by Rachel Ogbu
RLabs, the young digital specialists South African team have been chosen as winners of the BBC “hackathon” competition.
The tech innovators would now work with the BBC to reach young African audiences through digital platforms.
From 12 teams, RLabs who competed from Cape Town created a digital widget which plays BBC audio clips.
25-year-old Kurt Appolis and team leader of RLabs, said their winning entry was centred on a piece of BBC content without distraction.
BBC World Service Group Digital Development Editor and judging panelist Dmitry Shishkin said their idea: “complements our renewed digital investment into covering Africa better,” he said.
According to the BBC their innovation will be funded to pilot and user test prototypes over six months.
During the BBC hackathon, teams presented ideas on new ways of delivering audio in a cost-efficient way to reach younger audiences.
RLabs will develop their CatchUp digital widget which can be placed on websites. By activating the widget, users can hear short clips of BBC audio content.
At a similar event in Nairobi in February two Kenyan teams were selected to develop their products. They both aim to connect with younger audiences, one by using local languages, while the other uses instant messaging apps.
More than half of African browsers currently come to BBC.com using their mobile devices – a proportion that is expected to grow in the future.