DiGi challenge sees lots of ideas for social apps

  • Challenge for Change program seeks to engage Malaysians to work on social innovations that would benefit society
  • 2,000 mobile Internet ideas submitted by students, NGOs, app developers and the public

DiGi challenge sees lots of ideas for social apps

           [Picture above shows DiGi executives and Challenge for Change partners with the winners]

CELLULAR operator DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd has announced the winners of the ‘ideation’ phase of its Challenge for Change program, including two ‘surprise wildcard ideas’ in addition to the five planned category winners.
These winners were selected from close to 2,000 mobile Internet ideas submitted by a pool of students, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), app developers and the general public, the company said in a statement.
DiGi said it began the Challenge for Change corporate responsibility program to engage Malaysians to work on Internet-based social innovations that would benefit society. The year’s challenge was based on the theme “Bringing Malaysians Together, One App at a Time.”
The ‘ideation’ phases kicked off late last November, when Malaysians aged 12 years and above were encouraged to submit good ideas that could be turned into mobile apps at http://www.dgcfc.my/.
“The winning ideas best captured the value of ‘bringing Malaysians together, one app at a time’,” said Christian Thrane, chief judge and DiGi’s chief strategy and corporate affairs officer.
“These ideas demonstrated clarity of expression, innovation, originality and viability, and sustainability in using the mobile Internet platform,” he added.
The panel of judges first selected the top five winning ideas from an initial shortlist of 30. Due to the quality of ideas submitted, the judges decided to recognize two additional winners, DiGi said.
“These app ideas have real potential for commercialization and adoption. What particularly impressed us about the two wildcard ideas was the prospect of these ideas becoming apps that serve a greater social need,” said Thrane.
The winners who will receive RM5,000 and a smartphone package are:
Discover Together
This category is about unearthing and sharing information about destinations to visit, interesting cultural practices, unique events and the discovery of new shops that have become famous, including popular “makan” places.
The winner was Low Chin Leong for ‘Classic New Game’. an app that transforms traditional Malaysian games into mobile games (i.e. Dam Aji, Congkak, Baling Selipar, etc.) and brings people together to compete from their mobile phones.
“I did not expect to win when I submitted my idea. I hope this app will help ensure Malaysians rediscover the joy of our traditional games and keep our heritage very much alive,” said the 21 year-old from Taiping.
Healthier Together
Ideas in this category focused on getting Malaysians young and old to come together for various forms of sports, games, exercise and healthy eating habits.
The winner was Nicholas Khooi for ‘Smart Reminder,’ an app that serves as an easy-to-use reminder tool for older family members to self-medicate punctually.
“I am thankful that my idea has been recognized. I hope this app will benefit all who are on regular medication,” said the 17 year-old college student from Sungai Siput.
Working  Together
This category was for mobile apps that encourage Malaysians to collaborate and improve their productivity using mobile apps.
The winner was Ong Sze Tek for ‘My Neighbourhood,’ an app that functions as a notification bulletin board, aimed at re-creating the 'Rukun Tetangga' (neighborhood watch) sense of belonging among urban communities.
“It’s easily accessible and neighbors can interact and keep updated on the latest happenings in the community with the touch of a button,” said the 29 year-old sales and marketing executive from Kuching.

Learning Together
This category embraces the concept of lifelong learning and seeks ideas to foster learning techniques, anytime, anywhere using mobile apps.

The winner was Michelle Fung for ‘Earth’s Green Heroes,’ a gamification app that enables people to gain points for recycling goods.

“There is an app for almost everything these days so why not an app that rewards users for recycling? I am thrilled my idea has been noticed and can’t wait to see how the app turns out,” said the 24 year-old lawyer from Sibu.
Sharing Together
This category seeks ideas that help Malaysians live better lifestyles and foster the spirit of community, including green living, shopping deals, neighborhood safety, sharing community facilities, and more.
The winner was Siva Kumar for ‘Greetings Manager,’ an app that organizes mobile contacts according to their festival groups and reminds you to personalize greetings to them using set templates.
“Malaysians on average celebrate at least two festivals if not more. This app helps users make sure that no one in their phone book is forgotten during festive periods,” said the 37-year-old project manager from Shah Alam.
Klang-based 41-year-old engineer Leow Aik Peng also won a prize for ‘Social Blood Drive,’ a gamification location-based app to assist hospitals and establishments on blood donation campaigns, and rewards responsible donors who step up to help those in need of transfusions.
The other wildcard winner was 29-year-old web designer Mohd Eskandarian Mirza from Puching, whose ‘Futsal 5ive’ allows users to join existing futsal teams, organize matches with other futsal teams in the neighborhood and records their performance into the app for comparison. The app can also be the scoreboard for all Malaysian Futsal Teams.
DiGi challenge sees lots of ideas for social appsNext stage
DiGi’s Thrane (pic) said, “The submissions show that Malaysians recognize the power of mobile Internet and mobile apps in driving personal and socio-economic growth.”
“I look forward to see how the ideas will flourish in the vibrant local content and developer ecosystem during the App Development challenge,” he added.
The App Development phase of DiGi Challenge for Change 2012 is now open. App developers are invited to participate in a hackathon to develop mobile apps of the winning ideas. These apps will be available for download and review by the public before the Challenge closes on May 22.
The most popular and relevant apps relating to each of the seven winning ideas, based on the judges’ decision, will win this challenge.
DiGi will further support these winning apps by promoting them to its 5.7 million mobile Internet users across its various customer touch points, and through its partnerships with Microsoft Malaysia, Google Malaysia, MDeC’s ICONApps platform and selected platforms under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
The Hackathon will be held from March 22 to 24 at DiGi’s headquarters in Shah Alam. For more information on how to participate, visit http://www.dgcfc.my/.

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