Education app to keep Blackberry youth-relevant
RIM, entrance test preparation company IMS and cellular operator Vodafone have launched a test preparation app Study Buddy for Blackberry phones.
PUNE: Blackberry phone maker Research in Motion (RIM), entrance test preparation company IMS and cellular operator Vodafone have launched a test preparation app Study Buddy for Blackberry phones. The app is developed by Pune-based company Omni-Bridge Systems, which is being incubated at the government funded Science and Technology Park at Pune.
While RIM aims to keep Blackberry relevant to the youth with this app, IMS is looking to expand its market reach in the growing test preparation market. Vodafone is looking to increase subscription of the dedicated billing plans it has for students. The app is available for free download on Blackberry phones for Vodafone users. However, usage of the app is not free as the students will need to activate dedicated data access plans which cost up to Rs 599 a month. Only the app rests on the phone, while the questions are random streamed to the phone when the app is being used.
The app currently has modules for CAT and CMAT preparation, with plans to launch more tests. The market for test preparation has been growing in the country, Kamlesh Sajnani, managing director, IMS, said, ""Over 6 lakh students appear for CAT and other management entrance exams. Over 44 lakh students appear for bank probationary officer exams, and their number is increasing,"" he added. ISEET, NEET, GATE, Bank PO are some of the other exams whose preparation tests will be available on the app soon.
Classroom coaching fees for entrance exams are in the range of Rs 40,000 to about Rs 2 lakh a year. A city like Kota in Rajasthan has its entire economy resting solely on coaching, mainly for IIT-JEE, the entrance exam for admission into any of the 15 IITs. Coaching classes in Kota and along with allied businesses like hostel, canteens, etc pull over Rs 1000 crore annually into the city's economy, roughly three times the cost of an IPL team for a decade.
Sunil Dutt, managing director, India, Research In Motion, said, "Using your phone while studying was traditionally viewed as counter-productive, but today mobile technology empowers students. We see students using their phones to upload homework, answers of tough questions, or help out other students. Smartphones have moved beyond being a fad and are adding value to the lives of users; education is one way.""
Officials of Omni-Bridge Systems stated they developed the app with the look and feel of a game, which makes it interesting to use. The questions are stored in the server and streamed to the phone when the app is used. The company had earlier developed the national tech award winning system Trafficop for the Pune Traffic Police. Available on Blackberry phones, the system allows traffic policemen to pull details of vehicles and their owners from the RTO records and verify them when vehicles are apprehended. It also allows them record traffic offenses and fines imposed and thus suspend licenses of repeat offenders.