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Aruba brings asset tracking into the wireless network

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Aruba has unveiled an asset tracking solution that is fully integrated into a wireless infrastructure, meaning that a complex process becomes simplified, and allows full integration at dramatically reduced costs.

Organisations worldwide lose millions of dollars every year on high-value items and inventory that are misplaced, lost or stolen. Furthermore, employees and customers suffer from lost productivity and poor experiences. These challenges are particularly prevalent in industries like healthcare, where items such as IV pumps and heart defibrillators are easily misplaced, resulting in 25 percent of hospital staff’s time wasted looking for these assets1 and negatively impacting quality of care. In retail and warehousing, items that can’t be located quickly mean wasted time for employees, delayed order fulfillment for customers and often, a loss of revenue for the retailer.

Aruba asset tracking addresses these challenges with a solution that is integrated into the Aruba Wi-Fi infrastructure, eliminating the need for a separate network. Organisations also gain the benefits of accurate tracking of important items using either an intuitive, map-based mobile app or by integrating with organisations’ existing tracking solutions.

The solution includes the following components:

·         Advancements to ArubaOS and Aruba APs: This new software allows Aruba BLE-enabled Access Points and Sensors to act as asset tag “observers,” creating a sensory network that provides added value to organizations with existing Aruba wireless infrastructure. In essence, it allows their Wi-Fi infrastructure to double as an asset tracking network.

·         New Aruba Tags: Cost-effective Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) – enabled tags are slightly larger than a quarter, making them ideal for items that range in size from IV pumps in a healthcare setting to pallets of goods in a warehouse. The tags are designed to meet stringent environmental requirements and come with multiple attachment options.

·         Asset Tag Configuration App: Aruba’s configuration app makes set-up and ongoing management of the tags simple. Assets can be designated with names, photos and optional IDs so that like assets can be searched for easily. Changes can be performed quickly, near the assets, and all data is automatically saved in a central cloud database.

·         New features for the Aruba Meridian AppMaker: Organisations can now create their own asset tracking app for iOS or Android with the Meridian AppMaker. The AppMaker provides a new SDK and APIs for seamless third-party integration and custom use cases.

Partner Ecosystem Enables Broad Adoption Across Industries

Key to the success of Aruba’s existing location-based services and Mobile Engagement portfolio has been the Meridian Engage Partner Program. Customers have leveraged app developers to integrate and build value-added mobile apps for iOS and Android that are used with the Meridian Mobile App Platform and Aruba Mobile Engagement portfolio. Aruba is extending the Engage program beyond Meridian app developers to now include Meridian asset tracking partners including Emerge, Raizlabs, STANLEY Healthcare, and VenueNext.

“We are pleased to deepen our existing relationship with Aruba for location solutions in healthcare,” said Raz Evenor, Director of Product Management, STANLEY Healthcare. “Our MobileView platform combines the widest range of real-time visibility solutions with advanced analytics for hospitals to increase safety and security for patients and staff, drive operational efficiency, and ultimately deliver a better patient experience. As technology and network infrastructure evolve, we are always looking for new ways to expand choices for our customers. This partnership with Aruba for BLE-powered asset tracking gives our healthcare customers an additional cost-effective option for management of mobile medical assets.”

HPE Pointnext

Aruba Meridian Services from HPE Pointnext provide customers and partners worldwide with the expertise needed to take advantage of location-based services to engage with mobile users in any organisation or public-facing venue. These services can help augment customer IT and Aruba partner teams to provide the capabilities needed for the design and development of mobile applications with the Meridian platform.

Aruba asset tracking is one of the intelligent edge innovations that Aruba unveiled this week at HPE Discover. Aruba also introduced its 8400 Core Switch Series, a new core aggregation switch that delivers the performance, power, automation, and troubleshooting capabilities necessary to address the challenges of mobility, cloud, and IoT inherent in networks today.

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Projection tech transforms retail

By TIMOTHY WILSON, visual imaging business account manager at Epson South Africa

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Display designs, such as those found in retail stores, are no longer confined to static visuals on pull-up banners, 2D print and posters. The increasingly popular use of projection technology has ushered in new and exciting ways to create immersive displays using rich media and high-quality visual content to go beyond the four walls of traditional marketing.

In the past, projectors were lamp-based and prone to failure when used in a harsh environment, such as a retail store. Today, newly introduced laser projection technology has unlocked a range of capabilities.

Transforming the way brands engage with audiences

Creative techniques such as projection mapping, which can be described as the projection of video, animation and other colourful displays onto 3D surfaces, have completely transformed the way brands engage with audiences and can live in retail spaces, concert halls and even sports stadiums.

