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Embrace of M2M offers big boost to transport business

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The transport and logistics industry could improve their operation systems should they consider entering the telemetry market and embracing Machine-2-Machine (M2M) technology. This is according to GREG HATFIELD of MTN Business.

The steady growth of the Machine-2-Machine (M2M) industry has been triggered by the need to improve operation systems and delivery of services in a manner that would catapult the industry into the next level of quality assurance.

This can be achieved through, and not limited to, tracking goods in transit, monitoring and maintaining vehicle and driver safety, as well as increasing the reliability and efficiency of fleets especially given the recent spate of accidents in the transportation industry.

The success of the recent MTN Business Mind2Machine Challenge highlights some of the opportunities available for various industries to save on operational costs and to capitalise on potential growth. Entrepreneur Moses Joseph Mayimela emerged as one of the winners of the challenge through his prototype monitoring system that allows for the tracking of perishable and non-perishable goods that are being stored in fridges and transported by vehicles over long distances.

The system provides an early warning prompt to help ensure that the goods arrive to their intended destinations in good condition.

According to Frost & Sullivan, South Africa’s vehicle telematics will grow at a yearly rate of 12.5% from 2014 to 2021, with the telematics market penetration projected to reach 17% by 2018.

While KPMG states that technology is not embraced in the logistics space in South Africa and this is one of the challenges facing the industry. The company advises that measures should be put in place to strengthen the links in the logistics where there are deficiencies.

If embraced and implemented properly, M2M has numerous abilities to provide South African fleet managers with useful information regarding fuel usage, routing, and vehicle diagnostics, thereby saving fuel, lengthening vehicle lifespan and increasing efficiency – all of which reduce operating expense.

These are some of the benefits, but M2M technology can do more than that for industries across the board.

More specifically, M2M can optimise the logistics of planning the routes of trucks and the different deliveries a fleet must accomplish, ensuring that the loads are transported in a timely manner with the fewest kilometres driven.

Fleet managers can also monitor vehicle performance and handle vehicle maintenance scheduling, ensuring that all vehicles are being driven in good condition and reducing maintenance costs and breakdowns.

MTN Business encourages transport and logistics businesses to earnestly consider embracing M2M technology holistically in order to compete in the tough economic conditions and be competitive.

With the continent attracting international investment interest, the spotlight continues to be on the Machine-to-Machine solutions that drive sustainable growth and capitalise on the power of a bold new digital world.

MTN Business’ tailored offerings are in line with the company’s strategic intent of refining traditional product offering as well as actively developing new opportunities to ensure that MTN continues to inspire and enable the growth of its clients.

* Greg Hatfield, General Manager for Products and Solutions at MTN Business South Africa

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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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