The Pakistan Mobile App Awards is an annual competition governed by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in collaboration with Ministry of IT and Telecom Pakistan, Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) and Telenor.
The program has been developed to promote new ideas and push innovation in technology its accessibility. This year the participants were challenged to work on digital inclusion, embracing the needs of people with disabilities, the theme was hence titled as “Embracing Mobile Accessibility”.
Representing Orient Electronics and its technology wing BlueEast Pvt. Ltd., the team of Smart Devices entered the competition with a home automation product and a disability application for visually impaired individuals.
Their solution which won the first prize in the Pakistan Mobile App Awards was based on a smart switch board and an accompanying application that allows you to remotely control your switches and plugged in appliances.
“We utilized the Google Talkback function in Android to design a user interface for visually impaired people,” explains the team leader for Orient Smart Devices, Abdul Ghaffar,
“The application hence comes with vibration and audible feedback that enables disabled people to control their living spaces through their mobile phones.”
The team is also working on voice enabled commands to further enhance their application accessibility.
The idea stemmed from the team’s personal motivation to address day-to-day challenges for disabled persons,
“In 2014, a close friend was involved in terrible accident that disabled him. When I went to see him, I realized how difficult life was for him. He could not sleep because the lights and the air conditioner were on and he could not switch them off without help,”
explains Abdul Ghaffar,
“I wanted to do something to change that. This is why I developed Smart Devices and now with BlueEast we can focus on making this a reality.”
While the scope of Smart Devices has evolved considerably after acquisition, the focus of improving accessibility is still at the organization’s heart, albeit now reinforced by BlueEast’s backing and product vision.
“We are now working on multiple fronts. We want to be home, offices, automobiles, healthcare and even the industry,”
says a spokesperson from BlueEast Pvt. Ltd.
The award winning team has already furnished a ready for market product in collaboration with Orient Electronics which will hit the market soon.
“It’s been a crucial couple of months as the BlueEast team has been involved in product prototyping and its market ready eComfort component. However, we are committed to deliver on our goals of improving accessibility on a global scale,”
commented the CEO of the company, Abdul Rehman Talat,
“We are proud to have won the Pakistan Mobile App Awards and our excited to have Ghaffar lead the development in this segment from the front.”
About Smart Devices
Smart Devices, a former incubate of Plan9 is among the first Pakistani startups intends to focus on home automation and make the life easier for people with disabilities. It allows you to control your home appliances from any corner of the globe. Recently, Smart Devices has been acquired by Orient’s Internet of Things (IoT) division.