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Article updated: 4/18/2013 3:06 PM

Elgin firm launches app for gluten-free needs

By Anna Marie Kukec

A delayed flight during a family vacation sparked the idea for a new app.

Charles Falls was on his way home and waiting for his plane in Miami with his family. To kill time, they looked for something to eat.

But his daughter, who has Celiac disease and cannot have any foods made with wheat or even prepared near wheat, had a tough time finding gluten-free offerings using her iPhone.

When he returned home, Falls started to think about how to make it easier for gluten-free dieters to find places to eat that are also free of so-called cross-contamination of wheat in the kitchens. That's when he started developing Alex's Gluten Free Spots app under his Elgin-based DC Interactive Group, a web design and marketing firm.

"We've produced apps before, but I asked my daughter what she would do differently," he said.

The new app is now available for free for about 3 to 6 months in the iTunes Store. Afterward, Falls may charge $1 for a download. An app for Android phone users may come later, Falls said.

You can search nationwide for a restaurant that has gluten-free offerings, add new spots, save your favorites and rate restaurants. Listings will be updated automatically for users, Falls said.

Surfing: Entrepreneur Adam Fried has released a new free mobile application called Pixuru, which allows you to use your iPhone to produce high-quality wall art. It's available in the App Store. Pixuru will be available for Android by early summer. You can send photos directly to Pixuru's printing facility, choose the size and type of print, such as canvas, metal or wood, and receive the order within a few days. Fried was born and raised in Deerfield and now lives in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago.

ŸT-Mobile USA Inc. said the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available online at www.T-Mobile.com beginning April 24 for just $149.99 down -- plus monthly device payments -- for customers with the new Simple Choice Plan. Total price: $629.99.

ŸRealView LLC, a provider of mobile inspection and emergency preplan software, said he village of Niles will use its CommandScope All Hazards Pre-Plan program. The program provides all of the data required by first responders, including building construction, fire protection information, site plans, floor plans, utility shut-offs, hazardous material details, maps, photos, fire hydrant locations and more when going to an emergency. This building information enables first responders to act with knowledge so they can respond quickly and accurately, saving time and potentially lives.

ŸFollow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at akukec@dailyherald.com.

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