The application is meant to assist the migrants and refugees leaving war-torn countries.
As the refugee crisis continues with migrants making their way into Europe from northern Africa and the Middle East, Google is hoping that a mobile app will help to ease the situation for those refugees.
The crisis is greater than it has been in 60 years, as 11 million migrants and refugees try to find safe new lives.
The mobile app has been created for migrants, a large majority of whom have smartphones so that they will be able to reach their families as they travel and let them know of their safe arrival at every step of their journey. The mobile application has been created for people who are already using their smartphones to attempt to use mapping apps, to best plan their journeys, and even to be able to obtain assistance over social media.
The mobile app that has now been launched by Google is called the “Crisis Info Hub” as a part of an open source project.
The app is designed to bring hyper-local information to refugees in a way that will be easy on the device battery and that will work with the majority of smartphones. Google has worked with Mercy Corps and the International Rescue Committee in order to create the application. The tech giant also partnered up with NetHope in order to enhance the area’s connectivity to ensure that refugees will actually be able to use the mobile application when they need information from it.
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The smartphone app has already gone live in Lesbos, Greece, and the intention is to add a number of additional live locations over the next short while. This will make it possible for refugees to obtain vital information about medical facilities, accommodations and transportation, all within a range of different languages such as Arabic and English, among others.
Language issues remain one of several main challenges faced by the refugees and Google has seen an increase of five times of Arabic translations based in Germany, in 2015. To address this issue, it has made Arabic the 28th language that can be used for instant visual translation within its Google Translate mobile app. This makes it possible to receive immediate translation of printed signs and text from German or English to Arabic, even when the device is not connected to the internet.