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New smartphone will boost SA hotel services

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Tink Labs Limited has announced the a smartphone called handy, a hospitality IoT solution designed to increase both revenue and guest satisfaction, as well as drive better cost efficiencies, for hotels.

The handset is a complimentary option that combines with an in-room guest services platform to interact with hotels and enable hassle-free travel experience.

Terence Kwok, founder and CEO of Tink Labs. says handy will serve as an integrative platform to fulfill hoteliers’ mission to enable better engagement, services and loyalty between guests and hotels. He says it presents a suite of tools and call-to-action functions that reshape the way hotels engage, communicate and cater to guests and their modern travel needs.

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The tourism and hospitality industry in South Africa continues to thrive, with foreign overnight visitors increasing by 12.8% in 2016.

Steven To, managing director for Africa of Tink Labs, said: “A mobile-first strategy has become more critical than ever for an enriched travel experience. handy will connect travelers so they can enjoy South Africa as a premier travel destination, reveal local gems on the go and share their experiences.”

One of the first partners of handy in South Africa, Michelle De Faria, general manager at Gardenia Boutique Hotel, explained her rationale: “At Gardenia, our guests seek unique travel experiences and ultimate convenience when they explore the city. With the partnership with handy, we are able to increase the engagement with them, understand and address their needs in a deeper level, boosting their loyalty and satisfaction.”

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Guests who stay at handy’s hotel partners in South Africa will be given the use of handy at no cost. Visitors will be able to stay connected with free local and international calls, Internet access, speed dialling to hotel services, access to local emergency services, and essential travel information. Travelers can also explore customised city guides, curated by experienced content provider Luxos, to discover new experiences.

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The smartphone is equipped with an NFC chip enabling keyless door access, an IF/IR transmitter connecting to in-room entertainment, and a contact-charging capability. handy is already available in 70 cities, covering 500 000 rooms and has helped 18 million global travelers to stay connected. The service is a partner of other leading hotel groups, including AccorHotels, Intercontinental and Sheraton.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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