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article imageFreeMe wins TechCrunch Disrupt's London hackathon

By Michael Thomas     Dec 7, 2015 in Technology
London - TechCrunch Disrupt London challenged first-time and veteran developers to create a "neat" and "smart" hack in 24 hours, and the winner is based in mobile, web apps and beacons — FreeMe.
TechCrunch announced the winner on Sunday, an app called FreeMe. Created by Joanna Alpe, Tine Postuvan and Luka Topolovec, the app aims to help women in distress.
FreeMe functionality would be embedded into feminine hygiene dispensers — a woman can then press a button, which immediately creates a profile and takes a photo with metadata embedded, encompassing time, location, age and gender. This info is then shared with the police.
The dispenser would also release a sanitary pad with an embedded beacon. When a woman is within proximity of a police officer, the officer would receive a notification on the FreeMe app letting him or her know a woman is nearby and in need of immediate assistance.
Alpe in her TechCrunch presentation says the solution is "flexible, adjustable and lightweight" as well as "cheap to implement, easy to scale." It would be based in Android apps and web apps.
The app, of course, would need to see widespread adoption to function well — police units, for example, would need to have the app installed on their phone to make use of the technology.
The creators took home a $5,000 (£3,250) prize for winning the competition.
The first runner-up was MedicSMS, aimed at helping those in developing countries. Users simply need to text their symptoms, and they'll receive a likely diagnosis thanks to a combination of Twilio and IBM Watson APIs. Then the user receives a suggested course of action to help deal with it. MedicSMS also requests data from the user, which would aid charities in tracking disease growth.
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