WACAO is an assistant that can summarize and translate your WhatsApp chats

If you’re a heavy WhatsApp user, you know how hard it is to keep up with incoming messages – especially if you step away from your phone and group conversations for a few hours. A new assistant called WACAO (aka, Whatsapp Chat Assistant) aims to help by summarizing what you missed while you were gone. The assistant can also translate messages between different languages and automate your happy birthday greetings to friends, among other things.

WACAO was demonstrated today at the Disrupt Berlin 2017 Hackathon by Vivek Bombatkar and Sidharth Ramachandran, who met while working together at marketing analytics provider SuperCrunch.

Explains Sidarth, the idea for WACAO came about because it was something he needed for himself.

“I’m a part of a lot of groups,” he says. “I recently joined Slack, and it’s just insane. If I step out for a meeting, there’s two hundred messages when I return.”

That same problem also exists in WhatsApp, thanks to numerous group chats with co-workers, read more

Google’s Allo messaging may link to your email account

There’s no guarantee that this reduced phone dependence will be widely available soon, but code like this typically hints that it’s on the horizon. If it does arrive, though, it could make Allo a more elegant experience, particularly if you regularly use it across multiple devices.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #engadget from https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/03/google-allo-messaging-may-link-to-your-email-account/

Gym-As-You-Go wants to let you pay per exercise

Wish you didn’t have to pay as much if you rarely went to the gym? Gym-As-You-Go wants to offer pricing based on usage rather than monthly subscriptions. The TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin Hackathon project uses NFC to let you check in at work-out machines. You’re then charged a fee for how long you use the machine, and Gym-As-You-Go keeps a percentage. “The most painful point of gyms are these 24 month contracts” says teammate Sebastian Steins.

Pay-as-you-go pricing could give lazy people who rarely work out a way to waste less money, and gyms a way to attract a different type of customer. Especially popular machines could be surge priced so they’re always available if you’re desperate for a certain exercise and don’t have time to wait. Gyms could lower prices in off-peak hours to balance their attendance across the week to avoid overcrowding. And gyms would learn which equipment is the most popular so they can buy more, keep it maintained, or advertise that they read more

The first text message was sent 25 years ago

It took a long time for SMS to find widespread adoption, both because of the cellular networks themselves (coverage was far from ubiquitous in 1992) and phones whose buttons revolved around dialing rather than typing. But then the smartphone arrived. In the US alone, the volume of messages surged from 12.5 billion per month in 2006 to 45 billion a year later. By June 2017, there were 781 billion messages passing around in the country. Messaging was suddenly easy, and SMS was ready and waiting to take advantage of that newfound freedom.

There’s little doubt that texting has influenced communication in the years since. Where texting was once seen as a rarity or even rude, it’s frequently the first choice for communication — how often are you annoyed when someone calls you instead of sending a brief message? Accordingly, it’s entirely common to see services that are available through SMS, whether it’s ordering read more

Quick Insurance wins the Disrupt Berlin 2017 Hackathon Grand Prize

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Gym-As-You-Go wants to let you pay per exercise

It’s been a long night at Arena Berlin. The building hosted a very special competition — the Disrupt Berlin Hackathon.

Hundreds of engineers and designers got together to come up with something cool, something neat, something awesome. The only condition was that they only had 24 hours to work on their projects. Some of them were participating in our event for the first time, while others were regulars. Some of them slept on the floor in a corner, while others drank too much Red Bull.

We could all feel the excitement in the air when the 45 teams took the stage to present a one-minute demo to impress fellow coders and our judges. But only one team could take home the grand prize and €4,200. So, without further ado, meet the Disrupt Berlin 2017 Hackathon winner.

Winner: Quick Insurance

Quick Insurance is the easiest way to purchase an insurance product for all your valuable stuff. Let’s say you go skiing for a week with a very expensive camera. In just a few taps, you can insure your camera for a week from read more