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AppDate: Get up and Go with Pokemon Go

In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER tries out Pokemon Go and highlights FlipSell, LogBox, 1Fetch and Swift Playgrounds.

Pokemon Go

Getting kids and adults out and about has been an unexpected spin-off of Nintendo’s big new hit, Pokemon Go. The game uses a player’s location and augmented reality to display a range of Pokemons in their vicinity. It is then up to the player to hunt down the Pokemon, lob power balls at it and ultimately catch it. Some Pokemons are more difficult to catch than others, and the more characters caught, the more experience points a player gains. Nintendo has only released the game in a few countries, but there are work-arounds for those who want

to play it in South Africa. In effect, one “sideloads” the app directly from a download site rather than installing from an app store. A quick search on the Internet on how to install Pokemon Go in South Africa will reveal all the answers you need. Just do an additional search to ensure its a safe download source.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download, but with quite a few in-app purchases.

Stockists: Pokemon Go is available from various sources on the Internet.

 

FlipSell

Fraud, theft and personal security are some of the issues consumers contend with when buying or selling second-hand goods through online classifieds. FlipSell, a new online classified service, is designed to take away the hassle and unease of dealing with a stranger, with its online transaction system. Through FlipSell’s online system, sellers receive offers to purchase via SMS or email, which they can accept, decline or counter, without ever having to directly engage with buyers. Consumers looking to buy second-hand goods can also engage in online transactions with peace of mind, with FlipSell taking on the role of intermediary between the buyer and seller. FlipSell will collect the goods from the seller and deliver to the buyer, which also frees sellers from the added expense of arranging delivery.

Platform: Any Internet browser.

Expect to pay: Free to use but with a commission being paid to

FlipSell on any successful sales.

Stockists: Visit www.flipsell.co.za

 

LogBox

Developed by local surgeon Dr. Neal Goldstein, in collaboration with EPI-USE, LogBox allows patients to capture and share their personal information electronically with medical practitioners and any other healthcare professionals. LogBox is a free mobile and web-based application. The idea behind LogBox is to save patients the time previously wasted in repeatedly filling in or updating paper forms at each medical practice they visit. The application is not restricted to any medical aid or hospital group. Apart from doctors, it can be used by any person involved in the healthcare industry, including dieticians, physiotherapists and optometrists,.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: Free to use.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

1Fetch

1Fetch is an on-demand, same-day, hand-to-hand motorbike delivery service. Similar to Uber, 1Fetch connects users with drivers and runs from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. The company guarantees collection of a package within 90 minutes of the order being placed. Once collected, the package is delivered directly to its destination, with no stops along the way. The entire process, from collection to delivery is done through the app, allowing users to monitor exactly where their parcel is and when it will be delivered.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download, with a charge of R11 per kilometre and a minimum delivery charge of R50.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is designed specifically for the iPad and aims to make coding easy and fun. It brings coding to life with an interactive interface that encourages students and beginners to explore working with Swift, the programming language from Apple that is used by professional developers to create apps. Swift Playgrounds includes Apple-developed programming lessons where students write code to guide onscreen characters through a graphical world by solving puzzles and mastering challenges as they learn core coding concepts. The app also features built-in templates to help users express their creativity and create real programmes that can be shared with friends, using Mail or Messages or posted to the web.

cleardot.gifPlatform: iOS

Expect to pay: A free download for a limited time only.

Stockists: Visit the App Store for downloading instruction.

* Sean Bacher is editor of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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Veeam passes $1bn, prepares for cloud’s ‘Act II’

Leader in cloud-data management reveals how it will harness the next growth phase of the data revolution, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

Veeam Software, the quiet leader in backup solutions for cloud data management,has announced that it has passed $1-billion in revenues, and is preparing for the next phase of sustained growth in the sector.

Now, it is unveiling what it calls Act II, following five years of rapid growth through modernisation of the data centre. At the VeeamON 2019conferencein Miami this week, company co-founder Ratmir Timashev declared that the opportunities in this new era, focused on managing data for the hybrid cloud, would drive the next phase of growth.

“Veeam created the VMware backup market and has dominated it as the leader for the last decade,” said Timashev, who is also executive vice president for sales and marketing at the organisation. “This was Veeam’s Act I and I am delighted that we have surpassed the $1 billion mark; in 2013 I predicted we’d achieve this in less than six years. 

