A Moncton entrepreneur is hoping to revolutionize the way mobile applications are created by launching a new product that allows people to develop their own app within minutes.
Currently, it can take computer programmers about three months to build a mobile app that helps users access the internet on their portable devices, said Simon Gauvin, the chief executive officer of Agora Mobile Inc.
But the program he developed in university makes it fast and easy for anyone to do, he said.
"If you can play with Lego, you can probably build an app."
Gauvin plans to market the program to companies around the world. He believes there's a huge market, given the explosion in the use of mobile phones.
"I'll give you an example of a restaurant that wants to create a mobile app so that you can either order food, or get information about a menu, or get deals," he said.
In fact, mobile app downloads are expected to increase to nearly 50 billion worldwide in 2012, up from seven billion in 2009 – a year-over-year growth rate of 92 per cent, according to a 2010 study by Chetan Sharma Consulting.
And revenue from mobile apps, including paid downloads, as well as advertising and virtual goods, is expected to jump to $17.5 billion this year, compared to $4.1 billion in 2009, according to the study, commissioned by GetJar, an independent mobile phone application store.
Gauvin’s program is currently in the final testing stage. He plans to use New Brunswick high school and university students to test it out over the next three months.
"We believe that the majority of people who would be really interested in using this are young people — anybody from 12 to 20 are kind of our target demographic," Gauvin said, adding that anyone in the province can sign up to be part of the testing team through the company’s website.
"They are going to basically get to play with it and we're going to be watching them and listening to them and trying to change it to make it better for them."