Monday, August 28, 2017

Oh, patents! SnooCODE

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Can you imagine trying to find someone in a city with no street names or street numbers? This is exactly the situation in some of the developing cities in Africa, and in particular in Accra, the capital of Ghana. But luckily, a young Ghanian systems engineer, called Sesinam Dagadu, studying in the UK, found the perfect solution. He called his invention the SnooCODE.

The SnooCODE is an app, downloadable for free, that generates a unique geolocalisation code wherever the person is standing. The app also generates directions when a SnooCODE is provided. Problem solved (via satellite too)! 

The Ghana National Ambulance Services (GNAS) are now equipped with SnooCODE Red, developed by tinyDavid in collaboration with the Vodaphone Ghana Foundation.

This year the PanAfrican SnooCODE was also deployed so that any place in Africa will have a SnooCODE address for delivering goods, or for finding people.. Indeed as the SnooCode  logo states: "An address for every man, woman and child."

The SnooCODE invention is disclosed in the PCT patent WO2014080186 titled Postal code system and method. The abstract of this invention is included below with an app screenshot of the SnooCode CUT-OXE corresponding to the Achimota Hospital in Accra,
A postal code system and method comprised a first GPS signal receiving portable device (10) that determines a postcode for the instant position of the first portable device (10) dependent upon the position on the surface of the earth of the first portable device (10). The system and method also comprises a second GPS signal receiving portable device that has the postcode inputted therein, determines the desired position of the postcode, finds its position by GPS and issues indication to delivery personnel how far and in what direction to move to arrive at the postcode- indicated location. First (10) and second (18) portable devices can be included in a combined portable device (10, 18) such as a GPS enabled portable telephone. A position determining algorithm and a postcode deliver algorithm, opposite in action to the action of the postcode determining algorithm, are employed. The postcode determining algorithm randomises at least one of the postcode characters, to avoid easy determination of a postcode from a position and vice versa.. [Abstract WO2014080186]

Fauchier-Delavigne, M. ( Aug 7, 2017) A défaut de noms de rue une appli génère des codes pour se repérer à Accra. Le Monde 17-08-17
Douglas, K. (Aug. 15, 2015) SnooCode : a solution to the lack of formal addresses in Ghana and beyond
Vodaphone Ghana foundation

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