It is always worth mentioning whenever young people in Africa come up with solutions to alleviate the problems that they face daily. This has been the case with a student in Kenya who has developed an application for communicating, but one that does not require using the internet.
When the phenomenon of Bluetooth was initiated it was intended to exchange data between devices connected to a local area network wirelessly over short distances. In exchanging data via mobile phones and laptops the devices use short wavelength UHF radio waves. It is this same Bluetooth concept that Rodgers Wambua, a student at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) has used to develop a Bluetooth app that enables one to send messages without incurring any data charges.
The application that has been named Bluetooth Chat has been embraced by many students at the university, according to what Rodgers said. And apparently the new app is helping the students with how they now budget their money. The students said that the new app has enabled them to save up money that was originally intended to buy data bundles and are now using that money to buy other things like food and other personal stuff.
Rodgers Wambua said that the app can be used with any Android powered smartphone. “With the Bluetooth Chat, you can chat with your friends even when you do not have data bundles in your phone or WI-FI fitted within your surroundings. No charges are incurred,” Wambua said. Since the app works on a Bluetooth concept, users of the app can chat within a radius of 100 metres. However he said that he is doing more research to modify the app so that distance does not limit them from communicating to their friends and relatives.
Now a third year student, Wambua said that the idea came when he was still in his second year. “My colleagues used to mock me when I started working on the invention. They said I had ran berserk but I used to remind them that I was looking for solutions to their problems of being unable to chat over lack of money,” Wambua said. “They have now embraced the technology and told me that they save between sh200-sh350 per day, the money they used to spend to buy airtime to enable them buy bundles to chat via WhatsApp and Facebook,” he said.
As done with any invention, Wambua has patented his invention already and wishes to cash in from it. “Currently, I get some money from google adverts but ones I will have fully developed the app, I will reap big,” he said. MMUST Dean of Computer Science, Dr Kevin Omieno said that they will help Rodgers Wambua in modifying the app so that distance does not become a hindrance.