A safe queuing app that is intended to replace physical lines and a tool to help families better manage school work during the pandemic are among the five finalists in IBM’s global challenge.
A safe queuing app that is intended to replace physical lines and which could be used in public spaces, such as shopping centres and polling stations, and a tool that helps families better manage school work during the pandemic are among the finalists in IBM’s global challenge.
IBM and the challenge’s creator, David Clark Cause, have selected five worldwide finalists for the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge, a multi-year initiative that bids to unite developers to create open source applications that can tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.
This year, hundreds of thousands of developers around the globe were asked to create solutions to help communities fight back against climate change and Covid-19.
In addition to the named partners, Call for Code’s ecosystem includes the Linux Foundation, and Charitable Partner United Nations Human Rights, together with a reported global movement of 400,000 developers across 179 nations.
In its third year, IBM claims the global competition has generated more than 15,000 solutions built using a combination of open source-powered products and technologies, including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM- Cloud, Watson, and Blockchain, as well as data from the Weather Company.
“This year of crisis underscores the need for the world’s developers and business leaders to apply the power of hybrid cloud, AI and open source technology to address society’s most pressing issues,” said Bob Lord, senior vice president, cognitive applications, blockchain, and ecosystems, IBM.
“As a leader in open source with a long history of driving tech for good, it is incredibly gratifying for us at IBM to see how the broader tech community continues to come together, unified in purpose to make a tangible difference in the lives of so many.”
The five 2020 finalists are:
Agrolly (Asia Pacific): built by a distributed team of developers hailing from Brazil, India, Mongolia, and Taiwan, who met at Pace University. Agrolly is designed to support and connect small farmers around the world but particularly in emerging countries, where farms are suffering from reduced crop yields due to climate change. By combining weather forecasts with crop requirements published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, the platform provides tailored information for each farmer by location, crop type, and the stage of growth. Agrolly is currently available as an app in the Google store free of charge, and is powered by IBM Cloud Object Storage, IBM Watson Studio, and IBM Watson Assistant.
Business Buddy (Asia Pacific): created by a team of students in Australia at the University of Sydney, Business Buddy aims to provide a one-stop-shop that delivers personalised and responsive updates to small businesses to help them weather the financial impacts of Covid-19. Powered by IBM Watson Assistant, IBM Cloud Foundry, and IBM Cloudant, the solution helps determine businesses’ eligibility for support from governmental programmes, and guides them through the application process via an easy-access portal.
“This year of crisis underscores the need for the world’s developers and business leaders to apply the power of hybrid cloud, AI and open source technology to address society’s most pressing issues”
OffShip (North America): was created by a team of developers in Canada from Morgan Stanley. OffShip is an easy-to-use browser plugin that educates consumers on the effect their online purchases have on the environment. It does this by providing an estimate of the carbon dioxide footprint of each purchase they consider which in turn helps them consider alternatives or purchase and donate carbon offset credits seamlessly. This solution is hosted in the IBM Cloud.
Safe Queue (North America): created by a single developer in Los Angeles, is a community-driven mobile app that is intended to replace physical lines at shopping centres, small businesses, and polling places with on-demand virtual lines, to support a safe way to manage entry during Covid-19. Safe Queue was recognised as part of Call for Code’s accelerated Covid-19 track in May, and since then has been further developed, tested, and deployed with small businesses across the country. Safe Queue uses GPS location data to create a virtual queue of those within 1000 feet of a location, allowing employees to control the queue digitally, and validating entry with a randomly generated QR code for each customer. This solution builds on IBM Cloud Foundry for web app hosting, Here Technologies for geolocation, Twillio for SMS messaging, and IBM Cloudant to store data.
SchoolListIt (North America): created by a working mother of three children in North Carolina, SchoolListIt is designed to help families successfully manage schoolwork during the especially challenging circumstances surrounding Covid-19. SchoolListIt compiles information from the wide array of learning apps that teachers use, and makes it easy for students or guardians to understand at a glance what assignments are due and when, while also building a digital community for parents. The solution uses IBM Watson Text to Speech.
Each year, the Call for Code global prize winner receives $200,000 and hands-on support from IBM, the Linux Foundation, and other partners to expand the open source community around their solution and to deploy their solution in areas of need.
The grand prize winner will be selected by an elite group of judges, including leaders in human rights, disaster risk reduction, business, and technology.
This year, IBM partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) to launch a dedicated university edition within Call for Code. Together, IBM and CGI U reached more than 53,000 students around the world to help create solutions to fight Covid-19 and climate change.
The 2020 Call for Code university finalists are: Kairos App (Latin America); Lupe (Europe); Pandemap (Asia Pacific); Plant-it (North America); and Rechargd (Asia Pacific). Solutions in the university edition are competing for a grand prize of $10,000.
The grand prize-winning team and runner-up will also receive the opportunity to interview for a potential role at IBM.
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