technology

Truecaller makes first acquisition to build out payment and financial services in India

Sweden’s Truecaller started out life as a service that screens calls and messages to weed out spammers. In recent times the company has switched its focus to India, its largest market based on users, adding services that include payments to make it more useful. Now Truecaller is putting even more weight behind its India push after it announced its first acquisition, mobile payment service Chillr. The vision is to go deeper into mobile payments and associated services to turn Truecaller into a utility that goes beyond just handling messages and calls, particularly payments — a space that WhatsApp is preparing to enter in India. Truecaller doesn’t have WhatsApp -like scale — few companies can match 200 million active users in Indua, but it did recently disclose that it has 100 million daily ...

New technology can see your body through walls

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has created a system that can see your body through walls, recreating your poses when you walk, sit, or simply stand still. It uses RF waves to sense where you are and then recreates your body as a simple stick figure. It’s called RF-Pose. From the release: The researchers use a neural network to analyze radio signals that bounce off people’s bodies, and can then create a dynamic stick figure that walks, stops, sits and moves its limbs as the person performs those actions. The team says that the system could be used to monitor diseases like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis (MS), providing a better understanding of disease progression and allowing doctors to adjust medications accordingly. It could also help elderly people live...

Build your own L3-37 droid complete with voice interaction

Robot maker Patrick Stefanski has created a 3D-printed – and animated – model of L3-37, the droid in the recent Solo movie. L3-37 is one of the funnest – and woks – droids in recent memory and this recreation is fun and ingenious. Stefanski used Alexa voice controls to let the robot head respond to voice commands and he set the wake word to “Hey L3” to which the robot responds with a grumpy “What!” The version you see above is painted and weathered but you can 3D print your own pristine version from here and then add in a Raspberry Pi and Arduino with a simple servo to control the head motion. In all it looks like a lot of fun and the hardest part will be printing all of the larger head parts necessary to recreate L3’s saucer-like dome. It could make for a nice weekend project and looks to...

Israeli autonomous technology developer Innoviz is entering China’s car market

Innoviz, a developer of light detection and ranging technologies for computer vision and autonomous vehicles, is getting a toehold in China, the world’s fastest growing auto market, through a partnership with the Chinese automotive supplier HiRain Technologies. From offices in Beijing, Chicago, Detroit, Shanghai, Tianjin HiRain serves as a global supplier to some of China’s largest automakers and has already been a gateway to success for another Israeli company developing sensing technology for vehicle manufacturers — Mobileye . That company has half of its business coming from China and has won 9 of its supplier agreements with different automakers in the country through its HiRain partnership, according to people with knowledge of the company. For the three year old Innoviz, the opportun...

Real estate property manager and developer JLL launches a $100 million tech investment fund

The multi-billion dollar real estate developer and property manager JLL is getting into the tech investment game with the launch of a new $100 million fund run by corporate subsidiary JLL Spark. Initially envisioned as a technology-focused business unit of the multinational real estate company, the firm eventually turned to the more traditional venture capital investment model as a way to get more exposure to all of the new technologies that are coming to market, according to JLL SPark’s co-chief executive Mihir Shah. For Shah and his co-founder Yishai Lerner running the real estate company’s investment firm is the first foray by either executive into the world of real estate or property technology. But both men have been working in the startup world of the Bay Area for at over a decade. I...

NigComSat deploys e-learning facilities in Nigerian schools

By Emmanuel Elebeke Nigerian Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT says it has commenced deployment satellite enabled connectivity solutions into schools across the country for e-Learning facilities. NigComSat The Executive Director, Marketing and Business Development, Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd., NIGCOMSAT, Hon. Sampson Osagie, said the agency is seeking partnership with state governments to deploy internet connectivity facilities because the   agency has proven that it has the capacity to cover not only Nigeria but the whole of African continent. He told Hi-Tech that NIGCOMSAT is aiming at providing the e-learning services in schools not only in urban areas but in the remote areas of the country. To realise this goal, Osagie said the organisation had already...

