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Hitting Accelerate

Thai developers show their skills with apps that help you conduct market research, diagnose illnesses and watch your weight

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A recent mobile application competition by dtac has yielded a number of promising teams of developers from Thailand. 

The winning team, Fastinflow, will have the opportunity to learn from Silicon Valley executives and entrepreneurs.

Emerging on top were the developers of Fastinflow, and the winners will travel to the Blackbox Connect programme in Silicon Valley as part of the prize.

The Fastinflow app is a consumer research platform that enables marketers to get insight in as little as five minutes with three simple steps _ creating questions you want to ask customers, sending them out and receiving.

Fastinflow co-founder and CEO Chalermyuth Boonma explained that the app is a tool for marketers who want "new and quick" ways to get insight into their consumers.

"The app is helpful for businesses that want to confirm their gut feelings or test the feedback of newly launched products," he said.

The app charges fees according to the number of questions and the number of respondents. Initially the app offered only true-or-false questions, but now the team has redesigned the feature to include five choices per question.

The team will try to expand the Fastinflow app to overseas markets.

"There is not any app of this kind in the local market, there are a few in Asean, but none is prominent," Chalermyuth said. "The survey apps normally divide the questioners and respondents, but our app combines them in the one unit and has the engine to manage both sides. This is the key difference."

Chalermyuth said that they are now focusing on perfecting the platform for iOS, Android and the web, and it will be launched by the end of this year.

As the winner of dtac Accelerate, the Fastinflow team will have the opportunity to attend Blackbox Connect. The extensive programme is conceived to be like a half-year Silicon Valley experience condensed into two weeks. They will have the opportunity to learn from Silicon Valley executives and entrepreneurs, which will help them take their start-ups to a global level.

THE FIRST RUNNER-UP... HAAMOR

Haamor app allows users to pre-diagnose themselves. With thousands of diagnostic flows created by a team of more than 100 physicians, the app presents the user with a series of Yes/No questions, leading to a summary of whether the symptom or condition can be cured by themselves, and if so, how. If it cannot be, it will suggest how soon medical attention will be needed.

Haamor.com co-founder Wicharn Manawanitjarern said the app was developed to serve those who don't want the trouble of searching for information on the internet. Seventy to 80% of conditions are self-diagnosable and those patients need not wait in long queues to see a doctor. The app offers a way to alleviate congestion in hospitals, especially as there is an average of three doctors for 10,000 patients.

However, the development team emphasised that Haamor has no intention to _ and cannot _ replace doctors, but it helps filter patients before going to see the doctor.

The app was developed based on the website haamor.com, which the team introduced in 2011. The information and knowledge was created from more than 10,000 health questions on the site's web board.

The app is available in two versions: Symptom Flow is free, and Premium Flow is priced at 99 cents for five uses per month and US$5 for unlimited use.

"In-app purchase is new for the Thai market, it might be feasible if we adjust the price to 20 baht," Wicharn said.

DIETPARTY... THE SECOND RUNNER-UP

DietParty is a mobile dieting app that helps users enjoy eating through smart, informative games and social integration.

Developer Parada Mahapaurya, who had tried many ways to lose weight, finally found that discipline in eating and exercise was the key factor. Parada, however, believed that losing weight should be encouraged with fun.

Her team developed an app with meal and exercise tracking features: vote and comment if your friend's choice of foods is "good", "OK" or "bad"; share the number of calories burned; compare your food consumption with friends worldwide; and celebrate with friends who have lost weight through notifications.

The DietParty app also has a diet partner matchmaking and pairing service. Customers can choose their diet partner from social network friends or total strangers who match their diet goal. The two can work together until they conquer their weight-loss goal.

FINALISTS GET SUPPORT

There were another seven finalist teams. iBlueCode, an innovative online social diary to help you record memorable moments; FaceCard, an app that turns your business card into more than a small piece of paper; Flyingcomma's app called Shopuke which collects your favourite shops on Facebook; Packlink, a travel assistant that helps you pack bags for every trip; Quests, an app that supports start-ups seek help from specialists and build relationships for long-term business; sabuy.me, a new online store with a convenient shopping system; and Story Log, which storytelling more fun and interactive. All the dtac Accelerate finalists will receive support to commercialise their applications. Dtac CEO Jon Eddy Abdullah said the finalists showed app development was moving towards a mobile lifestyle in the next three to five years.

The dtac Accelerate programme was created to encourage Thai people to create innovative applications and play key roles in the technology industry, and to give them a learning space and a platform to demonstrate their talents to the world.

dtac is focused on expanding its business into the mobile content and application arena as part of its corporate strategy.

The dtac Accelerate programme has so far received more than 200 ideas from over 1,000 participants.

Since its launch the programme has featured a series of workshop sessions with dtac management and well-known entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley, including former Apple App Store editor Matt Monday, and Paul Jastrzebski, a business development expert who brought popular games such as Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 3 and Madfinger Games' Shadowgun to Google Play, and Blackbox Accelerator founder Fadi Bishara.

Mobile gaming expert Paul Jastrzebski and former Apple App Store editor Matt Monday from Silicon Valley share their experience and give suggestions during a workshop at the dtac Accelerate competition.

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