Emergency app for women wins Spark-a-Smart Change Hackathon #HackForHer

April 14, 2015

Everyday we face the challenge of making a safe passage to our homes. Sometimes we don’t have a choice but to take an alternative mode of transportation or walking on the streets. Many have tales of horror to tell.

“I got the idea from all the news about women being victims of taxi crime. From getting mugged to getting raped,” shares Maria Pizarra in a Facebook interview. Working as a team manager, she was moved by one of her colleague’s cousin’s story, who was forced to withdraw her money and got raped afterwards in the past.

Things can happen so fast, you’ll start to panic and you won’t have time nor think of making a call or text. Worse, your phone is inside your bag or your hands are bound. There’s got to be a way to alert somebody that you are in danger.

With that, she and Argie Badua came up with the winning app HerSafe+ at Spark-a-Smart Change Hackathon #HackForHer. HerSafe+ focuses on women’s safety and quick rescue. In case of emergency, the user just need to shake her smartphone and it will automatically call one of her trusted contacts.


“That’s why I thought of taking advantage of the ‘discreet’ features of the phone. One quick vigorous shake is enough to send GPS coordinates of [your] exact location to your trusted friends, family or even the police,” says Pizarra.

Spark-a-Smart Change Hackathon #HackForHer happened last March 21 where twelve (12) teams participated. It was organized by SPARK! Philippines together with SMART Communications and the J. Amado Araneta Foundation. The competition called for creation of safe spaces/communities for women, anti-corruption, and encourage them to engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Busy hacking away~ :)
Busy hacking away~ 🙂
Judges checking the app of one of the presenters
Judges checking the app of one of the presenters
Second place: HerStory, a platform to showcase women empowerment stories.
Second place: HerStory, a web application that showcases women empowerment stories.
Third place: Women’s Desk
Special prize winner for HERE Maps
Special prize winner for HERE Maps

Pizarra’s team will also be&the first to participate in Smart DevNet’s #AfterHack Program, wherein they will get exclusive mentorship from HERE Maps and SPARK! Philippines and access to A Space Manila. As grand winners they also took home an Application Development Package consisting of smart watches, Android phones, 90 days access to HERE Maps Android SDK and cool swags from event partners.

Photos c/o SMART, Ronnie Delosreyes

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