Discuss BlackBerry Apps Lab Students Win Big At SA m2Work Hackathon
Developers studying at the BlackBerry Apps Lab at the University of Pretoria participated in the global m2Work Hackathon, and came out winning prizes for the Best m2Work Application and Best Individual Hacker. The m2Work Hackathon main objectives are to, Shape promising idea submissions into mobile application prototypes, Bolster other prototype mobile microwork applications that qualify for pre-incubation support at infoDev’s Mobile Application Labs (mLabs), and Increase awareness for the job-creating potential of mobile microwork in developing countries.
The developers were challenged to come up with an app that would help raise awareness about unemployment and Micro Work. The results from the BlackBerry Apps Lab team were an award for Best m2work Application, and a new application called Translate 4 Me.
Translate 4 Me allows anyone who can speak at least 2 of the 11 official South African languages to register as micro translators. Users can download the application where they can type in a phrase and then select the desired language they want translated. From there it is sent out to the relevant micro works who will translate the text. It also has a rating system to help improve the translator vetting.
For many this may not look very innovative, but when you look at what this app is really doing it puts things into perspective. The application helps address two issues, the first being that it helps address the need for translation services throughout South Africa. The second issue that the app helps address is unemployment. The app uses live personnel that translate the text that the end users are entering, it allows for a new job position that many cold do with little or no training.
Earlier this year RIM opened the lab at the University of Pretoria to provide developers, students and others with the ability to tap into RIM's rich resources, in development, marketing, sales, and business opportunities. “The BlackBerry apps lab has provided me with the equipment and environment I need to effectively develop BlackBerry apps,” said Mitchell Leigh Dart. “The apps lab team has proudly won the South African m2Work Hackathon. It would not have been possible without the support from RIM.”