Cellphone Tools (1) – Freedom Phone


Another cellphone tool just released today. Freedom Fone’s has its origins in Zimbabwe, and is developed by The Kubatana Trust. The ‘elevator pitch’ is:

Freedom Fone is innovative telephony software, which takes the fastest growing tool for round-the-clock personal access to information – the mobile phone – and marries it with audio voice menus and SMS.  It provides a new far-reaching communication medium – for information activists, service organisations and NGO’s – to deliver vital information on demand, to communities who need it most.

Key Features:

  • Freedom Fone is free open source software.
  • The telephony based applications – audio voice menus, voice messages, SMS messages and SMS polls – are easy to manage via a user-friendly, browser based interface.
  • Delivering information with audio overcomes barriers associated with literacy and language and enables users to move past the 160 character limitation of an SMS.
  • Freedom Fone has been designed to connect to GSM (mobile) networks and run using low cost and low powered equipment.
  • No internet is required for the users and callers alike.
  • There are no geographical or community size limitations to implementing Freedom Fone.
  • The leave-a-message functionality opens the door to two-way communication, which means Freedom Fone can be used as a platform for citizen journalism.

Particularly interesting is its integration of voice with SMS – overcoming the literacy barrier. Ill be doing a few more posts on cellphone tools, looking at Frontline SMS, Ushahidi and others to compare features and utility.


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