I strongly believe that Mobile Education is one of the most underutilized use case of Mobile Phone. Given the ubiquity of cellphone in India and comfort most of us have with Mobile Phone.Its only natural that it should be a preferred medium for providing education to masses. But sadly most of my friend confuse Mobile Education with what they see on Idea Cellular commercial . That is no doubt a nicely done and inspiring commercial but current state of Mobile infrastructure doesn't allow for a Mobile Only Distance Education as shown in the commercial . I think that for near foreseeable future Mobile  will be an tool to supplement traditional Education . Education will be mobile enabled , Mobile assisted but its unlikely that its going to be Mobile Only anytime soon. So given these constraints there are few use cases for Mobile Education in Indian context ,TATA Indicom's English Seekho is one such initiative where end user can learn conversational English utilizing Voice as a delivery medium. I am aware of some SMS based services for Word power and other such things .Zyebo from Visual Mobile is another such application which serves a niche in mobile   education . Zyebo provide Q&A  based educational service for competitive exams and Quizzes using GPRS as a delivery channel.    

Functionality :

Zyebo is available for free download on the deck of all major GSM Operators in India .CDMA Phones are not supported yet . To download Zyebo without going through Mobile operator you need to point  your mobile phone browser to http://www.zyebo.com/app.Once you connect successfully, you will be asked to enter your mobile phone number. The Zyebo download will now start on your phone after you have keyed in your mobile phone number. You can also get download link by sending "ZYEBO" as an SMS to 58558 . Size of Application was 176KB and it took less than a minute to download it on My E63 .Installation was a single step process without the need of any registration . Zyebo uses your cell number as a unique identifier. You have an option to  provide additional details like Name, Email Id etc later on. 

Zyebo is not a free product , it works on a Try and Buy method. they allow end users to try out sample of content in each category and present an option to subscribe to it on daily , weekly and monthly basis . Current list of Offering include Quiz from  Derek O Brain , Britannica Trivia Challenge, Bollywood Quiz, Logical reasoning etc .I believe that additional categories will be added from time to time .

As a Quizing enthusiast I tried Trivia Challenge on Zyebo. User interface of product is simple and  minimalistic .Work flow was very intuitive. you can traverse list of multiple choice questions with the help of Left and Right Arrow keys and scroll up and down between various answers using UP and Down arrow key . I was impressed by the quality of questions.I was able to answer only some of the questions right so to improve my score I end up subscribing to monthly pack of it.

My Take :

In my opinion Best Thing about Zyebo is not its Technology . I am sure that can be replicated . It not User Interface , Its clean and intuitive but its not wow . Their USP is not Content either, because most of their content is syndicated . Their USP is distribution and pricing . A product like Zyebo is essentially a subscription service over mobile . with their presence on all the leading operators the distribution piece is in place . their  granular sachet pricing for Daily , weekly and Monthly subscription enable end user to experiment with product . I am sure that after using daily and weekly packs most of the users  will upgrade to Monthly packs.

As of Now content available on zyebo is primarily targeted to Enthusiast and maybe Civil Services aspirants but I am sure that going forward they will be including IIT,PMT and other exams in their offering. given the limited spending power of that customer segment Zyebo's sachet pricing will be a real differentiator for them . I am sure their team is working on that. I look forward to getting more content on Zyebo and improving my score on Trivia Quiz. I will keep you posted on both . Do try out Zyebo and let me know how you feel about it?    


Anonymous said...

Hey - quite interesting... But can these apps really become mass market? In mobile apps the biggest problem seems to be user awareness - I don't think placing on operator deck is enough. ANd how many people really use GPRS???

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