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IoT battle begins at Edge

It is estimated that in 2018 there will be over 31 billion connected ‘edge’ devices globally, making this year the one where the Internet of Things (IoT) truly begins to dominate. The proliferation of connected devices and the evolution of dumb devices to smart devices has seen IoT becoming vertically focused, coining on several focused terms.

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These include Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT); Internet of Robotic Things (IORT); Internet of Automotive things (IoAT); Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT) and Internet of Everything (IoE).

Jeremy Potgieter, Eseye, SADC regional head and the only AWS IoT-focused strategic partner, says that the growth is indicative of the ever changing landscape and transformation of the way industries are doing business. He says that AWS and secure scaling is a good example of where things are going: “Industry has identified that there are efficiencies to be gained from gathering and utilising data that devices and services are sharing as part of their normal way of work. This also extends to devices, which were intended for personal communication.”

Mobile networks are a reaping the benefits of this evolution according to Potgieter. He says that it’s primarily as a result of an intense focus by MNOs to increase data speeds and analytic components: “The opportunity opens up new avenues for creativity to flourish and for MNOs to further benefit by becoming integral to the ecosystem of devices sharing and delivering the information. It is off the back of this component that Eseye, as a managed connectivity partner, with over 440 mobile networks, further enhances this aspect. By ensuring uptime, and ease of deployment through its multi network access mechanisms, it is geared to set the standard for mobile devices in the IoT landscape.”

Further impacting the industry is the fact that more devices are crossing the line between personal and business, while users and companies alike have realised the benefits of this flexibility. Both, as a result, are capatilising on the capabilities it affords them and people are doing more by doing the same, but with an aspect of a connected device in the equation. Potgieter says that the spinoff is greater amounts of data and statistics: “This feeds analytics at an organisational level, and in so doing, creates new, versatile and informed environments with a caveat to innovative product and service creation.”

Good and effective IoT examples begin with challenges and end in goals. As a dynamic technology, often new opportunities arise while addressing the original purpose. According to Potgieter, in most cases, these revolve around tapping into new revenues, mainly customer-facing and often collaborative in an ‘as a service economy’.

He says that smart devices are constantly sending and sharing information about movement, health and other related activities. It is thus safe to assume that the information gathered has a vast array of uses and possibilities: “One way is to document all this information is on an interactive smart band, which could be utilised for health applications and could be seamlessly integrated to medical practitioners, hospitals and emergency services.”

Consumer applications in the Internet of Things (CIoT) already offers several benefits globally: “More responsive services; shorter feedback loops; remote fixes; greater convenience; better decision making support; improved allocation of resources and verification of behaviour,” says Potgieter.

Using the above scenario, but applied to industries such as logistics, agriculture and manufacturing, gaps would immediately be identified that could be filled by the inherent data shared from these devices: “We have already seen advancement of services through apps like IntegreatMe, which acts as a medium between citizens and governmental departments like home affairs, road services and utilities. The divide is narrowing on delivery and capability through third party over the top players,” says Potgieter.

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New iPhone pricing for SA

The iStore has announced that the latest iPhones, the Xs and Xs Max, can now be pre-ordered at www.myistore.co.za , and will be available in stores starting 28 September 2018.

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iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max feature 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina displays that offer remarkable brightness and true blacks while showing 60 percent greater dynamic range in HDR photos. iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have an improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, longer battery life, splash and water resistance,

Pre-orders will be open for cash purchases and on iStore’s revised payment plan in partnership with FNB Credit Card, allowing customers to pay off their iPhone at a reduced interest rate. However, the contract period is 37 months rather than the usual 24 months.
*FNB Credit Card Payment Plan, price per month over 37 months, a 40% trade-in value after 24 months

How to pre-order – Pre-ordering online for either cash or the FNB payment plan gives customers the benefit of reserving their purchase without having to queue and the added convenience of having purchases delivered directly to their door. Pre-orders of iPhone Xs and Xs Max are completed online by visiting www.myistore.co.za.
FREE iCare Plus – Exclusive to iStore, all customers can get its 2-year extended warranty, which includes one Apple Certified screen repair, that normally sells for R1 999, for FREE. To qualify, customers should secure a voucher online now at www.myistore.co.za , and subsequently redeem it when they upgrade their contract or purchase any new iPhone at iStore (iPhone 8 and newer) between now and 31 December 2018. Offer is limited, secure your voucher now.

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Accenture opens Fjord design centre in Johannesburg

Accenture has launched its first design and innovation studio on African soil, Fjord Johannesburg.

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The company says the move significantly expands its design capabilities and demonstrates its commitment to unlocking Africa’s innovation potential through the creation of experiences that redefine industries in our constantly evolving digital era.

The new studio, opening in November, will be located at Accenture’s new 3875m² offices in Waterfall. It will be led by Marcel Rossouw, design director and studio lead for Fjord Johannesburg.

Said Rossouw, “Brands are constantly asking, ’how does one take a business need or problem, build that out into a definition of a service experience, and then bring it to market?’ It’s about re-engineering existing service experiences, identifying customer needs, prototyping rapidly, iterating often and proving or disproving assumptions. But it’s also about getting feedback from customers. The combination of these factors helps companies advance towards the ultimate service experience.”

Fjord is the design and innovation consultancy of Accenture Interactive. The Johannesburg location marks its 28th design studio globally, solidifying its position as the world’s leading design powerhouse.

Working in the same location as Accenture Interactive will allow Fjord to fuse its core design strategy DNA with the digital agency’s expertise in marketing, content and commerce to create and deliver the best customer experiences for the world’s leading brands. Accenture Interactive Africa‘s blend of intelligent design and creative use of technology has already been used by some of South Africa’s largest and most prominent brands, including Alexander Forbes, Discovery, MultiChoice and Nedbank. The digital agency has also earned industry accolades for its innovative and compelling business results, most notably two gold awards in the Service Design category at the 2017 and 2018 Loeries awards.

“Great design tells great stories,” says Wayne Hull, managing director of Accenture Digital and Accenture Interactive lead in Africa. “It unifies a brand, drives innovation and makes the brand or service distinctive and hyper-relevant in both the digital and physical worlds. This is critical to achieving results. Having Fjord Johannesburg as part of Accenture Interactive, and collaborating with all of Accenture Africa, will provide unique experiences and forward-thinking capabilities for our clients.”

“Businesses in South Africa are becoming more design-aware and are looking to take greater advantage of design skills to compete with the rest of the world,” said Thomas Müller, head of Europe, Africa and Latin America at Fjord. “We’re excited to open our first design studio on the continent and to be part of an emerging market that is ripe for design and innovation, and open for business. Developing markets like South Africa are challenging assumptions and norms about what digital services and products are meant to be, and we’ll strive to put design at the heart of the innovation being produced there.”

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