Magic Sudoku: Wins Golden Kitty Award for top augmented reality app in 2017

Magic Sudoku Magic Sudoku lead developer Brad Dwyer demos how the mobile app works.

For being a side project, Magic Sudoku is receiving a lot of recognition.

Last September, Brad Dwyer went through a three-week crash course in augmented reality app development, which resulted in Magic Sudoku, a mobile app that solves Sudoku puzzles using the new augmented reality features on the iPhone.

On Monday, Magic Sudoku won the Golden Kitty Award for “Top AR App” in 2017. The awards are meant as a celebration of, “Awesome products and makers” from Product Hunt.

Voting for the Golden Kitty Awards started Monday, Jan. 22 and ended Sunday, Jan. 28. The product with the largest number of upvotes in each category at the end of the voting period was crowned the winner.

Dwyer said Magic Sudoku was nominated by his friend George Jurgens and the core Hatchlings team found out they won on Monday while flying back from the Hatchlings 10th Anniversary Party in Las Vegas.

“My phone blew up with messages as soon as we landed,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer said the award they receive is literally a golden kitty. Once that arrives, they will celebrate appropriately.

“There’s a running gag with the Product Hunt guys trying to get Elon Musk to take a selfie with his two from last year,” Dwyer said.

Early days for the augmented reality industry

Magic Sudoku was developed and released by Des Moines-based Hatchlings in September of 2017. By pointing the camera at a Sudoku puzzle, the app uses Apple’s new IOS feature ARKit, “Vision” and “CoreML” to quickly analyze and fill out the blank squares.

Because of how quickly Magic Sudoku was developed and released to the market, Dwyer says it proves how early it is in the augmented reality industry.

“There aren’t really any entrenched incumbents,” Dwyer says. “All it takes to get noticed and be successful is having a novel idea with great execution. There is a ton of opportunity to help shape the industry as it expands and evolves even as a small company.”

Dwyer said that for 2018, their goal is for ten percent of Hatchlings revenue to come from their AR apps. Hatchlings has released Magic Sudoku and Nose Zone.

Dwyer said a third AR app could be released this year.

“We have a lot of irons in the fire,” Dwyer says. “We’ve definitely been working on Magic Sudoku v2 but although it has gotten a ton of critical acclaim, we haven’t cracked the business model quite yet. We’re still in the experimentation phases of augmented reality.”

Previous Coverage

Hatchlings: Celebrating a decade in 2018 – Dec. 4, 2017

Magic Sudoku: Solving puzzles with augmented reality – Sept. 25, 2017