Time Plus

Ahmed Shatil Alam talks to a group of technology enthusiasts-who made the first ever combo-app that could be usable as a mobile game as well as security and awareness purposes

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Suppose, you are stuck in a traffic jam or you have plenty of time but nothing to do. What will you do to utilize your time? Many of you will answer the question by saying that you will probably spend the time playing a game or browsing over social networking sites.
How about, provided with a game based on an app which in a way brings you the joy of a gaming experience while bringing you the necessary information of the whole wide world into your mobile screen in the form of a game? It sounds exciting, and the exclusive app that has already been created with an aim to provide necessities of life with a casual tone of gaming, by a group of Bangladeshi young technology enthusiasts.

The four member team ‘Atto-Unmesh’ has made an app named ‘Time Plus’- claimed to be the first ever combo-app, which will not only let you utilize your free time through learning about space but also sometimes save your life and help fire fighters and police, if you think it is necessary to fight against any arson or crime.

Talking to New Age Xtra, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology student and a team member of the team Asif Imrul says that the Time Plus is the first ever combo-app in the world and none has devised such an app before them. ‘Combo app is basically an app that allows people to learn something or get help and serve necessary information to the community through a game’ he explains the app module. Actually it is a blend of ‘game’ and ‘awareness’ based on apps, he further shares.

A research was conducted by them before making the app, he also shared an information found from the research that in Bangladesh around 80 percent of smart phone users have games installed in there devices, while only a few people were found to have installed awareness based apps. ‘Which indicates that people opt more for game based apps rather than the awareness based apps that could save human life and tackle natural and financial losses’, he shares. This is what pushes them to go forward to make such an app-that one day would change world in many positive aspects- this is what team Atto-Unmesh believes. The team is consisting of three other members, Maria Rafique and Animesh Mitro from BUET and Diger Md. Kowsick from University of Dhaka.

The Time Plus app starts with a single person game where an astronaut-cat called Curl, gets in danger as its spaceship has been hit and broken by some planets and their broken parts. The gamer needs to provide some necessary equipments to Curl by completing ten levels, thus it could repair the broken spaceship. In that journey the player can be able to learn about much information on space and its history. As the player reaches at a new level in the game, space history starting from 130 BC to 1900 AD will be given to them level by level.

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Besides, one can play a role in stopping the forest fire by using the app. If someone sees a fire breakout or simply a wild fire then they need to just press a button given on the app. The button will immediately inform the authorities including police, fire brigade and other authorities about the incident. Including that, one can also inform police, if he/she finds out about a crime. Time Plus also provides a service called self-protection which is a kind of a surviving tactic that could save one’s life who is in grave danger, for example being locked in a collapsed building. This was included by them after experiencing the disastrous incident of Rana Plaza and its consequences, shares Asif. ‘The self-protection option could save life by its exclusive features- providing necessary survival information on the crucial period and to inform others about one’s locked location’, he says.

One of the major inclusions of the app is that it has a feature on robot. This is the hardware part of the project. The robot has manual movement control but can automatically search for fire, detect temperature and spray water on it. In future the team wants to make an individual robot for every app user by which the robot could help the app user in many dangerous cases, says Maria.

For the exclusivity of their app Time Plus, the team Atto Unmesh has already reached at the final stage of NASA Space APP Challenge 2017. Talking to New Age Xtra Maria shares that the primary idea came to Asif at first and then he shared with her about the idea. ‘Actually we had participated in many competitions together and got awards as well… and thus the idea of Time Plus struck him’, she shares. Meanwhile, Asif gave credit to her and said that the uniqueness of the app is the integrated game and awareness or security related features which were basically Maria’s idea. He also gave credit to Animesh for including the robot and Kowsick for doing the research on connection between the app and human life.