Tuesday, September 16, 2008

18 year old African self-taught electronics genius

Slow blog day :-) But did you hear about the 18 year old African self-taught electronics genius.

Check out the video


Every now and then we hear about Africans inventing things, making technological breakthroughs, finding cures, etc. It's great to have the news media pick up these 'good' stories but the excitement dies down and we never really hear about these particular people anymore. They are just replaced by the next African genius or next invention. What can we do to encourage these people who are being ingenuous in finding solutions to our problems? I am interested in starting a project to document these things and find support for these entrepreneurs. If you are interested in helping out, get in touch.

Full story on Morris Mbetsa below
Morris Mbetsa, an 18 year old self-taught inventor with no formal electronics training from the coastal tourist town of Mombasa on the Indian Ocean in Kenya has invented the "Block & Track", a mobile phone-based anti-theft device and vehicle tracking system.

The system, that Mbetsa created by combining technology from projects that he has completed in the past. The real-time system uses a combination of voice, DTMF and SMS text messages over cell-based phone service to carry codes and messages that allow control of some of a vehicles' electrical systems including the ignition to manage vehicle activation and disabling remotely in real time.

Another feature of the system is the capacity to poll the vehicle owner by mobile phone for permission to start when the ignition is turned in real time as well as eavesdrop on conversation in the vehicle.

Mbetsa is now looking for funding to commercially develop his proof of concept and bring it to the market as reported in this video carried on the Kenya Television Network earlier this year.
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