“However, the market is now changing. Backup is still critical, but customers are now building hybrid clouds with AWS, Azure, IBM and Google, and they need more than just backup. To succeed in this changing environment, Veeam has had to adapt. Veeam, with its 60,000-plus channel and service provider partners and the broadest ecosystem of technology partners, including Cisco, HPE, NetApp, Nutanix and Pure Storage, is best positioned to dominate the new cloud data management in our Act II.”

In South Africa, Veeam expects similar growth. Speaking at the Cisco Connect conference in Sun City this week, country manager Kate Mollett told Gadget’s BRYAN TURNER that the company was doing exceptionally well in this market.

“In financial year 2018, we saw double-digit growth, which was really very encouraging if you consider the state of the economy, and not so much customer sentiment, but customers have been more cautious with how they spend their money. We’ve seen a fluctuation in the currency, so we see customers pausing with big decisions and hoping for a recovery in the Rand-Dollar. But despite all of the negatives, we have double digit growth which is really good. We continue to grow our team and hire.

“From a Veeam perspective, last year we were responsible for Veeam Africa South, which consisted of South Africa, SADC countries, and the Indian Ocean Islands. We’ve now been given the responsibility for the whole of Africa. This is really fantastic because we are now able to drive a single strategy for Africa from South Africa.”

Veeam has been the leading provider of backup, recovery and replication solutions for more than a decade, and is growing rapidly at a time when other players in the backup market are struggling to innovate on demand.

“Backup is not sexy and they made a pretty successful company out of something that others seem to be screwing up,” said Roy Illsley, Distinguished Analyst at Ovum, speaking in Miami after the VeeamOn conference. “Others have not invested much in new products and they don’t solve key challenges that most organisations want solved. Theyre resting on their laurels and are stuck in the physical world of backup instead of embracing the cloud.”

Illsley readily buys into the Veeam tagline. “It just works”. 

“They are very good at marketing but are also a good engineering comany that does produce the goods. Their big strength, that it just works, is a reliable feature they have built into their product portfolio.”

Veeam said in statement from the event that, while it had initially focused on server virtualisation for VMware environments, in recent years it had expanded this core offering. It was now delivering integration with multiple hypervisors, physical servers and endpoints, along with public and software-as-a-service workloads, while partnering with leading cloud, storage, server, hyperconverged (HCI) and application vendors.

This week, it  announced a new “with Veeam”program, which brings in enterprise storage and hyperconverged (HCI) vendors to provide customers with comprehensive secondary storage solutions that combine Veeam software with industry-leading infrastructure systems. Companies like ExaGrid and Nutanix have already announced partnerships.

Timashev said: “From day one, we have focused on partnerships to deliver customer value. Working with our storage and cloud partners, we are delivering choice, flexibility and value to customers of all sizes.”

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‘Energy scavenging’ funded

As the drive towards a 5G future gathers momentum, the University of Surrey’s research into technology that could power countless internet enabled devices – including those needed for autonomous cars – has won over £1M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industry partners.

Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) has been working on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG), an energy harvesting technology capable of ‘scavenging’ energy from movements such as human motion, machine vibration, wind and vehicle movements to power small electronic components. 

TENG energy harvesting is based on a combination of electrostatic charging and electrostatic induction, providing high output, peak efficiency and low-cost solutions for small scale electronic devices. It’s thought such devices will be vital for the smart sensors needed to enable driverless cars to work safely, wearable electronics, health sensors in ‘smart hospitals’ and robotics in ‘smart factories.’ 

The ATI will be partnered on this development project with the Georgia Institute of Technology, QinetiQ, MAS Holdings, National Physical Laboratory, Soochow University and Jaguar Land Rover. 

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the ATI and the principal investigator of the TENG project, said: “TENG technology is ideal to power the next generation of electronic devices due to its small footprint and capacity to integrate into systems we use every day. Here at the ATI, we are constantly looking to develop such advanced technologies leading towards our quest to realise worldwide “free energy”.

“TENGs are an ideal candidate to power the autonomous electronic systems for Internet of Things applications and wearable electronic devices. We believe this research grant will allow us to further the design of optimized energy harvesters.”

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