Africa grabs prestigious awards at Ericsson’s 2014 app competition


Two computer science students from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, have won €25 000 (about R355 000) for the WorkMode app they developed for the Student category for Ericsson’s applications 2014 competition.

Rijnard van Tonder and Jacques Marais, both MSc students in Computer Science at SU, competed against 158 entries from 142 teams in the Student category. They developed an app that helps workers collaborate by allowing them to see the real-time work context and tasks of colleagues.

The idea behind WorkMode is to allow employees to see the work of other employees, their tasks, and in which context these tasks will be completed. See the WorkMode app in action:

Van Tonder, who is in the third week of an internship at Microsoft in Seattle in the USA, says he’s really honoured that they received first prize. “Africa as a whole also did great. I think this competition goes a long way to promote our potential here in South Africa and Africa,” he says.

Team SOP from Nigeria also received €25 000 for winning the first prize in the Company category for an app that monitors electricity supply.

Marais says this is only the beginning. “The award will help us to build our business and allow us to develop not only this app but also some ideas we have around education in South Africa. It will also enable us to purchase hardware so we can expand to different platforms. It’s a real boost.”

South Africa won another award with Sowertech’s AftaRobot app which provides a smart solution for public transportation by focusing on the minibus taxi industry.



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