DonationCoder started a competition in June 2008 looking to recruit some fresh new blood apps, and it’s come to a close with the winner taking home a copy of Microsoft Visual Studio Team Suite with an MSDN Premium subscription. That prize is worth over $10,000, and as you can imagine some great apps came out of the contest. The winner managed to create two different apps, both of which are fresh new concepts.

The best part is that the two programs, aside from being free, are also open source. So if you’re a coder you can check to see just how the developer was able to create the programs.

–Webcam Signature (Homepage)–

This project originally started out as a way to use your hands to control the mouse via a webcam. The developer couldn’t get it to work the way he wanted it to, and decided to go a different route. The end result is a way to use a webcam to track an object, such as a flashlight, and have the computer translate that into a mouse movement.

Right now the program is still in the early stages, but it is good for a few things. First it can be used to create a digital signature that can be saved as an image or copied into a different program. Secondly you can control your computer with it.

To start drawing a signature, or simulate a click, you’ll need to press the Control or Shift key on your keyboard. Hopefully in the future the developer will find a way to simulate a mouse click without needing the keyboard, but in the meantime you’ll need to use the keyboard to do that. Here’s a quick video demonstration showing how it all works:

–Circle Dock (Homepage)–

The second program created by the same developer is a circular/spiral dock that places shortcuts around your mouse cursor. This is a lot different from the conventional docks we’re used to seeing, but it makes a lot of sense. Here are some of the features it has:

  • Drag and drop your files, folders, and shortcuts onto a circular or spiral dock.
  • Rotate the dock with either your mouse wheel or the keyboard arrow keys.
  • Change the image shown for the icons and change the skins (compatible with icons and skins for Rocket Dock, Object Dock, etc.)
  • Ability to run the program from a portable USB memory stick and have the links in the dock point to the documents on the USB memory stick.
  • Ability to synchronize the links on the dock with the files, folders, and shortcuts on your desktop or other folders in real-time.
  • The dock appears where your mouse is by pressing a hotkey.
  • Works on computers with multiple monitors.

Sounds cool, right? Here’s a video of how it works:

Kudos to the developer for putting so much work into providing these two free apps, and I can’t wait to see how they continue to develop.

Thanks for the tip Yansky!