DOST unveils ‘social sensing’ photo-sharing mobile app

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The DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute recently introduced a photo-sharing app called Kooha (from the Filipino word “kuha”), which features real-time sensor data collection.

The data collected by the app are used to draw out insights and generate new knowledge and technologies that can be used across sectors, the DOST-ASTI said.

There are four processes involved in using the Kooha app:

  1. First is Capture — the app senses data as you take a photo.
  2. Second is Enhance — blends the data into your photo.
  3. Third is Share — publishes your photo through the Kooha community
  4. Fourth is Explore — see photos taken by other users from different parts of the world

To further understand the data collected from images taken by users, the app also includes the location, temperature, sound, network signal, humidity, and luminance of each of the photo.

The data, which can also be seen by other users in the community, are useful for data scientists, researchers, and citizen scientists in generating insights and making relevant decisions.

If a user has an external Bluetooth sensor device that he or she can plug into his or her mobile device, the app can also collect data such as ambient temperature, infrared temperature, pressure, and acceleration.

While anyone can use the app, the DOST-ASTI team said Kooha is recommended for students, researchers, and scientists.

“The significant amount of data coming from its users can be used for data analysis and application to transportation and telecommunication companies, business sectors, policymakers, environmental and health sectors, and academe, to name a few,” the agency said.

To encourage the contribution of more photos, the DOST-ASTI assured Kooha users that the data gathered will only be used for legal and research purposes only.

“[We] will not disclose any personal information to any other individual other than authorized data processors and organizations,” it said.

The Kooha application is now available for download on the Google Play. To view Kooha’s live data, users can also visit

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