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iPad, Apple Watch, get updates

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Apple has unveiled the latest Apple Watch Series 5, debuting an Always-On Retina display that never sleeps, and the iPad 7th generation, featuring a bigger display and smart keyboard support.

The Apple Watch Series 5 features an always-on display, so one can check the time and other important information, without raising or tapping the display. New location features, from a built-in compass to current elevation, help users better navigate their day, while international emergency calling allows customers to call emergency services directly from Apple Watch in over 150 countries, even without an iPhone nearby. 

It is also available in a wider range of materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, ceramic and a new titanium finish. Combined with the power of watchOS 6, says Apple, users are empowered to take charge of their health and fitness with new features like Cycle Tracking, the Noise app and Activity Trends.

“We’ve seen Apple Watch have a meaningful impact on our customers’ lives and we’re excited to deliver even more capabilities with Apple Watch Series 5 and watchOS 6,” says Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “The seamless integration of new hardware and software delivers an enhanced experience that makes it even easier to stay active and connected to the people and information users care about.”

Apple Watch Series 5 features a new display that allows the time and important information to remain visible at all times. Each watch face has been optimized for the new display and to preserve battery life, the screen intelligently dims when a user’s wrist is down and returns to full brightness with a raise or a tap. Several advanced technologies work together to deliver this new feature, including the industry’s only low-temperature polysilicone and oxide display (LTPO), ultra-low power display driver, efficient power management integrated circuit and new ambient light sensor. This combination of hardware innovation and software design allows Apple Watch Series 5 to offer all-day 18-hour battery life.

Updated location features on Apple Watch Series 5 provide customers with greater navigation tools to use throughout the day. The new built-in compass and updated Maps app allow users to see which way they are facing. They can use the new Compass app to see heading, incline, latitude, longitude and current elevation. 

For added personal safety while traveling, users with cellular models of Apple Watch Series 5 can now complete international calls to emergency services, regardless of where the device was originally purchased or if the cellular plan has been activated. International emergency calling also works with fall detection, if enabled, to automatically place an emergency call if Apple Watch senses the user has taken a hard fall and remains motionless for about a minute.

Many were puzzled by the absence of sleep tracking technology, which is a standard feature on other major wearables like Fitbit. Eric Cohen, Senior Vice President of Consumer Business at Cambridge Consultants, offers some insight into this omission:

“I’m sure that Apple could get the tech right, but perhaps they’ve already seen where sleep monitoring is headed: “contactless” sleep monitoring (nothing worn on the body) will allow users all the benefits of technology, without interrupting our normal lifestyles by worrying about charging and the nuisance of wearing devices while sleeping.”

Additional health and fitness features come with watchOS 6, including the new Cycle Tracking app, which gives customers the ability to log important information related to their menstrual cycles, and see predicted timing for their next period and fertile windows using the convenience of Apple Watch. The Noise app helps users understand the ambient sound levels in environments such as concerts and sporting events that could negatively impact hearing, and Activity Trends on iPhone provides a long-term view of their activity patterns to help them understand their progress. watchOS 6 also brings dynamic new watch faces, including Meridian, Modular Compact and Solar Dial, which can be easily customized for quicker access to favorite apps.

Click here to read about the new iPad.

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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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