ITU announced the winners of its ICT Innovation Application Challenge during the 2013 WSIS Forum on 15 May. The challenge is part of ITU’s efforts to tap the power and interoperability of ICTs in promoting sustainable prosperity and business in emerging economies. The winner of the $5000 prize for the best app from an individual was MMSSign from Prof Mohamed Jemni, University of Tunis. The corporate app category was awarded to Senmobile Ltd for the application Defarlou which is a mobile order management system for entrepreneurs. Prizes for the application challenge were sponsored by Nokia Siemens Networks.
Making mobile phones accessible is still a challenge particularly in developing countries. Videophones are the preferred method of communicating for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, but, they require significant bandwidth and computer processing power to compress and decompress video in real time. The MMSign application converts text messages to a video sequence in sign language. The animations are avatar-based animation obtained by automatic interpretation of text into sign language.
SenMobile Ltd is a technology startup that specializes in innovative mobile solutions targeting the general population. Défarlou is a simple and compact ordering management application designed for entrepreneurs in developing countries. It can record orders and due dates, search for a specific order, keep track of order status and client payments, and send an SMS directly to the client when the order is ready to be delivered or picked-up. Originally designed with business owners of emerging markets in mind and developed in Senegal, défarlou means “order” in Wolof. The app is developed in Java ME and works on Java ME feature phones and smartphones.
More information on the apps can be found here.