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Category: Tech

AI can displace workers but it can also triple BPO revenues: Banatao

Artificial intelligence (AI) can displace a large number of workers in the Business Process Outsourcing industry, Filipino tech pioneer Dado Banatao warned, but it can also allow the country to…

Artificial intelligence (AI) can displace a large number of workers in the Business Process Outsourcing industry, Filipino tech pioneer Dado Banatao warned, but it can also allow the country to triple revenues in the sector.

If the country does it right, Banatao said, AI will help the Philippines bring BPO revenues to up to $120 billion in just two to three years.

“AI will affect almost all aspects of our lives,” Banatao said during a press conference on Thursday to inaugurate the startup incubator he started with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

He said that his group built a basic AI solution that’s “not even the best that we know we can do” and yet it was good enough “to replace their agents in the US doing frontend BPO (services).”

Displacement inevitable

“It does displace a lot of workers but we did this in the US, meaning we displaced agents in the US. If we can do that then we will do it here. Because we don’t want to get attacked by other countries with that same expertise,” Banatao said. “We would rather have Filipinos do that displacement because it is inevitable.”

There is no AI if there is no IA (information architecture) and that will generate data science jobs for those who will be displaced from work, said Banatao.

AIM-Dadao Banatao Incubator

AIM-DADO BANATAO INCUBATOR. AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang with Diosdado “Dado” Banatao during a press conference to mark the inauguration of their incubator.

“It means is that there has to be an organization of data. The meaning of data is very important. Data science will address those things to help AI,” he said.

But to be employable for these new jobs, people need to be retrained, Banatao stressed. “In most cases they will have to take at least the first two years of engineering that covers the plain and simple calculus and statistics and so on and go on to the more higher-level learning data science.”

New kinds of jobs

“What is important for us to remember is that yes there will be plenty of jobs that will disappear but then there will be new kind of jobs that will be created,” said AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang.

“What AIM is trying to do is just like 49 years ago when we were established as the pioneering management school in the region and produced the region’s top CEOs,” she said.

“We want to do the same kind of role and have the same kind of impact so we will not be looking at a time when the BPO industry is no longer viable in this country. We have already trained the right kind of people with the right kind of toolboxes and skillsets so they will be able to take that industry to the next level.”

We can beat them

Banatao said that as a way to shore up on capabilities, he hired 20 AI engineers in the Philippines. He said one of the AI companies he funded has the fastest engine in the world.

“It is competing against the biggest companies out there, the Googles and Amazons and so on. We can beat their engines. And we had started the process of bringing that here by training some of the scientists and engineers at DOST,” he added.

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Tech pioneer Dado Banatao, AIM launch startup incubator

Bringing together the expertise of successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and the management training capabilities of the Asian Institute of Management, an incubator program headlined by Filipino tech innovator Diosdado “Dado”…

Bringing together the expertise of successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and the management training capabilities of the Asian Institute of Management, an incubator program headlined by Filipino tech innovator Diosdado “Dado” Banatao seeks to develop early-stage local startups.

The AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator is located in the AIM campus in Makati City and has the physical capacity to host 11 startups of up to 6 people each, said AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang during a press conference at the facility last Thursday.

What differentiates their incubator?

“How do we differentiate our incubator? We have a rock star in Dado. Right there we think we make a huge distinction. He is not only an inventor, engineer but he is also an entrepreneur and that makes a huge difference,” Kang said.

Banatao built several companies in Silicon Valley, among them Chips & Technologies, S3 Graphics, SiRF, Marvell, and Inphi. “He is best known for pioneering two technologies that are widely regarded as the cornerstones of today’s PC: chipset and graphics acceleration architecture,” AIM said in a press statement.

Banatao is chairman of the Philippine Development (PhilDev) Foundation, an organization that seeks to boost economic growth in the country “through education, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

AIM-Dado Banatao

AIM-DADO BANATAO INCUBATOR. AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang with Diosdado “Dado” Banatao after a press conference to mark the inauguration of their incubator.

Foundation for success

“The combination of business knowledge and innovation is going to be the foundation for success of the incubator,” Banatao said during the event.

The incubator received a P14.8 million grant in initial funding under the Department of Science and Technology Incubator Creation Program.

The program will tap people with “experience in building technology-based, innovative, and very successful companies in Silicon Valley,” he said. But this will always be grounded on “local culture and practices.”

“When we say we’ll be bringing in Silicon Valley experience and expertise, we’re not talking superficial, somebody who was there for a few months or few years. We’re talking about people who are actually successful, who actually made it there and who knows how to make this kind of project work in a national arena,” said Kang.

As example of the type of expertise the facility will tap, Banatao cited how they brought in 6 Google engineers who then wrote software for the incubator to cover all aspects of mentoring.

Science, technology focus

Banatao said the early stages of forming a startup to work on an idea “is the toughest with the highest failure rate.”

“Unless there is help from investors or friendly mentors, founders of the company are either suicidal or “crazy”, putting at risk their life status, family, friends, and future,” he said.

The incubator is looking for startups with science and technology solutions in communications, agriculture, health, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and other deep technology.

AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator

INCUBATOR. Phildev executive director Chips Guevara gives journalists a tour of the AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator located inside the AIM campus in Makati City.

Strong commitment, passion

“They have to be 120 percent committed,” Kang said. “Dado likes to use the expression that they have to be suicidal. We don’t exactly want anybody committing suicide, it means they have to be really, really committed, passionate and have energy to take it all the way.”

Time isn’t a strict criterion for the program, Banatao said. “Along the way, the investors and the people involved will judge as to whether that company can get to the next step, whatever that step maybe. We don’t want to continue to lose money simply because of time.”

Startups can stay until the incubator deems them ready. “Sometimes we may just ask the startup to leave the incubator after just a few months because the idea may not be that good in the first place and we made a mistake in accepting them,” he said.

Mentoring by AIM network

Kang said the incubator “will also take advantage of the fact that this is housed at AIM. It’s a management school, it’s a business school. We will provide them with the mentoring that will come from not only our faculty and distinguished alumni but also businesses and the larger community. That amounts to a huge advantage.”

Phildev executive director Chips Guevara said the incubator will work on a “rolling application with no set deadline.” A startup can apply so long as there is a spot in the program. All applicants must fill out the form on the AIM website at https://aim.edu/dado-banatao-incubator.

In talking about the push for technology startups, Banatao said that “as we did our research, we found out that it’s only through innovation will a country develop its economy. Through economic development we will see significant positive effect on poverty.”

 


What Startups Get

  • World-class mentorship from serial entrepreneurs, top executives, industry experts, including individuals with a successful track record in Silicon Valley
  • Access to the global funding network of Dado Banatao, PhilDev, and AIM
  • Education and training calibrated to the needs of the startup’s founders
  • Resources from selected partners
  • Rent-free, dedicated office space with high-speed Internet connectivity inside the AIM Campus in the heart of the Makati CBD
  • Demo nights and exclusive networking events for business development and investments

 

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Accenture inaugurates 5th facility in Cebu, highlights new and emerging tech in providing solutions

Accenture inaugurated its 5th facility in Cebu on Wednesday with a hologram of one of its officials briefing the guests and handling the ceremonies in the Filinvest Cyberzone at the…

Accenture inaugurated its 5th facility in Cebu on Wednesday with a hologram of one of its officials briefing the guests and handling the ceremonies in the Filinvest Cyberzone at the IT Park in Lahug, Cebu City.

That part of the program was meant to highlight a key character of the facility: a center for agile development and design thinking to produce innovation using “new IT.”

