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Shyft named App of the Year

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Shyft has been named overall winner of this year’s MTN Business App of the Year Awards.

Shyft was created for Standard Bank to allow customers to handle all their forex needs from their phone, with no need to visit the bank. Customers are able to purchase and store forex (USD, GBP, EUR, AUSD), transfer funds overseas, order multi-currency physical travel cards, and create virtual cards that can be used for international online shopping, all from a mobile device.

The MTN Business App of the Year Awards sees both small businesses and large corporates converging, and working together for the greater good of society.  It also sees revolutionary solutions being developed and presented by people from a diverse range of socio-economic backgrounds.  It’s all about connecting people who can provide real solutions to the real-life challenges cutting across society.

Category winners were:

  • Best Enterprise Solution: TransUnion 1Check

For years, TransUnion’s printed Autodealer Guide has been a trusted source of vehicle and driver information for vehicle dealers, equipping them with invaluable data for making vehicle trading and risk decisions. However, given the move towards mobile, escalating printing costs and the changing business environment, TransUnion identified a need in the market for a low cost, real-time, easy-to-use mobile management tool which not only reduced high printing costs, but closed the gap between fluctuating market values and monthly publishing lead time of their book. In addition, the software provides the financial industry and insurance providers with real time, up-to-date data for vehicle and insurance decisions via web services or via the app.

  • Best Consumer Solution: OrderIN

OrderIn is a food delivery app. Users are able to order meals via the app, and have their meals delivered in minutes. They can also order ahead and collect or pay in person.

  • Best Incubated Solution: EcoSlips

EcoSlips converts ordinary paper slips into digital advertisements that pop up on consumer cell phones. Retailers are able to link their point-of-sale systems to EcoSlips and send transaction slips digitally from any pay point to consumer cell phones. Paper slip waste is reduced and a new advertising platform provides opportunities to grow any business in the retail sector.

  • Most Innovative Solution: InterGreatMe

InterGreatMe is an identity management platform, providing users with control of their identities across financial services, telecomunications, insurance and credit providing companies. The platform also allows businesses to comply with FICA, RICA, NCA and POPI laws.

  • Best Breakthrough Developer: Zulzi

An on-demand delivery platform for anything around the consumer’s area. Zulzi is an online digital mall which links the consumer up with a personal shopper who will deliver to the customer within an hour. Lunch, dinner, groceries, pharmaceuticals or anything else can be ordered.

  • Best South African App: Hey Jude

Hey Jude is a real human assistant that lives on your smartphone. Whatever you need, Jude is there to assist you, be it booking restaurants, organising tradesmen or finding information – you name it, Hey Jude does it.

“As a leading telecommunications company, we are always mindful of how technology can foster entrepreneurship, drive economic growth and be leveraged as an enabler for myriad industries,” said Mandisa Ntloko, general manager of Enterprise Marketing at MTN Business SA.

“We are proud of the strides the initiative has made in profiling the winning apps and transforming them into thriving and sustainable businesses.”

This year, new categories were introduced in line with the evolving technology landscape. The inaugural winners and those recognised in these categories were:

‘Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)’ Solution

Two apps and the women responsible for developing them were recognised in this category.

The ORU Social solution is a multi-purpose social network platform tailored for SMEs with great professional appeal. It allows users to make new connections, share videos and updates, advertise on the platform, and includes a feature to create groups.  There is also and on-line conferencing facility, and it allows a group to access the same presentations and videos, and more.

TouchSA is all about connecting SMEs with opportunities locally and internationally. With Trade and Industry alliances in international countries, the app is a great platform for South Africa’s small unknown businesses.

  • Best Gaming Solution: Pick ‘n Pay’s Super Animals 2

This solution allows users to meet the all new South African Super Animals, brought to you by Pick n Pay! Gamers can keep track of their South African Super Animals cards, unlock new badges and earn new rewards as their collections grow. Users can also watch the animals come to life with movement and sound. Fun for animal-lovers of any age.

  • Best Agriculture Solution: The TreeApp South Africa

Trees are a central component of virtually every ecological niche in our country, as well as being a life force in our cities and in our own gardens. But sadly, trees are not as easy to get to know as other natural species like birds and mammals. Botany is complicated, but TheTreeApp has found ways of utilising simple English and straight forward visible attributes that anyone can use as search criteria.

  • Best Health Solution: WatIf Health Portal

This portal is a new and inventive way of delivering healthcare to the man on the street. A disease management solution designed for ordinary people, it requires input of basic clinical data from patients, and then processes it through an interactive medical knowledge system that is a part of WatIf artificial intelligence.

  • Best Education Solution: Awethu Project

The Awethu Project App is a mobile business tool aimed at educating one million people in developing economies on how to start and grow a business.  The primary objective is to stimulate job creation through entrepreneurship.

  • Best Financial Solution: Shyft for Standard Bank

Named as the overall winner of the MTN Business App of the Year Awards.

This year more than 48 000 votes were cast in the People’s Choice category.  South Africa’s favourite app was named as Zulzi.

Since its inception, the MTN Business App of the Year Awards has profiled a number of apps that are commonly used today. These include SnapScan, the payment app that emerged as the overall winner in 2013; WumDrop, an on-demand delivery start-up that scooped the Best Enterprise App and was the Best Overall App in 2015; LIVE Inspect, the app that allows the insurance industry to digitally scan a vehicle’s disc to trace its full history, accident history, and overall condition before it is on-boarded by an insurance company; and last year’s winner, Domestly, an app that makes it easier to browse, book and pay a cleaner, in addition to enabling the cleaner to manage bookings, money and directions to bookings. Domestly created 600 sustainable jobs in the first six months of going live.

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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