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How VoD can boost education

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Video on Demand (VOD) services are ideally positioned to expand the reach of quality education and even help subsidise the cost of education, says STEPHEN WATSON, MD of Discover Digital.

“On-demand is not just for entertainment,” says Stephen Watson, Managing Director of South African video on demand solutions provider, Discover Digital.

“Education is one of the most exciting opportunities of streamed content. The social upliftment that can result from broader access to education is huge. With live streaming and on-demand video content, every school could have access to the best maths teachers. And in tertiary institutions, live streaming and archived lecture videos would ensure that students who missed classes could catch up on their lectures.”

Watson notes that advanced video on demand platforms allow for customisation and revenue generation through subscriptions, sponsorship and advertising models, which could contribute to the cost of education. “We could build a white labelled VOD solution that would allow universities to combine archived content that could be accessed as part of a subscription or as part of the fee, including the ability to do live streaming that automatically gets archived as a VOD play. What’s more, we could use analytics to give feedback on exactly who watched that, so if part of the criteria was that you had to attend the lecture, attendance could be tracked.” Students could access the content using zero rated data or free wifi hotspots, potentially reducing the cost of attendance.

“Properly packaged, VOD could go a long way to reducing the cost of delivering education. We have designed our technology solutions, licensing and business operations to be able to offer very flexible models including opex and revenue share models,” says Watson.

As a full-service, on demand solutions provider, Discover Digital is looking to offer new content aggregation services and platforms that will allow public sector organisations, health services, sporting bodies, companies and individuals to manage and monetise their own content, for select or broad audiences.

“Corporates are also looking seriously at VOD and saying it’s not just a consumer play for access to entertainment. There are a huge number of corporate business opportunities to create more effective and personalised VOD solutions where corporates can offer their stakeholders an opportunity to catch up on market intelligence, the CEO’s results statements, speeches and other points of interest and then archive that content. We also see an opportunity to create an environment that allows corporates, artists, coaches and others to curate and monetise their own video content,” says Watson.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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