“This floor is very much in ‘the new IT’,” said Accenture managing director Arvin Yason, who hosted the ceremony as a hologram. With a lot of open spaces and movable furniture to allow quick reconfigurations as well as huddle areas and design-thinking spots, “we instill nimbleness and agility in the way we work.”

Accenture in Cebu

HOLOGRAM. Accenture inaugurates its newest facility in Cebu with a hologram of managing director Arvin Yason leading the ceremonies (3rd from left). With Yason are (from left) managing director JP Palpallatoc, Jun Sa-a of CIB.O, and Accenture country managing director Lito Tayag.

Commitment to Cebu

The opening of the new facility is also “a manifestation of our commitment to Cebu,” said Accenture country managing director Lito Tayag. He also said the company is on track to meeting the 1,000 in additional workers it committed to employ at the start of the year to mark their 10th anniversary. He said they’ve already hired an additional 800 workers for Cebu, bringing its workforce here to 5,800.

“Cebu is an integral component, a strategic part of our practice here in the Philippines,” Tayag said. “More than the numbers – and we’re very happy with the numbers so far – it is really the value, the kind of innovative services that we deliver out of our Cebu operations.”

The new facility will showcase technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, augmented reality, and the internet of things.

Cebu talent

“We are very happy about the kind of talent that we have here but just as importantly, we would continue to develop these talents,” Tayag said in a press conference held after the inauguration and facility tour for journalists and members of the academe.

Tayag, Yason and JP Palpallatoc, managing director and Accenture digital lead in the Philippines, led the tour of the facility.

Among the highlights of the event was a demonstration of a parking system that allows people to know ahead, via a mobile app, available spaces in a business such as a mall. The system, built by a Cebu team as part of a company-wide innovation contest, also allows for people to reserve parking slots and even pay digitally.

Another product presented to guests was a crisis response and management system that allows Accenture to keep track of its employees and know whether they are safe or in need of assistance after an emergency like a natural disaster. Alerts can be sent out on various platforms like email, SMS and mobile notifications.

Accenture also showed guests how a redesign of the Qantas website resulted in higher sales. They also demonstrated an augmented reality app that makes print materials such as a map of an amusement park interactive and multi-media as well as overlay ads and information triggered by location data.

Accenture Cebu

PASSION PROJECTS, DESIGN THINKING. JP Palpallatoc, managing director and Accenture digital lead in the Philippines, introduces the team that built a system for parking that uses apps to inform drivers of available spaces and let them reserve locations and pay for it.

Redesign retail experience

More than digital, Accenture also highlighted how they were able to reinvent the physical retail experience for customers of Smart Communications using design thinking and various technologies. This resulted in a 249% increase in foot traffic, 80% reduction in waiting time and 169% increase in store sales in the redesigned stores.

During the tour, officials stressed the design thinking approach into providing solutions to their clients. “To deliver delight consistently at the speed that our clients desire for their customers, we need to start with design thinking and user-centricity,” Yason said.

The way the newly-inaugurated facility is configured also plays a key role in how Accenture is “upskilling, reskilling, cross-skilling and multi-skilling our talent,” he said. From being focused on “classrooms” in teaching workers new skills, Accenture has started to “enable nooks and areas where people, while on break, can start learning new IT in smaller bite-sized formats, whether via video or an app or game that we develop.”

Accenture Cebu

CRISIS COMMUNICATION. This system enables Accenture to keep track of its employees, notify them during emergencies, and get feedback on whether they are safe or not.

Empower workers

Other locations will be retrofitted based on the new facility’s design because workers gave positive feedback that the configuration “empowers them to work in the new IT – working agile, doing standup meetings, being able to collaborate,” said Yason.

The facility helps Accenture “future-proof our people,” Tayag said.

“We’ve grown tremendously in Cebu for the last 10 years. That growth is a reflection not just of Accenture’s capabilities but also the capabilities of the local market in terms of talent, the way the academe has been producing talent for us,” Yason said.

Accenture is among the top tech companies based in Cebu. It has been given that recognition by the Cebu IT-BPM Organization for several years. The company’s other locations in Cebu are in Pioneer House, Robinsons Cybergate Cebu, eBloc Tower 2 and eBloc Tower 3 at the IT Park.

Accenture in Cebu

TREMENDOUS GROWTH IN CEBU. Accenture managing director Arvin Yason (left) and country managing director Lito Tayag after holding a press conference with Cebu journalists shortly after a tour of their 5th facility in the province.

Position as innovation center

Yason said the company is looking for engineers with good grasp of AI, robotics, and analytics to staff their locations.

“Our clients sit on top a lot of data but a lot of that is what we call dark data – they don’t know what they have. We are partnering with them to leverage more and more of that dark data to create revenue where there was no opportunity in the past. (We do this) through the power of data visualization and analytics and eventually AI as well,” Yason said.

Tayag said that what the company wants to foster among its workers is a mindset for innovation as they move up in the “value chain of our services.”

“At the end of the day, we believe that we can position our services here in the Philippines from an innovation standpoint rather than purely from a delivery standpoint,” he added.

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GCash launches GoPay, Philippines’ 1st mobile money QR payment system

GCash has launched the nation’s first QR payments via smartphone, a move expected to change the landscape of how Filipinos pay for their purchases. Dubbed “GoPay”, it is the newest…

GCash has launched the nation’s first QR payments via smartphone, a move expected to change the landscape of how Filipinos pay for their purchases.

Dubbed “GoPay”, it is the newest feature within the GCash app, which allows customers to use their GCash account to pay for goods and services by simply scanning QR codes displayed by merchants and establishments.

For consumers, this eliminates the hassle of bringing money, waiting for change, or getting into misunderstandings over payments. Merchants, on the other hand, would no longer need expensive machines to process mobile money transactions but only QRs with a unique code that is linked to their GCash wallet.

Cashless society

By making QR codes available to anyone, even to ambulant vendors and sari-sari store owners, GCash will be paving the way for a cashless society which means faster, more convenient, and secure transactions for both merchants and consumers.

“Our goal has always been to make finance more inclusive by building a cashless ecosystem. GoPay QR payments solution will close the loop and drive merchants accepting GCash payments. We plan to extend this service from all types of retailers nationwide down to our favorite fishball vendor.” said John Rubio CEO and President of Mynt, a subsidiary of Globe Telecom dedicated to developing payments solutions using GCash.

Mobile money convenience

JM Aujero, Mynt Merchant Acquiring Head added, “With GoPay QR, consumers don’t even need to bring cash when they go shopping or when they eat out. It is the best option for people who do not want to use credit cards but are either wary of having cash with them due to safety reasons or just want the convenience that mobile money offers.”

To use GoPay, a customer with an iPhone or an Android smartphone just needs to download or update to the latest version of the GCash App, register for an account, and fund his GCash wallet at any of over 12,000 GCash Partner Outlets nationwide. Once done, he has to open the GCash App and swipe left on the page. The GCash App will bring up the phone’s camera, at which point he has to “scan” a partner store’s QR code and enter the amount to be paid.

GoPay will be rolled out within the next few weeks at select partner stores. Its introduction is in line with the thrust of Ant Financial, parent company of Alipay and strategic partner of Mynt, to accelerate financial inclusion and upgrade payment services in the Philippines. Alipay popularized QR code payments in China.

