A team of Filipinos from Chikka Philippines, Inc. bested developers from Thailand, Indonesia, and India during the annual Facebook Mobile “œhackathon” event last Monday in Singapore where they won the Best Mobile Open Graph Award.
This hackathon is not really a place where participants are asked to break or hack into programs or platforms to expose vulnerabilities but it is a contest where a developer team conceptualizes, programs, and presents an application to judges, all within a very short period of time.
Chikka engineers Miko Ignacio, Jason Sia, Josh Basarte, and Melvin Fetalvero won the Best Mobile Open Graph Award for creating “Hear Me,” an application that lets users post audio notes on their Facebook home page.
Using open web systems and Facebook’s Open Graph Application Programming Interface (API) which enables developers to create apps that take advantage of Facebook’s social ecosystem, the team was able to create Hear Me in just four hours and without the need to use expensive IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and VOIP (Voice Over IP) systems-technologies used in popular Internet communications software such as Skype and Yahoo! Messenger.
“I don’t think we won because of what we came up with in four hours, but because of what ‘Hear Me’ can become, in the hands of other Facebook users and the developer community,” said Chikka team leader Melvin Fetalvero.
“They can surely build on it, run with it, to launch very engaging content; think rapping bouts and ‘pick-up line’ battles. They can now bring those experiences to social media,” Fetalvero explained.
“It seems like only yesterday when we were called the text capital of the world. Today, it’s well documented how we are the ‘social media capital.’ It is why the world tends to expect innovation in this area from Filipinos; we take to social media like fish to water,” said Chikka founder Dennis Mendiola.
“It’s in our DNA. The Philippine delegation to the Facebook hackathon represents some of the world’s finest mobile applications developers. Beyond expertise, talent, and creativity, there is passion and pride in what we do,” said Chikka founder Dennis Mendiola.