Tech Innovation: More fun in the Philippines

The Philippines has been dubbed the Social Media Capital of the world for good reason: it has a highly adaptable consumer culture that's always eager to adopt the latest technologies.

But what good is such a "techie" culture if it can't innovate on its own?

On Sept. 5, two of the biggest names in technology came together to cast a spotlight on “some of the country’s best technological innovations.”

At a restaurant in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Microsoft Philippines and Ford Philippines launched I.T.: It’s More Fun in the Philippines. Pinoys: From consumers to producers

“Until we bring the country from being consumers of technology to producers, we cannot move forward,” said Rep. Sigfrido “Freddie” Tinga, House chairperson of the Committee on Information, Communication and Technology (CICT).

Microsoft Philippines Managing Director Karrie Ilagan said that the program “is in line with our plan to increase our focus on empowering Filipino-owned businesses and helping them achieve global competitiveness through productivity solutions and continuous innovations.”

The 15-city tour, starting on Sept. 10 in General Santos City, will run for two months. The itinerary includes Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Iloilo, Baguio, Isabela, Cavite/Laguna, Makati, Taguig, and Manila, among others.

During the roadshow, Microsoft intends to showcase technological innovations from each of the cities to “inspire and drive entrepreneurs and businesses in using technology powered by our IT and productivity solutions,” said Ilagan.

Featured technologies in 15-city roadshow

Among the innovations to be presented in the roadshow are the Taxi ATM Card Terminals in Davao —considered the country’s first cashless mode of transportation payment. (See related report here.)

Other technologies that will be showcased are the Automated Rain Gauges in Iloilo. These rain gauges were installed by the Department of Science and Technology, in partnership with Smart Communications Inc. The gauges are real-time weather forecasting system to help alert residents against strong rains and flash floods. (See related story here.)

Cagayan de Oro in the southern Philippines is represented by the Solar Power Plant set up by CEPALCO (Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company, Inc.). This is a two-hectare power plant with 6,500 solar panels. The power plant can produce 1 megawatt worth of power, and is intended to augment the electricity shortage in Mindanao. (See press release here.)

For students as well as professionals

The roadshow is not only for professionals but for students as well as Microsoft would also go around different information technology schools to inform them how they can optimize technology for their operations, said Ilagan.

During the roadshow, Microsoft will be using the 2013 Ford Ranger to tour around the Philippines.

The vehicle intends to carry Microsoft Philippines’ three “Most Valuable Professionals” (MVPs). Microsoft MVPs are technology experts who would share their knowledge in the places they will visit around the country.

Ford also came out with new Microsoft-powered software named SYNC for its Ford Focus sedan models. This software enables the user to operate digital media players and mobile phones via voice command as the user starts the car. — TJD, GMA News