Ghanaian develops app to track missing phones

Category: ICT 18
Jonathan Amenyah

Phone theft is common around the world, and the feeling of losing a mobile phone with no hope of finding it can be devastating, not only because of the lost device but also because of the loss of important contacts, bank details, saved documents, and can also be a means of identity theft.

To address this, a Ghanaian developer, Jonathan Amenyah, who is also the founder of RINJAcom, a technology startup, has developed an application to help people track and find their lost phones.

Amenyah who started as a graphic designer, swapped the creative profession with programming after he developed a strong passion for it.

This strong urge led him to also quit working in technology firms, an industry he had worked in for almost four years to establish RINJAcom in February 2009, developing websites for companies and now applications.

Trying to find solutions to the constant issue of lost phones, Amenyah, 30, and his team started developing an application called MobTrack to help, but after going through the painful experience of losing his own phone, Amenyah worked faster ahead of schedule to finish work on the app and installed it on his phone.

Although, other mobile phone companies have developed similar applications to help customers retrieve lost phones, MobTrack works differently.

“MobTrack is mainly an application built to track lost mobile phones and help find them. To use the application, install it on your phone and register. While registering, the application will notice your primary contact number or SIM card. You will be asked to provide an alternate number. The alternative number is another number other than your original phone number which will help you find your phone when you lose it,” Amenyah tells ghanabusinessnews.com in an exclusive interview.

“After registering it, if someone picks your phone and inserts a new SIM card in it, the phone will automatically send you the coordinate of the person’s (new phone holder) location and the new phone number through the alternative number you initially provided while installing the application. Receiving the contact and location, you can know where exactly the person is and call the number to follow up to retrieve your phone,” he added.

“Challenges faced at the initial stage of developing the application had to do with Google Maps. Some parts of Ghana are not included in the map so I had to manually add up those locations to the Global Positioning System (GPS),” Amenyah said.

That was not the only challenge, RINJAcom had to deal with technicalities such as working around the clock to ensure that the app picked up coordinates and responded to all phone types.

The application is currently being used by about ten people, mostly friends of the developer and it is hopefully going to be up on Google Play store by March 15, 2017.

Amenyah hopes to charge a small fee per download of the application and is currently open to investors and partnerships.

The challenge for young start-ups like RINJAcom has always remained funding and lack of trust in indigenous technology.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

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