June 21, 2011

EasySMS app enables illiterate people to read, compose and send text messages

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This year during the course of a mobile interaction design class at Lausanne Switzerland's EPFL, students had to come up with an idea for - and design an application on mobile phones - to improve the livelihoods of people living in rural communities in developing countries.

Here is one of their projects: EasySMS which enables illiterate people to read, compose and send text messages.

It has been selected to represent Switzerland in the Microsoft Imagine Cup - a student competition focusing on the Millennium Development Goals.

In their own words:

quotemarksright.jpgAbout 700 million illiterate people in developing countries are currently excluded from the benefits of text messaging. Most of them reside in rural areas in which mobile phone coverage and ownership is growing rapidly and SMS are cheap or even free.

EasySMS application empowers illiterate people to read, compose and send text messages through available text-to-speech solutions to their contacts.

The composition of messages is facilitated through pictograms and previously received messages. Contact identification is aided by visually search-able avatars.

To understand the meaning of each word of the SMSs users receive not only the meaning of the whole message: --> the message is played in a karaoke like style --> each word of the message is a playable button: the user can click on each word to hear it. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Project EasySMS by:

Team Members: Lukas Frelich, Elsa Friscira, Oscar Bolanos

Team Mentor: Hendrik Knoche

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Vote for their project at the Imagine Cup 2011 in the People's Choice Video category.

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