Opera has integrated a new web payment platform in Kenya called OPay. The service directly runs on the Opera Mini browser, which will bring a new level of convenience to a nation that has become a world leader in leapfrogging its IT infrastructures.
Top up mobile airtime and pay utility bills with just a few clicks
Designed to be a fast and secure payment option, OPay will enable not only Opera Mini but also other mobile browser users to top up their Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom mobile phone accounts, as well as pay electricity, cable TV and utility bills directly through its secure, user-friendly platform. It will also accommodate multiple payment methods, from major credit cards to Airtel Money and M-Pesa.
With so much of a community’s economic well-being resting on the efficient, affordable and easy transfer of funds, much of Africa finds itself in something of a catch-22 situation. Growing businesses in the digital age, particularly in Africa’s critically important informal sector (which accounts for as much as 60% of the total GDP in some African states), require easy and secure payment functions that help people get around the continent’s many gaping holes in service delivery and infrastructure.
Get extra credits and cutbacks
Using OPay will get you something extra for a limited time. Users who make their first deposit to their Wallet will get a 100 percent bonus of up to 200 Ksh. They can use this bonus to pay for services or recharge airtime on the portal.
In addition, for every airtime purchase the user makes, users will receive 20 percent cashback in the form of credits in their Wallet. These credits are the same as the ones earned from depositing money within the Wallet and can be used to pay for services or recharge airtime.
“This mobile payment technology integrated into the Opera Mini browser will help Kenya continue the highest rate of mobile payment technology adoption in the world. More than 80 percent of the country’s population with access to a cell phone use it to pay for goods and services,” says Nuno Sitima, Executive Vice President of Payments and Fintech, Opera Software AS. “However, the challenges of long distances, difficult terrain and large rural populations who often lack access to formal banking systems are all addressed with OPay and the reach of the Opera Mini browser. Our ultimate goal is to fuel the growth of African businesses through a simple, affordable solution that can encompass many payment methods in one easy-to-use app.”
African development in the digital age is highly reliant on inclusive solutions that enable every citizen, no matter where they live or the resources available to them, to participate in the economy easily. High penetration of mobile phones and Opera Mini’s leading market share on the continent make OPay just the solution that Kenya needs to continue fuelling its reputation as one of Africa’s leading digital innovators.
Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults
An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.
Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.
These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.
Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:
- The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
- The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
- The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
- The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
- The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
- The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.
The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been.
“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured. The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.
“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’.
“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves. Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).
“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”
For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.
Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry
Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time.
Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable.
We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks.
So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility?
Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly.
The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.
Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.