LOCAL innovation, D’Junction Mobile App, launched its Carnival 2019 Season recently at the bmobile corporate box, Queen’s Park Oval as part of bmobile’s Connect Innovation Week.
Present at the launch, were leaders of the Carnival industry, corporate Trinidad, entertainment personalities and partners, and friends of the app.
Representatives of the app’s partners: Daniel Smith – Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing at bmobile; Sabrina Sookdeo-Khillwan, COO of Lime.tt; and Aaron Williams of Kalicharan Carnival gave speeches. Colin Lucas, CEO of the National Carnival Commission also brought greetings on behalf of his organisation.
Smith told the audience that bmobile Innovation Week constitutes a collaborative effort for sharing the spotlight with bmobile’s partners and the community in the technology industry.
“It is our intention to showcase the impact of tech in Trinidad and Tobago, and to highlight organisations that are making innovative strides in this arena. D’Junction Mobile Application is a perfect example of a startup company creating and utilizing a technological solution to solve common problems that companies and consumers have faced for years at Carnival time and beyond.
“Through its event and band tracking features, the app is transforming the way we participate in, experience and enjoy our Carnival, and is perfectly aligned to bmobile’s mission to deliver world class technology that supports the dynamic needs of customers. We are proud to have powered D’Junction for the last year and two carnivals,” Smith said.
For her part, Sookdeo-Khillawan said she was aware of the numerous rave reviews by people using the app to find their bands and access event information. “Lime.tt is launching our very own J’ouvert band for Carnival 2019, and we are thrilled to have D’Junction’s band tracking functionality as a free, valuable service to our players. We believe this service will give them an added sense of security in a time when this is of utmost concern,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of Kalicharan Carnival, a band which has featured on the app’s band tracking service from D’Junction’s inception, Williams thanked the app’s creator, local entrepreneur Ria Karim for linking the band to her the app.
NCC’s Colin Lucas spoke highly of Karim and D’Junction App, stating he was personally both impressed and thrilled to learn of the technological innovation emerging into the Carnival Space.
“For us, D’Junction is more than just an App. What appealed to us is its innovativeness. We at the NCC are interested in and working towards revolutionizing Carnival and we have implemented several new initiatives to do this. So when Ms Karim came to us to talk about her app, it was directly in line with the NCC’s objectives,” Lucas said.
In the feature address, Karim thanked bmobile for their partnership and support, and for showcasing D’Junction as part of their Innovation Week. She spoke about how the app came about and the real motivation behind its development.
Karim said that she herself faced the conundrum experienced by thousands over the years of roaming the streets trying to track down a band. She added however, that apart from tiredness and frustration, she and her friends also felt concerned about their personal safety, as a group of women taking directions from strangers and walking up and down the city.
“I knew in that moment that it was critical to have some sort of digital tool to navigate the entirety of a celebration as dynamic and fast paced as ours. One that eliminates chaos and reassures the user during the melee that is our Carnival, and reduces overall risk to personal safety.”
Karim noted that Carnival is one of TT’s primary tourism exports and is an attraction with global reach and universal appeal. It’s success and sustainability as an industry hinge on our ability to offer the most memorable experiences of “freeing up”, partying, dressing up, dancing with friends and leaving worries behind for two (or more) euphoric days.
A sense of safety and familiarity in unfamiliar territory are critical to overall enjoyment in such a setting; and it goes without saying how exponential and detrimental the effects of one single, negative incident can be on our reputation as a destination.
“I see D’Junction as contributing efficiencies and solutions within our creative and cultural economies, by providing a free resource that gives a greater sense of comfort and convenience to the user. And when someone is comfortable, they can truly enjoy themselves.”
She then announced that a new feature has been added to the app which is designed to radically enhance personal safety and people’s ability to respond to emergencies within their circles during the season.
“We have partnered with our sister app, ‘Safe-T’, to incorporate their alert feature, directly from D’Junction. Through this partnership, users create a closed group ahead of time, and are able to send an emergency alert to friends and family, or to directly dial emergency response services.
“We continue to leverage our geolocator features, so that people within your group can track your location once an alert is sent. It goes without saying how important a feature like this would be year round, and moreso during the Carnival Season. We are proud to say that the Emergency Alert button will be active on the app within the next two weeks, and in time for Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Details on how to use this feature will be disseminated in the near future via our website and social media channels.”
Karim thanked partners The Gillette Group; bmobile; the NCC; Air Support Tactical Limited; Carnival bands and corporate sponsors and advertisers. She also thanked sponsors of the launch event AMCO – Wines and Spirits, Optometrists Today, Myles Sushi and SipChipTT. D’Junction is free to download and use and is available in both the google play and itunes stores.