It has been an exciting few weeks for Freedom Fone. We finally got back a version of our prototpye software which works with SIM cards, so we can use it here in Zimbabwe. We’ve been having focus group discussions with a range of people to help inform our first local deployment. And our Technical Director, Brenda Burrell, has been at ICTD 2009, giving a demo of Freedom Fone. She sent us this feedback:

Here I am in Doha, Qatar with my jacket on inside a spectacular building on the Carnegie Mellon campus. I’m seated amongst hundreds of others listening to elevator music whilst we wait for Bill Gates to give his keynote address to the ICTD 2009 participants.

This gathering has brought academics, inventors, practitioners, entrepreneurs, media, local business and royalty together to talk tech and development. Thanks to contributions from a variety of sponsors including IDRC, Qatar Telecom, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, IBM and the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science a large number of us have had travel and accommodation costs paid to facilitate our attendance.

Freedom Fone has been allocated a demo space at the venue which has been a great opportunity to share our ideas, motivation and passion for do it yourself interactive voice response deployment with visitors and participants to the conference. Although still in its alpha version, our demo software provides a useful visual and audio experience to help people understand what we’re doing and where we’re headed.

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Freedom Fone demo ICTD009, Doha

Postscript: Bill Gates was scheduled to visit the demo stands after his address but was sadly whisked away behind the scenes by the royal queen sitting in the front row!

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