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Mini Maker Faire returns to CT

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After a successful inaugural edition in 2015, the Cape Town Mini Maker Faire is back with an even bigger and better event this year.

Placing a spotlight on DIY and technology, this year’s Mini Maker Faire will bring techies, tinkerers, hackers, hobbyists, crafters, artists, tech gurus, authors and inventors together to engage with the public and exchange ideas at the Cape Town Science Centre in Observatory from 26 to 28 August 2016.

Described as the “Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth”, the Mini Maker Faire is a space where people with a passion for learning, collaboration and creativity can connect. Part science fair, part trade fair, and part something entirely new, the event offers a great day out for people of all ages to interact with amazing creations and experience the exciting world of the Makers.

“Makers across the world are shaking up the way that we think and interact with our environment. They’re coming up with innovative solutions to help solve social problems, as well as some really fun and creative projects – and that’s why we are returning for another year of the Cape Town Mini Maker Faire,” says Alayne Reesberg, Programme Director and Producer of Cape Town Mini Maker Faire, and former CEO of World Design Capital Cape Town 2014.

“Leading on from World Design Capital, we wanted to continue demonstrating and celebrating all of these wonderful projects,” she continues, “allowing people to meet the Makers and learn from them. We enjoy seeing this spark conversations and further action around the Maker Movement in Cape Town.”

The global Maker Movement has its roots in engineering, industrial design, manufacturing and education. It’s DIY on a whole new level, fusing technology and creative ideas with traditional craftsmanship to create and market products, and influence a new wave of manufacturing innovation. The movement empowers people to create, imagine and solve problems differently, calling for collaboration and peer-to-peer idea sharing or a “do it with others” (DIWO) approach.

The Cape Town Mini Maker Faire is based on the model of the original Maker Faire, which launched in San Francisco in 2006, and is a licensed member of what is now a global family with Maker Faires being held around the world. Globally, the event caters to the growing legions of aspiring Makers wanting to participate in hands-on activities and learn new skills. “We want to offer lots of opportunities for hands-on DIY interactions for adults as well as kids,” adds Reesberg. “We want to create an open and inclusive event, which encourages these values beyond the event, and expands the connectedness of the community of creatives.”

More than 60 exciting local Makers will be on show, as well as installations by the Faire’s knowledge partners: PriceWaterhouseCoopers Western Cape, Stellenbosch University’s Launch Lab, the Cape Innovation and Technology Institute and the University of the Western Cape. Exhibits will range from home-grown drones to robotics and Arduino projects, space projects and kit makers to 3D printers, rockets and RC toys, radios to gaming and electric vehicles, as well as a host of handmade craft and fashion projects and some exciting installations of “art cars” straight from the Afrika Burn festival.

In addition, an enclosed drone zone will let visitors test their flying skills, while the PPC Imaginarium, South Africa’s most supportive art and design competition for emerging creatives, will showcase industrial design, fashion, film, jewellery and sculpture all made from concrete. PPC Imaginarium will also host an interactive workshop, together with Cemcrete, where members of the public can learn how to make their own objects from quick-drying cement.

A popular attraction with both kids and their “kidults” at the 2015 Mini Maker Faire was the participative Maker Station, run by Felix Holm and his team at the Cape Town Maker Station based in Woodstock. Designed especially with children in mind, this feature returns again this year with another mountain of defunct appliances that can be upcycled into innovative creations.

Another highlight of this year’s event is a specially curated session presented by renowned style icon and fashion editor, Jackie Burger, now of Salon 58 fame. “Jackie & the Makers” will see Burger introduce and interact with leading fashion designers and artisans who will share their creative journeys and how they bring their uniquely crafted apparel to life. This stylish, sophisticated affair is designed for anyone with a flair for fashion

The second annual Cape Town Mini Maker Faire is sponsored by the City of Cape Town, PPC, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Peninsula Beverage Company.  The event will take place between 26 to 28 August 2016 at the Cape Town Science Centre, 370B Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town, one of the support partners of the event. Tickets can be purchased via quicket.co.za. Tickets for “Jackie & the Makers” will be sold as a separate item.

Cars

Auto rivals team up for connected car demo

Rivals BMW, Ford and Groupe PSA, maker of Peugeot and Opel cars, have teamed up with the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), Qualcomm Technologies and Savari for Europe’s first live demonstration of C-V2X direct communication technology operating across vehicles from multiple auto manufacturers.

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The live demonstration also featured a live showcase of C-V2X direct communication technology operating between passenger cars, motorcycles, and roadside infrastructure. C-V2X is a global solution for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication in support of improved automotive safety, automated driving and traffic efficiency.

