December 2016: Interview from LeRegional
LeRegional interviewed us for their special edition on new technologies.
November 2016: We did a TEDx talk!
You can have a look at our TEDx talk here!
September 2016: Deciding on what we really want – the International Create Challenge
In September 2016, we participated in the International Create Challenge, a three week intensive business development program.
During this challenge, we were lucky to have the opportunity to attend a number of courses on business development and to meet with several image processing and machine learning specialists from the idiap. Thanks to this, we were able to develop our business plan and a roadmap of the next steps needed to develop the application.
Moreover, we contacted people in our network working for iNGOs in headquarters and on the field to see if they would be interested in our application. All the answers were very positive. This convinced us that there is a real need and that we should continue to develop this application. We also built a mock-up of the application.
After the three weeks of intensive work, we pitched our project to a jury composed of various persons from scientific researchers and entrepreneurs to investors and coaches. We won the third prize of the contest and CHF 2’500.
June 2016: The start of our adventure – the Arkathon
Our adventure started in June 2016. We participated in a Hackathon in Sierre, called “Arkathon”, and, starting from a mere idea, we started to develop an application, which we decided to call MeasureMe. During this Hackathon, we were very luck to have the help from Romain Rosset, an electronics engineer and image processing specialist, and Joël Guillod, a dermatologist and web designer.
We found an equation that used seven measures of the body of a person to estimate the weight of the person (Velardo and Dugelay 2006). We tested it on 15 healthy volunteers and obtained a mean of 4% error.
At the end of 48 hours of non-stop work, we won the “Coup de Cœur” award of CHF 10’000 from the jury. The Arkathon has given us the opportunity to see that it is technically feasible to develop this application and has given us the momentum to continue.
For more information, click here.
May 2016: How the idea of MeasureMe was born…
Magali has wanted to help the people most in need since her youngest age. As soon as she got her university degree, she decided that she wanted to work in the humanitarian field. She worked for an international NGO for three and a half years. She managed several surveys in many different developing countries and provided technical support to nutrition programs. During this experience, she realized that anthropometric measurements (i.e. the measurement of the height and weight) of children were much more difficult to conduct than she had imagined.
One day, she was talking to two engineering friends, Gustavo and Eric, about this problem. Together, they decided that, in the current era of technology we live in, there must be a better way to do these measurements! As engineers, this team of three people were formed to solve problems and to make people’s life easier. But most of all, they wanted to contribute to making the world a better place and to put their skills at the service of the people most in need, i.e. the people living in developing countries.
They thought at length about how to solve this problem and have decided that a solution developed specifically for these countries, tailored to their needs and way of doing should be found. Given the high and rapidly increasing utilization of smartphones in developing countries, the team decided that this would be the optimal tool. After serious brainstorming and researching, the team found how they could solve this problem: A smartphone application to estimate the height and weight of a child based on pictures. This is how MeasureMe was born !