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PE tech start-ups boosted by incubator R&D la

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SEDA Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII) has opened a new technology research and development centre, located on-site at its Newton Park technology office business park in Port Elizabeth.

The SNII R&D Lab offers assistance and support to creatives, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in PE to design and develop apps, software solutions, as well as electronic and mechanical device prototypes. It forms part of SNII’s technology infrastructure support service to clients enrolled in the centre’s incubation programme and for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Nelson Mandela Bay.

“This is a giant step forward for sustainable SMME development in the ICT sector in Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Scott Zambonini, Enterprise Development Manager at SNII.

“If you have always dreamed of a new app or had an idea for a technology product or service, the R&D Lab will help to develop a concept into something concrete.”

In particular, the SNII R&D Lab allows users of the service and facility to develop new technology solutions and own the intellectual property and patents on what they develop.

The main advantages of the R&D Lab is the rapid rendering of technology ideas and concepts into concrete solutions with major cost- and time-saving benefits.  In particular, this will help SNII incubator clients and technology entrepreneurs to get new products, services and solutions to the market much faster, explained Zambonini.

“The SNII R&D Lab offers access to integrated technologies, specialist resources and development support which will enable tech entrepreneurs and small business to design, visualise and create prototypes.

“Companies with existing technology-based solutions or products will also be able to use the R&D Lab as a facility for upgrading, expanding and evolving products and services.”

A dedicated team of development experts has been appointed as the design support backbone of the R&D Lab.

The programmers are  literate in a variety of major design programming languages including Javascript, C#, Android Development, Google API’s, SQL, SQLite, MySQL, Python, F#, Matlab and  HTML.  Developers will work closely with and under the direction and supervision of tech entrepreneurs and SNII incubator clients to produce cutting-edge, technology-based products, services and solutions.

The SNII R&D Lab will allow users of the service and facility to design and develop new technology solutions, develop and own technology intellectual property and patents, and unlock technological innovation.

“The R&D Lab is envisioned as the city’s technology innovation epicentre,” said Zambonini.

“The facility will not only empower private and public sector organisations who require technological innovation to remain at the forefront, but will also help SMME’s, tech start-ups, entrepreneurs and clients enrolled on our incubation programmes to take their ideas to a more concrete phase of development,” he said.

Zambonini said that the SNII R&D Lab will improve technological innovation in sectors of Nelson Mandela Bay’s regional economy, including automotive, manufacturing agro-processing, renewable energy and green technology and mari-time economy sectors.

“However, the R&D Lab is first and foremost a resource for big dreamers and innovators from a small business grassroots level.   Raw and rough-diamond business and technology ideas of SMME’s will be brought to life through the support and resources offered by the R&D Lab” he said.

Zambonini said the SNII R&D Lab will also offer the private sector a way to invest, support and show a return in BBBEE enterprise development and skills development spend.

“Through the SNII R&D Lab, corporates and development agencies will be able to allocate financial and non-financial resources to deserving entrepreneurs and high-potential enterprises.”

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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