September 25, 2012 // By: Andy Kendzie
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.
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.