Projection mapping offers venues wide-spread creativity in using lighting in small or large environments, as was the case with Epson’s showstopping kinetic portal, which implemented projection mapping on a 360 degree vortex at the largest AV and systems integration show in the world – Integrated Systems Europe 2019. Driven by a new, affordable generation of projectors, mapping not only covers flat walls and traditional projections screens but also irregular shapes, objects, and even entire building façades.

When projecting on a larger scale, such as at events and music concerts, the process of visually combining several projectors to display one single seamless image might sound simple enough in principle but can prove to be a challenging task in reality. To overcome this challenge, experiential marketers are adopting the use of image edge blending, which refers to the process of stacking multiple projectors to create a single overlapped projection that appears continuous and clear.

It’s due to these advancements that displays in retail and events no longer pivot just on aesthetic appeal but can now deliver immersive consumer experiences that drive engagement and increase foot traffic. This is starting to drastically change the way that retailers, events and even restaurants host, engage, entertain and communicate with their audiences.

Projection is driving growth in experiential marketing

Consumer interest in the transition towards projection has seen this technology take centre stage at leading retailers such as Mall of Africa, events by brands such as ABSA and restaurants like Saint, transforming their environments into immersive spaces through projection that displays captivating imagery and video.

Saint restaurant in Sandton has pushed the boundaries of branding and displays, transforming all surfaces into a visual delight. Patrons entering the restaurant are greeted by a visual experience within a dome, featuring a series of moving, constantly changing artworks – such as a starry night sky or a replica of the Sistine Chapel – projected onto walls and the ceiling.

In fact, EventTrack research, which showcases the current state of marketing around the globe, highlights the continuous growth of event and experiential marketing. It notes that high-quality projection technology, more specifically its ability to emit stunning visual experiences, has grown in popularity to become the go-to tool for event organisers and retailers looking to captivate and engage with consumers.

The future of projection technology

Projection technology has proven to be an outstanding, much more cost-effective and reliable form of marketing collateral – setting an entirely new standard for high-resolution projection.

Sandton City recently embraced this market-leading technology with the installation of a virtual aquarium in its Centre Court. This installation centred on creating a 3D mapping concept that enabled shoppers to select an undersea creature from a touchpad to swim across digitised hoarding.

With capabilities to meet the demands of large-scale projection and the ability to effectively transform the way brands remain visible at shopping malls, restaurants and retail spaces – the unprecedented imaging power of projection technology has set a considerably high bar when it comes to retail and event displays. 

Epson, which is not only pioneering imaging technology and innovative projection solutions, is also the market leader when it comes to high lumen laser projection, having recently announced its 30,000 lumens laser projector (EB-L30000U) which will officially launch in 2020. This high-end installation laser projector, complete with 4K enhancement, is aimed at rental and staging companies, hospitality markets and visitor attractions, which is yet another progressive step towards transforming the way marketers engage with their consumers in the 21st century. 

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GoFundMe hits R9bn in donations for people and causes

The world’s largest social fundraising platform has announced that Its community has made more than 120-million donations

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GoFundMe this week released its annual Year in Giving report, revealing that its community has donated more than 120-million times, raising over $9-billion for people, causes, and organisations since the company’s founding in 2010.

In a letter to the GoFundMe community, CEO Rob Solomon emphasised how GoFundMe witnesses not only the good in people worldwide, but their generosity and their action every day.

“As we enter a new decade, GoFundMe is committed to spreading compassion and empathy through our platform,” said Solomon in the letter. “Together, we can bring more good into the world and unlock the power of global giving.”

The GoFundMe giving community continues to grow with both repeat donors and new donors. In fact, nearly 60% of donors were new this year. After someone makes a donation, they continue to engage with the community and give to multiple causes. In fact, one passionate individual donated 293 times to 234 different fundraisers in this past year alone. Donations are made every second, ranging from $5 to $50,000. This year, more than 40% of donations were under $50.

GoFundMe continues to be a mirror of current events across the globe. This year, young changemakers started the Fridays for Futuremovement to fight climate change, which led to a 60% increase in fundraiser descriptions mentioning ‘climate change’. Additionally, the community rallied together to support one another during natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian and the California wildfires, where thousands of fundraisers were started to help those in need.

The report includes a snapshot of giving trends from the year based on global GoFundMe data. It also includes company milestones from 2019, such as launching the company’s non-profit and advocacy arm, GoFundMe.org, and introducing GoFundMe Charity, which provides enterprise software with no subscription fees or contracts to charities of every size.

Highlights from GoFundMe’s 2019 Year in Giving report include:

  • Global giving trends and data
  • Top 10 most generous countries
  • Top 10 most generous U.S. states and cities
  • Biggest moments in 2019

To view the entire report, visit: www.gofundme.com/2019

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