Inspired by a Eureka moment, a software engineer (Raxit Sheth) came up this idea of m4Mumbai (Mumbai city bus information on mobile), when he was waiting in a Mumbai bus stop and noticed how people struggle to find bus routes and bus timings. He started analyzing this problem and realized that though this information was available in the form of booklets and websites, it was not accessible when it was most required! Almost everyone has a mobile phone. All the mobiles have basic requirements for connectivity in terms of bluetooth and Java OS (J2ME). So, he came with the idea of offline Java-based mobile applications which can be downloaded through bluetooth or through GPRS! Now, you can check bus timings through your mobile without SMS or GPRS or Mobile web. Neat!
The official source for bus timings is from BEST (Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport) . Unfortunately, the information available on the website cannot be accessed on the mobile phone as the rendering is not compatible with many mobile phones.
This simple application based on the common problem-solving has turned to be a big hit. Ever since this application was made live, many people have downloaded it. M4Mum is even live on Airtel Appstore and Samsung Appstore! That speaks volumes about the success and the popularity of this application.
Mobile 4 Mumbai is a very light application requiring just 50 Kilo bytes of memory space (jar file is just 35k). They are planning to expand to other cities in India not just for bus routes and information, but also for ATMS, hospitals and other important local information! Whats interesting with this success story is the understanding of the Indian needs! Any solution that can work for the Least common denominator (read the common man :)) can quickly become successful and popular.
Good going Raxit Sheth. We wish you good luck.