Hike-Messenger

Hike messenger, India’s only homegrown chat application, introduces free ‘HikeCalls’.

The introduction of this feature will allow hike users to call each other for free, over 2G, 3G & Wi-Fi and across the globe in over 200 countries. The introduction of hike calls has come in within a month of hike making it’s first acquisition – a free calling app – Zip Phone.

Hike calls are optimized to consume very little data, giving its users more calling minutes per MB of data. Given that a majority of the mobile-internet users of India are still experimenting with data & are not on a high-bandwidth connection, this optimization becomes critical for the Indian market.

Commenting on the launch of the calling feature, Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike messenger

While building free hike calls, we kept two things in mind. Firstly, India is a very cost sensitive market and as a result we have ensured that our service is extremely efficient on data. It means our users can pack in more minutes per MB when calling on hike.

We have made hike’s free calling service available globally in over 200+ countries. Hikers from India can now speak with their loved ones in India & across the world for free.

The free hike calling feature has been launched in beta on Android, which contributes to over 90% of hike’s user base. The iOS and Windows versions are slated to release by the end of this quarter.

Some of the screenshots of “Hike Calls” are below:

HikeCalling

Current User-Base & Funding

Launched in December 2012, Hike has over 35M users as in August, 2014 and has raised $86M from Tiger GlobalBSB till date. The app also boasts of a fairly young user base with over 90% of its users being under the age of 25 and residing in India.

The chat application has localized features, which are developed keeping in mind the infrastructural and cultural requirements such as Hike Offline – lets you message your friends even when they’re offline, Hidden Mode – allows users to hide their private chats with a password, Regional Stickers – helps users express more in their own language, amongst many others.

Do give “Hike Calls” & share across your feedback in the comments section…

Additional information

You can download the app at – http://get.hike.in/

For more information, please visit the Hike Blog

National Instruments, the provider of solutions that enable engineers & scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced the LabVIEW Communications System Design Suite, which combines software defined radio [SDR] hardware with a comprehensive software design flow to help engineers prototype 5G systems.

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Wireless prototyping was previously undertaken by separate design teams using disparate design tools. The LabVIEW Communications environment enables the entire design team to map an idea from algorithm to FPGA using a single high-level representation. This approach empowers designers to focus on innovation instead of implementation, which increases the rate and quality of their prototyping.

According to Jessy Cavazos, industry director for Test & Measurement at Frost & Sullivan

SDR has become the standard for prototyping next-generation wireless systems. The addition of the FPGA to the x86 architecture has expanded the flexibility of the platform but adds the need for specialized skills and tools. LabVIEW Communications leverages existing IP, including algorithms in C and .m, so designers can integrate the right language for the right task all within a single design environment.

LabVIEW Communications is optimized for the SDR platform with a hardware-aware design environment that provides control of physical configuration, hardware constraints & system documentation in a functional software diagram. This adds the flexibility of the hardware to the software, which gives designers access to all components in the SDR platform. Using this deeply integrated solution helps designers achieve optimal performance by eliminating the need to manually map algorithms to different hardware architectures.

According to James Kimery, Director of RF and Communications at NI

LabVIEW Communications includes built-in application frameworks for WiFi & LTE that enable wireless prototypers to focus on innovating specific components of existing standards rather than designing a new algorithm from scratch. For some of the academic & industry researchers in our lead user program, this approach has cut the time to a validated prototype in half.

Shelley Gretlein, director of Software Marketing at NI, added

The number of wireless devices continues to grow exponentially despite the limitations of existing prototype tools. LabVIEW Communications helps bridge the gap between the ongoing rollout of 4G & the to-be-determined 5G standards of the future. As NI continues to innovate its SDR platform of flexible hardware and powerful prototyping software, we will enable the design of next-generation communication systems.

More technical details can be found at NI LabView Communications

About NI LabVIEW

LabVIEW is a graphical programming environment used by millions of engineers and scientists to develop sophisticated measurement, test & control systems using intuitive graphical icons & wires that resemble a flowchart. The unique LabVIEW graphical development environment makes interfacing with any measurement device simple and features interactive assistants, code generation and connectivity to thousands of devices for easy data gathering. Because LabVIEW connects to virtually any measurement device and design tool, you can incorporate new LabVIEW applications into existing systems without risking your application investment.

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BlackBerry Limited, a global leader in mobile communications & NantHealth, a cloud-based information technology provider combining science & big data to transform healthcare announced the first secure clinical genome browser that gives doctors unprecedented access to patients’ genetic data on the BlackBerry Passport smartphone – The NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser.

The NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser platform on the BlackBerry Passport enables deep, interactive reporting on genomics data for physicians & other treatment providers in clinical settings – for example, Giving oncologists a powerful view into the individual genetic alternations that make each patient’s disease unique and highlighting relevant treatment options. The BlackBerry Passport’s large high resolution screen enables clinicians to view a patient’s chromosome at an individual base-pair level. It is the first in a series of innovative offerings being developed jointly by BlackBerry and NantHealth for use by healthcare professionals.

