[Welcome address by K C Hong, Country General Manager, IBM Software Group Malaysia]
Today, IBM held the finals for the IBM Bluemix Appnovator Challenge 2014 which pits five student teams from across the nation that were given the challenge of developing new applications for smarter cities based on IBM’s Bluemix that offers a next-generation cloud based development platform to cater to the growing demand for assembling cloud-based, creative mobile and web apps without having to acquire multiple software licenses and configuring the infrastructure necessary to run them. The Bluemix platform offers a risk-free 30 day trial period for developers to field test it. Afterwards, each service in the Bluemix platform has a free limited tier. Beyond that tier, you pay as-you-go depending on what aspect of the Bluemix platform that you are using.
The five shortlisted entries were cherrypicked from a dozen handpicked teams which were in turn selected from over 120 submissions for the challenge. The one dozen handpicked teams were then given a hands-on half day training course in using Bluemix and were each then assigned a mentor from IBM that was available via teleconference for consultation and guidance.
Each of the finalists was then given one month of development time to develop a prototype for presentation which was then submitted for consideration before a panel of judges that consisted of noted industry experts and stakeholders – Cheng Ping Onn, Software Engineer from Neruti. Christopher Song from Multimedia Development Corporation (MdeC) and Vincent Ler, Business Unit Executive, ISV & Developer Relations from IBM. The five finalists , which consisted of entrants from KBU International College, University Malaysia Pahang, KBU International College, Tunku Abdyul Rahman University College and Help University were selected based on multiple criteria including practicality, monetisability and the potential effectiveness of their applications towards the betterment of society.
After deliberation, the judges selected the following three as the winners for their innovative apps: in second runner up position with a cash prize of RM1000 along with RM1,200 worth of training vouchers for entrepreneurial skills courtesy of MDeC was the team from KBU International College with their “Lost and Report” app that comes with a database that reports stolen cars and their license plates, wanted criminals and lost items based on a user’s present location. The app allow users to report incidents and allow users to upload pictures and reports of crime to share with other users.
In first runner up position was the team from HELP University that won RM3000 in cash and RM1,200 in entrepreneurial training vouchers from MdeC with their “Park4U” app that helps drivers located empty parking bays and ticketing machines for payment in large shopping malls. Quite handy that.
In first place was the team from KBU International College that came up with the rather novel “My City” app that allows concerned citizens to report damage or problems with a city’s infrastructure such as broken pipes, damaged roads and the like. For their efforts, the team , which consisted of three students – Jeremy Loke, Kua Weng Onn and Choy Cheng Yuan won a total of RM5000 in cash and RM1,200 in MDeC entrepreneurial training vouchers too.
While the apps aren’t exactly ready for commercialisation and sale, they are nonetheless highly potential projects that can be used as a springboard for further development and implementation. “This is the first competition where we highlighted the versatility and ease of development of the Bluemix platform and we aim to have more such competitions in the future,” said Vincent Ler upon presenting the prizes to the contestants. To find out more about Bluemix and future Appnovator challenges, logon to bluemix.net