Detroit Bus Company has made it easier for people to get from point A to point B with its graffiti-covered buses.  But this isn’t your regular bus.

Not only can you track each bus, but you can text, Tweet, call or Instagram them and they will keep you in the loop. These services keep people from having to wait long periods of time for a bus.  The Detroit Bus Company is pivoting its services away from their previous downtown weekend loop service and planning on offering a Detroit to Hamtramck (HAMDOT) bus and evaluating a west side connection to downtown from the Plymouth/Canton and Northville area as well as other ideas. You can find out more information (and take their surveys) on the Detroit Bus Company website.

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5 comments on “Five Southeast Michigan-made mobile apps to watch for

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