New app helps pilgrims count tawaf rounds

New app helps pilgrims count tawaf rounds
Updated 03 July 2015

New app helps pilgrims count tawaf rounds

New app helps pilgrims count tawaf rounds

JEDDAH: The Grand Mosque is now providing pilgrims with a mobile phone app that can keep track of their rounds during the tawaf or circumambulation of the Kaaba.
The app is available through the Google Play Store and can be downloaded and connected to the mosque’s system. It issues an alert when the pilgrim completes the seventh and last round.
Bandar Al-Khazeem, director of the information technology center of the Grand Mosque, said the app has been developed with Umm Al-Qura University’s technical innovation center, a local publication reported on Wednesday.
“The tawaf application helps you track the number of completed rounds and informs you when your tawaf is complete. The application uses a mix of sensors in your smartphone such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and motion sensors to determine your location within the Haram,” according to information provided on the app store by the developers.
They said that they are using Bluetooth because testing is currently under way on Bluetooth Low Energy technology that is much better than GPS to preserve battery life.
Meanwhile, Al-Khazeem said that the center also provides free Wi-Fi in the courtyards of the Grand Mosque to help connect people and those working on the premises. There are also services for iftar and itikaaf. All the information is available in Arabic, English, French, Turkish, Urdu and Farsi.
According to Maj. Gen. Khaled Qarar Al-Harbi, head of the special emergency forces, the number of pilgrims is expected to rise by 80 percent during the second quarter of the month, and more in the final 10 days. Plans are in place to deal with this increase, he said.