Solving Important Problems Through Smartphones

Smartphones and applicationsAbout a billion new smartphones will be sold in 2014, the majority in developing countries. This expanding network offers profound opportunities to solve global problems in entirely new ways.

Here are a few examples of innovative uses of smartphones — which admittedly just scratch the surface of what is possible:

1) Use Smartphones to Track Mosquitoes

Public officials in Lahore use photos and GPS information from smartphones to better target anti-mosquito programs. Dengue Fever has dropped significantly. http://econ.st/178vcmf

2) Track, Report Noise Pollution via Mobile Phone

NoiseTube and NoiseMap are two projects that allow crowdsourced collection and reporting of noise pollution data. On MobileActive.org http://bit.ly/cMx5RC

3) Inexpensive Eye Exams via Smartphone

MIT researchers have developed a small device that when combined with a smartphone can offer eye exams in developing countries. Fast Company http://bit.ly/9bWBXJ

4) Map Transit Routes Using Cell Phones

Students at the University of Nairoibi and MIT have mapped Nairobi’s informal transit network through studying cell phone data. Atlantic http://bit.ly/1k593ev

5) Data-driven Biodiversity

Crowdsourcing, a smartphone app, satellite images and data analysis combine to tell farmers which fields to flood and when to help migratory birds. NY Times http://nyti.ms/1kYcIbt

To comment or vote on these (or other) ideas – or add your own! – visit Good Ideas.

 

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Five Good Ideas for Saving Gas

milesMany families spend thousands of dollars per year on fuel for their cars. Here are five good ideas for saving money — and helping the environment while you are at it:

Inflate Your Tires

Most automobile tires are 80% inflated or less, wasting over 100 gallons of gas per year per car. It’s bad for the pocketbook, it’s bad for safety, and it’s bad for the environment. http://abt.cm/1a28SuZ

Save Gas By Driving Less Aggressively

Edmunds.com tests show that driving less aggressively is the best way to save fuel – better than driving slower, inflating tires, reducing idling, and other strategies. http://bit.ly/8Ygyoo

Roll Down Your Window Instead of AC

Rolling down your window to cool the car on a hot day uses less energy than the AC – except when driving on the highway (where wind resistance matters more). Slate http://bit.ly/d65p04

Use “Road Trains” to Save Gas

Wirelessly linking automobiles into “road trains” can save 20% of fuel. http://bit.ly/7oP5ED

Buy a Tesla Instead of a Minivan

Total cost of ownership over eight years for a Honda Odyssey is higher than for a Tesla Model S. ExtremeTech http://bit.ly/1t5FEDS

Feel free to vote or comment on any of these ideas on Good Ideas (you can click on the idea titles above to go straight to the ideas).