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AppDate: Google plugs into video chatting

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In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Google Duo video chat, xRapid, Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool for Business, FitKey and MessageBird’s Chat API.

Google Duo video chat

Google Duo provides simple one-to-one video calling directly from a smartphone. The app features a knock-knock option that gives a preview of incoming calls from one’s contacts. It works over both Wi-Fi and cellular networks, and will hand over a call from one to the other should the user be moving about.  According to Google,  the app has been optimised to connect faster than most other video apps. To ensure it stays in sync, it will work over slower connections like 2G. All calls are encrypted and users don’t need a Google account to make and receive calls.

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Visit the app store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

xRapid

Digicape has extended its range of healthcare solutions with the local availability of xRapid. The app uses a combination of digital imaging and artificial intelligence that allows doctors to diagnose the early onset of tuberculosis and malaria without the need to take blood samples to a lab. The solution includes an iPhone, the xRapid app and equipment that will work on most compound and field microscopes. The solution is robust, making it great for health professionals and aid workers in remote areas with limited resources.

Platform: iOS

Stockists: Visit www.rapid.org

Expect to pay: Prices are available on application

Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool for Business

Kaspersky’s Anti-Ransomware Tool for Business offers complimentary security to protect corporate users from ransomware. To identify ransomware behaviour patterns and protect Windows-based endpoints, the app leverages two other products: Kaspersky Security Network and Kaspersky System Watcher. System Watcher’s capabilities include the possibility of blocking and roll-back of harmful changes. Kaspersky Security Network is a cloud-based service dedicated to processing depersonalised cybersecurity-related data streams from millions of voluntary participants around the world.

Platform: Android and iOS

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

Expect to pay: A free download.

FitKey

FitKey, a local fitness startup that electronically pairs those wanting to find exercise with classes and gyms in their area. Fitkey members simply log in to the FitKey mobile app or website, browse all classes and activities available, and then reserve a class they want to attend in their area.

Platform: Android, iOS or any Internet browser.

Stockists: Visit www.fitkey.co.za for registration instructions.

Expect to pay: R450 per month with access to various studios and classes nationwide.

MessageBird Chat API

MessageBird’s latest app now integrates chat applications like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook Chat directly into their own CRM tools, like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and Zendesk. From there, users can send and receive text, audio, images, videos and can also share their location for a better customer experience. Furthermore, once the Chat API is integrated, newer chat applications are automatically added, from which users can choose.

Platform: Most popular CRM platforms.

Stockists: Visit www message bird.com

Expect to pay: A variety of pricing options are available depending on the number of messages being sent and received as well as where the target audience is located.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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