It is time for Africa to shine in the world of technology and innovation. Many young Africans are fast winning the spotlight as problem solvers and innovators. With the aim of looking for a solution to a problem, African entrepreneurs and startups have created problem-solving apps. Among these entrepreneurs, is Zuo Bruno founder of Zuoix who has created an SMS car tracking application, ZOOMED.
ZOOMED, Zuoix’s Object-Oriented Motor Electronic Device is an SMS tracking device that functions without Internet connectivity.
Zuo Bruno is an Ethical Hacker, Programmer, SMS of Things Innovator and Founder and CEO of Zuoix. Zuo founded Zuoix to solve the problem of security for companies and startups in Cameroon. It focused on startups in and around the Silicon Mountain Community. Silicon Mountain Community is a community made up of techies, entrepreneurs and startups in Cameroon, particularly in Buea.
Zuoix’s creation came at a time when most people didn’t consider it necessary to venture into cybersecurity. Thus, to deepen its roots into the ground, the company decided to build security-based applications. With the aim to solve a problem in Cameroon, Zuoix gave birth to ZOOMED.
Why the name ZOOMED?
ZOOMED is a device that uses SMS and doesn’t require internet connectivity to locate, immobilise and geofence motors.
According to the CEO, the word motor was used because with more effort the application will be installed in Motorbikes. Moreover, the programming used on the device is Object Oriented which allows adding functions to the device without changing the physical device itself.
The inspiration behind ZOOMED
Zuo Bruno is a perfect example of a problem solver. Entrepreneurs always aim at solving a problem in a community. The disconnection of the internet in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon inspired Zuo to create this application. In 2016, before the disconnection, the company had already started building an internet-based security system with the aim to sell at a lower price.
However, in 2017, when the internet was disconnected, coupled with the rise of car theft at the time in Limbe, there was a need for a solution.
“I started changing my code to send location and other details via SMS”, explained Zuo. In addition, the CEO made several frequent trips to Douala. Trips with the aim to carry out more research related to this development.
Nonetheless, these challenges didn’t stop him from seeking for solution during this turbulent time in Cameroon. With these struggles, he finally came out with ZOOMED.
According to Zuo, in order to achieve his goal he had to brainstorm with some of his mates of the Silicon Mountain Community.
Thanks to this app his startup is one of the finalists to participate at the 7th Edition of DEMO Africa Annual Conference, to take place at Le Studio Arts Vivants in Casablanca. This event will take place from October 18-19. 2018.
Among the finalists are; Accounteer (Nigeria), ADN Corp (Senegal), Atlan Space (Morocco), Brayfoil Technologies (South Africa), Casky (Morocco), Chefaa Medicine Delivery (Egypt), CLoud9XP (Kenya), Complete Farmer (Ghana), just to name a few.
How does the app function?
The car owner has a phone number which is linked to the car. When the owner wants to take an action, for example, to immobilize the car, he sends an SMS (stop engine). The car receives the SMS, then checks if the sender is actually the owner of the car. With this done, it also verifies the password. After verification, the car carries out the command (which is to stop the engine from coming on) and replies its owner (engine immobilized) through an SMS.
Countries across Africa; Ghana, Benin, Kenya and of course Cameroon, have begun installation of the app. The company intends to get many Africans as possible to use ZOOMED.
According to the CEO, they intend to start using USSD for SMS commands so that people will not need to memorize the code.
Zuoix is currently developing both mobile and desktop apps that will work without access to the internet.