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AppDate: Easy taxi payment with Mobi Moola

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In this AppDate issue, SEAN BACHER highlights Mobi Moola, Qlik Playground, ttrumpet with the Ward feature,  LikeMoney.co.za and HouseMe.

Mobi Moola

Mobi Moola, an app aimed at enabling cellphone users to pay for public transport using their airtime, was named the winner at the recent TADHack challenge sponsored by MTN. The app was designed for people who use taxis daily and don’t have the correct amount of cash for a trip. Mobi Moola uses USSD and can be installed on most smartphones or feature phones to transfer payment to taxi operators, using airtime from any mobile operator. The taxi driver generates a QR code which generates a USSD string, or a QR code is placed on the side of a taxi and scanned, launching the payment system.

 

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: A free download

 

ttrumpet with Ward Feature

The locally developed ttrumpet community app now includes a Ward feature. This allow consumers to report service delivery issues such as blocked drains, burst pipes, electricity outages, missing manhole covers, refuse issues, and faulty street signs. The app uses a device’s geo-location, so municipalities know exactly where the issues are and can move to correct them. Users can then access that fault through the app to view its current status and time it will take until it is repaired.

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

 

LikeMoney.co.za 

LikeMoney.co.za allows South Africans to make more informed decisions when choosing a particular service or product. For example, users can compare financial products based on what their friends and other social media users like and recommend. They can then use the website to compare credit card deals, bank account costs, insurance costs, investment returns and broadband deals. LikeMoney is designed  to provide unbiased, objective and independent information so users can evaluate the benefits of financial and consumer products without being pressured by any one provider.

 

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Stockists: www.likemoney.co.za

Expect to pay: A free service.

 

HouseMe

These days finding a suitable tenant can be a challenge. Although you can interview and do a few background checks on a candidate, you never really know who you are inviting to move in with you. HouseMe, a mobile app and web portal, aims to streamline the process. It offers an online auction mechanism where landlords receive bids on their rental properties from prospective tenants eager to secure their accommodation. Through its growing database of registered users, HouseME also offers tenant-rating scores to give landlords peace of mind when selecting a tenant and includes guaranteed rental for landlord. From a tenant’s perspective, because some come from all over South Africa and are not always able to view property, the HouseMe app verifies every listed property and provides the most recent photos.

 

Platform: Android or any device with an Internet browser.

Stockists: www.houseme.co.za

Expect to pay: A free service.

 

Qlik Playground

Qlik Playground is a web-based application that gives developers an easy way to learn about, use, and experiment with the Qlik platform. The app gives developers a “sandbox” to experiment and try out specific APIs for working with, analysing, and visualising data. By connecting to their own data and accessing public data sets through Qlik’s APIs, developers can get hands-on experience on how certain data sets interact with others, and bring them to life visually.

 

Platform: An up-to-date Internet browser

Stockists: www.qlik.com

Expect to pay: Free to use.

 

* Sean Bacher is editor of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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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.

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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.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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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.

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