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In Saudi Arabia, a Man Creates an App to Locate Your Fellow Pilgrims

Thanks to Hamza Oza and its Rehber tool, pilgrims will soon no longer have to wonder about losing their family members or friends in the crowd. The engineer reveals his secret.

Everyone has a story about an uncle, sister or grandmother who got lost during the pilgrimage,” says Hamza Oza. This happened to me.” This Saudi engineer of about thirty years of age has questioned several pilgrims about their experiences in Mecca to come to this conclusion. And that’s how his project idea came to life: Rehber.

Rehber device

Rehber a tool and and app

“Rehber is a system and a device that helps families locate and reunite during the pilgrimage to Mecca,” Hamza says. The device comes in a shape of a bracelet or a smartwatch with a discreet look, in accordance with the sobriety required during the pilgrimage. The tool has a range of 5 kilometers and does not require any mobile network or SIM card to operate.

Coupled with a mobile application, it allows its owner, once activated, to locate another user via the dashboard of the app. “My goal with Rehber is to make it usable by everyone, including children, thanks to its simple interface and minimalist design,” says its inventor.

Rehber interface

An affordable device

With more than 12 million pilgrims per year in Mecca and the Kingdom’s ambition to increase this number to 17 million by 2025, Hamza Oza is aware of the considerable potential of his creation. “The Hajj is a huge event. Everyone is likely to participate, from the eldest child in the Bangladeshi village to the New York-based executive, Hamza says..

And it is for this reason that the inventor wanted to make his system accessible to all. “I wanted pilgrims to use it as easily and cheaply as possible,” he says. Each device should cost about $32.”

Rehber Watch

The pilgrimage but not only…

But Rehber’s purpose is not to locate people lost only during the Hajj. “Rehber remains a lightweight, easy-to-use tracking device so no matter who you want to search or locate in your own city you can use Rehber,” says Hamza.

Rehber is not yet on the market and was only presented at the Global Grad Show in Dubai last November, but Hamza hopes that many pilgrims will be able to use his device and app during the next Hajj, which will take place in August 2019.

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Published on 29 January 2019