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Monday, December 07, 2009

Calling all innovators, The story of Nokia in Middle East

Peace be upon you

How are you guys? Today is not going to be a technical post.

Me and couple of people I consider to be Geniuses made 2 applications and submitted it to Nokia Bel3rabi competition.

I would like to congratulate the First winner "Enpronomics" I know their Marketing Manager, Hany Waziri, and I wish them best of luck

The point today is I want to demonstrate what we have done

1- We did 2 Application Mixing 2 Technologies which is S60 platform and Flash lite
2- Few people dare to take such a step because it takes hell of time to do it

To be able to maintain powerful flash lite application for Symbian it need lots of system services to be able to do what it should do. Based on that we have built a HTTP Server competitive to Kunneri Lite and Janus in Symbian C++ as a way of inter-process communication. The idea was to develop two killer applications and end up with a server API that can be used by the community to enable Flash Lite applications.

Some (not all) things we loaded that server with

1- ADVANCED way to get the location without GPS, We managed to do amazing server that uses cell information and signal strength while you are on the go to get accurate location, this server runs on Symbian device collects information about the Cell towers and Signal strength, using the vector maps, we draw the way that user is taking, after that we can with only, cell tower info + signal strength we can EXACTLY resolve where the user is without GPS. Why we did that because the Location APIs in Symbian used to take so long to get us a location.
2- We did a proxy server, because in certain cases, security restrictions my prevent HTTP request local and to the internet in same time, we beat that by a proxy server that routes the requests from the flash to the internet and returns the response to Flash
3- Sending MMS in the background
4- Record Video
5- Record Audio
6- Advanced web server that do lots of math, Media server (Something like youtube)

But what is our applications about?

1- Ol2ot, this Arabic and English application is a social based application, u can snap photo, video, Audio and send it to our server, SEAMLESSLY in 3 clicks, u can publish a photo with very minimal delay, and it geo tags it for you.

2- Wassal, it is service directory application, this application work in very seamless way, you open the application, select what you want ( food, entertainment, etc ) based on your location you will get results near to you, showed in a map, also there is free text search

Guess what is in the free text search, it is WHOLE new technology, I wish I can talk about but we are working on patenting it, believe me it is something that no one ever done before, reach accurate results

I don't mean anything negative by the next phrase, but the wining app is "Here I Am", send the GPS location using (SMS or Web). It is like one feature of our application. I think that it also sends the message that we live in dangerous country and need a "help button"

From Nokia wiki there is sample for how to get the location using the LBS APIs (it is easy), for the SMS there is sample too, and guess what there is sample to send data over the web. mmm, it has decent interface, it is normal lists and buttons, so almost I can't see anything new. This application can be made by anyone in a few hours and I can extract its functionality from our applications.

For the 2nd place application, I have no comment, it is application that uses lookup tables for calculate the intake calories per day, I can do that in almost week or so

The competition was about Innovation, they calm that they are looking for something new, we have made "new media based social network (ol2ot)", if I knew that they where looking for things like the 1th and 2nd place application, I would do 15 Application like that and post them :D and of course I would get the first and 2nd places :D . But as far as I can tell, Nokia didnt even test our application

At the end, although I am dissapointed, 1st and 2nd place guys did a great job by just submitting, my only problem is, when will we start supporting the things that take vision to see, the things that i really related to innovation. Integration of many complex technologies into usable service that can generate both revenue and valuable data.

I am sorry for the long post and thanks for reaching to this line :-)
Thanks for your time.

Ahmed Essam


foomanchu said...

Hi, I checked out your application at and have to say that its pretty interesting. Nice work!

Haytham Alaa said...

Alsalam alikom wa ra7mat Allah wa barakatoh

First of call, congratulations on your innovations, while I wasn't able to actually test your applications (can you redo your work on flashlite-symbian to flashlite-WM :D ?), they do look like they fit in our day-to-day usage... I was particularly attached with the Location solution using celluar data cause I believe noone did it right till now... I'm glad you could get the pieces together and finish these applications...

I don't know about the circumstances around the competition but I can tell you things like how you market the product and how does it look like in users hands can very easily affect, rightfully, the judgement for who to win...

I do encourage you to get over it and start market your apps, port them to other platforms, you can go as far as making two versions (low-end free one and a low-cost one)...

Of course patenting your approach is (Y). Just remember, when you file the patent application, please don't kill your project, push it in the market, there are millions of innovators who think they are "done" by submitting the patent...

Congratulations once more for you and your partners, and sorry for the long comment!

OHDev said...

hey ahmed, hardluck for what happend on the competition.

i totally agree with what haytham said, you should go on and try to market your application, it can start your own company!

similar thing happened to She7ata when we were still at college, we two entered a competition and he had about 10 tools, he didn't even get a place in top 10!
while in my opinion he should have been places #1, and i should have placed #2 afterhim.

but guess what, he wasn't even in the top 10, and i was placed #2 allright but after some project that doesn't deserve to be #1 at all :)

so this happens all the time, it depends on the Judges and their way of judging or evaluating the competition.


Ahmed Essam said...

Peace be upon you

Well, I am not sad about the competition, I think I have done a good job and I think it was a good lesson :D

I shold expect more than my eyes can see