11-year-old Wins $20,000 for Developing Anti-texting App
LOS ANGELES, USA – Eleven-year-old Victoria Walker was awarded $20 000 for Rode Dog, an app that deters users from texting-while-driving, together with her teammate David Grau, a creative director and designer at WLDG, an interactive agency in Santa Ana.
The app was developed by the team at the Hackathon “It Can Wait”, hosted by AT&T in Los Angeles earlier this month. About 120 people participated in the event and were asked to create an app that would help discourage people from texting while they drive. Out of five semifinalists, Walker and Grau’s team were awarded the top prize of $20 000.
The app still needs a little finishing, but the fundamental idea is that users join a “pack” with their friends and family. Rode Dog then allows to send an audible bark to a member of pack if they are found to be texting-while-driving, for which the driver would have to stop texting and silent the constant barking of the phone.
The idea was conceived by the sixth-grader after she was interrupted by the barks of her three dogs who would not let her concentrate on anything.
For variety, the team has created a pet shop for the Rode Dog so users can pick other sounds, like chicken or lion.