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Globe rolls out GoWiFi to boost Cebu connectivity for Ironman triathlon event

When triathletes swim, bike, and run in Cebu tomorrow, spectators will be able to share photos of them in action via fast and reliable internet connection by GoWiFi, the premium…

When triathletes swim, bike, and run in Cebu tomorrow, spectators will be able to share photos of them in action via fast and reliable internet connection by GoWiFi, the premium public WiFi service of Globe.

“Globe supports the triathlon and multisport community, and we want to create an immersive experience for spectators by providing the best Wi-Fi and LTE experience in the area,” said Albert de Larrazabal, Globe Chief Commercial Officer.

Globe will set up several cell sites on wheels, small cells, and Wi-Fi hotspots to augment the network quality at the race venue and allow supporters to share photos and updates about the race. They may also track their favorite athletes in real-time using Athlete Tracker, developed by mobile solutions company Xurpas. Supporters simply need to text TRI (space) to 2600, at PHP 1.00 per update. This service is available to all networks.

Premium WiFi service

GoWiFi is Globe Telecom’s premium WiFi service available in more than 1,000 locations and 10,000 access points around the country, all of which provide high-speed internet connectivity to users. They are available in major transportation hubs like Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) and select Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations, key airports around the country, and tourist spots. They are also available in hospitals, local government units, schools and universities, as well as malls, convenience stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.

The service is open to everyone regardless of network provider, and is compatible with any WiFi-enabled device. Users are given free minutes daily which they can use to browse social media, check emails, watch videos, and download files.

“Our goal for GoWiFi is to provide our customers fast and reliable internet access, especially in high-traffic locations. And since Ironman is one of biggest sporting events in the country, we want to give everyone, whether you’re a triathlete or a supporter, the chance to connect and share their epic Ironman experience” said de Larrazabal.

Yearly event

The Philippine leg of the world-renowned triathlon began in 2009 with a race in Camarines Sur. It is the local leg of an international triathlon, organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The name 70.3 is used for the Half Ironman, and refers to the total distance covered in the race: a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bicycle ride, and a 13.1-mile run.

Each year, thousands of participants take part in the triathlon, including celebrities, politicians, and former champions. This year, more than 2,500 triathletes from 51 countries will join the upcoming race, which will start and end at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resorts and Spa. Last year’s champion, Australian Tim Reed, will be back to defend his title.

COBRA Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines will take triathletes through the beachfront of Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, the Marcelo Fernan bridge, the Cebu International Convention Center, Plaza Independencia, the Cebu South Coastal Road Tunnel, Mactan Newtown, and Punta Engaño.

For more information on GoWiFi, visit the website at http://www.globe.com.ph/gowifi, or check out @GoWiFiPH on Facebook and Twitter.

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Healthcare gets boost from award-winning Smart innovation

A few years ago, workers at the Samboan rural health unit (RHU) in Cebu had to file and search for patient records manually. The practice was time-consuming, especially for patients…

A few years ago, workers at the Samboan rural health unit (RHU) in Cebu had to file and search for patient records manually. The practice was time-consuming, especially for patients who had to wait for their files to be retrieved before seeing a doctor. It also posed a risk of paper records being damaged during disasters, and of handwriting being misread.

Now, the Samboan RHU and selected public health facilities in Cebu, Iloilo, and Quezon City can retrieve files with a few clicks on a laptop, and can thus serve more patients. They can also refer patients to better-equipped health facilities electronically, and remind patients of appointments and medication via SMS. Furthermore, they can submit relevant patient information to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. for faster processing of claims and health statistics.

All this and more are made possible by SHINE OS+ (Secured Health Information Network and Exchange), an electronic medical record and referral system run by Smart Communications and the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center.

Launched in 2011, SHINE OS+ is now being used by a network of 86 RHUs, 44 private hospitals, and 32 public hospitals. It primarily targets RHUs, which use the system for free, as these are mostly situated hours away from tertiary hospitals, which have specialists and more advanced equipment. Paid plug-ins and extensions are also available to private clinics and hospitals.

Recognized here and abroad

SHINE OS+ has been recognized by three local and international awards programs this year alone. It won a Silver Anvil at the Anvil Awards, given by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines; and a Merit Award at the Philippine Quill Awards, organized by the International Association of Business Communicators-Philippines.

More recently, SHINE OS+ was announced as winner in the healthcare category of the Golden World Awards, organized by the International Public Relations Association.

“SHINE OS+ revolutionized how patient health information can be recorded, retrieved, reported to various health agencies, and used for e-referrals to higher health institutions. With just a click of a button, one can search which patients have particular conditions, or check disease burden. Samboan, a town about four hours away from Cebu City, can now send advanced notice to hospitals and other SHINE OS+ users that patients are coming their way,” said Dr. Ianne Jireh Cañizares of Samboan RHU.

Atty. Maria Jane Paredes, Smart public affairs center head, said the digitization of health records could also help policy makers develop more appropriate health programs.

“Because health information is more organized and can be accessed faster, authorities can identify the most common cases in a particular area and can craft health programs accordingly,” she said.

Continuous improvements

Being an open-source platform, SHINE OS+ allows developers from anywhere in the country and the world to create additional features that can fill more gaps in the health sector. It does this while keeping patient records private.

Among the relatively new features created are an electronic prescription module, a disease-tracking and monitoring plug-in, an offline version of the program for those with limited internet access, and Android and iOS+ apps for use of health workers on the field.

Health facilities interested in using SHINE OS+ may send an email to inquiry@shine.ph. (Press release)

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Cebu startup takes on Uber, Grab; signs up Manila taxi operators

Just as global ride-hailing apps Uber and Grab are facing government regulatory problems, a Cebu-based startup today announced an agreement with taxi operators in Manila to expand its service to…

Just as global ride-hailing apps Uber and Grab are facing government regulatory problems, a Cebu-based startup today announced an agreement with taxi operators in Manila to expand its service to more commuters nationwide.

MICAB, a startup that started in Cebu that is now also incorporated in Singapore, today announced an agreement with the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA) and Association of Taxi Operators in Metro Manila (ATOMM).

The agreement expands the service area of MICAB, which is currently operating in Cebu and Iloilo with a fleet of 800 taxi units, said MICAB CEO Eddie Ybañez.

MICAB monthly bookings

He said MICAB currently serves 20,000 passengers with combined monthly bookings of 200,000.

PNTOA and ATOMM, Ybañez said, have a combined network of 20,000 taxi units. He said they plan to launch in Manila with 3,000 taxi units and scale up to 7,000 units by yearend. The company is also planning to expand to Davao.

In terms of application capability, MICAB is similar to Uber and Grab, Ybañez said. They differ in the business model.

Unlike Uber and Grab, MICAB does not directly deal with drivers. It engages with “premium taxi companies” and provides them an app-based system to dispatch units. MICAB works with Ken Taxi in Cebu and Light of Glory in Iloilo.

MICAB Manila

MANILA EXPANSION. MICAB, a ride-hailing app that started in Cebu, has expanded in Manila and signed up operators at the capital. In photo after the signing of the agreement are (from left) Pablo Sarmiento (left) of the Association of Taxi Operators in Metro Manila, MICAB CEO Eddie Ybañez, Atty. Bong Suntay of the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association, and David Vacher of MICAB. (Contributed photo)

No regulatory issues

Because of that, Ybañez does not see any regulatory issues for MiCab .

“We are not really subject to LTFRB’s TVNS regulations as our business model is to partner with taxi companies only. All our taxi operator partners are 100% compliant with LTFRB’s franchising regulations,” he said in an interviews.

The MICAB app functions similarly with both Uber and Grab.

“Application wise it’s the same, we will be adding in more features that is not currently present with Grab and Uber,” Ybañez said.

