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BBM back with airtime game

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Creative Media Works, operating as BBM, has partnered with Digitata Insights to launch the Invite2Win airtime service within its BBM Discover menu and a Vodacom USSD game.

The Invite2Win USSD game is accessible on the *117*4863# Vodacom gaming menu and is also part of Vodacom’s USSD gamification offering. New and existing Vodacom subscribers who play the Invite2Win game are offered free airtime and a chance to win R1000 cash every month through BBM Discover.

Matthew Talbot, CEO of Creative Media Works, the company which operates and runs BBM Consumer globally, says: “This is a great initiative encouraging users to invite friends to download and enjoy the latest and improved version of BBM Messenger.  We’ve added new features, content and services, but more importantly, through the Invite2Win service, we are addressing the need for airtime in South Africa.”

Talbot added that Invite2Win complements the other content and services in Discover such as Uber, Rewards, Girl Talk, Football365, HotelsCombined, News, Games, DiscoverTV, Stickers and Channels.

According to Digitata Insights, South Africa’s largest operator Vodacom, receives an average of 20 million visitors on their star dial menu every month. Invite2Win airtime offers users an opportunity to win R1000 cash and daily airtime prizes for new users strictly coming from playing the USSD trivia game who install BBM Messenger and register in Invite2Win.

How to participate?

  • Vodacom subscribers can access the Invite2Win game in the Vodacom gaming menu (*117*4863#) and will be prompted through a series of fun questions.
  • Once completed, they will be sent the relevant app store link (Google Play or App Store) to install and register on BBM Messenger to continue playing and start winning airtime.
  • Users must locate the ‘Invite2Win’ icon in the BBM Discover menu and register their mobile number in order to redeem their first R5 worth free airtime. Airtime will only be issued to subscribers who come from playing the USSD game.
  • To continue winning airtime within the Invite2win service, users will be prompted to share a unique code with two contacts.
  • As their contacts successfully download and register on BBM Messenger and enter their code in the Invite2Win service in the BBM Discover menu, the user will receive another R5 free airtime. Additionally, the user and their contacts will be entered to win R1000 cash.
  • Users will be provided SMS-based and on-screen prompts to guide them at every step.
  • Existing BBM users who successfully invite their friends from within Invite2Win in BBM Discover, will also be entered to win R1000 cash.

If you are a Vodacom subscriber, to participate in the ‘Invite2Win airtime’ experience, dial *117*4863# from any Android or iOS device.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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