#IMakeApps: Using robotics to help people who are hard of hearing

Editor’s note: To celebrate the hard work, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of app makers around the world, we’re featuring founders, product managers, designers and developers from around the world. We’ll showcase their passions and also hear about what they do when they step away from their computers. Meet our next app maker, Mateo Salvatto, an Argentinian robotics champion and founder of ¡Háblalo!, an app that helps people with hearing difficulties to communicate verbally and handle daily life with greater ease. Check out more #IMakeApps stories on g.co/play/imakeapps.

read more

Empowering first responders in local fire departments

Firefighters are on the front lines everyday protecting our communities and acting as first responders in emergencies. To support these heroes, Nest and the Leary Firefighters Foundation have teamed up for the third time to award two $25,000 worth of new technology and equipment to fire departments in need.

To qualify for the grant, fire departments had to be nominated by members of their community. This year, we saw over 14,000 deserving nominations and ultimately chose the Hobart, Indiana and Dunkrik, Maryland Departments for their dedication and service. These local first responders don’t have access to the newest lifesaving tools that their counterparts in big cities might have. And since no two communities are the same, no two fire departments have the same needs. That’s why we ask them what they need to serve their neighbors faster and even more effectively. The Hobart FD elected to use their grant for tablets to help them communicate more quickly, and the Dunkirk FD is using their grant for thermal imaging tools that will help them detect hot spots and avoid tragedy.

read more

Engineers are girls: the Googler behind “Ara the Star Engineer”

Editor’s note: Today, on International Day of the Girl, we’re sharing the story of Komal Singh, a Googler who was inspired by her own young daughter to write a children’s book focused on engineering, called “Ara the Star Engineer.”

Elisabeth: Tell us about what you do at Google.

Komal: I’m a program manager on the Ads Infrastructure team, based out of Waterloo, Canada. I act as the glue between various engineering teams to ensure we’re designing and building systems cohesively for the world.


Komal and her daughter, Araiya

What inspired you to write “Ara the Star Engineer?”

One day I was working from home, and my daughter was with me while I was on a video call. She asked me about the various people on the call, so I pointed at the screen and said, “That’s Alex, that’s Kurt, that’s Eric, that’s Mike.” She responded, “Oh, engineers are boys.” I was shocked (and really bummed) by her reaction, so that same day, I wrote the first proposal for the book.

read more