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AppDate: Thousands of meals in one place with Mr D Food

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In his latest AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights Mr D Food, Hey Jude, GamesTrader, Namola, Uber with real-time ID check and the updated TomTom Sports App.

Mr D Food

The new Mr D Food app by Mr Delivery lets one get food delivered to their home or office by ordering via their smartphone. The app puts users in touch with over 1 400 restaurants and has drivers waiting to deliver to over 1 900 suburbs around South Africa.

Once an order is placed, a user has the option to pay for the meal via cash or card. They can then track their food via the app in real-time. Delivery fees range depending on the distance the driver needs to travel, the number of restaurants that food has to be collected from and time taken. A few of the restaurants Mr D collects from include Nando’s, Spur, RocoMamas, KFC, Col’Cacchio, Panarottis, Ocean Basket, Simply Asia, Steers, McDonald’s, John Dory’s, Wimpy and Primi.

The app is simple to use, allowing one to search for meals according to the type of food for instance pizza, burgers or seafood, a certain cuisine or via restaurants within a certain radius.

Once ordered, a delivery time is given and the user is given the option to collect bypass delivery and collect the food themselves.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download but delivery fees and meal costs are extra.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Hey Jude

Hey Jude is a subscription-based service that uses technology combined with human intellect to get one’s to-do list sorted. Using a message-based interface to link a person to one of their trained operators, known as ‘Judes’, a user texts or voice messages their request – any request, from food delivery and travel bookings to restaurant reservations, grocery shopping, gift searching, and paying bills – and they will do the rest. Once a request is made, the Judes will research, find the suppliers, negotiate the prices and even facilitate payment.

Platform: Android and iOS.

Expect to pay: The first three tasks are free, thereafter it is a R200 per month service.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

GamesTrader

Many gamers have a stack of games that they have finished or no longer play and are just sitting there gathering dust. With GamesTrader, gamers can log in, sell their old games, buy “new” second-hand ones and also make straight trades.

GamesTrader offers games for most consoles ranging from the old Nintendo 64 to the newer Xbox One and payments can be made with most major credit cards and Bitcoins.

Platform: Most devices with an Internet connection and web browser.

Expect to pay: Free to sign up.

Stockists: www.gamestrader.co.za

 

Namola

Namola, a safety and security app for South Africans recently hit 50 000 downloads – putting it at the top of the South African download charts in the app store. The app connects the SAPS and most major privately owned security companies, making response to an incident that much faster than dialling a single emergency number like 10111. All a user needs is a GPS-enabled smartphone. Should trouble arise a single push of a button will dispatch emergency personal in the vicinity to the phone’s GPS location.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

 

Uber with real-time ID check

In an attempt to deter criminals from pretending to be Uber drivers, the company has introduced Real-Time ID check. The safety feature prompts driver-partners to share a selfie from time to time before collecting passengers. Uber then compares this image to the photograph already on file with the driver’s account. This is achieved through facial recognition. The system first identifies a face, then it builds a feature set by focusing on key features, and finally compares the feature set to the validated image Uber has on file. This all takes place within a few seconds. If the two images don’t match, the account is temporarily blocked while Uber looks into the situation. This helps Uber to ensure in real time that the driver using the app matches the account it has on file.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free service.

Stockists: This service doesn’t really affect the user, but makes using an Uber safer.

 

Updated TomTom Sports App

The new TomTom Sports App helps one get going, move more and stay motivated. It tracks all sports and activities, with progress insights and personal bests. The app has been designed with the help of real athletes to help one reach goals, with personalized feedback. The updated dashboard is easy to read and displays every step, leap, stroke and beat counts in one place. In addition to being available on a mobile device, users can now also access their dashboard via the TomTom website.

In addition to golfing, swimming and walking, the app is now able to track skiing, snowboarding, trail running and hiking.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download, but users must busing a TomTom fitness tracker or watch.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

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ConceptD: Creatives get a tech brand of their own

The unveiling of a new brand by Acer recognises the massive computing power needed in creative professions, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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It’s a crisp Spring morning in Brooklyn. The regular water taxi from Manhattan pulls up at Duggal Greenhouse on the edge of the East River. It’s a building that symbolises the rejuvenation of Brooklyn as a hub of artistic and creative expression.

Inside the vast structure, global computer brand Acer is about to unveil its own tribute to creativity. Company CEO Jason Chen takes to the stage in faded blue jeans and brown t-shirt, underlining the connection of the event to the informality of the area.

“Brooklyn is become more and more diverse,” he tells a gathering of press from around the world, attending the Next@Acer media event. “It’s an area that is up and coming. It represents new lifestyles. And our theme today is turning a new chapter for creativity.”

Every year, Next@Acer is a parade of the cutting edge in gaming and educational laptops and computers. New devices from sub-brands like Predator, Helios and Nitro have gamers salivating. This year is no different, but there is a surprise in store, hinted in Chen’s introduction.

As a grand finale, he calls on stage Angelica Davila, whose day job is senior marketing manager for Acer Latin America. But she also happens to have a Masters degree in computer and electric engineering. A stint at Intel, where she joined a sales and marketing programme for engineers, set her on a new path.

Angelica Davila, marketing manager for Acer Latin America

For the last few months, she has been helping write Acer’s next chapter. She has shepherded into being nothing less than a new brand: ConceptD.

Click here to read more about ConceptD.

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Which voice assistant wins battle of translators?

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Take the most famous phrase from the Godfather – “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” – or “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” from the inaugural address of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and see just how the virtual assistants do in translating them using their newly introduced Neural Machine Translation (NMT) capabilities. One Hour Translation (OHT), the world’s largest online translation service, conducted a study to find out just how accurate these new services are.

OHT used 60 sentences from movies and famous people ranging from the Godfather and Wizard of Oz to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, US presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy and historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Aesop. The sentences were translated by Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri from English to French, Spanish, Chinese and German and then given to five professional translators for their assessment on a scale of 1-6. 

Google Assistant scored highest in three of the four languages surveyed – English to French, English to German and English to Spanish and second in English to Chinese.  Amazon’s Alexa, whose translation engine is powered by Microsoft Translator, was tops in the English to Chinese category. Apple’s Siri was second place in English to French and English to Spanish and third place in English to German and English to Chinese.  (See chart). All three virtual assistants are compatible with mobile phones.

“The automated assistants’ translation quality was relatively high, which means that assistants are useful for handling simple translations automatically,” says Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He predicts that “there is no doubt that the use of assistants is growing rapidly, is becoming a part of our lives and will make a huge contribution to the business world.” 

A lot will depend on further improvements in NMT technology, which has revolutionized the field of translation over the past two years.  All the companies active in the field are investing large sums as part of this effort. “OHT is working with several of the leading NMT providers to improve their engines through the use of its hybrid online translation service that combines NMT and human post-editing,” notes Kaufman. He adds that this will no doubt have a huge impact on the use of assistants for translation purposes.

OHT has made a name for itself in assessing the level of translations by NMT engines.  Its ONEs Evaluation Score is a unique human-based assessment of the leading NMT engines conducted on a quarterly basis and used as an industry standard. 

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