MICAB, however, does not impose surge pricing and collects only a low booking fee, he said.

Revenue model

The startup does not take a cut from drivers’ revenues. Its business model, Ybañez said, is “targeted geolocation advertising.”

“Our focus for the coming months is to successfully launch MICAB here in Manila, develop customer base, increase brand awareness through excellent customer service and solidify the taxi partner network,” he said.

MICAB started out as among the startups funded in the 2013 batch of IdeaSpace Foundation, the incubator of the Manny V. Pangilinan group of companies.

The startup, however, is looking beyond ride hailing. It is scheduled to launch later this year its MIHEALTH app, in partnership with “one of the largest HMO in the Philippines.” It will also launch MICARGO, in partnership with Gothong Southern Shipping Lines, in August.

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Volunteers get boost from Smart-initiated Operation Smile app

Finding cleft patients has always been one of the biggest challenges for Operation Smile. Most of them are either located in impoverished, remote areas, or some of them are just…

Finding cleft patients has always been one of the biggest challenges for Operation Smile. Most of them are either located in impoverished, remote areas, or some of them are just not confident enough to seek treatment due to their physical appearance.

An initiative by PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, however, seeks to address this problem. The Operation Smile patient-mapping mobile application, which was conceptualized by Smart for Operation Smile Philippines (OSP), was deployed during a recent medical mission in Bacolod City.

“Most patients are in the provinces. The challenge is how to find them. Another challenge is that when you have a facial deformity, you don’t go out,” said Wiggy Fontanilla, OSP president. “This mapping and tracking system changes the whole endeavor by coming up with a heat map of patients.”

Better access, monitoring

At the Bacolod medical mission, volunteers have recorded cleft patients’ details using the app, as Operation Smile aims to store patient information on the Web for better access and monitoring.

Arleen Antolo, 24, a speech teacher at Hope Foundation and volunteer for Operation Smile, travels for at least two hours from Bacolod to far-flung rural health units and barangay health centers in Negros Occidental to meet with other volunteers and cleft patients for possible inclusion in succeeding medical missions.

Antolo, who has been a volunteer for three years now, said her love for teaching and for children were what drove her to help in Operation Smile. “It feels good to help cleft patients, and see them smile. Being treated will definitely help them have a better future,” she said.

Operation Smile app

Operation Smile volunteer Arleen Antolo (left) takes a photo of a 7-month-old cleft patient using the Operation Smile app in Barangay Bago, Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental.

Lessen paperwork

She expressed appreciation for the app, which she used to record patient details during the Bacolod mission. “This will help lessen paperwork—we won’t need to carry folders of patient records, which may get lost or even get wet when the rain comes,” Antolo said.

The Operation Smile app is available as a free download for iOS and Android devices. Anyone can download and use the app—just open an account and follow the instructions on uploading patient information.

Patient details gathered through the app will be uploaded to the central server of Operation Smile, which will use the information to monitor patients’ treatment and plan for the locations of succeeding medical missions.

Closer to communities

“In our efforts to use technology for good, we partner with institutions such as Operation Smile, which seeks to bring healthcare closer to communities. We support Operation Smile as it aims to eradicate the backlog of cleft conditions worldwide,” said Ramon R. Isberto, public affairs group head for PLDT and Smart.

For its part, Operation Smile has expressed its appreciation for Smart’s efforts. “We sincerely appreciate all that [Smart has] done to help us give people with cleft conditions new smiles,” the global Operation Smile unit said on its Twitter account. (Press release)

To support Operation Smile, Smart subscribers may also donate by texting SMILE (space) (amount) to 4483.

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Globe myBusiness Academy brings top industry experts to DTI’s Negosyo Fair

To support the growing number of Filipino entrepreneurs, Globe myBusiness recently joined the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Negosyo Fair through Globe myBusiness Academy, a free learning session that…

To support the growing number of Filipino entrepreneurs, Globe myBusiness recently joined the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Negosyo Fair through Globe myBusiness Academy, a free learning session that educates independent business owners on marketing trends, increasing revenues, and discovering new solutions to stay competitive in the digital age.

“Filipinos are naturally enterprising, so it comes to no surprise that many are opting to open their own business instead of working in an office. Globe myBusiness Academy aims to guide them in creating a plan for success and to turn their passion into profits,” said Senior Advisor for Globe myBusiness Derrick Heng.

Globe MyBusiness

BUSINESS TIPS. Globe myBusiness teams up with “My Puhunan” host Karen Davila (right) to discuss business tips for entrepreneurs with (from left) Globe myBusiness Head of Managed Service Grace Anduiza; DTI Assistant Regional Director Teresita De Lima; Ricca Del Rosario of Half the Price; Globe myBusiness Ambassador and owner of Mercato Centrale RJ Ledesma; and Blade Auto Center President Robertson Sy-Tan.

The Negosyo Fair featured different business opportunities entrepreneurs can explore. It also featured talks, business ventures with low capital requirements, franchising opportunities, and tested products and business technologies that are ready for commercialization.

The learning session covered topics fit for aspiring business owners including operational efficiency, customer service, and expanding market reach from industry experts namely VJ Africa, CEO of Product IO, a startup that aims to enable Micro SMEs in the Philippines and the region to “Survive and Thrive” in this digital-dependent society; Joselito Miguel B. Favis, Account Manager for the Public Sector of Mynt, a FinTech startup wholly-owned by Globe Telecom; and Mejcris Lavarias, Associate Director of AdSpark Local, a Globe subsidiary providing digital and mobile marketing services; and Globe myBusiness Head of Managed Service Grace Anduiza.

Globe myBusiness

Product IO CEO VJ Africa, sharing his thoughts on how to operate businesses more efficiently.

Globe myBusiness also held a panel discussion led by Filipino journalist and “My Puhunan” TV Host Karen Davila, together with Globe myBusiness Ambassador RJ Ledesma of Mercato; DTI Assistant Regional Director Teresita De Lima; Ricca Del Rosario of Half the Price; and Blade Autocenter’s Robertson Sy-Tan, where they discussed tips for small – medium business owners, such as starting businesses with minimal capital, and turning simple everyday problems into big opportunities.

Attendees were also introduced to a wide suite of innovative apps that make business easier:

Globe myBusiness

Mynt Account Manager for the Public Sector Miguel B. Favis sharing with the attendees the various ways Mynt can provide financial resources to entrepreneurs.

For operational efficiency, Globe introduced myBusiness Tracker, which allows owners to keep an eye on deliveries and vehicles in real-time; myShopkeeper, which lets owners monitor sales and inventory in real-time; myBusiness Security Bundle for a CCTV package; GSuite and OS365 for easy business and Microsoft Office tools; GCash Powerpay, an automated salary disbursement program; and Fuse, a loan program for business expansions.

For customer service, guests were introduced to digital solutions such as Auto Appointment Reminder, Queuing Solution, and Canvas, which turns paperwork into digital forms. Meanwhile, for market reach, guests learned about Adblast and Auto SMS Blast solution, which lets them reach more customers through SMS; and myWebsite, a website-building tool. Globe myBusiness also offered exclusive mobile, broadband, and bundled packages for event participants.

To learn more about Globe myBusiness, visit the website at mybusiness.globe.com.ph, call the hotline at 730-1010, or visit any Globe store. (Press release)

Globe myBusiness

AdSpark Local Associate Director Mejcris Lavarias talks about the importance of digital marketing and shares her tips given the current Philippine digital landscape.

