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Emergency text application for brgys wins hackathon

/ 06:43 AM October 14, 2013

A TEXT messaging or SMS 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) of Smart Communications Inc. 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 applications created on the spot during the SMS.API(fied) hackathon.

Residents can use the application to request help from barangay officials during emergencies or calamities.

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Each team worked on an application using the Youphoric SMS API, a new and free platform that allows developers to quickly 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 which take weeks or even months to program.

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.”

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