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Kids’ smartwatches safe, fun

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The growing selection of smartwatches designed for children has opened new options for parents. Wearables give them peace of mind by helping them track a child’s location and allowing them to stay in touch via text and phone calls.

Smartwatches for children offer a more streamlined set of features, a simpler interface and bolder, funkier designs than the high-end options for adults. For example, TCL— parent company for Alcatel—is entering the South African market with TCL-branded smartwatches designed for kids. TCL’s Movetime Family Watch includes uncomplicated voice, messaging and tracking functionality.

Says Ernst Wittmann, Regional Manager – Southern and East Africa at TCL: “Many parents are uncomfortable with the idea of giving younger children smartphones, yet would value a way to contact them as well as track their whereabouts. A smartwatch can be a great alternative—affordable, fun and easy to use. A lot of children love the idea of wearing a watch just like mom and dad.”

Parents can pre-program contacts on the device so that children can see immediately who is phoning them as well as call people on their contact list. The GPS functionality allows parents to track the child’s location. It uses a dedicated cloud service to ensure that location information is always as accurate, quick and useful as possible. Parents can also use a feature called geo-fencing to configure “safe zones” such as their street or school and receive alerts when the child moves out of these zones.

Says Wittmann: “One advantage of a smartwatch is that children are less likely to lose them or drop and break them than a mobile phone since the device is worn on their wrist. It’s also an interesting way to learn to tell the time.” Wittmann suggests that parents keep the following in mind when shopping for a smartwatch for a child:

Durability: Children’s smartwatches need to be able to take a beating in the rough-and-tumble of day-to-day life. Look for one certified to a standard such as IP67, which shows that it offers protection against dust damage, spillages and falls.

Security and privacy: A high-quality smartwatch will be built on the latest security standards and technologies to protect the child’s data and privacy. TCL follows international industry and national government standards that lay out rigorous requirements for information security in the design of TCL MoveTime smartwatches.

It also subscribes to catalogues and databases of publicly known security vulnerabilities and exposures, so that it stays one step ahead of the cyber-criminals. In line with stringent EU data privacy laws, TCL manages data in the secure Amazon cloud, retains it for no more than six months, and does not sell personally identifiable information to third parties.

Battery life: A good smartwatch should offer a powerful, long-lasting battery combined with an interface that draws barely any battery so it can be a constant companion for the child.

Look and feel: Find something bold, bright and stylish, so the child will love wearing the watch as much as you love knowing they’re safe.

Functionality: Look for cool features that make life easier for you and your child. For example, easily distracted children might benefit from a calendar function to remind them to do their chores at a certain time.

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New iPhone pricing for SA

The iStore has announced that the latest iPhones, the Xs and Xs Max, can now be pre-ordered at www.myistore.co.za , and will be available in stores starting 28 September 2018.

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iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max feature 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina displays that offer remarkable brightness and true blacks while showing 60 percent greater dynamic range in HDR photos. iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have an improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, longer battery life, splash and water resistance,

Pre-orders will be open for cash purchases and on iStore’s revised payment plan in partnership with FNB Credit Card, allowing customers to pay off their iPhone at a reduced interest rate. However, the contract period is 37 months rather than the usual 24 months.
*FNB Credit Card Payment Plan, price per month over 37 months, a 40% trade-in value after 24 months

How to pre-order – Pre-ordering online for either cash or the FNB payment plan gives customers the benefit of reserving their purchase without having to queue and the added convenience of having purchases delivered directly to their door. Pre-orders of iPhone Xs and Xs Max are completed online by visiting www.myistore.co.za.
FREE iCare Plus – Exclusive to iStore, all customers can get its 2-year extended warranty, which includes one Apple Certified screen repair, that normally sells for R1 999, for FREE. To qualify, customers should secure a voucher online now at www.myistore.co.za , and subsequently redeem it when they upgrade their contract or purchase any new iPhone at iStore (iPhone 8 and newer) between now and 31 December 2018. Offer is limited, secure your voucher now.

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Accenture opens Fjord design centre in Johannesburg

Accenture has launched its first design and innovation studio on African soil, Fjord Johannesburg.

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The company says the move significantly expands its design capabilities and demonstrates its commitment to unlocking Africa’s innovation potential through the creation of experiences that redefine industries in our constantly evolving digital era.

The new studio, opening in November, will be located at Accenture’s new 3875m² offices in Waterfall. It will be led by Marcel Rossouw, design director and studio lead for Fjord Johannesburg.

Said Rossouw, “Brands are constantly asking, ’how does one take a business need or problem, build that out into a definition of a service experience, and then bring it to market?’ It’s about re-engineering existing service experiences, identifying customer needs, prototyping rapidly, iterating often and proving or disproving assumptions. But it’s also about getting feedback from customers. The combination of these factors helps companies advance towards the ultimate service experience.”

Fjord is the design and innovation consultancy of Accenture Interactive. The Johannesburg location marks its 28th design studio globally, solidifying its position as the world’s leading design powerhouse.

Working in the same location as Accenture Interactive will allow Fjord to fuse its core design strategy DNA with the digital agency’s expertise in marketing, content and commerce to create and deliver the best customer experiences for the world’s leading brands. Accenture Interactive Africa‘s blend of intelligent design and creative use of technology has already been used by some of South Africa’s largest and most prominent brands, including Alexander Forbes, Discovery, MultiChoice and Nedbank. The digital agency has also earned industry accolades for its innovative and compelling business results, most notably two gold awards in the Service Design category at the 2017 and 2018 Loeries awards.

“Great design tells great stories,” says Wayne Hull, managing director of Accenture Digital and Accenture Interactive lead in Africa. “It unifies a brand, drives innovation and makes the brand or service distinctive and hyper-relevant in both the digital and physical worlds. This is critical to achieving results. Having Fjord Johannesburg as part of Accenture Interactive, and collaborating with all of Accenture Africa, will provide unique experiences and forward-thinking capabilities for our clients.”

“Businesses in South Africa are becoming more design-aware and are looking to take greater advantage of design skills to compete with the rest of the world,” said Thomas Müller, head of Europe, Africa and Latin America at Fjord. “We’re excited to open our first design studio on the continent and to be part of an emerging market that is ripe for design and innovation, and open for business. Developing markets like South Africa are challenging assumptions and norms about what digital services and products are meant to be, and we’ll strive to put design at the heart of the innovation being produced there.”

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