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Smart retailers turn digital with mobile app

Smart Communications has made it easier for partner-retailers to keep track of their sales, receivables, inventory, and manage their cash flow better with the introduction of the Ka-Partner Retailer mobile…

Smart Communications has made it easier for partner-retailers to keep track of their sales, receivables, inventory, and manage their cash flow better with the introduction of the Ka-Partner Retailer mobile application. The initiative is in line with the digital transformation that Smart is implementing across its operations and the way it does business.

“Smart is in the midst of a digital pivot. Our partner-retailers play a very important role in our business. They are our frontliners in the community and it is imperative that we bring them along in this digital journey. With the mobile app designed exclusively for them, our partner-retailers will be able to digitize the way they do business,” said Alex O. Caeg, head of Wireless Consumer Division Sales and Distribution at Smart.

Retailers play a crucial role in Smart’s growth. Together, they account for 80-85 percent of Smart’s total prepaid revenues.

Smart Kapartner Retailer app

Retailer-friendly app

The app is retailer-friendly, making navigation through the menu and browsing through the various load offers for selling easy. It also helps the retailer track his load wallet balance inventory and prompt him if the balance is already below the threshold. The app’s digital ledger feature effectively automates sales records, allowing the retailer to track his load sales without manually recording these daily transactions on actual paper. It also allows him to track the account receivables from his patrons for better cashflow management.

New features have been added to the app allowing the user to check on historical performance not only of total sales but also of repeat customers, and to view digital ads of the latest brand offers and promos from Smart, TNT, and Sun.

Faster, more efficient

For the next phase, the retailer will be able to place an order from the distributor through the app for faster and more efficient way of purchasing load credits.

Smart has more than a million partner-retailers across the country. In recognition of their valuable contribution to the business, Smart has been giving incentives for every sale made via its Ka-Partner Rewards Program, with a number of retailers each year becoming instant millionaires.

Every P100 Smart Load they sell every day is converted to one point. These points can be accumulated and used to avail of instant prizes and services such as free SMS and airtime, load wallet value, or e-raffle tickets for prizes of up to P1 million. (Press Release)

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Batibot now on App Store

Educational app develops essential thinking skills among children Parents using iOS-powered smartphones and tablets can now download for free the Batibot mobile application, an interactive version of the beloved TV…

Educational app develops essential thinking skills among children

Parents using iOS-powered smartphones and tablets can now download for free the Batibot mobile application, an interactive version of the beloved TV show that helps enhance learning among children.

Earlier launched on the Android platform, the app features fun games that teach kids basic learning concepts like matching, sorting, and grouping. The app also lets children practice tracing letters with the proper strokes, and helps them identify shapes, colors, numbers, and letter sounds.

The Batibot app is the first educational app in Filipino that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.

Aligned with curriculum

The app’s “Awiting Batibot” feature enables kids to sing along to Batibot songs, while “Kuwentong Batibot” contains local stories that promote good values.

What makes the Batibot app stand out from other educational apps is that it is the only app in the Filipino language that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.

The Batibot app is the product of a collaboration among Smart Communications, Community of Learners Foundation, and developer startup OrangeFix. The app jumpstarted Smart’s efforts to work with various communities and organizations to create literacy apps in local languages.

Batibot app

The app features local stories that promote Filipino values.

Filipino language, values

Smart public affairs head Mon Isberto said that since the Batibot app was launched on the Android platform, a lot of parents had inquired as to when it would be downloadable on iOS devices.

“Many parents based here and abroad said their kids had grown up speaking English, and that they wanted their children to be proficient in the Filipino language too. The Batibot app will certainly help them brush up on Filipino in a fun, interactive way,” he said.

“When you search for educational content online, you’ll find that most of them are in English. There is a need for digital learning content that promotes the Filipino language as well as Filipino values. The Batibot app addresses that need,” Isberto added.

Kids can now have the fun Batibot experience that their parents had, through the Batibot app.

Technocart, School-in-a-Bag

To bring the Batibot app to remote, underserved communities, Smart installs the app in the tablets it donates to public schools under the TechnoCart and School-in-a-Bag programs.

Smart TechnoCart, which is donated to public schools with electricity, is a 2×2 ft mobile laboratory containing 20 tablets for students, as well as a laptop, projector, and mobile Wi-Fi with starter load for the teacher. The School-in-a-Bag, which is meant for remote public schools without electricity, is a backpack containing a solar panel, a laptop, five tablets, a mobile phone, a pocket Wi-Fi with starter load, LED TV, and learning modules.

Smart as well as individual and corporate sponsors have so far donated TechnoCarts to 40 schools, and School-in-a-Bag units to 18 schools all over the Philippines.

Teachers of the recipient schools are given training on tablet basics and on child and curriculum development.

Powerful learning tools

“Combined with guidance from elders, mobile devices and the internet can be powerful tools in enhancing learning among children,” Isberto said.

“Batibot helped shape a generation of Filipinos, many of whom are now parents and teachers. They now have an opportunity to share the Batibot learning experience with their children and students through the Batibot app,” he added.

To know more about Smart’s initiatives to use technology for the development of different social sectors like education, please follow the Smart Communities page on Facebook. Those interested to sponsor Smart TechnoCarts or School-in-a-Bag units may send an email to TechnoCart@smart.com.ph for more information. (Press release)

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Globe sets up 41 libreng tawag and charging stations in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol

Globe Telecom has put up 41 Libreng Tawag and Charging stations across the provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Bohol to assist victims of the recent earthquake with their communication needs….

Globe Telecom has put up 41 Libreng Tawag and Charging stations across the provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Bohol to assist victims of the recent earthquake with their communication needs.

Due to the damage sustained by electric power stations, there is still no electricity in the areas, leaving residents with limited means to charge their mobile phones and make calls.

The Libreng Tawag and Charging stations are open from 9 am – 5 pm and are located in the following areas:

LEYTE (9 LIBRENG CHARGE/TAWAG stations)

1. Ormoc City – Brgy Cogon near Jollibee
2. Ormoc City – Quadrangle
3. Baybay City – Plaza Rizal
4. Hilongos – SF Commercial, Hilongos
5. Tacloban City – Sonny John Store, Brgy Manlurip along highway infornt of Sunnyville
6. Tacloban City – Marcab Store, Tacloban City new bus terminal
7. Tacloban City – Sacay Store, San Salvador St. Brgy. Puri Palo, Leyte
8. Tacloban City – Rose Tan Store, Don Gorgonia St. V&G Tacloban
9. Kananga – In front of Liz Barbecue, Real st. corner Larrazabal St.

Globe Libreng Tawag

Newly-activated libreng tawag and libreng charging station in Kananga, Leyte

SOUTHERN LEYTE (2 LIBRENG CHARGE/TAWAG stations)

1. Maasin City – Andoks, in front of Mang Tinapay
2. Sogod – Plaza Rizal

SAMAR (5 LIBRENG CHARGE/TAWAG stations)

1. Calbayog City – Nijaga Park, Gomez St
2. Catbalogan City – Color Print Store, Allen Avenue
3. Catarman – Catarman Park Near City Hall
4. Borongan – Borongan North, Siongco st.
5. Guian – Near Tourism office

BOHOL (25 LIBRENG CHARGE STATIONS)

1. Barangay Sta Cruz, Calape
2. Barangay Danao, Panglao
3. Barangay Tayong, Loay
4. Barangay Tabajan, Guindulman
5. Barangay Guinacot, Guindulman
6. Barangay Poblacion, Anda
7. Barangay La Union, Candijay
8. Barangay Poblacion, Alicia
9. Barangay Buenavista, Carmen
10. Barangay Poblacion, Carmen
11. Barangay Tejero, Jagna
12. Barangay Larapan, Jagna
13. Barangay Poblacion, Jagna
14. Barangay Poblacion, Duero
15. Barangay Panghagban, Buenavista
16. Barangay Luyo, Dimiao
17. Barangay Poblacion, Buenavista
18. Barangay Poblacion, Getafe
19. Barangay San Jose, Talibon
20. Barangay Poblacion, Bien Unido
21. Barangay San Roque, Mabini
22. Barangay Rosario, Inabanga
23. Barangay Luyo, Inabanga
24. Barangay Lapacan, Inabanga
25. Barangay Poblacion, Pitogo island

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Smart provides more free charging services in quake-affected areas

With the extended power outage in the earthquake-affected provinces of Eastern Visayas, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications is expanding its Libreng Charging efforts to allow more subscribers to stay connected….

