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Campus Vibe
Computer Science graduate develops app to ensure privacy for the deaf
By Donald Magomere | Updated Oct 28, 2017 at 17:39 EAT
The deaf can now be assisted using Beacon chat

Karatina University graduate has developed a mobile application to assist the deaf

Beacon Chat is a smartphone Off Grid Chat Application that allows for free text messaging

Privacy too isn’t guaranteed, in the use of sign language, where anyone who understands sign language can decode the context being relayed.

Allan Okoth, a computer science graduate from Karatina University has developed Beacon application to address the issues of privacy, freedom of expression and social exclusion among individuals with hearing impairment.

“Beacon Chat is a smartphone Off Grid Chat Application that allows for free text messaging between individuals within the Bluetooth range,” says Okoth.

“The application became fruitful after a process of design thinking and interaction with the deaf community,” adds Okoth.

To achieve this, Beacon App enables users to use SMS and Whatsapp technologies, both of which depend on third party factors. The use of SMS requires that the user pay for network provider’s service and for Whatsapp, one needs to access WiFi services.

The app is available on Android platform, and it is friendly to use and initiates communication easily.

“Currently I am working to extend the App implementation of Bluetooth mesh network that can hold up to 35,000 devices,”says Okoth.

So far, the application has made it through to the tough and strict criteria check of WSA office and will now be evaluated by the WSA Young Innovators Jury.

WSA Young Innovators is a special recognition for young social entrepreneurs under 30 years of age, using ICTs to take action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Together with the WSA winners of each year, they are honored as outstanding digital innovation with social impact.

The winners will be invited to and awarded at the WSA Global Congress 2018 taking place in Vienna, Austria.

“For long people have been using bluetooth technology for sending files between devices, but now you can communicate, with the launch of Bluetooth Low Energy, Bluetooth doesn’t drain battery charge like before,”concludes Okoth.


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