Last Saturday I visited the very first mobile apps expo in the Kingdom – Mobile Camp Asia 2014 – and it was an eye-opening experience! The scene of mobile apps development has definitely broadened and improved with creative and inspiring players in the last couple of years. Below are the apps and projects that caught my eye during the exhibition :
Mobile Camp Asia 2014 displayed many cooperation bonds between NGOs and mobile developers in educational sector targeting young children throughout the country. The most ambitious project on the expo was TRAC (Total Reading Approach for Children) project by World Education and Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE).
TRAC aims to improve literacy among young Cambodian children with an extensive national program encompassing the parental involvement, the creation of reading toolkit materials and the establishment mobile learning opportunities.
Concerning the mobile learning, TRAC project is developing M-learning application Smart4Kids. The app targets to help children to learn to read in fun and engaging manner. The application is promised to be developed with focuses on phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension of reading activities.
I had a chance to test an early version of Smart4Kids app, where I could listen Khmer alphabet and play mini-games involving Khmer letters. In future, developers are hoping to spread rented smartphones and tablets with Smart4Kids app to schools where students will be practice reading in a playful way. In addition, the app will be available for free download for parents who have their own smartphones and tablets. Smart4Kids is planned to be available in the late of 2014.
Khmer Library is an app providing online Khmer books for free, this project is a result of a collaboration between the NGO Aide et Action, and a mobile company. This digital library offers to bring free books written in Khmer language on mobile devices.
The whole interface of the app is displayed in Khmer language, but it’s nevertheless easy for anyone to understand the layout and to register. Once registered, users can download books.
The books displayed deal with various topics, and the app allows you to save your favorite books in a separate bookshelf. So far, the app features a limited number of books, but the app developers already plan to expand the digital library. Khmer Library is currently available on the Google Play Store.
Write Khmer Alphabet
This application targeting young children was created by BM Solution (http://mobileone.biz/). This app helps kids to learn how to write Khmer letters with interactive and colorful interface. Gamification approach to learn how to write Khmer is an enjoyable experience not only for young children, but for adults as well – indeed, if you wish to learn and practice Khmer writing, this app can be a smart pick. The following video also give more information about the app :
The only drawback of Write Khmer Alphabet : it’s only supported on iOS (iOS 5 up) so far.
Cambodian Labour Law Guide
Better Factories Cambodia demonstrated their own mobile application for all people who are involved into factory industry – workers, students, academics, factory management, unions and others. This app features a full labour law guide, interactive quizzes, training schedules and even maternity leave payment calculator. Currently the app supports Khmer, English and Chinese languages, but according to the developers, the app will also support Korean language in future. The application is available on both Android and iPhone devices, and is free to download.
Even if you don’t have smartphone, but wish to learn more about the Cambodian Labour Law, Better Factories Cambodia offers IVR (Interactive Voice Response) service available through Smart Axiata and Cellcard networks, absolutely free of charge (subscriber is only required to dial 8397).
Camup Agency is a new website where every job seeker can have an interview with a professional career consultant. The interview is free and it is only required to register on www.camupagency.com to schedule the meeting. After the interview with a career agent, Camup Agency will start looking for a suitable job accordingly to your profile and organize the concrete job interview with a potential employer. Camup Agency representatives encourage both unexperienced students and skilled professionals to register on their website.
Phum Dictionary and Phum Contacts
Well-established mobile development company Biz Solution has recently updated their most famous product Phum Dictionary to a 3.1. version. This one now allows to listen to the pronunciation of the English words.
In addition to this, the developers demonstrated their new app Phum Contacts, allowing to identify phone numbers’ mobile provider in Cambodia. The need for such application is obvious since many people own more than one SIM card, and it has become confusing to find the right number quickly.
Finally I would like to introduce the rich audio-recorded book Smart Bunny, featured in Khmer language, for all desperate parents who needs to keep their children busy for at least 15 minutes ! This app includes the option to read the story without audio if you want your kids to read the story by themselves. The app is free to download on both Google Play and App Store.
In a nutshell, Mobile Camp Phnom Penh was a very novel and interesting event in Cambodia, brining a lot of information to all attendees. We hope to see this initiative growing in the future.