By Phil Chichoni
Avelgood Apps is pushing the frontiers of what people can do with their mobile devices. It is delivering extraordinary user experiences through innovative technologies in audio recognition, measurement and lighting apps.
Avelgood Apps has several mobile phone apps on various platforms including Windows Phone, Nokia Asha and S40 and Symbian.
Two of Avelgood’s popular apps
The Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, based company is now aiming at the global market of bird lovers with the Twiggle birds, which is a field guide for identifying bird songs.
Twigle can record a bird singing and identify it in seconds. You can also identify birds by manually entering the bird’s features. Twigle is available to download for free on the Apple App Store and Windows Phone Store.
Through Twigle users record a few seconds of the birds’ singing and the app returns a list naming the bird and the closest matches. This process requires an internet connection and is helpful when you can only hear the bird singing but cannot see it.
Twigle also allows for visual identification of birds. Physical features such as feather colours, size and habitat can be used to find a list of birds that match these specific characteristics. Information on these features is available on a database which is part of the application and the device. This allows for identification of birds when offline.
Other features that come with application include name search by English and Scientific name or family and sharing of identified birds on popular social media. A user can also keep a bird journal on the application which offers a record of sightings such as date, time and location under a specific bird’s page.
The application has recently been made available to Apple users following its release on iOS. With thousands of downloads on the Windows Phone Store thanks to a solid bird watching audience particularly in the northern hemisphere, Avelgood has decided to accommodate iPhone and iPad users with the iOS version and an Android version which will be released in December this year.
The Twigle app uses a bird’s singing to identify its species in a manner similar to music recognition applications like Shazam and SoundHound. For avid bird watchers it has been viewed as a useful application in cases where you can hear the bird but can’t see it.
The Twigle app also caters for visual identification with a database and search feature that narrows down bird species according to features like feathers and habitat.
This move to iOS comes as Avelgood sets out to present Twigle to wider bird watching audience that extends beyond the Zimbabwean market. The iOS app has specifics for the EU and the North American market where bird watching commands a greater following.
Avelgood is currently working on improving the audio recognition accuracy of the Twigle app. As such the tech startup has launched an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign to raise funds that will be channeled towards this. It is also listed on Ventures for Africa.
The target for the crowd funding campaign is $160,000. The funds are meant to pay for developer talent that will work on increasing the accuracy of the audio processing software, the acquisition of high quality bird songs recordings and calls used in system training and getting licences for other algorithms that can be added to improve the ones currently used for the Twigle app.
The objective is to give the Twigle app an audio accuracy that gives the correct bird in the top three results 90% of the time. Presently the Twigle app is able to put the correct bird in the top 10 for the fifty most common birds.
The man behind Avelgood
Gift Gana describes himself as an entrepreneur with a passion for innovation and developing cutting edge solutions in the mobile app space. He founded Avelgood in 2008, just a year after his first degree from the Bulawayo based National University of Science and Technology, where he completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Applied Physics (2002-2006).
Gift has expertise in the areas of Engineering and IT product development. Avelgood started publishing apps in 2012 that now have a total of over 9 million downloads.
Gift is a co-founder of Football Zone, a leading football content provider in Zimbabwe. The company operates a website, http://www.soccer24.co.zw, which focuses on the Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League. It has over 100,000 Facebook fans and it also provides football updates via SMS. The firm, which he founded together with Thierry Godwin, won second place in the ZOL Jumpstart Challenge in September 2012.Recently he won another award in the Opera Top Apps for 2013.
The future is looking bright for Gift, and we wish him all the best in his funding quests.
(Sources: avelgood.com, techzim.co.zw, vc4africa.biz)