The app called Letsema is the perfect African challenge to the dominant American audio-video conferencing apps; Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Gogle Meet. Letsema has just beaten more than 240 other apps from all over Africa to be among the top 15 winners in a Facebook Andela BuildforSGD Competition. It netted M150, 000 prize tag and a plenty of technical support in the process.
Its developers are also in contact with Vodacom South Africa for further developement to its full potential.
Check the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Innovation Hub’s virtually incubated app here and help us test this outstanding video conferencing tool: www.letsema.co.ls or just download it from Google Play (by typing “Letsema”) and start using it with your friends.
“It is true that our team put a lot of effort on this app,” said John Ralebitso who is coordinating the team of brilliant developers of this app.”That we could beat more than 240 developers from around Africa was not in our radar. But we did it anyway.”
This is what the judges liked about the app. It is practical, it is responding to the present need, it address the present challenges facing other video conferencing tools, and it has a huge potential to grow.
Letsema enjoys several advantages over the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet which are the carbon copies of each other, more or less.
First the simplicity.
Conventional video conferencing apps are hard to use. The older generation or the less technology savvy among us are always confused when they are asked to undergo the not-so-clear registration processes to create accounts. “With Letsema, you don’t need an account,” Ralebitso said. “You throw your name in there and you are ready to start a meeting.”
Not too long ago, our MPs were being trained to use Microsoft Teams. You don’t need any training to use Letsema.
Maybe those who are still struggling with online teaching and learning can get a lesson or two from Letsema, the home grown solution to the COVID-19 inheritance.
“Teaching with Letsema can never be easier,” Ralebitso added.”If you are a teacher, you need just two things. Your computer is used to display your notes in a screenshare and your phone (connected to your computer and acting as a camera) is used to display your hand illustrations on a paper, all streamed to your students cellphones.”
Still at screensharing, conventional apps have found a way to make screensharing a bit complicated. Those who use the likes of Zoom know that you sometimes need to share documents with your audience.
You must have your files stored in your computer to share them with your audience on their screens. Letsema is different. You will store the files you want to share during a meeting in Letsema cloud storage.
When you want to share several documents, you don’t have to go to your computer and open several apps, one by one, (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc) some of which may refuse to open at the wrong time. Instead, files are saved, opened and screen-shared in Letsema, a single app supporting several documents.
Letsema is also adding another super function that will make it as flexible as a rubber. Let’s suppose you are a business. When the client wants to initiate a meeting with you, he will go to your website and send a meeting request. You will in turn send her, say a Zoom link. Do you realise the complexity of it all? You are using two different platforms to communicate, your website and Zoom.
“We are successfully developing a feature in which Letsema can generate a code that you will then embed into your own website,” Relebitso said. “In this way, you and your client can have a meeting on your website without having to open Letsema directly. Letsema is now part of your own site.”
The app has many more amazing features. If anything, its developers want to make sure that you find everything in a one-stop-shop.
Now, who wouldn’t want to be part of an app that might as well take on the American audio-video conferencing giants from the tiny Mountain Kingdom? Relebitso said ever since they won, they got calls from potential investors from South Africa and as far as Nigeria. “We are also in contact with Vodacom South Africa to see if we can work together to develop Letsema.”
As part of the winners, Facebook and Andela will shower them with a M150, 000 jackpot, an access to industry leaders for mentorship and a possibility to be selected by Facebook, Andela, and other top notch companies for providing solutions to their problems.