bmobile boosts Digital Pan global success

Small but progressively innovative team from left Kailash Maharaj, Quinten Questel, Kristopher Maillard, Kaydine Bissoon, Fayonne Seecharan, Sueann Ramsingh, Anneela Rambally and Rostant Ganpath

If you’ve ever wanted to play the steel pan and never had the opportunity then you’d squeal with delight to know that there is now an app for that. The Digital Pan Mobile App is one of the most authentic sounding steel pan apps and was developed by Digital Business, a local Software Application Development Company based in Curepe following a competition held by the company.

Employees were challenged to create an app in the categories Games, Business, Social and Educational. Given the proliferation of smartphone use in Trinidad and Tobago CEO of Digital Business Quinten Questel said he knew that the company’s foray into apps was inevitable. Out of the fifty entrants, Christian Lalla emerged as winner with his steel pan app and won an iPad 2. For his creation of the majority of 50 apps presented, Kristopher Maillard also took home an iPad 2.

The Digital Pan took six months to develop. To maintain a believable sound, the team worked with Gill’s Pan Shop and its CEO Merlin Gill to produce an app that faithfully reproduces authentic steel pan sound of the various steel pans. The Digital Pan was officially launched on 17th November, 2011 and has been exclusively endorsed by Pan Trinbago and applauded by Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism.

“Mazzini Gill, manager of Gills, provided expertly tuned steel pans for us to work with and also assisted us in the studio recording of the steel pan notes to faithfully reproduce authentic steel pan,” said Quinten Questel, CEO of Digital Business.

 “Another major supporter, Bmobile, really saw the cultural and technological importance of this innovation and they partnered with us” said Questel.  Bmobile played a major part in getting the complete digital pan app to the rest of the world. Through their sponsorship of 7 of the 9 steel pan sets, the complete app can be downloaded by anyone in the world at no cost. bpTT sponsored the other 2 steel pans.

“The company’s name becomes associated with cutting edge technology and innovation that embodies our local culture, talent and musical genius - Think Global, Act Local”. The Digital Pan app gives users access to a range of steel pans including the Tenor High C, Tenor Low C, Double Tenor, Double Seconds, Double Guitar, Triple Cello, Four Cello, TenorBass, Six Bass and a Children’s Steel pan. All the notes on the steel pan were recorded from Gill pan’s Masters Series to ensure it was accurate.

“Through innovation, users can play up to ten notes at the same time with multi-touch, record and replay tracks. The notes of the Digital Pan can also be toggled on/off as a teaching aid.” The Digital Pan supports most of themajor smart phones and tablet devices including iOS, Android and Windows, Phone 7.

Since its launch last year, the app has been downloaded in Trinidad and Tobago and another 127-plus countries around the world including  India, Japan, New Zealand, England, France, Chile, Iran, US, Canada, Pakistan, Cuba, Russia and the Philippines. As of the end of November 2012, the number of downloads exceeded 83,000. “The international level of interest surpassed even our expectations,” Questel said.

“Initially the app was accessed by music teachers and students who couldn’t afford to buy the pan. Now the app is being accessed by people who want to get an introduction to the steel pan, people of the diaspora who just want to feel that connection to home.” Questel added that the Digital Pan is an excellent tool for steel pan composers and arrangers since the app allows them to record their music on the phone/tablet device. “It is also a wonderful tool for persons now starting to learn the steel pan because the application can display to the user the names of the notes on the various steel pans.

The eleven year old Digital Business is a Caribbean management and technology consulting company committed to helping companies create knowledge and deliver innovation. Their core business is facilitating organisations in getting the right information to the right people at the righttime to inform better decision making. Digital Business is pleased to offer custom mobile application development services for the iOS, Android, BlackBerry & Windows Phone 7 platforms.

A Divali app, in which a deeya can be lit with the touch of the screen, was the company’s debut app and earned the company the title of “Number one worldwide Divali app” by MSN India.

Said Questel:

“The Digital Pan App offers the opportunity to experience the diverse richness of the national instrument ofTrinidad and Tobago and is the only percussive instrument created in the 20th century.”

The company will next launch the Digital Tassa app, which Questel said is coming along nicely. He hopes that it generates the same kind of buzz that the Digital Pan has.