(All images by Arthur Goldstuck.)
The brand is iconic, but does it work on a phone? That is the first question most Land Rover drivers and fans ask when they hear about the Land Rover Explore “outdoor phone”. Even if it is a great phone, does it make sense both as a brand extension and as an accessory to the vehicle?
The best way to test the phone is, of course, in the natural habitat of the vehicle, namely the great outdoors. It so happens that Land Rover also launched its most high-tech vehicle yet, the new Discovery, in South Africa in the past year.
And it turns out the two make a beautiful pair. It helps that the vehicle comes with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, as long as the owner inserts an appropriate SIM card in the vehicle.
It is also a forerunner to self-driving cars of the future, but with a neat off-road twist: the new Discovery comes with a feature called All-Terrain Progress Control, which allows the driver to hand control over to the vehicle when the terrain is difficult. The driver steers, but ATPC takes over all other functions, maintaining vehicle speed, managing braking, and applying torque to each wheel for maximum traction.
In this way it automatically optimises all vehicle control activities related to getting over the terrain in question. In future, such abilities will extend to steering as well, and suddenly that doesn’t seem to be such a great leap.
On regular roads, as with most advanced vehicles today, Land Rover’s Autonomous Emergency Braking system spots potential collisions and applies brakes automatically if an accident is anticipated. In short, a smart car.
Other advanced features include active lane control and adaptive cruise control, both predecessors to the full autonomy that self-driving cars will have in future. But Land Rover adds its typical edge to such feature sets, with Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control reminding one that the car is designed for more than just the regular tar road.
(Click here or below to continue reading about the Land Rover smartphone) The Land Rover smartphone)
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.
|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.
Accenture opens Fjord design centre in Johannesburg
Accenture has launched its first design and innovation studio on African soil, Fjord Johannesburg.
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.”