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Kids expect flying shoes

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Flying shoes may be just around the corner, as research released recently by Sony Mobile reveals that 56% of children expect these by 2037, with one in five predicting that they could become a reality in just five years.

The research, conducted for Sony Mobile’s Xperia Touch projector, explores the vivid imagination of 6-12 year olds across few countries, comparing their fun and advanced expectations of the future to that of their parents.

Having grown up in a generation where anything seems possible, it’s the creative expectations of these children that best describes the product’s advanced technology.

Will we be able to communicate with our pets in the future? Apparently so, with seven in ten children dreaming up a reality where technology lets us speak to and understand our pets. With no limits on their vivid imagination, 61% of children expect to be able to see through walls by 2037, and just under half believe we’ll be able to read each other’s minds.

Parents on the other hand have a different outlook on the future, and think some technologies are too far-fetched to become a reality. Three out of five think teleportation and invisibility cloaks could never be a possibility – yet nearly a third of British children expect to see these within the next ten years.

But, whose vision of the future really is more accurate? Ian Pearson, lead Futurologist from Futurizon reveals whether these technologies could soon become a reality:

Ø  On flying shoes: “We do have hover-boards that can hover without wheels on special skateboard parks, and self-balancing unicycles too, so if you can get things that hover and self-balance, why not?

Ø  On telepathy: “By 2050, direct connections into people’s brains will be so good that your mind will extend into cyberspace and 90% of your thinking will be outside your head – kids also win on thought recognition.”

Ø  On teleporting: “A first win for parents. We can already generate exact copies of a photon or a single atom, but it will be many decades or even centuries before we could do that with a human.”

Ø  On talking to pets: Let’s ignore those near useless devices that claim to interpret barks and meows by their tone. Around 2045-2050, you could theoretically get a brain implant in your pet that would enhance their intelligence and enable this sort of interaction, but the regulators might not permit that.”

Hirohito “Henry” Kondo, Senior Manager of Product Planning, Smart Products at Sony Mobile said:

“Xperia Touch is a flagship smart device that can transform any surface into an interactive screen, bringing a glimpse of the future into the home or office.

We commissioned this campaign to delve into the imagination of children and parents alike to help illustrate the advanced technology and experience.

The way children use technology is ever evolving, with 90% of parents in agreement that it has had a positive impact on their children.

Over two thirds also believe that technology and smart products have helped enhance their child’s imagination, with 56% of parents saying that technology has aided their imagination more than school.

Xperia Touch is an interactive projector that can transform any surface into a HD touch screen, recently receiving the Good Design Gold Award. Displaying up to 80” vertically, Xperia Touch introduces a more collaborative experience for users, bringing communication, games and entertainment to life.

Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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Sports streaming takes off

Live streaming of sports is coming of age as a mainstream method of viewing big games, as the latest FIFA World Cup figures from the UK show. Africa isn’t yet at the same level when it comes to the adoption of sports streaming, but usage is clearly moving in the right direction.

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England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden was watched by just under 20 million viewers in the UK via BBC One. While this traditional broadcast audience was huge, it was streaming that broke records: the game was the BBC’s most popular online-viewed live programme ever, with 3.8 million views. In Africa, the absolute numbers are lower but the trend towards streaming major sports events on the continent is also well under way.

According to DStv, live streaming of sports dominates the usage figures for its live and recorded TV streaming app, DStv Now. The number of people using the app in June was five times higher than a year ago, with concurrent views peaking during major football and rugby games.

Since the start of the World Cup, average weekday usage of DStv Now is up 60%. The absolute peak in concurrent usage for one event was reached on 26 June, during the Nigeria vs Argentina game. The app’s biggest ever test was on 16 June with both Springbok Rugby and World Cup Football under way at the same time, resulting in concurrent in-app views seven times higher than the peaks seen in June last year.

The World Cup has also been a major reason for new users to download and try out the app. First-time app user volumes have tripled on Android and doubled on iOS since the start of the tournament.

“While we expected live sports streaming to take off, it’s also been pleasing to see that the app is really popular for watching shows on Catch Up,” says MultiChoice South Africa Chief Operating Officer Mark Rayner. “Interestingly, some of the most popular Catch Up shows are local, with Isibaya, Binnelanders, The Queen and The River all getting a significant number of views.”

With respect to app usage, the web and Android apps are the most popular way to watch DStv Now, with Android outpacing iOS by a factor of 2:1.

“We’re continuing to develop DStv Now, with 4k streaming in testing and smart TV and Apple TV apps on their way shortly,” says Rayner. “The other key priority for us is working with the telcos to deliver mobile data propositions that make watching online painless and worry-free for our customers.”

The DStv Now app is free to all 10 million DStv customers in Africa. The app streams DStv live channels as well as supplying an extended Catch Up library. Two separate streams can be watched on different devices simultaneously, and content can also be downloaded to smartphones and tablets. The content available on the app varies according to the DStv package subscribed to.

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