With the extended power outage in the earthquake-affected provinces of Eastern Visayas, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications is expanding its Libreng Charging efforts to allow more subscribers to stay connected.

Smart has extended communications assistance to residents and disaster response units following the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that recently hit Jaro, Leyte, and affected nearby cities, municipalities and provinces.

Mobile network not damaged

According to Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Head: “Even as some areas are hampered by the power loss, our mobile network was not damaged by the quake. Our subscribers in the area have sufficient load because our dealer network remains intact. We are addressing the need of our subscribers to recharge their devices.”

Power outages were experienced in Leyte, Bohol and the Samar provinces after the quake, prompting the telco to open up a number of its cell sites, offices and retail stores in the region as free charging and free calling stations for affected residents.

Smart Libreng Charging

Residents charge their mobile devices at a Libreng Charging station at the Smart cell site in Barangay Linao, Ormoc.

Communication support was also provided to Leyte’s Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, for easier coordination in the province’s three worst-hit localities—Ormoc City, Kananga and Jaro.

Free charging, free calls

Smart has also partnered with local government units, and its distributor network in the region to set up more Libreng Charging and Libreng Tawag centers in strategic areas such as the local gymnasium and the provincial loading stations.

Recognizing communications as an important form of relief, Smart has been consistent in immediately providing communication as aid in the form of free calls and charging services, and emergency communication links during disasters, to help government and humanitarian agencies coordinate and deliver more effective relief efforts to affected communities.

The list of Smart’s free calling and charging centers is updated regularly through its community partnerships Facebook account, facebook.com/SmartCommunities. (Press release)

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Among Cebu CEOs, technology solutions have yet to make an impact: survey

Despite innovations in the field of finance, e-commerce, consumer services, transport and logistics, only a third of Cebu entrepreneurs believe that technology should be a business priority. Results of the…

Despite innovations in the field of finance, e-commerce, consumer services, transport and logistics, only a third of Cebu entrepreneurs believe that technology should be a business priority.

Results of the PwC Cebu 2017 CEO Survey showed that only 35 percent of business leaders look at how technology can help in the company’s overall strategic plan.

Less than half or only 48 percent of the 108 Cebu CEOs surveyed by Isla Lipana & Co./PwC Philippines feel threatened by the speed of technological advancements.

PWC Cebu CEO survey

Factors for successful innovation

The sentiments of Cebu businessmen are in contrast to the 80 percent of 2015 Philippine CEO survey respondents who consider technology breakthroughs like robotics, automated supply chain, enterprise solutions, and digital platforms as crucial to business transformation.

A slightly higher number or 50 percent of Cebu CEOs, which PwC Philippines calls Cebu’s next generation business leaders, see the need to continuously innovate to stay relevant for the long term.

The CEOs cited strong visionary leadership, right culture, willingness to challenge norms and take risks, capacity for creativity, and close collaboration with customers as factors for a successful innovation.

PwC Cebu 2017 CEO Survey

CEO SURVEY FINDINGS. Aldie Garcia, PwC Philippines lead branch operations partner, presents findings of the PwC Cebu 2017 CEO Survey. On stage are Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Melanie Ng and PwC Philippines chairman and senior partner Atty. Alexander Cabrera.

Technology as threat, opportunity

Aldie Garcia, PwC Philippines lead branch operations partner, said that for these CEOs, technology is both a threat and an opportunity.

“Our next generation business leaders believe the first to adopt will be the first to succeed,” he added.

Atty. Alexander Cabrera, PwC Philippines chairman and senior partner, said during a forum to share survey findings that “building a lasting legacy for the organization and the people they serve while growing the business is fundamental to our CEOs’ success.”

Vision for Cebu

Sought for their thoughts on how they envision a new Cebu, CEOs said focus should be on stronger partnerships between government and the private sector (83 percent), better investment incentives (63 percent), and maintaining and growing the local Cebu brands (49 percent).

PwC also found out that close to half of business owners were not originally from Cebu but moved here because of trade and economic opportunities.

Many of them or 77 percent worked for top companies as junior executives (40 percent), management executives (32 percent) , and board executives (10 percent) before going into business for themselves.

Series of CEO surveys

The survey was conducted by PwC Philippines in partnership with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and marked the first of a series to be done on Cebu business leaders.

Melanie Ng, CCCI president, said the undertaking is “envisioned to benchmark the changes in how our CEOs think and innovate.”

She added that the CEO Survey will provide a glimpse into the entrepreneurial journey of business owners that hopefully will inspire more entrepreneurs in the region. Respondents in the first CEO survey represent about 12 percent of CCCI members.

Other CEO Survey findings

Other survey findings showed that:

  • Majority of CEOs started their business in trading but have diversified to manufacturing, retail and wholesale distribution, and consumer and food beverage.
  • Over the next three years, business owners plan to enter the following industries: real estate and construction, tourism, food manufacturing, and consumer retail and technology.
  • Business leaders consider infrastructure, tourism, and technology as industries that need priority.

Survey presentation

PWC Cebu CEO survey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Smart programs shine at Philippine Quill Awards

Programs by Smart Communications to improve the daily lives of Filipinos through mobile technology were recognized recently at the 15th Philippine Quill Awards. Smart received second-runner up honors for Company…

Programs by Smart Communications to improve the daily lives of Filipinos through mobile technology were recognized recently at the 15th Philippine Quill Awards.

Smart received second-runner up honors for Company of the Year, as well as 12 Excellence and 9 Merit Awards. Smart’s winning programs sought to make the mobile internet experience more accessible, affordable, and meaningful to Filipinos; use technology to enhance education, disaster preparedness and response, health services, and customer experience; and engage the workforce better through digital technologies.

The Philippine Quill Awards is organized annually by the International Association of Business Communicators-Philippines to recognize excellence in professional communication.

15th Philippine Quill Awards

Smart received second-runner up honors for Company of the Year, as well as 12 Excellence and 9 Merit Awards in the 15th Philippine Quill Awards.

Smart programs

Winning Excellence Awards were the Batibot educational app which is now available on both Android and iOS platforms, the Disaster Communications Summit, GigaSurf campaign, Launchpad program for the youth, #OwnIt campaign, Smart Bro’s iPad Plan 599 campaign, Smart Pokemon GO, Smart University Gamified Mobile Learning program for employees, Sun Deserve Mo ‘To campaign, TNT Super Panalo Day, Welcome Change campaign, and the use of the internal social media platform for employees called Workplace by Facebook.

