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Devices powered by KaiOS have been in the market only since mid-2017. But thanks to the huge popularity of Jio phones from Reliance, this light Linux-based operating system today has a greater market share than iOS in India.
Built by San Diego, California-headquartered start-up KaiOS Technologies and led by CEO Sebastien Codeville, KaiOS is the third biggest operating system globally after Android and iOS. Data from StatCounter show that while Android has over 91.5 per cent share in India, iOS has over 2.6 per cent share as of July 2019. KaiOS has over 4.3 per cent share in the country.
The emergence of KaiOS has led to the growth of a new category of devices — smart feature phones. For those who cannot afford a smartphone, these devices have proved to be a boon as they allow users to connect to the Internet, thereby bridging the digital divide.
KaiOS-powered devices allow users gain access to apps such as WhatsApp, YouTube, Google Maps, the Google Assistant and Facebook, as well as a store for apps called the KaiStore. Thanks to to the ultra cheap data rates offered by Reliance Jio, these devices helped a large section of India’s population move from 2G network to a high-speed 4G network.
“Kai experienced strong growth in 2018 as it built a presence in new markets such as India and Africa through critical partnerships with companies including Reliance Jio, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Orange, MTN, Qualcomm, and others,” Codeville wrote in a blog post in May this year. The team behind KaiOS comprises over 260 people spreading out in offices in Hong Kong, the US, Taiwan, China, India (Bengaluru), Brazil, and France.
In a good news to the start-up, a recent Counterpoint study found that the smart feature phone segment presents a $28 billion dollar market opportunity in the coming three years. With more than 100 million devices shipped in over 100 countries till now, the company is betting big on demand from India as well as countries in Africa and Latin America.
“Reliance Jio is a great case study showcasing the success, reach, and impact of KaiOS-powered devices. After adopting the KaiOS platform, Reliance Jio acquired tens of millions of 2G feature phone users and transitioned them to its 4G network,” the company said.
“Consumers found the phone appealing because it was a fraction of the price of an entry-level smartphone but offered curated apps and robust functionality like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Google Assistant,” it added.
KaiOS Technologies in May announced $50 million in a Series B funding round led by Cathay Innovation, with continued participation from Kai’s existing shareholders Google and TCL Holdings. With this Series B, Kai said it plans to expand into new markets, and to invest in product portfolio research and development.
In June, KaiOS announced the launch of two smart feature phones in Brazil and in August TECNO, the leading mobile phone brand in Africa, announced the launch of the latest 3G smart feature phone T901, the first TECNO device running on KaiOS. “Kai aims to transition a substantial portion of the more than 1.5 billion feature phone users to smart feature phones, enabling carriers, manufacturers, developers, and advertisers to create innovative, new business models,” Codeville said. (IANS)
NASA will pay up to $1 million to people who can come up with innovative and sustainable food production ideas to feed astronauts in space, as the US space agency prepares to send astronauts further into the cosmos than ever before. Giving future explorers the technology to produce nutritious, tasty, and satisfying meals on long-duration space missions will give them the energy required to uncover the great unknown. In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has launched the 'Deep Space Food Challenge' that calls on teams to design, build, and demonstrate prototypes of food production technologies that provide tangible nutritional products -- or food.
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"Feeding astronauts over long periods within the constraints of space travel will require innovative solutions," said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, DC. "Pushing the boundaries of food technology will keep future explorers healthy and could even help feed people here at home," he said in a statement. Over time, food loses its nutritional value. That means for a multi-year mission to Mars, bringing along pre-packaged food will not meet all the needs for maintaining astronaut health.
