June 13, 2012

From idea to product

In day to day working life, one often runs into various kinds of exciting challenges. Life in the iLab SEA is no exception starting from one passionate idea to a grateful finished software product that can solve certain radical human problems in pursuing a safer and healthier life through "early detection, early response" in affected communities as well as the world.

In the developing world, the latest critical information such as current flooding levels, available vaccines, total casualties and location coordinates are rarely available to the most remote and vulnerable people. Due to the lack of information,  people's health and safety as well as the economy have been affected. By the time relief workers are made aware of what is going on, things might have already gone worse. Thus making the rescue and recovery process the much more of a struggle.

Imagine how nice it would be if there was a shared map on which the affected people can have access to and pass along critical information to the people who are coming to help so that they can understand the current situation in a matter of seconds.  This will dramatically improve their ability to help and can greatly lessen the severity of the damage.  By having such useful knowledge, rescue teams will be better prepared, and can develop plan their activities and resources to deal with events that may happen in the future.

From that assumption, the iLab SEA was excited to rush into making the very first prototype of Resource Map, which was ready in January 2011.

Figure 1: The first prototype of Resource Map

As Resource Map matures, the team continues to do experiments and make dramatic improvements to the user experience.

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