On the occasion John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry mentioned :

BlackBerry’s partnership with NantHealth illustrates how the mobile security and collaboration technology we are known for can be re-imagined to create revolutionary applications across a variety of industries. BlackBerry technology has proven itself secure, reliable and powerful enough to be counted on in life-and-death situations. Its innovative form and functionality make BlackBerry Passport an ideal addition to a doctor’s medical kit.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Founder & CEO of NantHealth mentioned:

The proprietary NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser enables clinicians for the first time to investigate a tumor genome from the full three billion bases down to the single-base level in real-time, thanks to the power of the NantOmics supercomputing infrastructure. This integrates with NantHealth’s treatment recommendation engine, Eviti, to personalize treatment protocols to individual patients based on their genomic signature.

NantHealth has quietly built the unique capability of placing a super-computer into the doctor’s hand at point of care and in time of need. Now with BlackBerry’s partnership and through the power of the cloud and secure networks, the reality is we are now able to put dozens of supercomputers, through mobile devices, into doctor’s hands on a global basis. Our goal is to extend this unique capability from doctor to patient, thereby establishing patient empowered 21st century health.

Powered by BlackBerry’s mobile security infrastructure, the NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser is fully encrypted to allow deployment in a HIPAA-secured environment, enabling clinicians to securely access patient data as soon as it’s available, wherever they are. BlackBerry’s recently launched BES12 cross-platform EMM solution will enable hospital IT administrators to easily deploy the application to a clinician’s BlackBerry Passport smartphone and ensures that the application data is fully secure end-to-end.

The NantOmics Cancer Genome Browser will be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show [CES] in January and will be preloaded on BlackBerry Passport devices and available to the professional community in early 2015.

About NantHealth

NantHealth, a member of the NantWorks ecosystem of companies, is a transformational healthcare cloud-based IT company converging science & technology through a single integrated clinical platform, to provide actionable health information at the point of care, in the time of need, anywhere, anytime. NantHealth works to transform clinical delivery with actionable clinical intelligence at the moment of decision, enabling clinical discovery through real-time machine learning systems. The company’s technology empowers physicians, patients, payers and researchers to transcend the traditional barriers of today’s healthcare system. For more information please visit NantHealth

About BlackBerry

A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. For more information, visit BlackBerry

Image Credit : 9to5mac

Few weeks back, we had reviewed startup in Vertical Search space – CollegeDunia that wants to make College search very easy !!!

There is news that CollegeDunia has received $162,787 [1 Crore] of angel investment from MIH-acquired automobile site Gaadi.com’s CEO Umang Kumar, along with a bunch of undisclosed investors.

The funds would be utilized for Marketing, Technology enhancement & Operations.

college-dunia

The company is planning to add data on 7,000 to 8,000 colleges in six months. In the long run, the site will also look at listing coaching institutes, polytechnic institutes and entrance exams details.

As per the Sahil Chalana, Founder/CEO of CollegeDunia; they plan to become the leader in “Vertical Search for Indian Colleges” or to be more precise, Zomato of the education industry. For more updates on the funding, please check YourStory, IamWire & VCCircle.

If you are student, do give Collegedunia a spin & share across your feedback & comments.

Image CreditYourStory

Pitney Bowes has named eight start-up companies in India who will join Pitney Bowes Accelerator program in India. The program is a part of the NASSCOM’s 10,000 Start-ups initiative.

The eight start-ups selected for the program are:

  1. RetailNav : Solution for retail shopping with unique in-store location-based analytics.
  2. Audianz : Location-based advertising platform.
  3. Heuristics : GPS-based vehicle tracking system [VTS] and mobile-based personnel tracking solutions.
  4. Yo-app : App that integrates social circles with a discovery platform.
  5. Ideata Analytics : Integrated data intelligence platform to help users perform information discovery.
  6. Teritree  : Customer experience management platform.
  7. BrownTape : Single-click multi-platform solution for e-commerce management.
  8. Tagalys :  Solution that provides intelligent heuristic search.

More about the program

The program focuses on start-ups that leverage software for mobile, data analytics, location-based services, and e-commerce management.

Selected start-ups will have access to Pitney Bowes’ software, Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) & data for the duration of the program. Training, technical and business guidance and mentoring will be provided to the start-ups from Pitney Bowes engineering and innovation leaders & from software industry experts.

In addition to these strategic connections, start-ups in the Pitney Bowes Accelerator program will also be networking with prospective investors.

You can find more about Pitney Bowes & their accelerator program here & here.

Deshpande Foundation and Microsoft Ventures,India announced a partnership to launch Sandbox Startups, an incubator focused on nurturing startups in tier-II & tier-III cities of India. The three-year collaboration was formalized with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] on August 23, in the presence of Dr Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande [Founder, Deshpande Foundation], Mr Jairam Ramesh [Former Minister, Government of India], Mr Rajinish Menon [Director, Microsoft Ventures in India], Mr Naveen Jha [CEO, Deshpande Foundation] & other industry leaders.

