The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting global economies but is also spurring some interesting tech innovation. Now Chinese tech company FISE has launched the world's first 4G phone with an integrated infrared thermometer, running on KaiOS Technologies software.
The phone was developed in response to COVID-19 and the resulting urgent global demand for on-the-go temperature monitoring and the 4G device's thermometer is accurate down to 0.2 degrees Celsius.
The KaiOS-enabled "smart feature phone" also comes with 4G connectivity, Google Assistant, and popular apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Google Maps.
"One-touch temperature readings are essential in managing this global pandemic, and we're proud to create a mobile device that makes such testing more accessible to the world," said Tony Han, VP of FISE.
Shenzhen-headquartered FISE is the provider of "intelligent hardware" while KaiOS is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 135 million devices shipped in over 150 countries. KaiOS has already seen good success in Africa with deals with operator giants like MTN, Vodacom and Orange.
The FISE thermometer phone in action.
"KaiOS is the perfect platform for creating a mobile device that's both capable and affordable, allowing us to seamlessly combine a precise infrared thermometer with powerful Internet and communications capabilities," Han added.
"Mobile phones are ubiquitous in daily life; we hope that this solution for crucial temperature monitoring in an affordable, easy-to-use device will help prevent the spread of this disease and save lives around the world," added KaiOS CEO Sebastien Codeville.
There is no official word yet on whether any African operators will be offering the thermometer phone in the future, but it is likely due to KaiOS' established relationships with local telcos.
FISE said the mobile device is available for testing and ordering, including for African operators, and it is expected to ship to markets around the world in the coming months.
Safaricom is launching an M-Pesa 'super-app' which will let SMEs create their own business apps within the mobile money ecosystem, according to CIO, George Njuguna, who was speaking at East Africa Com.
Africa was the birthplace of Mobile Money and while it continues to rise in popularity, the industry is quickly evolving and launching more mobile-based financial services every day. In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss how telcos are disrupting the financial services space and what the rise of Mobile Money 2.0 will look like for Africa.
From cash to mobile: heading towards a cashless society
Expanding MFS offerings beyond mobile money transfers
MNOs vs banks vs fintechs: an evolving competitive landscape
Unconnected and unbanked: fintech to improve financial inclusion
The rise of micro-loans and insurance through mobile platforms
Africa has the fastest growing population in the world and also the youngest, with 60% of Africans under the age of 25. It is clear that the next billion connected are going to be the mobile-only generation. This digital symposium will bring industry experts together to discuss Africa’s digital divide and how to get devices into the hands of young Africans and empower them to join the digital revolution.
Who’s Driving? The role of government & regulator, private tech companies, and public-private partnerships
Device affordability: are we reaching a tipping point?
Status check: Satellite vs Fiber and the enduring infrastructure gap
Exploring the wider societal and economic benefits of a connected, digitally literate continent