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General News of Thursday, 9 April 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Meet the teacher whose talking car could be Kantanka's biggest competition


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His inspiration is to make creations that will motivate his students to pursue Information Communication Technology (ICT) and challenge the world out there.

Gideon Adjei Biney is his name, a teacher at the Odumaseman SHS in Sunyani West.

With this inspiration and his knowledge in ICT, he decided to programme a talking device to serve alarm purposes for vehicles; more like a ‘talking car,’ he told GhanaWeb in an exclusive interview.

And so he did!, the first sample was with his very own car, a Skoda Octavia, in October 2019. With specific time intervals, he programmed the talking device such that it identifies its owner and thieves alike.

Just like vehicle alarms, it alerts the owner if anyone comes close, but in this case, it is an audible voice with a message in the local Akan dialect.

He admits taking inspiration from popular Kantanka Automobile CEO, Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, the Ghanaian business mogul who focuses on assembling vehicles and other machines with ‘talking ability’.

Detailing the story behind his invention, he told GhanaWeb, “As an ICT teacher, we always want to invent new things to let our students also know that it is good to learn ICT in University…. I record the voice in the programming aspect. In programming, we use 0 and 1’s. So I use 0 and 1’s and programmed the car in such a way that when I put the car in reverse, for example, it starts to talk, informing anyone around that the car is reversing so people should move out of the way.”

"It is also made such that when you touch the car, it starts telling you to move away from the car. When an unauthorized person touches the car, it starts raising an alarm to alert the owner. It is just like the normal cars that have alarms when you touch them but this time, it talks. I started with my own car, the Skoda Octavia car to programme and to make it slightly different, I used the local dialect,” Gideon told GhanaWeb.

About how different his creation is from that of Apostle Kantanka, he said,

“I got the inspiration from Kantanka. People didn’t use to believe in these things but I said if Kantanka has done this, somebody else can be able to do this. We’ve not started making it wholesale yet, I only tried it in my car, my friend’s, my father's, etc. It’s about 3 or 4 cars which are all in my house. This is a little different but has a lot of similarities.”

Gideon told GhanaWeb that the ‘talking car’ is his second invention. The first was a speaking siren that he developed for his school to replace the usual ‘singing’ one most secondary schools use, an invention that has been deployed by many schools across the country.

“This is not the only thing I’ve created. Around 2004, I created a siren, a talking school siren to replace the old one that was in use in most of the schools. This time, we decided to make the siren talk so that when it’s break time, it tells you it’s break time, when it’s lunchtime, it tells you it’s lunchtime, that has been my motivation since university. I’m making money out of it. Most schools come and buy the sirens to install at their schools. The particular design is not very extensive but the other materials range from 4,000 upwards depending on the size of the school. Most schools in Accra, Nungua Secondary, Kaneshie and Tema secondary schools use it,” he added.



Gideon hopes to begin mass production soon to make the product available for all Ghanaians and to encourage locally manufactured alarms rather than the foreign ones.

His dream, however, is to meet Sarfo Kantanka soon, to probably liaise with him and make bigger inventions.

“We intend making it public so that people, instead of buying the foreign alarms for their cars, can buy the locally made ones and install in their cars so that they keep unauthorized people off their cars. I intend to liaise with Kantanka in the future. We have spoken to some few Kristo Asafo people, and very soon I’ll meet him personally.”

Report by Wonder Ami Hagan

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