As per their Press Release, the main reason for co-launching this initiative as per Naveen Jha [CEO, Deshpande Foundation] is below:

Unlike tier-I cities, most small cities lack adequate support system to nurture startups. Consequently, startups and startup potentials in these regions do not have access to requisite training, mentoring and a sandbag to try out their entrepreneurial stints. Sandbox Startups is aimed at providing a launch pad for aspiring entrepreneurs in tier-II & tier-III cities so that they can validate their business ideas, sharpen business acumen, develop products & launch solutions to the market.

 

Innovations by startups groomed under the program will add vibrancy to the ecosystem from those at the bottom of the pyramid.

 

The objective of this partnership is to work in an inclusive manner to ensure that all relevant stakeholders, such as early stage entrepreneurs, academia, students, venture capital community, mentors, advisors, HNI’s & corporates, are active participants in the innovation ecosystem.

Support for entrepreneurs in Tier-II & Tier-II cities

Rajinish Menon [Director, Microsoft Ventures in India] mentions that such an initiative was the need of the hour.

As the culture of innovation spreads, it’s fascinating to see the kind of problems that startups from smaller towns are trying to solve. Microsoft Venture’s partnership with Deshpande Foundation aims to engage with entrepreneurs from smaller towns at every stage of their journey from ideation to maturity.

 

At Microsoft, we are extremely excited to help incubators roll out products and raise capital to fund their growth, eventually benefiting India’s budding entrepreneurial ecosystem. And this specific endeavor is aimed at entrepreneurs from smaller towns which have a less mature ecosystem to nurture them.

 

Startups can call Microsoft’s Jumpstart hotline on 1800 200 2114 to know more about the program and how to be a part of this program.

About the Partnership

Deshpande Foundation in India actively nurtures innovation and entrepreneurship through various programs in its three sandbox regions – North Karnataka, Nizamabad in Telangana & Uttar Pradesh.

Partnering with Microsoft Ventures is a key step to support and nurture incubators, moving them to the next level by providing them an opportunity to get exposed to high end technology, get trained & mentored by professionals.

Both Microsoft Ventures and Deshpande Foundation will play a significant role to mentor the startups under this incubator.

Please visit Microsoft Ventures, India & Deshpande Foundation for any further information or leave a comment and we would get it clarified from the Microsoft Ventures team.

Image Credit : Deshpande Foundation & Microsoft

How many times have you have been into situations where the phone has run out of battery & you had wished that there was “charging cable in your bag/pocket” 🙂 Well, a US based startup HelloNoMad is trying to solve that problem with their innovative charging solution – ChargeKey & ChargeCard. We received a review copy of the “ChargeKey for Android” & today we do a hands-on review of the same.

ChargeKey for Android

Design

ChargeKey is a 2.5″ key sized charging cable. It is made up of flexible rubber components with two plastic ends. The cable can be connected to a PC, TV or any other device that can act as a “Host” and supply +5V for charging.  In case of “ChargeKey” for iPhone, the other end of the device includes “Lightning Connector” for Charging & Sync functionalities.

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Portability

“Charging on the Go” is the primary concern that HelloNoMad is trying to solve & the “Size” is the main USP of the ChargeKey. One end of the ChargeKey provides the flexibility to the user to connect the ChargeKey to a key chain. In all the scenarios, the user would have their home keys with them, so ChargeKey ensures the phone is never out of charge.

I personally faced this issue the very day I received the ChargeKey & I had forgotten my Charger in the office; so I connected the ChargeKey to the TV to ensure my Android phone remains charged & I don’t miss any important calls 🙂

ChargeKey_WithKeyChain

Durability

As mentioned before, “Size” is makes ChargeKey unique charging solution & after using for around 2 months or so; there has been no issue with the cable. However, there there was one question [and I am sure any ChargeKey user would have this question in their minds] – “Why there is no mechanism i.e. caps to protect the charging plug”.

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Well, HelloNoMad started with their KickStarter campaign [their funding goal being 29,000 USD] and that provided us with the answer [Source : HelloNoMad on KickStarter]

The lightning end of the cable is water resistant. You can wipe it clean with confidence that it will not corrode. That said, we did strongly consider a cap but it boiled down to the premise that we felt it wasn’t necessary.

Rubber quality is quite good and even after heavy usage, there has been no damage so far which makes ChargeKey a compelling proposition !!

Conclusion

Priced at $29 [with free shipping worldwide],  ChargeKey is a very interesting solution to end user’s charging needs !! If you are a die-hard traveller, ChargeKey is the one-stop solution to all your charging needs !! Please note that this review was done on “ChargeKey for Android”, if you are looking out for “Charging for your iDevice”, please head over here

If you have any questions about ChargeKey, please leave them in the comments section. If you are a blogger and interested to review ChargeKey, please leave your details in the comments section & I would send across my ChargeKey to you …