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Samsung taps into SAA

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Samsung has entered into a partnership with South African Airways (SAA) to upgrade the in-flight entertainment offering to business class passengers through the provision of Samsung tablets on selected flights longer than three hours.

SAA will initially launch the project on its Mauritius route, enhancing the travel experience for professionals and addressing their unique travel needs by adding more choice. The tablets are pre-loaded with content that can be used to read magazines, watch movies and listen to music.

“During trial tests with SAA, passengers responded that they rated convenience and relevant information sources as key, while travelling. This relationship enables us to showcase the comfort, accessibility and content advantages that a Samsung tablet offers,” said Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics SA.

The collaboration brings together two brands who are both synonymous with quality and innovation in order to deliver a smarter, more suitable in-flight environment for South Africa’s national airline customers. With productivity and an improved infotainment offering in mind, the business class traveller can now enjoy the Samsung mobile innovation.

“After an extensive study it was clear that executive travellers demand an in-flight multimedia system that can replicate, or even transcend what they are accustomed to on the ground. As a result, we have customised the tablet to meet the specific and unique requirements of the SAA business class passenger,” continues Potgieter.

“Our association with Samsung is aligned with our business philosophy and sets us apart from our competitors, where no such offering currently exists. As a premier brand we constantly evolve the offering to our customers; this new and improved on-board experience alongside premium mobile Samsung devices, will further augment our position as a full service and innovative airline,” says Sylvain Bosc, SAA Chief Commercial Officer.

Increasingly, corporate companies join forces with technology firms to grow and enrich customer expectations and therefore, their value proposition. SAA, together with Samsung and Microsoft, developed the customised application for regional flights and as a result, travellers will now be able to conveniently access information anywhere. The A320 new generation aircraft will also make provision for the tablet to be conveniently placed in a slot in the back of the seat equipped with a charging point.

Further to this, SAA is provided with a value-added service that takes the travel expedition to new heights. Cabin crew are able to distribute the devices, which will contain both South African, African and international content, once in-flight and collect the tablets prior to landing for safe keeping and redistribution for the next flights.

“This validates our commitment to deliver the latest product innovation and value added services to consumers. Core to this offering is to provide business travellers with an experience that meets their evolving needs in order to enhance their journey with SAA,” concludes Potgieter.

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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