MobileActive08: Peter Wakholi

In this interview Peter Wakholi, vice head of a department unit and lecturer at Makerere University (the largest university in Uganda), talks about his work on open source applications that allow people to gather data in the field using mobile phones. Some projects involve partners from South Africa, the U.S., and Norway. (See also our earlier blog post about the EpiHandy project.)

There was just the set up of a mobile development lab, supported by Nokia, at his university. The lab aims at developing mobile applications that fit the African context.

We shot the interview at MobileActive08 (organized by MobileActive and sangonet) in Johannesburg last month, as part of our interview podcast series.

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MobileActive08: Peter Wakholi
was published on 28.11.2008 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under global
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MobileActive08: Gary Marsden

We had the opportunity to interview Gary Marsden at MobileActive08 in Johannesburg (organized by MobileActive and sangonet). Gary is associate professor at the Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town.

In the interview he talks about internationalization of user interfaces. While working in Africa he made the experience that translating text into local language and changing icons is not sufficient. There are other issues that people from non-western cultures have with computing interfaces. For example many of them have difficulties understanding hierarchies. Gary describes his approach to address these issues, which he calls Empowered Design. The idea of this approach is to create technology that allows people in Africa to create their own applications, rather than having researchers dictating which applications people in Africa should have.

Gary also introduces briefly some projects to illustrate his approach to mobile interaction design in Africa. One of the applications he mentions is Big Board – a public display that allows people to download media for free – which he also presented at the MobileActive08 conference.

Anyone who’s interested in this topic, should also check out his book on Mobile Interaction Design (that he wrote together with Matt Jones) and his article on Empowered Design.

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MobileActive08: Gary Marsden
was published on 14.11.2008 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under sub saharan africa
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ICT4D-related Session at mSociety 2008 Conference (Turkey)

The Mobile Life Events are a series of conferences and exhibitions that explore the influence of mobile technologies on social life.

The next upcoming event organized by mLife is The First International Conference & Exhibition on Mobile Society (mSociety 2008), which takes place in Antalya, Turkey, 18-19 September 2008. Among other topics the event covers “Mobile Development – impact of mobile technologies on social and economic development” – definitely a potential panel for ICT4D projects.

The session is chaired by Stephane Boyera, who is W3C staff, where he is responsible for “the future work on the Mobile Web in Developing Countries, and how W3C can help bridging the Digital Divide.” He is also the scientific coordinator of the EU FP7 project Digital World Forum, focusing on the use of ICT to leverage economic development in Africa and Latin America.

See also Technology events in Africa and Participatory Design for Development 2008 Workshop.

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ICT4D-related Session at mSociety 2008 Conference (Turkey)
was published on 05.08.2008 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under global
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