A Torquay plumber might have just invented the future of texting.
Roger Bramham has launched his new free app, Emot It, the first messaging application to use colours to express the tone of texts and also the first of its kind to enable scheduling of messages.
He hit on the idea about four years ago after a misunderstanding with his son over a text message.
“Eighty per cent of texts are misinterpreted,“ Mr Bramham explained.
“I received a message from my son while on a holiday and replied to him in a sarcastic manner but I didn’t realise he’d interpret it as being fact.
“This caused a bit of a family issue. I got the nastiest reply and he wouldn’t answer his phone for some time.
“I’m a 56-year-old plumber and probably the last person you would think to develop an app like this. My kids believe I’m computer-and-smart-phone-illiterate but miracles do occur and if you do get an idea that you believe may be successful you have to go for it.”
Mr Bramham said a Key and Peele comedy ski called Text Message Confusion higlighted “exactly what the app solves”.
As a primary school teacher in the ’80s Mr Bramham would ask students to write stories, with words in different colours to express feelings.
Emot It uses 10 colours to reflect tones and feelings including sarcasm, frustration, jealousy, excitement, joking, disappointment and love.
Users type a message and highlight the text they wish to colour, conveying an emotion.
Mr Bramham said message scheduling was another unique Emot It feature that was unavailable from competitors WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
“At the time I thought is was too simple a concept and so must have already been designed, but after research into messaging apps on the market I discovered there’s nothing else like it.
“I’ve patented and copyrighted the idea to protect other companies from copying it.
“In time, if the app attracts enough followers it could be worth quite a bit to companies like Facebook.”
Mr Bramham said the app had received interest from schools and psychologists who believed it could assist people with asperger syndrome to overcome struggles with understanding social and emotional cues.
About 800 people had downloaded Emot It since its soft launch before Christmas, he said.
Mr Bramham is brainstorming ideas for upgrades to improve his app, such as adding colours and incorporating a group-scheduling feature.
Originally published at Geelong Independent.