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Biometrics power Volvo Ocean Race team

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Team AkzoNobel has partnered with SAP aimed at helping the sailors to optimize their performance using IoT provided by the SAP Leonardo IoT Edge technology to track their fitness levels and degree of exhaustion during racing.

How do you gain a competitive advantage in one of the world’s toughest ocean races when every team uses the same race yacht? While information relating to weather and other conditions is useful, for most teams the advantage stems from improving team performance.

Team AkzoNobel has partnered with SAP as part of an innovation project aimed at helping the sailors to optimize their performance. Using the edge computing for the Internet of Things (IoT) provided by the SAP Leonardo IoT Edge technology, the research project enables team AkzoNobel to track the sailors’ fitness levels and degree of exhaustion during racing. Fully approved by the race organizers and available to all competing teams, the innovative system is being used for the first time in professional sailing.

“So far, aspects like the weather and the ideal route used to be the main focus areas. The technology provided by SAP gives us a tool that helps us to get the best performance from the crew,” said Simeon Tienpont, team AkzoNobel’s skipper. “These technological innovations will help push the boundaries of our sport and can finally make the difference.”

As physical and mental exhaustion pose the biggest threats to crews during the eight-month race, SAP has equipped all nine crew members of team AkzoNobel with sensors to capture biometric data. Worn at all times during the race, the data collected by the sensors provides valuable insights into aspects like fatigue, exhaustion, reaction to weather conditions, and stress levels. In addition, the biometric edge solution – which has access to the same information that the navigator has on board the Volvo Ocean 65 race boat – helps to interpret the biometric measurement data.

Biometric data can be collected and analysed by the crew on board during the entire race to give team AkzoNobel unprecedented insight into the crew’s fitness and recovery data. The output is presented in a specifically designed user interface for the skipper.

A part of the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system, SAP Leonardo IoT Edge is being used to capture the biometric data of the crew at sea. IoT-edge computing describes the capability of processing, storing and analysing sensor data without an Internet or other data connection. Once the boats arrive at each of the 12 stopovers, predictive and machine learning analytics are run on SAP Cloud Platform using SAP Leonardo IoT Foundation. Based on the data collected at sea, the predictive analytics results provided to the crew supports team AkzoNobel’s skipper’s preparation for the next leg of the race.

According to Adriana Marais, Head of Innovation at SAP Africa, exponential technologies such as IoT and predictive analytics can add value to nearly every industry when integrated with the cloud-based digital innovation system SAP Leonardo. “Biometric data is transforming the way we do things, from the world of international yacht racing, to the remote delivery of healthcare services in rural areas, to monitoring the health of astronauts in the International Space Station. This project shows how data acquired by connected sensors, coupled with machine learning and predictive analytics, can enable even the largely analogue world of international yacht racing to run digital. At SAP we are passionate about making people’s lives better, and our technology enables improved insights from the acquisition and analytics of data that can enhance performance, or even boost longevity.”

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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