Innovative food production technology that produces safe, acceptable, palatable, nutritious food products. |UnsplashUnsplash
In October 2021, Phase 1 of the challenge culminated as NASA awarded 18 teams a total of $450,000 for their concepts for innovative food production technology that produces safe, acceptable, palatable, nutritious food products. NASA now invites both new and existing teams to enter Phase 2 for a prize purse up to $1 million. "Everything needed to store, prepare and deliver food to the crew, including production, processing, transport, consumption, and disposal of waste should be considered," said NASA. Proposed technologies such as plant growth systems, manufactured food products, and ready-to-eat solutions combined could provide the future crews with a variety of options that would provide the needed daily nutrition, it added. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : NASA, innovative, food, healthy, idea, astronaut, USA, tasty, technology, space, travel, explorer, health, nutrition, prize, solution, variety.)
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People suffering from depression are more likely to believe vaccine-related misinformation, according to a new study. The study found that people with moderate or greater symptoms of depression were more likely to believe at least 1 of 4 false statements about Covid-19 vaccines.
Those who believed the statements to be true were half as likely to be vaccinated, the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicated. 'It is clear the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of Americans, especially young people," said researcher Katherine Ognyanova from Rutgers University, the US.
People suffering from depression are more likely to believe vaccine-related misinformation. | Unsplash
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately one-quarter of adults in the US have consistently reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings suggest that people suffering from depression may be at a higher risk of Covid-19, highlighting the need to address mental health disorders.
For the study, the team used data from the research group The Covid States Project, which conducted surveys approximately once every six weeks since April 2020. The researchers analysed data from 15,464 adults in the US and the participants were asked to rate vaccine-related misinformation as accurate (statement is true), inaccurate (statement is not true) or not sure.
Approximately one-quarter of adults in US reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic. | Unsplash
The four statements of misinformation included "The Covid-19 vaccines will alter people's DNA", "The vaccines contain microchips that could track people", "The vaccines contain the lung tissue of aborted fetuses", and "The -19 vaccines can cause infertility, making it more difficult to get pregnant". The survey participants completed a health questionnaire to measure major depressive symptoms over two weeks. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: depression, vaccine, misinformation, patients, health questionnaire, study)
The space economy is on track to be valued at a trillion dollars by the end of 2030, but assets such as navigation, weather and communication satellites that serve our society daily are threatened by space debris, an Indian-American professor has stressed. According to NASA, it is estimated that millions of pieces of space debris orbit around Earth. A major portion of these objects as well as active satellites reside in the low-Earth orbit region, at altitudes between 200 km and 1,000 km. In November last year, Russia destroyed one of its own satellites with a ground-based missile, creating thousands of pieces of debris that passed through the International Space Station (ISS).
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The astronauts and cosmonauts had to take shelter in their Soyuz and Dragon vehicles docked at the space station, as the orbital lab continued to pass through a debris field every 90 minutes. The US identified more than 1,500 trackable pieces of debris from the event, and many thousands of smaller ones couldn't be traced. According to Piyush Mehta, Assistant Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University, the US, in low-Earth orbit, our ability to safeguard these space assets depends on modelling of the aerodynamic forces acting on the satellites, specifically satellite drag.
The astronauts and cosmonauts had to take shelter in their Soyuz and Dragon vehicles. |Unsplash
"The drag force acting on a satellite is affected by various physical parameters, however, the most crucial and uncertain are the drag coefficient and mass density," said Mehta, who leads a collaborative effort on satellite drag coefficient modelling under the International Space Weather Action Teams (ISWAT) initiative. Mehta explained that because of the interconnectedness of the two parameters, one of them is held constant, typically the drag coefficient, while the other is investigated.
However, he added that this causes inconsistencies or inaccuracies in our understanding of the mass density variability in the upper atmosphere or thermosphere. Jason Gross, Interim Chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Statler College, West Virginia University, said: "With the continued rapid increase of manmade satellites in low-Earth orbit, his (Mehta's) work towards improved orbital decay prediction becomes more important for the future of space environment sustainability with each passing day. His lab is at the forefront of this important field." (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : dollar, space, economy, debris, satellite, navigation, weather, orbit, astronaut, cosmonaut, inconsistency, aerospace, collaborative.)
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