Innovation

The Rise Of USSD Apps In Africa

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is a protocol of the GSM standard form 1997, mostly used to allow simple queries to be sent and received to and from the mobile network, like requesting your account balance. The advent of mobile internet and smartphones have largely decimated the use of USSD in developed markets. However in Africa, where there is only 18% internet penetration, there is over 80% penetration of GSM mobile phones. As a result, developers have started using USSD as a widespread delivery mechanism for apps from banking to fertility tracking.

Tricking The Eye In VR Walking

Computer scientists at Stony Brook University have developed a system to allow users of VR to explore large spaces without the need for physical spaces of the same size.The system uses eye tracking to detect when the user's eye is in saccade, when the eye rapidly darts around to take in data, which causes in the brain momentarily ignore visual signals during the motion between points in order to keep us orientated.The VR system takes advatage of these blind spots to slightly rotate the VR camera, causing the user to shift inline with their view.

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