Qataris can now participate in making their country a Smart City with the launching of Vodafone’s new digital platform yesterday, bringing together their inputs through a website, mobile site and social media.

At the same time, Vodafone also showcased some of the world’s most advanced and innovative technologies under its Smart Transportation, Smart Homes, Smart Health, and Smart Business development areas.

The launching was held during the opening of the three-day Qitcom 2014 yesterday, an annual Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) event which was attended by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.

“Vodafone supports the efforts to build a knowledge-based economy in Qatar with a vibrant ICT sector so we are delighted to be showcasing the latest innovative products and solutions at Qitcom,” said the telecom’s chairman, HE Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani al-Thani, who welcomed HE Sheikh Abdullah at the event.

Described as a first of its kind, the programme collects ideas from citizens who join conversations, chats, and who write blogs or post updates on social media sites using the hashtag #DesignYourQatar.

Other people can also comment, add more inputs to the posted ideas or even support it by votes.

The programme, which will run for more than one year, is also expected to gather inputs from international and local Smart City experts.

For its Smart Transportation, Vodafone has partnered with Alfardan Automobiles to come up with the first BMW car in Qatar with a wi-fi connection.

Head of business solutions George Galica said the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe (on display) has search and explore apps including live Google services. Besides music streaming and social media features, it also has connected weather apps and connected offices through BMW online applications

Galica also introduced a unique mobile technology under Smart Health that offers solutions for managing diabetes, heart monitoring and how to proactively take care of one’s health.

“When you have one of those conditions you are not very compliant with healthcare,” he said. “But when we talk about people’s health we have to be responsible.”

For its Smart Home technology, controlling the lightings and some appliances at the living room and answering phone calls (landline) while abroad can all be done using a user-friendly tablet.

Vodafone is also helping businesses in Qatar operate globally. It is also showcasing its cloud services with cost effective solutions to help companies operate efficiently.

Vodafone hopes to bring these kinds of technologies to the market this year.