“This is the beginning of a shift to smartphones and tablets in Gaza,” says entrepreneur Nidaa Wishah. Taking advantage of the growing market, Wishah and her cofounder Manal Khamis, launched AS7AB, a mobile startup that is designing apps for those with special needs.
In the short interview above, the cofounders reveal their first release, an app that is designed to help the blind by transforming colors into sounds. With their prototype, the two founders applied for “The Economic Recovery Project” competition at the Palestine Information and Communications Technology Incubator (PICTI) and won seed funding to develop this first app while being incubated at PICTI.
AS7AB plans to make the app, which works by scanning your phone camera over different colors that are translated into pitched sounds, available on iOS and Android for $1. The application will be available in English first and later in Arabic.
“AS7AB” plans to produce other applications to benefit those with special needs in other areas as well, though the company needs further financial support in order to continue developing.
Check out the video above for a demonstration of the app’s functionality.
Editor’s note: AS7AB’s application has yet to be fully launched out of PICTI and the question remains whether there is a big enough market for such a product, or if blind users will actually find it practical in their daily lives. Before graduating from an incubator, startups should first conduct some form of product-market fit testing to discern whether they actually fill a need and to see if a prototype is useful for a potential consumer base.
Hopefully this app will be useful for some, as AS7AB graduates from PICTI and finds other ways to help those with specific needs via mobile.