Throughout the past few weeks, various businesses and government organizations have been the targets of anonymous hackers and hacker groups. The trouble seemed to have stemmed from Sony’s trouble. The wave of attacks appeared to be never ending, as one organization after another fell victim to hackers. But in the light of all these hacks from rogue programmers, emerges a small group of programmers who have chosen to apply their skills towards doing more good than harm, in the world. Earlier in June, a group known as Random Hacks of Kindness gathered in various locations around the world to develop applications with NGO organizations and world governments to address global and regional problems. The group is supported by various organizations, such as Microsoft, NASA, Google, and the World Bank.
Many of the apps developed by the group are now being implemented and tested in different countries. Here are a few examples of a few innovative apps already developed or are currently in development:
SMS Finder – This app works in conjunction with Google’s Person Finder, which was developed by their Emergency Response Team. SMS finder allows users to locate various individuals and is extremely useful tool for families searching for loved ones during for an emergency or natural disaster. Not only will it be localized, but can also locate individuals on an international level.
Bring The Food – Restaurants, food services, and food suppliers often run into the problem of carrying excess food or food that is near expiration. With the Bring the Food App, they can easily update collection agencies about excess food supplies that are available for distribution and collection. This can save hundreds of dollars and help feed thousands of individuals at food shelters all around the world.
Disaster Mapper – The Disaster mapper allows individuals to search and locate disasters in a surrounding and estimate how close a disaster is to them. It will also provide a detail description and additional information, such as emergency guidelines from government agencies on how to respond. This will be extremely useful in disaster situations, such as powerful hurricanes, tornadoes, nuclear disasters, tsunamis, and brush fires.
iRespond – During an emergency disaster, it is a huge task for agencies to coordinate responders and resources. Certain events are unpredictable and can a strain on the infrastructure in place, which may not be designed to handle situations. The developers of iRespond plan to develop an app that connect phones through an SMS that will not require a network. With an iRespond app installed, users will be able to identify areas in need, as well as request services that are tracked location through GPS. Emergency response teams will be able to use this information to efficiently respond.
Eco-Tricoder – Eco-Tricoder provides individuals with information on water quality, air quality, and various other environmental statistics in a surrounding area. This app is designed to help individuals be more informed about the environmental quality of their region in order to establish an informed citizenship and ultimately bring awareness to climate problems.
Hey Cycle – Sustainability will be key to our future and Hey Cycle looks to address this with their recyclable Craig’s list-esque app. With this Hey Cycle, users will automatically receive new messages about items that are others are looking to give away. This will help individuals and companies recycle or find exactly what they need. It will help conserve money, increase the life cycle of products, and reduce waste.
This is only a snipped of great apps that are being developed by individuals collaborating with the Random Hacks Of Kindness project. You can find the full list of apps here. Random Hacks Of Kindness will also be holding a WaterHackathon in October, which will be dedicated to developing solutions for growing concerns over water supplies. The only limitations we see to developing apps is cell phone battery life of certain smartphones, as well as the proper infrastructure, such as a dedicated emergency mobile network. However, there have been current developments that are pushing these types of initiatives forwards, such as the implementation of emergency SMS.
Do you know of any other groups or apps that are helping the world? Let us know about it in the comments section or start a conversation with us on twitter @CellOutfitter