THE five-member FilipinoTeam iNON — short for “it’s Now or Never” — the 2018 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Apps Challenge champion, is back in Manila with a message that “even technology needs a heart.”
The team created ISDApp, from the Filipino word “isda,” meaning fish, as a mobile platform that enables local government officials to provide fisherfolk with information about real-time weather and sea conditions.
The app enables local government officials to provide this potentially life-saving information to fisherfolks’ analog cellphones using NASA Globe observer data.
Team leader Rebrain Martin said, “We saw the problem, and figured we could do something to help the lives of coastal communities around the world.”
Team member Marie Jeddah Legaspi explained, “ISDApp is a simple solution with an important purpose, which we believe helped it swim to success. This is a proof that even technology needs a heart.”
“The inspiration behind ISDApp came from Martin and Legaspi. They live near fishing communities in Obando, Bulacan and got the idea for how we could potentially help them through the use of technology,” ISDApp Solutions Designer Julius Czar Torreda explained.
“The NASA Space Apps Challenge helped us in the ideation of ISDApp where there’s collaboration between idea, data and technology. The vision for Team iNON is to be known for connecting fishing communities to the government, NGOs, and to the rest of the country so that they will be given the information they need, and at the same time build a community,” Torreda said.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim congratulated Team iNON for beating out 1,395 teams from around the world to win the Best Galactic Impact category in the 2018 NASA Space Apps Challenge.
Kim awarded certificates of recognition to Team iNON at the US Embassy last February 21.
Aside from Martin, Legaspi and Torreda, the other team members are Rogelio Patrick del Rosario Jr. and Herlan Czar Leuterio.
In recognition of their talents and skills, the US Embassy in the Philippines sponsored Team iNON’s visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the US from July 22 to 24 to present their app to a panel of NASA officials and media.
The three-day program, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, opened with presentations by 2018 Space Apps Challenge winners from around the world.
A tour of the space center followed. While there, Team iNON also witnessed the July 25 launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-18 spacecraft.
The Kennedy Space Center visit was a transformational experience for the team. Upon their return, they hope to encourage more Filipinos to join the NASA Space Apps Challenge.
“Coming from this overwhelming and thrilling experience of our achievement in the NASA Space Apps Challenge, we hope to inspire and excite young Filipino innovators to join and share their knowledge and expertise to help transform lives through the power of technology for a better future,” Martin said
The group triumphed over 1,395 teams worldwide with the app they developed during the October 2018 NASA Space Apps Challenge, which was hosted by the US Embassy in the Philippines in partnership with De La Salle University.