Facebook’s first hub space in Africa to train 50,000 Nigerian youths

By Juliet Ebirim No fewer than 50,000 Nigerian youths would turn geeks by the time they go through the numerous training modules laid out by popular social media platform and technology company, Facebook. Facebook The trainings would happen at the ultra modern hub space, first in the whole of Africa which it sited in Nigeria recently.  Facebook unveiled the space tagged NG_Hub in Lagos, announcing immediately that it was the first community hub space in Africa. The hub was established in partnership with Nigeria’s talent curators, Co-creation Hub,CcHUB. The hub, according to Facebook, highlights its ongoing commitment to supporting local talent in Nigeria even as it has planned a week-long celebration which will bring together developers, start-ups, and the wider tech ...

Obaseki set to launch innovation hub in Edo, attracts Microsoft, Siemens, others

… ‘incubation, acceleration programmes target social entrepreneurs, SMEs’ In furtherance of its commitment to equip youths with skills and expertise to drive inclusive growth and development, the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration, through its skills development arm, Edojobs, is set for the launch of the first ever state-backed innovation hub to activate and drive the state’s fledging technology ecosystem. Set for launch on June 14, the hub would be run in partnership with Nigeria’s leading technology-based organisations, such as Siemens, Tech4Dev, Microsoft, Impact Hub, Curators University (an American University), HotelsNg, among others. It will train over 1,000 youths will be trained based on their interest in data management, programming, basic digital skil...

The well-funded startups driven to own the autonomous vehicle stack

At some point in the future, while riding along in a car, a kid may ask their parent about a distant time in the past when people used steering wheels and pedals to control an automobile. Of course, the full realization of the “auto” part of the word — in the form of fully autonomous automobiles — is a long way off, but there are nonetheless companies trying to build that future today. However, changing the face of transportation is a costly business, one that typically requires corporate backing or a lot of venture funding to realize such an ambitious goal. A recent funding round, some $128 million raised in a Series A round by Shenzhen-based Roadstar.ai, got us at Crunchbase News asking a question: Just how many independent, well-funded autonomous vehicles startups are out there? In shor...

What President Trump Doesn’t Know About ZTE

David Kline Contributor David Kline is a journalist, author and intellectual property strategist. More posts by this contributor A new (old) way for product makers to defeat patent roadblocks After meeting with Chinese Vice Premiere Liu He this week, President Trump is still considering easing penalties on Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE over its violation of sanctions against Iran and North Korea. But what Mr. Trump may not realize is that ZTE is also one of the world’s most notorious intellectual property thieves — perhaps even the most notorious of all. Since stopping Chinese theft of U.S intellectual property is one of the President’s most important trade objectives, Mr. Trump should refuse to ease sanctions against ZTE until it stops its high-tech banditry and starts playing by t...

Luminaries from across Israel’s tech ecosystem are joining us onstage in Tel Aviv

Tickets are going fast for our inaugural Tel Aviv event and no one should miss out on the opportunity to see some the nation’s rising stars discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead for mobility technologies. Hear from some of the architects and creators of Israel’s latest technology marvels like Orit Nissan Messing, the co-founder and Chief Architect of Iguazio. And government officials like Anat Lea Bonshtien, the chairman and director of the Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Initiative in the Prime Minister’s Office, who are driving mobility technologies forward. Fiona Darmon, the Chief Operating Officer of one of Israel’s pre-eminent venture funds, JVP, will join us alongside Natalie Refuah, a partner with the growth capital investment firm Viola Growth, to discuss how businesses ca...

‘Why Technology may soon take over legal profession’

By Juliet Ebirim Indigenous software powerhouse, System Specs, has warned that the legal profession is on the cusp of a transformation, in which artificial-intelligence platforms will dramatically affect how legal works get done. Speaking  at a panel discussion on “Technology and Innovation” during the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch annual law week, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of System Specs, John Obaro, said legal services are increasingly being automated which will lead to a decline in the services provided by lawyers. He said: “Increasing automation of the legal industry promises to increase efficiency and save clients money, but could also cut jobs in the sector as  technology becomes responsible for tasks currently performed by humans. T...