Smartphone applications aimed at addressing consumers’ needs to check on halal status of products and halal-certified restaurants in Malaysia are picking up a pace.
Halal Development Corporation (HDC) has been showing some progress with its halal app since the past months. The organization, which released its first version of mobile app on iOS back in 2010, has recently at the end of 2012 expanded its offerings to include a halal app version for Android OS. Soon thereafter HDC unveiled Halal Locator for BlackBerry smartphones in January of this year.
If you had visited Kamversation before, you’ve probably heard of the HDC’s halal app versions which I’ve written about – Halal Locator on BlackBerry Smartphone and Searching for halal food in Malaysia made easier with mobile app.
To recap, HDC’s halal app now already runs on four mobile operating systems of iOS, Symbian, Android and BlackBerry.
Meanwhile, there has been some other interesting development in Malaysia with regards to similar smartphone apps to address consumers’ concerns about finding the halal status of products and food outlets.
Named as Halal Square, the app was just launched in March of this year by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). The app is a result of collaboration between JAKIM and Malaysia Microelectronic Solutions (My-MS), as explained on JAKIM’s webpage.
What’s unique about Halal Square is that it uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, allowing users to tap NFC-enabled smartphones to the halal logo at food premises and get their halal status information. According to its description on Google Play, “Halal-Square is the World’s 1st NFC based Halal Certification implementation in collaboration with JAKIM, the Premier Halal Certification body in Malaysia.”
With Halal Square consumers can locate halal-certified premises and check on their halal certification status via smartphones running Android or Windows Phone 8.
Interestingly, the release of Halal Square last month was accompanied by a debut of Halal Inside, a new web portal which was described on its website as “The ultimate online network place to share the certified Halal eateries in Malaysia.” The app is said to be fully integrated with the new portal.
It is worth noting here too that the Halal Inside portal contains a feature called Find Halal Premises where users can key in searches by States and City/District without even having to log-in to the system.
Connect to Halal Directory
When it comes to connecting to Halal Directory, the halal app from HDC and the Halal Square from JAKIM/My-MS are not the only mobile apps with such capability at the moment.
myJakim which is a multi-module smartphone app can also connect users to the Directory. This app was developed by JAKIM in cooperation with the Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU). The other modules that come in it include prayer times, Friday Khutbahs and fatwas.
myJakim app for Android and iOS was launched in December 2012, as reported on Amanz.my.
More may be coming!
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has apparently made some progress in the smartphone app development too. A group of lecturers and researchers were reported to have come up with MyHalal App during their participation in the Celcom App Developer Challenge 2012.
A concept of an offline access to halal information that was introduced through MyHalal App does sound interesting. You may read about this at UPM’s webpage here.
Finally, the exponential growth in the development of smartphone apps to address needs of halal conscious consumers in Malaysia seems fitting with the country’s efforts towards building a global halal hub. It’d be interesting to see how these emerging niche apps will continue to shape up.
By Kam Hashim
Note: The author is not an employee of any of the companies mentioned in this article. He does not own any stocks or bonds in any of them at the time the article is published.