Contribute to science by using DOST’s newly developed ‘Kooha’ app

Published March 30, 2021, 1:21 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) launched Tuesday, March 30, a newly developed photo sharing application that enables real-time participatory photo and sensor data collection using mobile devices.


Coined from the Filipino word “kuha” which means to take or capture, Kooha is a web and mobile application developed by Filipino scientists and engineers of DOST-ASTI to make a significant impact on research and development (R&D) in big data applications.

“Kooha enables users to capture images and share daily moments like most of our mainstream social media applications,” DOST Secretary Fortunato De La Peña said in a video message during the virtual launch of the app.

But what sets the Kooha app apart from other photo-sharing social media apps is that its goal is to create a niche for big data generation.

“So the goal is to develop this social network of citizen scientists, researchers, and students, with the concept of sharing and mapping contribution of sensor data, and making this as a medium for researchers to generate data out of the contributions,” Roxanne Aviñante, DOST-ASTI’s senior science research specialist, explained.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Christina Guevarra said Kooha users will be able to connect with others through photo sharing while also contributing to science through sensor data that can be useful in R&D of improving network signals especially in remote areas.

“To put it simply the Kooha app, with the help of other R&D services, makes it possible to envision a nation that can utilize resources for data science and analytics and create sustainable system or infrastructure for generating big data in the country,” Guevarra said.

The DOST said data provided by users through the app can be used for data analysis and application to transportation and telecommunication companies, business sector, policymakers, environmental and health sectors, and academe, among others.

It assured users that data collected through the app will be used for legal and research purposes only. The app will also not disclose any personal information to any other individuals other than authorized data processors and organizations.

Kooha app is now available for download on the Google play.

How does Kooha work

Kooha app users can contribute data in four steps.

First, a user will “Capture” a photo through the app, wherein the app then senses data as soon as the user take the photo.

Second, the user can “Enhance” the photo using the app’s blend functions.

Third, users can then “Share” their photos to other users through the Kooha Community, wherein they can view and react on the photo.

Fourth, users can “Explore” the photos shared in the app’s community by other users from different locations in the world.

According to the DOST, other data collected through the use of the app are location, temperature, sound, network signal, humidity, and luminance, among others.

“These data can also be seen by other users in the community. These kinds of data are very useful for our data scientists, researchers, and citizen scientists in generating insights and making decisions relevant to the society,” the DOST said.

“If the user has an external sensor device that they can plug to their mobile device, using a bluetooth low energy, they can collect sensor data such as ambient temperature, infrared temperature, pressure and acceleration, among others,” it added.