The devices use short wavelength UHF radio waves for exchanging data via mobile phones and laptops.
But a student at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) has gone a step higher and built up a Bluetooth App that empowers one to talk and send messages without causing any charges.
Rodgers Wambua who invented the app christened ‘Bluetooth Chat’ says many students at the university have embraced the new technology.
Majority of the students we talked to testified that they are now saving money they used to spend on airtime in a bid to buy bundles for chatting to buy food and other personal effects.
Mr Wambua is a third year student taking a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology.
In an interview with the Hashtag, Wambua said you can chat with your friends using the app when you have an Android powered smartphone that is installed with the app.
“With the Bluetooth Chat, you can chat with your friends even when you do not have data bundles in your phone or WI-FI fitted within your surroundings. No charges are incurred,” Wambua said.
He said those who have the app can chat within a radius of 100metres, adding he is doing more research to modify the app so that distance does not limit them from communicating to their friends and relatives.
He said the idea came to him when in second year, first semester after it emerged that students were having difficulties in communicating as a result of not having enough funds.
The IT guru said he took a period of one year to come up with the new invention.
“My colleagues used to mock me when I started working on the invention. They said I had ran berserk but I used to remind them that I was looking for solutions to their problems of being unable to chat over lack of money,” Wambua said.
“They have now embraced the technology and told me that they save between sh200-sh350 per day, the money they used to spend to buy airtime to enable them buy bundles to chat via WhatsApp and Facebook,” he said.
He said he has patented the new invention and hopes to cash in from the new invention.
“Currently, I get some money from google adverts but ones I will have fully developed the app, I will reap big,” Wambua said.
He said the app can be used in companies as a tool of communication among the staff workers.
Everlyn Nzilani, also a third year IT student cum classmate told the Hashtag that they are now able to chat with their friends’ easily following the invention.
Ms Nzilani welcomed the invention saying she now saves sh200 daily she was spending to buy data bundles.
MMUST Dean of Computer Science, Dr Kevin Omieno said the student is hard working, adding he encouraged him to continue working on the invention when he first shared the idea to him while at the conceptualization stage.
“We will help him in modifying the app so that distance cannot be a hindrance to communication. Then we will register it with the Google Playstore so that it can be accessed by many people,” Dr Omieno said.