Flow Jamaica has undertaken a new mobile initiative, where the telecommunications giant will be allowing the elderly and persons who have special needs to have greater access to the digital community. This innovative initiative will be supported by their new “talk and text device” dubbed – Rise.
The groundbreaking news was declared on Sunday, November 10 at the official launch of their mobile pilot initiative, held at the Boys’ Town football field in downtown, Kingston.
Stephen Price, Flow Jamaica’s Country Manager shared that the product was supported by the efforts of Google in creating a device that caters specifically to the uniqueness of the Jamaican vernacular.
“We had to find a way to get the kind of device we wanted. Our technology innovation team had several meetings with the team at Google. It’s a device that has been used in India before, so we had to tailor one that we wanted for Jamaica particularly,” Price said proudly.
“This is a pilot and if it is successful, we are going to roll it out across the rest of Jamaica as well as Latin America,” he added.
One of the many features of the device is that it allows voice commands. The Flow team ably gave a brief demonstration where the phone was given a voice command to “Play Koffee” and to the delight of those present, followed through precisely on the instruction.
Damion Mclean, Chairman for the Jamaica Society for the Blind, while lauding Flow for the genius idea, he notes it is a work in progress. He recommends that the model of the device incorporates a voice reactive unit that allows persons with special needs like himself, to be notified when commanding the phone.
“For persons with disabilities, it allows greater independence.”— Damion Mclean, Chairman for the Jamaica Society for the Blind
“For persons with disabilities, it allows greater independence. Persons won’t necessarily have to say look into this phone and tell me the number, they don’t have to say read this WhatsApp message for me,” Mclean advanced.
Price shared that the device is furnished with two modern cameras and has sufficient internal storage.
“You have 32 gigabytes of internal storage and you can add an SD card as well. The camera on the front is 2 megapixels and the camera on the back is 2 megapixels as well,” he informed us.
He also says through the research they have conducted, it was revealed that many persons across the island do not have access to the web and they want to connect more persons to the ecosystem by way of their new device – Rise.
“We have been across many communities across Jamaica, particularly, rural underserved communities where they don’t necessarily have access to smartphones. We developed this device, which has similar features to the typical talk and text phones but opens them up to the world of the internet through the catchy kind of linking apps that would normally pull them in,” Price said.
Persons who wish to port their number from Digicel will purchase the device for J$2,100 and J$3,100 for existing Flow clients.
See gallery below for more of the festivities that accompanied the launch event.