Using pictograms and avatars, one company brings text messaging to those without the benefit of education in the developing world.
Students at an interaction design workshop held by EPFL, a polytechnic school in Switzerland, have created a mobile app that enables people who cannot read or write to use SMS texting. The app is built for rural communities in developing countries. According to the EPFL website:
EasySMS application empowers illiterate people to read, compose and send text messages through available text-to-speech solutions to their contacts. Composition of messages is facilitated through pictograms and previously received messages. Contact identification is aided by visually search-able avatars.
The people behind the application are Lukas Frelich, Elsa Friscira, Oscar Bolanos, and their mentor Hendrik Knoche will be attending Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2011, a competition encouraging students solve big problems with technology.