Student project that lets you monitor, control lights, appliances via phone wins SWEEP awards

A SYSTEM that allows homeowners to monitor and control lights and electrical appliances in their homes from anywhere via mobile technology won the 9th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards last Thursday in Dusit Hotel in Makati City.

Colegio De San Juan Letran’s SMS.AWT: Switching and Monitoring System Using Android in Wireless Technology was picked the best among the 10 finalists that made it to the finals of the nationwide search for student applications with the theme “Technology in Nation-Building.”

The student team, led by 5th year computer engineering student Frances Marie Kagahastian, won P500,000 in cash and an equivalent amount in grants for the school. The team won an additional P50,000 for the Ericsson Networked Society Award.

Frances Marie Kagahastian of Colegio De San Juan Letran receives her award for winning the top prize in the 9th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards. With her are (from left) PLDT-Smart public affairs head Ramon Isberto, PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT and Smart chairman Manny Pangilinan, her teacher-mentor, an official from the Department of Science and Technology, PLDT and Smart technology head Rolando Peña and technology group head Mar Tamayo. (Photo provided by Smart)

Frances Marie Kagahastian of Colegio De San Juan Letran receives her award for winning the top prize in the 9th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards. With her are (from left) PLDT-Smart public affairs head Ramon Isberto, PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT and Smart chairman Manny Pangilinan, her teacher-mentor, an official from the Department of Science and Technology, PLDT and Smart technology head Rolando Peña and technology group head Mar Tamayo. (Photo provided by Smart)

Kagahastian, who said her dream was only to be featured in a tarpaulin banner in their school, said she was overwhelmed by the victory. It was the first time her school joined the contest.

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NOT JUST DATA PIPE. PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan speaks to shareholders during the company's annual stockholders' meeting. Pangilinan said PLDT must "move firmly into social media, social networking and Internet spaces before they move into ours and eat our lunch." (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

Next frontier lies in media space: MVP

PLDT will not just be an Internet pipe for data, chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told shareholders during a meeting Thursday afternoon in Dusit Thani hotel in Makati City.

The company needs to “move firmly into social media, social networking and Internet spaces before they move into ours and eat our lunch,” Pangilinan told the company’s shareholders and officials.

“Innovation and competition will not only come from telcos like ourselves but also from ‘over the top’ players belonging to the Internet space like Facebook, Google, Apple and YouTube, which actually compete with us,” he said.

He later told reporters who interviewed him at the venue, “margins are getting depressed by staying purely as a distribution company, as an infrastructure company… We have to be something more than that.”

“And really the next frontier lies in the media space — both in the legacy and in the new media space. And how you will blend the telco, utility operations with the creative part of social media is a big challenge. Nobody has been successful yet,” he said.

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IDEASPACE. PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan answers questions of bloggers in a briefing on IdeaSpace. With him are (left) Earl Valencia, Smart Strategic Business Development head, and Marthyn Cuan, Meralco vice president and chief information officer.

MVP makes pitch for risk-taking, start-ups

PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan’s latest baby is IdeaSpace, part incubator, part angel fund, part accelerator but fully backed by his conglomerate.

During a meeting with bloggers from all over the country last week, Pangilinan said his group is setting aside P100 million a year for the next five years to fund startups that will be identified by a nationwide contest.

Pangilinan, known in business circles as MVP, said he is prepared for a large part of that P100 million annual fund to initially “go to waste.”

“Our statistics show that globally, only one innovative idea out of 3,000 sees the light of day. There will be a high failure rate, no doubt about that. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try,” he said.

IDEASPACE. PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan answers questions of bloggers in a briefing on IdeaSpace. With him are (left) Earl Valencia, Smart  Strategic Business Development head, and Marthyn Cuan, Meralco vice president and chief information officer.

IDEASPACE. PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan answers questions of bloggers in a briefing on IdeaSpace. With him are (left) Earl Valencia, Smart Strategic Business Development head, and Marthyn Cuan, Meralco vice president and chief information officer.

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