The demonstration exhibited the road safety and traffic efficiency benefits of using C-V2X for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) collision avoidance, as well as Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) connectivity to traffic signals and Traffic Management Centers (TMC). C-V2X was operated using real-time direct communications over ITS spectrum and demonstrated its ability to work without cellular network coverage, and underscores its commercial readiness for industry deployment as early as 2020. Superior performance and cost-effectiveness compared to other V2X technologies, along with forward-compatibility with 5G, make C-V2X direct communications a preferred solution for C-ITS applications.

Six demonstrations were shown including: Emergency Electronic Brake Light, Intersection Collision Warning, Across Traffic Turn Collision Risk Warning, Slow Vehicle Warning and Stationary Vehicle Warning, Signal Phase and Timing / Signal Violation Warning and Vulnerable Road User (pedestrian) Warning. The vehicles involved included two-wheel e-scooters provided by BMW Group, and automotive passenger vehicles provided by Ford, Groupe PSA, and BMW Group, all of which were equipped with C-V2X direct communication technology using the Qualcomm® 9150 C-V2X chipset solution.  V2X software stack and application software, along with roadside infrastructure, were provided by industry leader, Savari.

C-V2X is globally supported by a broad automotive ecosystem, which includes the fast growing 5GAA organization.  The 5GAA involves over 85 global members comprised of many leading automakers, Tier-1 suppliers, software developers, mobile operators, semiconductor companies, test equipment vendors, telecom suppliers, traffic signal suppliers and road operators.  

Cellular modems will be key to the C-V2X deployment in vehicles to support telematics, eCall, connected infotainment and delivering useful driving/traffic/parking information. As C-V2X direct communication functionality is integrated into the cellular modem, C-V2X solutions are expected to be more cost-efficient and economical over competing technologies, and benefit from accelerated attach rates.  C-V2X direct communication field validations are currently underway in Germany, France, Korea, China, Japan and the U.S.

C-V2X currently stands as the only V2X technology based on globally recognized 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications, with ongoing evolution designed to offer forward compatibility with 5G.  C-V2X also leverages and reuses the upper layer protocols defined by the automotive industry, including the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) organization. C-V2X includes two complementary transmission modes: 

  • Direct communication as shown in this demonstration for V2V and V2I use cases
  • V2N network communication, which leverages mobile operators for connectivity and delivers cloud-based services, including automated crash notification (ACN, as mandated by eCall), hazard warnings, weather conditions, green light optimal speed advisory (GLOSA), parking spot location, and remote tele-operation to support automated driving, to name a few.

“This demonstration builds on the successful C-V2X showcase we organised with our members Audi, Ford and Qualcomm in Washington DC in April, said Christoph Voigt, Chairman of 5GAA.

“We are excited to witness the growing momentum behind this life-saving technology and to see our members working together to deploy C-V2X, and to make it hit the road as soon as possible.”  

“The BMW Group introduced the first C-ITS use cases already in 2013 with the market introduction of the BMW i3. Today most of envisaged C-ITS use-cases are already institutionalized. With the implementation of C-V2X, the BMW Group accomplishes the last set of the puzzle with a practical path to C-ITS showing quick benefits,” said Christoph Grote, Senior Vice President Electronics, BMW Group. 

“With its ability to safely and securely connect vehicles, along with its evolution into 5G, C-V2X is integral to Ford’s vision for future transportation in which all cars and infrastructure talk to each other,” said Thomas Lukaszewicz, Manager Automated Driving, Ford of Europe. “We are very encouraged by preliminary test results in Europe and elsewhere which support our belief that C-V2X direct communications has superior V2X communication capabilities.”

“We’re moving forward with seamless communication between cars and their environment for enhancing road safety, as well as our customers’ safety,” said Carla Gohin, Group PSA’s Vice President for Research and Advanced Engineering. “Following the first European C-V2X direct communications demonstration we hosted with Qualcomm Technologies last March, we’re pleased to work with leading automotive and technology companies today to highlight that C-V2X interoperability is a reality.” 

“This demonstration of interoperability between multiple automakers is not only another milestone achieved towards C-V2X deployment, but also further validates the commercial viability and global compatibility of C-V2X direct communications for connected vehicles,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president & president, Qualcomm Europe and MEA. “We look forward in continuing to work alongside leaders in the automotive industry, like the 5GAA, BMW Group, Ford, Groupe PSA and Savari, to help advance the automotive industry’s shift towards a safer, connected and more autonomous future.” 

“As one of the V2X pioneers, our company is extremely pleased to continue to help enable the next step in the V2X revolution that we helped start back in 2008,” said Ravi Puvvala, CEO of Savari. “For the last year and a half, the Savari team has worked diligently alongside the dedicated C-V2X engineers in the 5GAA partnership. The resulting string of increasingly impressive demonstrations is continuing to convince the world that C-V2X will soon be deployed around the world.”

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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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