Emergency SMS app for barangays wins Smart hackathon-A A +A
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
AN SMS or text messaging application designed to help barangay officials and their communities during emergencies won the top prize at a recent hackathon organized by the Smart Developer Network (SmartDevNet), the developer community program of Smart Communications, Inc., (Smart) and mobile content startup Youphoric Labs.
Bilis Aksyon, developed by IT professionals Allan Danos and Erwin Quinto of Team 98, was judged the best among the 10 SMS apps created on the spot during the hackathon.
Each team worked on an app using the Youphoric SMS API, a new and free platform that allows developers and even non-techies to quickly and easily launch SMS-based apps.
Youphoric Labs developed the API with the technical guidance of SmartDevNet.
API, which stands for application programming interface, is a set of tools and protocols for creating software apps. Youphoric SMS API simplifies app development by virtually removing most of the hard coding part of the process. Users can skip the codes that take weeks or even months to program. The platform also allows developers to readily launch SMS services to the more than 70 million subscribers of Smart, Talk ‘N Text, and Sun Cellular.
“Youphoric SMS API does the heavy lifting. It would have taken us one week to finish Bilis Aksyon instead of just five hours if not for this API,” Quinto said.
As a platform for incident-reporting, Bilis Aksyon is designed as a quick-response tool for barangay leaders and their community. Ordinary citizens can use this app to alert or request help from barangay officials during emergencies or calamities.
For topping the competition, the duo of Quinto and Danos was awarded three units of O+ smartphones, three power banks, one Smart Prepaid LTE pocket wifi, and startup mentorship plus a month-long stay at Palet Express, a startup incubator-accelerator that also provides working space.
Fortuna by Team Wildfire placed second. The app for facilitating donations and charities through prepaid load was developed by GR Encarnacion, Joel Bordeos, and Andrew James Ramirez. The sMSME (SMS in micro, small and medium enterprises) app by Team sMSME bagged the third spot.
Aldrin Bautista, Raven Lagrimas and Nino Eclarin’s app helps small businesses upgrade their service and clients’ user experience.
Smart developer evangelist Paul Pajo said companies could become more efficient and profitable using the Youphoric SMS API. “Through this platform, it will take just a few moments for anyone in the Philippines to launch their own campaigns and create an immediate feedback mechanism. It also allows people who use the platform the ability to monetize the services they create.”
With Youphoric SMS API, even non-programmers can easily deploy SMS-based apps for subscriptions, trivia contests, notifications, customer service, information on demand, polling, coupon subscriptions, coupon pulls, and promos. Those who intend to launch SMS-based promos will still need to get permits from the Department of Trade and Industry.
Ann Jacobe, Youphoric Labs chief executive officer, said, “Before, the long process discouraged a lot of developers, brands and agencies from launching their app. Now, you can launch your SMS app in a matter of minutes. Youphoric Labs is the first content provider to offer this service. We’ve taken the bite out of setting up and running an SMS service, making it accessible to everyone.” (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 09, 2013.