All-Pinoy group develops localized rain data app

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WONDERING if it will rain? There's an app for that.

A group of Filipino developers have launched a smartphone app that provides real-time data on the chance of rain in every Philippine city.

Dubbed as RaincheckPH,the app provides alerts on whether it will rain in your city within four hours.

Using more than 700 weather sensors throughout the country, the application also aims to give other accurate weather information including temperature, rainfall, wind speed and weather conditions in a way that is easy for the public to understand. The first edition of RaincheckPH covers about 70 cities around the country, including cities in Metro Manila, and key cities like Cebu and Davao.

RaincheckPH utilizes the most accurate and advanced weather technology from Project NOAH of the DOST.

Subsequent versions of the app will have real-time alerts on class or work suspension in the user's chosen location.

Dr. Mahar Lagmay, the chief of Project NOAH said one of the main criticisms of their website and smartphone application was that the information was hard for the public to understand.

He said during the press conference on Tuesday at SM Megamall in Pasig City that the new app would bridge the gap between the information Project NOAH provides and the public.

"One of the ways to make ourselves more resilient to natural hazards [is] by making use of technology, making use of science and innovating. And this is one way we can make things work," he said.

Lagmay said weather hazards were a way of life for people in the Philippines, but the app could help prevent disasters flowing from those hazards.

RaincheckPH is a way to make everybody their own "hazards manager," he said.

Benjie Fernandez, chief operating officer of applications developer Voyager Innovations Inc. said, "“We are all well aware of how destructive typhoons can get once they make landfall, as we’ve seen in what happened in the Visayas with super typhoon Yolanda."

"But we also know that even monsoon rains can cause major destruction in some parts of the country, as we’ve seen here in Metro Manila in the past few years," Fernandez added.

The application was developed by Voyager Innovations Inc., in partnership with Project NOAH and Interaksyon. Voyager is a subsidiary of Smart Communications.

Jett Angeles of Voyager said that while other countries wanted to know the current temperature, Filipinos were more interested to know whether it would rain in their area.

A version for Apple smartphone is expected to come out in early in 2014, said the representatives from Voyager. (Sunnex)

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