Safety Datapalooza officially kicked off at 8:30 a.m. on September 14, but lines were already forming around the block two hours before the doors opened at the Eisenhower Executive Office building in downtown Washington D.C. Participants, numbering around 200 in person and hundreds more online, networked while they waited. Some did it the old-fashioned way, handing out brochures and exchanging business cards, while others chatted about apps and connected with each other using their iPhones and tablets.
They were all eager to learn how innovators from the private, nonprofit, and academic sectors have been using freely-available government data to build products and services that advance public safety in areas like natural disasters, emergency response, and trends in crime-stopping.
White House invites SAP to attend
SAP was one of a hand-picked group of innovators selected to attend the event, which was sponsored by the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. It presented Recalls Plus, a HANA-based consumer application introduced in April 2012. The mobile app uses public data from relevant U.S. government agencies (including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture) to help parents monitor recalls on children’s items, such as toys, strollers, formula, and cribs in a personalized and timely manner.
Users can search recall history by brand or product category and easily share relevant recalls with others. They can also create a personal watch list of items that may be relevant for their child, including baby monitors, school supplies, apparel, and so on.
“Response to the app has been very positive from consumers and from the media,” said Kijoon Lee, vice president, Technology & Innovation Marketing, SAP. And it also seemed to impress Todd Park, America’s Chief Technology Officer and host of the Safety Datapalooza event. “Wow. Awesome. Wasn’t that cool?” he said after seeing the demo given by Rishi Diwan, vice president, Product Management Consumer Applications, SAP, and Layla Sabourian-Tarwa, senior manager, Consumer/Social Marketing, SAP.
Diwan chalks up the app’s success to cross-sector collaboration: “With Recalls Plus, we wanted to build an app that provides value directly to consumers, enabling them to live better. The White House’s Safety Data Initiative allows us to present parents with recall information that is relevant and ease to consume. SAP is working on many such new and innovative apps for our customers to engage with their customers in new and meaningful ways.”
Lee explained in more detail how the company is helping its customers better connect with their customers: “SAP is bringing together new technologies such as mobile, cloud, social media, and in-memory database to help organizations provide engaging, real-time experiences that consumers expect today. We’re also excited about the upcoming consumer apps that SAP plans to deliver in retail, healthcare, sports and entertainment and other key industries.” The SAP colleagues talked further with the CTO of the U.S. after the event.
Recalls Plus is available today to consumers in the U.S. via the Apple App Store and is currently featured in the store’s “What’s Hot” list.