Receiving Merit Awards were the AlDub for TNT campaign, All New Smart Bro Plans, Employee Rockstars Program, the disaster preparedness video series for kids called Maging Laging Handa, SHINE OS+ (Secured Health Information Network and Exchange), Smart’s efforts to train Filipinos on Android app development for free, Smart Flagship Store, Sun First Job Problems campaign, and the TechnoCart and School-in-a-Bag programs. (Press release)

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M Lhuillier taps Starmobile to build custom smartphones

Philippine smart devices brand Starmobile has been chosen by leading pawnshop and remittance chain MLhuillier to create a customized Android smartphone for its employees and customers. Powered by Smart Prepaid…

Philippine smart devices brand Starmobile has been chosen by leading pawnshop and remittance chain MLhuillier to create a customized Android smartphone for its employees and customers.

Powered by Smart Prepaid SIMs, the modified Starmobile PLAY Five units are pre-installed with MLhuillier’s MLWallet app, which the Cebu-based company hopes will further empower its workforce to embrace the increasing influence of mobile and digital technologies on the remittance industry.

Starmobile

STARMOBILE. (From left) Smart Department Head/VP, National Key Accounts Group Precy Katigbak, Smart SVP/Head for Wireless and Distribution Alex Caeg, MLhuillier GM for Luzon/NCR Lorenzo Escaño, Starmobile CEO Joey Uy, and Starmobile President Uly Lao, wave “Five” to mark Starmobile’s 5th year of operations

Established in 2011, Starmobile is the mobile devices division of Star Telecom Alliance Resources, Inc. (STAR, Inc.). It is founded by telco industry experts with extensive experience in retail and product development.

Since it first offered Android devices, Starmobile has become the winningest Philippine smartphone brand with a slew of innovation awards from reputable media outfits. The company’s flagship KNIGHT series, has won top awards since 2013—a feat that has not been replicated by any local device company.

Learn more about Starmobile and its line of smartphones and tablets by visiting www.starmobile.com.ph or log on to facebook.com/starmobilephones. (Press Release)

 

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Asus ZenFone AR highlights augmented reality, virtual reality capabilities

From checking out how furniture looks in a room you’re decorating to seeing dinosaurs in the sala as you tell a story to your kids or even doing a virtual…

From checking out how furniture looks in a room you’re decorating to seeing dinosaurs in the sala as you tell a story to your kids or even doing a virtual and yet hyper-realistic tour of a car, augmented reality (AR) plays a central role in the Asus ZenFone AR.

The latest flagship device from Asus was highlighted during a gathering of developers in Mandaue City last Saturday.

Asus ZenFone AR

ASUS ZENFONE AR with VR headset and controller.

The ZenFone AR will be available starting July 17 but the company provided a preview during the Google I/O Extended Cebu 2017 last July 1. Mike Santos, of Asus product and brand marketing – smartphones, said they are working with developers to build AR applications for use on ZenFone AR.

Asus ZenFone AR specs

Santos did a demonstration for journalists and bloggers on the capabilities of the ZenFone AR. He said the phone supports both Google Tango and Daydream. Tango is an AR technology while Daydream offers immersive virtual reality or VR.

Santos said the phone is able to do this because of its top of the line specs: Snapdragon 821 optimized for Tango and up to 8GB of RAM. “That’s like your laptop,” Santos said.

Asus Zenfone AR Cebu

AR DEMO. Mike Santos of Asus product and brand marketing – smartphones demonstrates the augmented reality capability of the ZenFone AR with a virtual and yet realistic tour of a BMW unit.

The ZenFone AR has a TriCam system that lets the phone track your location as you move through space. It also has depth-sensing. This Santos demonstrated through an augmented reality tour of a BMW vehicle. Using the phone, Santos was able to show reporters and bloggers features of the car – from the engine to its interior – as if they were checking an actual vehicle.

Interior design, Harry Potter game

Santos also did a demonstration of how the phone can overlay furniture on a live camera view of a room: allowing a homeowner to preview design options. He also did a demonstration of how AR can be used for shopping of dresses via an augmented reality display of the items.

For its virtual reality capability, Santos did a demonstration through a Harry Potter game that transported the player to the popular book’s universe by donning the phone as a VR headset and using a controller to wield a virtual magic wand.

Asus ZenFone AR Cebu

VIRTUAL REALITY DEMO. Students check out the VR capability of the ZenFone AR with an immersive Harry Potter game.

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#LaLunaSangre’s pilot week scorching hot on Twitter with over 3 million tweets

Filipinos love their TV shows and they show it on social media especially on Twitter. #LaLunaSangre, ABS-CBN’s newest fanta-serye debuted on Monday, 19 June 2017. The episodes from this week…

Filipinos love their TV shows and they show it on social media especially on Twitter. #LaLunaSangre, ABS-CBN’s newest fanta-serye debuted on Monday, 19 June 2017. The episodes from this week erupted on Twitter, hitting more than 3 million Tweets (19-23 June 2017).

#LaLunaSangre is the third chapter of Lobo, a fantasy horror TV series about werewolves and vampires.

It’s also the sequel to Imortal, a popular fantasy show in 2008. Both #Lobo and #Imortal were highly rated and hugely popular shows of ABS-CBN network. La Luna Sangre stars highly acclaimed actors, who are some of the most followed personalities on Twitter in the Philippines: Kathryn Bernardo (@bernardokath), Daniel Padilla (@imdanielpadilla), Angel Locsin (@143redangel), John Lloyd Cruz, and Richard Gutierrez.

Here are the top Tweets of the week related to #LaLunaSangre:

The pilot episode reintroduced Mateo (John Lloyd) and Lia (Angel) as the mother of Malia (portrayed by Kathryn Bernardo). It also presented Richard Gutierrez as Sandrino the Supremo or leader of the vampire rebel group. The episode was embraced by Twitter users despite the main cast not appearing yet – Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. Here are the most talked-about moments on its pilot week.

1. On its pilot episode (19 June), the flashback of Lobo and Imortal was shown to help viewers remember history of the vampires and werewolves of the show. The group of ‘ang mga bes’ composed of the young Malia and her friends was also introduced, with their cuteness and innocence, as well as acting talent captured the hearts of the viewers. In fact, it generated 180,000 Tweets per minute.

2. Last night’s action-packed encounter between the good side and the bad side, and the sacrifice of Mateo and Lia to protect their only child Malia captured the heart of the viewers. On 23 June, from 7-8 pm, with its episode #LaLunaSangreAngPaghaharap, it recorded 100,000 tweets per minute.

3. The prophecy that dictates the fate of Lia and Tristan was revealed. This changed the peaceful and simple life of their family. On this episode last June 20, this destiny was the most talked-about topic on Twitter in the Philippines with more than 80,000 tweets per minute.

Fans of the show proved their love and appreciation to #LaLunaSangre by creating different hashtags everyday as the conversation flows on Twitter. Below are the most-used hashtags of the week.

Well-known personalities also got hooked with #LaLunaSangre.

See more from #LaLunaSangre by following the casts’ official Twitter accounts: Kathryn Bernardo (@bernardokath), Daniel Padilla (@iamdanielpadilla), Angel Locsin (@143redangel).

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Accenture launches rapid innovation center in the Philippines

Systems that detect whether mining vehicles are overloaded or its drivers exhausted to an augmented reality platform to train people how to operate machinery or decorate a house were​ put…

Systems that detect whether mining vehicles are overloaded or its drivers exhausted to an augmented reality platform to train people how to operate machinery or decorate a house were​ put on display as Accenture launched today its rapid innovation center in the Philippines.

Liquid Studio is an “open center where clients co-innovate with Accenture engineers to turn concepts into applications and solutions with speed and agility,” the company said.

