Thursday, September 5, 2013

Platform gamifies IT recruitment in the Philippines

Gild Source is one platform that helps recruiters find professional coders by automatically grading their script, and now Philippines-based Codetoki is helping companies find the right IT specialists by getting them to complete challenges based on the role. Having recently been named first place in the Microsoft-sponsored Apps for Asia event, one of the aims of Codetoki is to provide a platform for the number of skilled IT workers who are struggling to find work in the country, or outside of it. By partnering with IT and business process outsourcing companies and offering role-specific tasks, the site enables graduates and professionals to search the available openings, take the challenge and see if they’re suitable for the role. If they are, they earn a badge and the recruiter is notified. There is also a leaderboard to help companies easily see who the best performing candidates are. From here they can decide if they want to offer the user an interview. Codetoki essentially acts a screening tool for businesses who receive lots of applications from workers who may not be qualified. However, users can also benefit from taking the challenges, with the chance to become a Microsoft Student Partner.

Baby paintings marketplace transforms doodles into personalized modern art to raise money for charity

There are already numerous platforms that enable consumers to customize or personalize a work of art before they buy it. But how about combining the two, while raising money for a social cause? Australia-based Jellybeanstreet aims to do just that, allowing parents to create large scale replicas of their baby’s art, modify it and sell it to friends and family to support children’s charities. It’s one thing to celebrate kids’ achievements by putting their latest drawing on the fridge, but parents using Jellybeanstreet can scan the artwork and upload it onto to the site, before using the provided tools to crop, rotate and even alter the color of the final piece. Users can then get the image printed on high quality canvasses to hang in their living room – based on the premise that a lot of abstract modern art isn’t too much of a step away from kid’s doodles. Once a print has been purchased, Jellybeanstreet makes the piece available for friends and family to buy. For every purchase, 20 percent is taken by Jellybeanstreet, 40 percent goes back to the child artist and their parent or guardian and a further 40 percent is donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Jellybeanstreet helps parents purchase personalized artwork for their home and celebrate their child’s talent, while also earning money to potentially put towards their kid’s future – and the future of children in need. Are there other ways to marry multiple disparate ventures into one coherent business model?

‘Hospital Passport’ helps comfort young patients

UK children’s hospitals, such as London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, have been featured on these pages before thanks to their innovative schemes to help kids deal with the stress of medical treatment. Now Scotland’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children has also come up with the Hospital Passport scheme, which aims to make young patients feel more at ease when being passed from department to department. Based in Glasgow, psychologists at the NHS institution developed the initiative as a way to help visitors feel more involved in the care they receive. Rather than being transferred to different parts of the hospital without an explanation, the gamified approach encourages children to get their passport stamped and collect stickers when moving around the building, or visiting a different department. Filling up the passport is a good thing, as it means kids are getting closer to completing their treatment. Parents are given a separate Hospital Passport Coping Kit, which includes information on how they can help to discuss with their children the reasons they’re having the treatment, further reducing any anxiety. It also acts as an aid for adults to keep track of their child’s hospital history. A parent involved in a trial of the scheme said: “It definitely helped me and my child talk more and made it easier to approach what is wrong with her and why she has come to hospital.” Although currently running as a pilot at the Glasgow hospital, there has been interest from Great Ormond Street Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital in Dublin. How else can hospitalization be made less traumatic for younger children?

From Sweden, small clip fixes shirt buttons without needle and thread

We recently saw Ministry of Supply‘s range of shirts that use material developed by NASA to keep the wearer cool. Using much more modest technology, the Sweden-based tic device nevertheless helps owners repair their shirt buttons in seconds, without the need for the usual needle and thread. In cases where a button comes loose and there is neither the time nor the resources to fix it, tic is a small, recyclable plastic clip that simply attaches the button back onto the shirt. Coming in a matchbook-style cardboard sleeve, users take one of the clips, press the spikes through the underside of the fabric, place the button over the top of the spikes and clamp down the clip. When the device is twisted away from the shirt, it leaves behind a small plastic clip now keeping the button attached to the shirt. The plastic is washable so users can either choose to keep the tic in place or replace it with thread at a later time.

Augmented reality platform enables consumers to virtually try before they buy

There have been numerous efforts to make augmented reality more than just a technological gimmick – from digital museum learning aids to virtual outdoor supermarkets. Now, France-based Augment is hoping to make it a useful sales tool for enabling consumers to see how products will look before they commit to buying. Designed as a presentation platform for e-commerce businesses, the consumer app uses augmented reality technology to virtually place 3D models of products into physical locations. The company hopes that – by placing the Augment logo on printed material – users will be encouraged to scan it using their smartphone or tablet to bring the products to life. Consumers can see what products look like from all angles, and even visualize it in life-size scale in a room. The platform could make print campaigns more engaging and provide better product demonstrations for online shoppers, helping to boost sales and reduce return rates, according to the company.

Magnetic clip keeps smartphones secure and portable

While the MIAmobi smartphone case has provided a way to protect the data the devices hold, those who want to rid themselves of cumbersome bags may need another solution if they still want to keep their handset on them. Clipless is an easy-to-use fastener that enables the attachment of smartphones to any surface or fabric. The Clipless comes in three parts – a slim connector that can be affixed to the flat surface on the back of most smartphones, the Clipless device and a high-power magnetic disc. Users place the disc underneath the fabric they would like to clip their handset to and the Clipless device on the other side. They can then slide the smartphone onto the clip and the magnet is strong enough to keep the phone in place, even while doing rigorous activities such as jogging. Clipless enables users to keep their device safe without the need for pockets or a bag. The product means that smartphones – and even tablets – can be kept on the fridge or securely mounted on a car dashboard. The magnetic parts are also shielded so they don’t interfere with sensitive objects such as credit cards and laptops.


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