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Aruba brings asset tracking into the wireless network

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Aruba has unveiled an asset tracking solution that is fully integrated into a wireless infrastructure, meaning that a complex process becomes simplified, and allows full integration at dramatically reduced costs.

Organisations worldwide lose millions of dollars every year on high-value items and inventory that are misplaced, lost or stolen. Furthermore, employees and customers suffer from lost productivity and poor experiences. These challenges are particularly prevalent in industries like healthcare, where items such as IV pumps and heart defibrillators are easily misplaced, resulting in 25 percent of hospital staff’s time wasted looking for these assets1 and negatively impacting quality of care. In retail and warehousing, items that can’t be located quickly mean wasted time for employees, delayed order fulfillment for customers and often, a loss of revenue for the retailer.

Aruba asset tracking addresses these challenges with a solution that is integrated into the Aruba Wi-Fi infrastructure, eliminating the need for a separate network. Organisations also gain the benefits of accurate tracking of important items using either an intuitive, map-based mobile app or by integrating with organisations’ existing tracking solutions.

The solution includes the following components:

·         Advancements to ArubaOS and Aruba APs: This new software allows Aruba BLE-enabled Access Points and Sensors to act as asset tag “observers,” creating a sensory network that provides added value to organizations with existing Aruba wireless infrastructure. In essence, it allows their Wi-Fi infrastructure to double as an asset tracking network.

·         New Aruba Tags: Cost-effective Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) – enabled tags are slightly larger than a quarter, making them ideal for items that range in size from IV pumps in a healthcare setting to pallets of goods in a warehouse. The tags are designed to meet stringent environmental requirements and come with multiple attachment options.

·         Asset Tag Configuration App: Aruba’s configuration app makes set-up and ongoing management of the tags simple. Assets can be designated with names, photos and optional IDs so that like assets can be searched for easily. Changes can be performed quickly, near the assets, and all data is automatically saved in a central cloud database.

·         New features for the Aruba Meridian AppMaker: Organisations can now create their own asset tracking app for iOS or Android with the Meridian AppMaker. The AppMaker provides a new SDK and APIs for seamless third-party integration and custom use cases.

Partner Ecosystem Enables Broad Adoption Across Industries

Key to the success of Aruba’s existing location-based services and Mobile Engagement portfolio has been the Meridian Engage Partner Program. Customers have leveraged app developers to integrate and build value-added mobile apps for iOS and Android that are used with the Meridian Mobile App Platform and Aruba Mobile Engagement portfolio. Aruba is extending the Engage program beyond Meridian app developers to now include Meridian asset tracking partners including Emerge, Raizlabs, STANLEY Healthcare, and VenueNext.

“We are pleased to deepen our existing relationship with Aruba for location solutions in healthcare,” said Raz Evenor, Director of Product Management, STANLEY Healthcare. “Our MobileView platform combines the widest range of real-time visibility solutions with advanced analytics for hospitals to increase safety and security for patients and staff, drive operational efficiency, and ultimately deliver a better patient experience. As technology and network infrastructure evolve, we are always looking for new ways to expand choices for our customers. This partnership with Aruba for BLE-powered asset tracking gives our healthcare customers an additional cost-effective option for management of mobile medical assets.”

HPE Pointnext

Aruba Meridian Services from HPE Pointnext provide customers and partners worldwide with the expertise needed to take advantage of location-based services to engage with mobile users in any organisation or public-facing venue. These services can help augment customer IT and Aruba partner teams to provide the capabilities needed for the design and development of mobile applications with the Meridian platform.

Aruba asset tracking is one of the intelligent edge innovations that Aruba unveiled this week at HPE Discover. Aruba also introduced its 8400 Core Switch Series, a new core aggregation switch that delivers the performance, power, automation, and troubleshooting capabilities necessary to address the challenges of mobility, cloud, and IoT inherent in networks today.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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