Apicta: Bringing out the best in innovation

  • TECH
  • Monday, 03 Nov 2014

Catch That Bus chief operating officer and co-founder Ashwin Jeyapalasingam posing proudly with his award for the 'Best of Tourism and Hospitality' at the recent MSC Malaysia Apicta Awards 2014.

After trying out gesture and motion control technologies on the Xbox 360 videogame console with Kinect, Alvin Koh was inspired to makes signages more interactive.

“Most digital signboards we see today are not interactive and play the same set of ads over and over again,” said Koh, chief executive officer for Blinkware Interactive.

The company’s solution, called Blinkware, uses a 3D depth-sensing camera to detect gestures and movement of anyone standing in front of the signboard. If the signboard is showing an advertisement of a new car, for instance, the customer will be able to “open” the door and take a look at the look at the interior just by using gestures.

Blinkware was one of the 17 winners at the MSC Malaysia Apicta (Asia Pacific ICT Alliance) 2014 awards organised by Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC).

“We want to make the experience fun for users instead of subjecting them to a boring ad,” he said.

Blinkware is already installed in malls like Sungei Wang Plaza in Kuala Lumpur and the company said there are plans to deploy it in other major shopping complexes.

Koh also plans to use the technology for education. Its working on Blinkware Edu which will use motion sensing apps to help children learn the alphabet, numbers and colours, as well as develop their coordination and motor skills.

Another area Koh wants to use Blinkware is the medical field. Blinkware Med will help speed up patient rehabilitation and make it easier for doctors to view, say, X-rays during an operation.  

Both solutions are currently in the research and development stage and they are expected to reach the market by next year, said Koh.

Another winning idea came from Ashwin Jeyapalasingam who created an online bus booking service which he has been working on since 2011.

“The problem we faced back in 2011 was that many bus operators were not online and those that were had poorly maintained websites that were difficult to navigate,” said Ashwin.

Catch-That-Bus is a one-stop bus booking service that covers all the bus routes in Malaysia and Singapore, he claimed. “Users can book for tickets and pay via credit card or debit card, as well as through online banking,” said Ashwin.

He has also created an app for Catch-That-Bus and it has been available on the Google Play Store since August.

“The app has been downloaded 10,000 times with minimal marketing on our part and we have plans to make an iOS version of the app,” he said.

This year’s Apicta attracted 337 submissions from innovators, technopreneurs and visionaries, across 19 different categories.

“Over the years, Apicta has inspired Malaysians to innovate via ICT and to equip themselves with the necessary skills and tools to compete on the global level,” said MDeC chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali.

The Apicta winners will represent Malaysia at this year’s International Apicta Awards that will be held in Jakarta from Nov 27 to 30.
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