Jay Chen - Projects - Publications

SMS Find

SMS Find is a SMS-based search service that gives users immediate access to information on their mobile phone without subscription to a data plan. SMS Find is targeted at people who for whatever reason do not have access to a WAP enabled phone or a data plan.

SMS Find is a fully featured SMS search service that allows users to query anything from weather to local business listings. Queries can be sent to shortcode 6672 in Nairobi, Kenya. Beyond querying for basic topics using keywords, i.e. "WEATHER nairobi" (see below for other keywords). Branded as Nokia SMS Find in Kenya, the system allows users to search for arbitrary factoids on the web unrelated to the basic keywords. I.e. "barack obama WIFE". Finally, if a single SMS is not enough, more results may be requested by repeatedly using the "NEXT" keyword.

Basic Keywords

More keywords will be added as our system is improved.


October 19, 2010 @ Nairobi, Kenya
SMSFind public pilot as "Nokia SMS Find" in Nairobi, Kenya.

September 22, 2010 @ Chicago, USA
Presented SMSFind full paper at MobiCom.

February 6-22, 2010 @ Nairobi, Kenya
SMSFind user focus group with users in Huruma slum.

August 17-21, 2009 @ Barcelona, Spain
Presented SMSFind workshop paper at Mobiheld.


Site #1: Huruma Slum - Nairobi, Kenya

Initial SMSFind focus group with users in Huruma slum.

Site #2: Nairobi, Kenya

SMSFind rebranded as "Nokia SMS Find" in an open pilot in Nairobi. We are still gathering results, so no further info is available at this time.

Relevant Publications

SMS-Based Mobile Web Search for Low-End Phones
Jay Chen, Lakshmi Subramanian, and Eric Brewer
Proceedings of the 16th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing (MobiCom)
Chicago, USA, September 2010.

SMS-Based Contextual Web Search
Jay Chen, Brendan Linn, and Lakshmi Subramanian
Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Networking, Systems, Applications on Mobile Handhelds (Mobiheld)
Barcelona, Spain, August 2009.

Last Updated: April 1, 2011