It is always refreshing and inspiring to cover the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (Sweep) Innovation and Excellence Awards. The annual contest pits engineering schools throughout the country in a contest on the use of mobile technology to solve community problems.

Anyone in despair at the state of education in the country need only to spend an afternoon among these kids to rekindle hope. These kids are awesome hackers (in the original meaning of the word).

This year’s winner is an all-women team from the Mapua Institute of Technology. Their project was a device that rendered text messages into Braille and a cane that can detect obstructions and then warn its user.

The team of Janiena Roxanne Dirain, Kristine Emy Matabang and Girly Perando with mentor Ayra Panganiban got P500,000 for the win. Their school got P500,000 in grants.

Mobile Work

Student team uses mobile tech to speed up dengue detection, wins Smart Sweep grand prize

A student project that uses telecommunications technology to speed up the detection of dengue cases won the grand prize in last Wednesday’s 7th Smart Wireless Engineering and Education Program (Sweep) Innovation and Excellence Awards in the SMX Convention Center at the SM Mall of Asia.

The student team from Bulacan State University (BSU) automated and sped up the detection of dengue through blood platelet counting using a portable capturing device that connected via mobile Internet to a digital analyzer machine.

Napoleon Nazareno and members of the Smart Sweep USC team
HIDDEN SENSORS. PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno checks the sensors that detect chainsaw sounds and trigger an alert to forestry officials in the booth of University of San Carlos. Click on image to enlarge. (SMART PUBLIC AFFAIRS PHOTO)

The project, 3D: Dengue Detecting Device, won P500,000 in cash through Smart Money for the student team led by Donn Angelo Teodoro and another P500,000 in grants for the school.

Holy Cross of Davao College, meanwhile, got 2nd place for its system that automatically alerts maritime authorities in cases of overloading of vessels. The system uses sensors to detect overloading of ships and then automatically warns authorities through text messages. The student team led by Bobby Jay Carmelotes won P300,000 in cash through Smart Money and another P300,000 in grants for their school.

Third place went to Batangas State University for its drip irrigation system that used GSM technology and various sensors. The Smart Farmbihira system is capable of automatically watering and fertilizing a plantation at a set time or manually through a text message. The system also notifies the farmer on the condition of the soil and the harvest time of the crop. With the win, the student team led by Josephine Medina got P150,000 in cash through Smart Money while the school won P150,000 in grants.

Smart also handed out a special innovation award to a University of Baguio project that used the force of vehicles passing through a street to generate electricity to light up street lamps. A Smart official said they decided to hand out the special award because the project was “so far out and ahead of its time.”

The three winning projects bested seven other entries from Smart’s partner schools all over the country.

Highlights Mobile

Why CDR King should talk to this Smart SWEEP team

When was the last time you were in CDR King in SM City? How much of your time was wasted waiting for your turn? The last time I was in that branch is precisely that—the last time. I spent close to an hour waiting for my turn that I ultimately gave up. Yes, their products are cheaper, but you waste an hour of your time just to save a few pesos? I’ll reserve masochism for bulk purchases.

Waiting in line has got to be the blight of modern man’s existence. In the offices of Pag-ibig, SSS, LTO, NSO, you see people waiting in line for so long you’d worry about the national productivity. In medical clinics, healthy people get sick—and murderous—by the time doctors finally attend to them.

I do not have proof, only strong suspicion, but I think your blood pressure is directly proportional to the amount of time you spend in line. Take a BP monitor the next time you transact with a government agency and find out for yourself.

A better queuing system would do wonders to our health, sanity and national productivity. Wouldn’t it be great to get a priority number for a transaction and be notified when it’s your turn?

TimeFree project of Ateneo de Zamboanga University
STUDENT PROJECT. Ateneo de Zamboanga University mentor Eugene Kanindot (left) explains the TimeFree system to Atty. Jane Paredes, senior manager of Smart public affairs Vis-Min. (SUN.STAR FOTO/MAX LIMPAG)

Highlights Mobile

Ateneo de Manila University project wins Smart Sweep Innovation and Excellence Award

A STUDENT project that uses social networking, short message service (SMS) and Smart Communications Inc.’s money transfer to gather relief goods for communities hit by disasters won this year’s Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (Smart Sweep) Innovation and Excellence Award.

The student team from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) won P500,000 for themselves and P500,000 in grants for their school last Saturday at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

Charese Olmoguez (right), student team leader of Ateneo de Davao, explains to Smart SWEEP judges how her group’s search and rescue management system, which uses global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) data, works. Ateneo de Davao won second place in last Saturday’s Smart SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Award. (PHOTO FROM SMART PUBLIC AFFAIRS)

The Smart Sweep Innovation and Excellence Award was dominated by Ateneo schools, with ADMU taking the first and third spots and Ateneo de Davao University taking second place.

The ADMU team of Marc Ericson Santos, Adrian Khan, Carlos Miguel Lacson and Marty Peterson Tan was mentored by Ronell Sicat. The team created an integrated system that allowed people not only to donate online but to also invite friends in their social network to donate to their communities of choice. The system also tracks the donations.