Winning Applications decided in PUC mobile App competition
The Public Utilities Commission held the closing ceremony for the first-ever Mobile Application Development Workshop and Competition on Friday.
At the end of the workshop the 45 participants presented the applications they built during the week and voted amongst themselves to decide which two were the best. The app Discover Belize, done by the team Bel-Cay, and Bel-Lingo, done by the team Living Speech, won by popular vote.
The discover Belize app is a tourism sector tool designed to help tourists and locals find tourist attractions in their area, while Bel-Lingo is a language-based application designed to help tourists communicate with locals by teaching common terms in languages such as Kriol, Garifuna and Mopan Maya.
At the ceremony, which was held at the Ramada Belize City Princess, each member of the winning teams received a tablet and a year’s worth of free internet access. The initiative was spearheaded by the PUC in collaboration with the international Information Technology organization, Bright Path Foundation.
The workshop began on Monday August 18, gathering participants from ages 12-18 from all six districts and the cayes. The participants who had no prior knowledge of mobile application creation were asked to come up with their own idea and then taught to build the application “from scratch.”
At the ceremony founder of the Bright Path Foundation, Bevil Wooding, said that while the ceremony marked the close of the workshop, in actuality the event marks a new beginning for Belize.
“Each one of these participants have given their commitment to continue working on innovating and creating new apps that can change the future of Belize,” Wooding said.
Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, attended the ceremony and assisted in giving out certificates of completion to the participates.
App Competition Brings Out Belize’s Finest Young Designers
Mobile Apps are everywhere…from smart phones to tablets and personal computers; they are made for just about everything including internet chats and Belizean dialect. This afternoon at the Ramada Belize City Princess, a competition for the best App design was held by the Public Utilities Commission. Duane Moody was on hand when the winners were announced.
Duane Moody, Reporting
A week-long workshop and competition on the creation of Mobile APPs was held by the Public Utilities Commission. The workshop which is being held under the theme, “Inspiring Solutions to Global Challenges through Innovation and Creativity,” concluded today with eight groups presenting their ideas and concept of an application suited for the diverse industries in Belize.
Bevil Gooding, Executive Director, BrightPath Foundation
“It has been an incredible experience….they weren’t shepherd into a particular direction….create global opportunities…they’ve come up with some incredible ideas…..for the young people.”
A total of forty-five students were placed into the eight groups. And after their presentations on various APPs, particularly addressing tourism in Belize, four groups tied, two each for second and first place. Discover Belize and BEL-Lingo won the top spot.
Orelle Castillo, BEL-Lingo
“BEL_Lingo is a mobile APP that we created, out group, Living Speech. It basically gives you the translation….we have the translation in English and how it should be said…”
“How did you guys come up with the idea?
“That’s an interesting thing…seven main dialects in Belize.”
Jahban Barrow, Discover Belize
“Discover Belize is basically an APP…and where it is at….when they come to Belize…”
“Tell us about some of the aspects of that APP and how user friendly it is?”
“It is very user friendly….to find where they want to go.”
According to Executive Director of Bright Path Foundation, Bevil Gooding, the mobile APPs created by the forty-five youth can very much compete in the global market if properly and fully develop.
“The thing about the APP is that it can come from anywhere….what they now need…business support…intellectual….and the issue of bank finance support…we don’t have a challenge of creativity; of talent….on the policy and the financing side.”
All participants received certificates, while members of the top two groups all received laptops and a year’s worth of internet. They also get a chance to enter their APP in the Young Innovators’ Programme of the International Telecommunications Union at its annual Telecom World conference in November. Duane Moody for News Five.
The Winning Mobile App DesignEarlier this week, we told you about the PUC's Mobile Apps workshop - where 45 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 were selected to take part in the first annual innovation competition - an intensive one week course in mobile application design and development.
Well, today the 45 participants of the PUC's Mobile Application workshop presented their apps. They were split into 8 groups and had only 5 days to create their mobile apps. And while today marks the closing of this year's program, Executive Director for Bright Path Foundation Bevil Wooding states that it also marks the beginning of a technological transformation in Belize. While Wooding reflected on the success of the 5 day workshop, the two 1st place winners shared the design of their prized mobile apps:
Bevil Wooding, Executive Director, Bright Path Foundation
"This has been a most incredible week of mobile innovation, creativity, determination - these kids it was said that they'd be running off after 5 o'clock to do other things surrounded by such temptations but every single night from Monday through Tuesday through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, they have put in the hours to present the apps that they will be showing this evening. This has been a fantastic experience and I think it's safe to say that Belize now have new innovators and new innovations that's going to shock the country and I think also express the region and the world."
"They have a lot in store. At the start of the week we told them think about ideas that can impact the world immediately around. Think about things in Belize that can be solved with mobile applications. Not everybody has a mobile phone, lot of people like to use their phones. How convenient will it be to have apps that treat with everyday problems and create everyday solutions."
Orelle Castillo, 1st Place WINNER, BEL-LINGO APP
"BEL-LINGO is mobile app what we created are group living speech. It basically gives you the translation that English, Spanish, Maya, creole, mandarin, Garifuna - the languages that you can find in Belize. We have the translation in English and the word like how it should be said."
Jahban Barrow, Discover Belize
"Discover Belize is basically an app that lets tourists and local Belizeans who don't know their own country or not necessary mean in a bad way - let them know every single hotel, restaurant, spa, ruins - every single landmark in Belize and it's on the map, so you will know where to go and where it's at. We are going to put more content in over time. We just had a really short deadline because of the week. These are activities you go in, if you click on activities, you have more activities you could do in the country and that's for all the districts and they also have a history, so you can know the history of Belize and it also have our own website."
There were also 2 second place winners, the "N-for me" app which assists users to find employment and "Vindixie" which is an app for taxi service.
App competition bring's out Belize's finest young designers