HAJJ 2016

Hajj pilgrims use Smart Umbrella

Kamal Badawi, a Saudi engineer from Makkah, explains salient features of a smart umbrella to a pilgrims. (Photo courtesy: Okaz)

Hajj pilgrims are taking complete advantage of the high technology available on their smartphones to capture every moment of their Hajj journey and share it with their beloved ones’ back home.

Kamal Badawi, an engineer from Saudi Arabia's Makkah, said technology has now become part and parcel of Hajj. Badawi has teamed up with a Palestinian engineer, Manal Dandis, to invent a smart umbrella to protect pilgrims against the scorching sun of Makkah. The umbrella uses solar energy for power and comes with USB ports, a fan, a flashlight and a GPS system to locate lost friends and family. It has 10 solar panels which turn sun rays into fresh air while the handle can be used to charge a cell phone.

Badawi, who has worked as a volunteer during Hajj for decades, said the smart umbrella helps locates a pilgrim who gets lost in crowds as it is linked with the smartphone. He also invented “Wussul” or “Arrival” in Arabic, an interactive application that lists roads that traditional GPS does not recognize and allows groups to find their members if they get lost in the crowd.

A Jordanian couple, Abdullah Zoran and his wife, who live in South Korea, said they took pictures near the Grand Mosque and inside it to document their journey and that their smart phones are indispensable. They are planning to share the pictures with their friends and family when they go back home.

This article was first published on the Saudi Gazette Sunday, September 11, 2016.

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Last Update: Sunday, 11 September 2016 KSA 12:38 - GMT 09:38
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Hajj pilgrims use Smart Umbrella
Hajj pilgrims are taking complete advantage of the high technology available on their smartphones to capture every moment of their Haj journey
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