An easy ride at your fingertips

Travel aids: Suruk, Ideophone's free mobile app, works as a handheld digital meter for passengers. — Photo: K. Murali Kumar   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

You are in an autorickshaw and the driver seems to be going around in circles, while the meter is running faster than an express train. You’re feeling angry and helpless, and any inquiry elicits a rude response from the driver — sounds familiar?

Similar frustrating experiences goaded a group of young developers to create Suruk, a mobile-based app that helps monitor the distance and fare on your hired ride. Initially a project that started as a hobby, they fine-tuned it and started Ideophone, a company in Kodihalli that has gone on to create many more commuter-friendly apps.

Suruk, for instance, shows you the distance travelled on your auto or taxi ride, and helps you monitor the fare, so you’ll know if the meter is rigged.

Route details and expected fare can be obtained beforehand. Moreover, its rating system allows you to rate a driver and see what other users think of the driver — Rude, Greedy, Satisfactory, Honest or Helpful.

The app can be customised to your city, by changing the rate per distance, currency, and so on.

“It is one of our most popular apps,” says Anenth Guru, co-founder of Ideophone. “There have been more than 1 lakh downloads across 138 countries.”

For emergencies

Another of their useful apps is One Touch SOS. In an emergency, you can send out SMSes with details of your location to three people with a single click. Initially a part of Suruk, they made it a standalone app, because of its potential to aid people. This is user-friendly, clutter-free and very convenient — a single touch is enough to activate the SMS, and this can be a boon when you are in a tight spot.

The SOS app is so popular that on request, Ideophone developed a custom version for Nigeria in partnership with its government agencies. Anenth remembers with pride that an elderly Nigerian with a health condition that made him susceptible to medical emergencies, bought an Android phone just for this app. Anenth also narrates another incident about a woman whose stolen phone was retrieved, and the thief caught, because of the phone-tracking system in the app!

Before you go-go

Pyka is a service for train commuters. By sending an SMS with the train number and destination, you can request to be woken up when your station arrives. This is convenient for times when trains are delayed, both for the traveller, and for those who want to come to the station to receive the traveller. The advantage of this service is that it is not restricted to smartphones. Pyka has undergone a successful pilot-run, and the logistics are being worked out for a commercial launch.


Kopa is an app through which you can check to see who in your neighbourhood is attending the same event as you are, combine rides with them and make new friends in the process. This app is available across multiple platforms, and is currently being promoted as a white-label product.

(Ideophone is at 7/2840, 1st Main, Kodihalli. Call 9741305809.)

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 6:04:59 AM |

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