Lebanon develops next generation of smart phones primarily
NOllO, the next generation of smart phones for the elderly and children is being developed in Lebanon, the capital of excellence in fashion, architecture and graphic design.
NOllO is the name of the new line of friendly, simple and innovative phones, built especially for senior citizens and children and is being designed and developed in Lebanon.
Beirut Arab University (BAU), and Lebanese American University (LAU) are the first two universities who enthusiastically joined the development by pledging student resources to the project from the schools of Engineering, Business and Journalism.
“Over the next two months, more universities will be invited to join in this multi-disciplinary group of entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and students,” said Adonis El Fakih, who was inspired to develop NOllO after observing his parents and other elderly family members struggle with menus, language barriers, tiny screens and buttons to place a call.
In August 2013, Banque Du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s Central Bank set aside $400m via Circular 331 to be invested in new technology companies. Promising investments such as these with a flourishing ecosystem of VCs, funds and business accelerators, coupled with advances in software, electronics and 3D printing makes it possible to create and fast track this type of startup. Adonis El Fakih, a successful entrepreneur and founder of the first Arabic search engine ayna.com, seized the opportunity to put together a team of software developers, designers and volunteers to create NOllO and address a global need for socially enabled phones for today’s baby boomers as well as young children.
“NOllO is working on several handset designs which are in prototype phase and are presently being tested by senior citizens. ‘A working prototype is expected later this year’, said Adonis El Fakih who has been coordinating and working with teams and volunteers, for the last couple of months. El Fakih added, “I cannot wait to get my hands on a working prototype for my dad, who is the inspiration for NOllO.”
NOllO aims at bringing smart technologies to where they are needed most by creating separate handsets unique to kids and the elderly. Some of the innovations that are integrated into these handsets include: ease of use through visual contrasts and tactile measures, parental controls, one touch family connect, long battery life and easy charging pads.