Archive for the ‘mobile’ Category

Nokia and education, part one

April 23, 2009

Met some really interesting students who are designing and exploring education delivery on handheld devices.

‘Project Nokia.Expand aims to create a learning platform for children in developing countries in the form of a mobile device. The device will be durable, low-cost, light-weight, easy to use and contains components that enable the children to interact with their immediate environment. The example applications are based on extensive user studies across multiple countries and continents. They will support learning, communication, and playful interaction within and outside a school. We believe that learning happens through interacting with the world. Technology supports that.’ Design Factory.

More to come after the opening of the Product Design Gala.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Design in Africa

Out and about

February 16, 2009

Having fun, dealing with Africa time, good times.

Posted via email from Design in Africa

Mail on Ovi; low end devices, high user adoption

February 2, 2009

Photo credit

Nokia announced Mail on Ovi late last year, it was picked up well, and seen as a milestone to delivering email to most of the planet.

“At Nokia we believe email should be available for everybody. We also launched Mail on Ovi, a free email service primarily aimed at the billions of first time email users, 75% of world’s population.” Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo – President and CEO, Nokia stated recently.

Mail on Ovi is free and preloaded on all Nokia Series 40 devices launching in 2009, and a wide range of devices currently out there. Its easy to use, because you don’t have to install anything, you don’t need a computer at all, it ‘works out the box’.

Now here is the interesting part, if you want to install the gmail app on a S40 Nokia, you can’t, you cannot download it; it will tell you that the file size is too big. I stand to be corrected, but I tried 2 different s40 devices, same result. And that is after figuring out how to find the app on the internet. But you can set up gmail in the mail setting pretty easily though, but that would imply you already have a gmail account.

What does that mean? Is it because there are hardware limitations to keep costs low, or is the s40 software is not sophisticated enough to deal with 3rd party applications? Could it be a clever business move to eliminate competition? Or could it just be that Nokia saw an opportunity to make email as simple as possible without too many hurdles. And who do you think is more recognized to 75% of the world’s population?

Now all that needs to happen is for service providers to lower data costs, a ubiquitous internet that can be viewed on all devices and we could be seeing the next internet really take off.

Posted via email from Design in Africa

Slow start to 2009

January 20, 2009

Its been a crazy couple of months with lots happening, but I have promised myself to start blogging again.

Busy with a research project here in South Africa, getting to see interesting people and places.

Posted via email from Design in Africa

Ushahidi in Democratic Republic of Congo

November 8, 2008

Ushahidi is being deployed in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) as a working prototype.

‘We need to get the message to the people on the ground in the Eastern Congo that this tool is now available for them to report incidents in on. If you have contacts there, or can help spread the word through some other means, it would be a great help if you did so – even if it’s just point them to the website or telling them about the SMS number.’

The number is +243992592111 website is http://drc.ushahidi.com/

Spread the word.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Nokia Life Tools; Inform, Involve, Empower

November 4, 2008

Latest from Nokia; ‘Inform, Involve, Empower – Nokia’s service mantra for emerging markets with Nokia Life Tools

“Filling in the information gaps in agriculture and education withNokia Life Tools, we strive to contribute towards empowering people with the right tools to help them make informed decisions in their daily lives,” said Jawahar Kanjilal, Global Head of Emerging Market Services, Nokia. “Nokia Life Tools was developed to help bridge the digital divide in the emerging markets.”

What stands out for me is the commitment Nokia is showing towards education; ‘The Education service of Nokia Life Tools aims to give students a decisive advantage by boosting their English language and local, national and international general knowledge. Language lessons, quizzes on English words and phrases, and the general knowledge information were designed – together with EnableM for the pilot – to give students
an edge. In future, the Education service will also come with information on higher education and career guidance and tips, exam preparation, quizzes and access to exam results.’

Nokia also launched their cheapest phone today, the 1202, which should come in at €25. Features include a flashlight, 9 hour talk time and has multiple phone books and time and pre-paid tracker.

Nokia shows how its done once again.


Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Mobile internet research

November 2, 2008

Tino Kreutzer is working on a research project, Getting the Numbers Straight that looks into mobile usage, particularly internet use by low income teens in Cape Town. Tino has quire rightly discovered that there is not enough data currently available in this growing area.

Here are some quick numbers; 97% have used Internet from a cell phone, 83% use the internet on a typical day. Almost half of their mobile use is dedicated to the internet on a daily basis. Here is what they do in order of popularity on an average day;

  • get news or weather online
  • download songs, videos or ringtones
  • go online for no particular reason
  • send and receive email
  • information about a hobby or interest
  • hunt for a particular fact
  • use an instant messaging client
  • look for health or medical information
  • information about movies, books or other leisure activities
  • information on further education
  • look for information for school

The implications for learning applications on the (mobile) internet is an opportunity space that is only beginning to be realized as a tool for change.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Nokia Open Studios

October 31, 2008

Great work by Youghee Jung and Jan Chipchase. Download the report here or here if you are at all interested in exploratory design research, design research methodology, user centered design, emerging markets, mobiles and anything else that blows your hair back.

Read the report, highly recommended. Image is from the report.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

M-PESA, why it works

October 29, 2008

Image credit

Nice commentary from Ryan Hahn on Nick Hughes’ (head of Vodafone‘s international mobile payment solutions) talk at CGAP regarding the success of M-PESA, a mobile banking solution

Why it works;

  1. They focused entirely on offering a single service, and doing it well; transferring money between 2 people using a mobile phone.
  2. M-PESA is simple and easy to use and to set up. All a person needs is a Safaricom SIM and National ID/Passport.
  3. No bank account is needed, which immediately allows a large percentage of Kenyans to avoid the difficulty and complexity of using a bank.
  4. Overcoming this hurdle has led to increased user acceptance; over 4 million subscribers.
  5. M-PESA makes its money by charging commissions on money transfers rather than on investing money. Alternative business model.
  6. Vodafone is looking to replicate that success in other markets. Scalable.
  7. Research done by Olga Morawczynski shows that migrant workers are the early adopters who influence other people to use the service.
  8. The value? Time and money is saved by people having to travel long distances to the nearest bank.
  9. 3,500 frontline agents countrywide means even rural communities are benefiting economically.

M-PESA  delivers a simple valuable service using available resources that is understood and accepted.

I know M-PESA has been around for a while, but successful case studies are proven over time.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)

Google news-Africa

October 25, 2008

Lots happening in South Africa. They even have a HIV/TB advice gadget. I prefer the Project M approach, because it targets a much wider audience using mobile phones.  About two-thirds of all people infected with HIV, 22.5 million, live in Sub Saharan Africa according to the Global Health Council, 2007.

Posted by email from Design in Africa (posterous)


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