While it is a venue where Accenture clients can work on innovation to stay ahead in business, it is also a place where the company’s workers can be trained or work on the latest technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality, said Ambe Tierro, senior managing director and technology lead, Accenture in the Philippines.

Accenture Liquid Studio Philippines

ACCENTURE LIQUID STUDIO. Leading the launch of the Accenture Liquid Studio in the Philippines are (from left) Ambe Tierro, senior managing director and technology lead, Accenture in the Philippines; Accenture Technology Services group chief executive Bhaskar Ghosh; and JP Palpallatoc, managing director and Accenture digital lead in the Philippines.

Technology innovation hub

It will also serve as a hub in the technology ecosystem in the Philippines, she said.

JP Palpallatoc, managing director and Accenture digital lead in the Philippines, said the Liquid Studio would be a place where the company can co-innovate with universities and schools as well as startups.

The center will help answer the question “how do you use technology to create business value?” said Accenture Technology Services group chief executive Bhaskar Ghosh.

During Thursday’s launch at the facility, which occupies an entire floor with about 2,000 square meters in the Uptown Place 3 at the BGC in Taguig City, Accenture showcased technologies on the connected home, artificial intelligence, internet of things, drones, analytics, robotics, and augmented reality.

Speed up development

The rapid innovation approach with agile methodologies can hasten development time from months to a matter of days or weeks, Palpallatoc said.

Among those they put on demo for journalists who covered the launch was a system that is able to scan faces and identify the person, take note of personal characteristics, and determine the mood: whether he or she is happy. It can be deployed in advertising displays that can tailor the marketing material based on data captured by the system.

That system was built in a matter of days by an Accenture team member. Also built quickly and shown on demo was an internal chatbot platform on which the company can provision systems or work on technical tasks just by messaging.

Data analytics

The company also showcased a mini-racing track with toy cars that used the Oracle cloud to display a dashboard of data analytics gathered by the toy vehicles. It shows how using analytics can help managers determine such things as vehicle fuel efficiency. They also showed a model of a system that can monitor and manage mining vehicles. It can guard against overloading and offer data to increase operational efficiency. It can even determine whether the driver is already exhausted by, among other things, monitoring for micro-sleeps via a camera.

The company also showed a crop monitoring system that used sensors, drones and thermal cameras to monitor the health of plants.

In demonstrating the use of augmented reality, the company showed how using an app, people will be able to focus the camera on a car engine and know its parts and how to do such things as replace the battery. The information is overlaid on the actual display of the vehicle. They also demonstrated how using Microsoft’s Holo Lens, people can preview how furniture, carpets and other accessories will look in the actual room.

Palpallatoc said augmented reality is a great technology to tap in training workers. He said it can provide a safer and cheaper alternative to working on an actual equipment.

Social benefits of technology

The Liquid Studio is part of a network of facilities throughout the world. This makes sure innovation is available to clients in its various facilities globally, said Ghosh.

During the launch, Ghosh highlighted the social benefits of technology by showing how an employee in Manila with hearing and speech impairment was able to work with colleagues in India by tapping AI to facilitate video communication. This, Ghosh said, will enable more people to join the workforce. He said it will enable managers to have a more diverse employee pool, including those who previously would not have been able to work.

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Gadgets for the modern man: Father’s Day gift ideas

With Father’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably mentally listing down gifts for the greatest hero of your life. Here are suggestions to express your love and thanks with…

With Father’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably mentally listing down gifts for the greatest hero of your life. Here are suggestions to express your love and thanks with a gadget gift.

Tech-Savvy Daddy: JUMPU Gadgets and Accessories

If dad already owns a brand-new smartphone or tablet, he would appreciate having multiple mobile accessories that he can keep in his office, car, or at home. Give him the best by selecting JUMPU mobile accessories, guaranteed to deliver the best of Japanese design and manufacturing.

Forget about waiting for one device to fully charge before plugging the next. Save dad’s time with the innovative JUMPU SHUN 4-port and SEHA 5-port chargers, allowing him to power several devices at the same time.

JUMPU

If your dad is the type to leave the house with his phone battery life at 5%, JUMPU’s DUO or KLASIK power banks has got him covered. He would also enjoy the convenience of having multiple MICRO reversible micro-USB cables, LITNIN lightning cables, or DUAL series cables that support both micro-USB and lighting outputs. These would allow him to connect his devices to his laptop for easy file sharing, or to his car charger so he can power them up while keeping his focus on the road.

Practical Papa: Starmobile UNO B208 and B306

For this kind of father, simplicity is the UNO way to go. Starmobile’s latest feature phones UNO B208 and B306 assure to offer the ground necessities of every dad. Focusing on call and text, these Filipino mobile phones promise to be easy-to-use while still offering high-end functionality and reliability.

Personalize the gift based on dad’s preference.

Starmobile Uno

B208 is equipped with FM radio, camera with flash, expandable memory, flashlight, and multimedia support; available in red, blue, or black.

On the other hand, B306 is designed for entertainment suited with an extra loudspeaker, camera, and video recording; available in gray, gold, and black.

Drudging Dude: Starmobile UP Prime and ENGAGE Aura

He’s the busiest dad of all – always on his phone and laptop, but also makes sure to spend time with his family amidst the hectic schedule. Keep him on top of his game with gadgets complementing his fast-paced lifestyle – the UP Prime and ENGAGE Aura from Starmobile.

Crafted to match the everyday lifestyle of professionals, Starmobile’s UP Prime clashes sleek experience of work and entertainment with its split-screen feat which allows dad to seamlessly navigate between texting and playing music. It’s 5-inch 2.5D curved screen perfects the resolution display of watching videos on right side and browsing the internet on the left side through its customizable toggle menus. Dad can also take notes for work by capturing moments with its 8MP rear camera or just bring out his fun personality in a stressful day with wacky selfie on the 5MP front cam. Powered by Android™ 7.0 Nougat, the 700MHz LTE-compatible gadget is the ideal mobile partner for professional dads.

Starmobile Engage

Whether in the office or at home, dad always needs to have a quick access computer to grow his business. The ENGAGE Aura from Starmobile lets him seize that opportunity at an affordable expense. Manufactured with a lightweight design for easy carry, the 1.9GHz Quad-Core laptop powers a heavy performance fitting dad’s everyday line-up of programs.

Equipped with a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mini HDMI, and USB ports of 2.0 and 3.0; the Intel Atom computer makes a convenient working ambiance for dad with effortless connectivity. Its 2MP webcam also enables him immediate reach of his contacts at 720p video capture anytime, anywhere. With Windows 10 as its licensed operating system and long-lasting battery of 9000mAh Li-Ion with 7 hours video time and up to 210 hours standby time, the machine assures reliable job of a pro dad’s needs.

Fun-loving Father: Starcube Digital TV Box

Boost his entertainment experience and let dad enjoy local television shows in crystal clear definition. With over 30 channels to choose from, dad can watch just about as long as he wants without bothering about the monthly cable bill. What’s more, dad can simply tap the recording feature of the digibox in case he needs to work during airtime of his favorite shows.

Starcube

Super Surfer-Father: TP-LINK routers

For web surfing, TP-Link routers are known to be reliable in establishing secure and effective internet connection. With the brand’s collection, faster speeds for more devices are possible without slowing dad’s network. These routers are edged with superior range and coverage, permitting several devices connected nearby and faraway. Its innovative technology supplies solid support for simultaneous HD streaming, online gaming, and other online activities dad may need.

TP Link routers

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