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PE tech start-ups boosted by incubator R&D la

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SEDA Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII) has opened a new technology research and development centre, located on-site at its Newton Park technology office business park in Port Elizabeth.

The SNII R&D Lab offers assistance and support to creatives, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in PE to design and develop apps, software solutions, as well as electronic and mechanical device prototypes. It forms part of SNII’s technology infrastructure support service to clients enrolled in the centre’s incubation programme and for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Nelson Mandela Bay.

“This is a giant step forward for sustainable SMME development in the ICT sector in Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Scott Zambonini, Enterprise Development Manager at SNII.

“If you have always dreamed of a new app or had an idea for a technology product or service, the R&D Lab will help to develop a concept into something concrete.”

In particular, the SNII R&D Lab allows users of the service and facility to develop new technology solutions and own the intellectual property and patents on what they develop.

The main advantages of the R&D Lab is the rapid rendering of technology ideas and concepts into concrete solutions with major cost- and time-saving benefits.  In particular, this will help SNII incubator clients and technology entrepreneurs to get new products, services and solutions to the market much faster, explained Zambonini.

“The SNII R&D Lab offers access to integrated technologies, specialist resources and development support which will enable tech entrepreneurs and small business to design, visualise and create prototypes.

“Companies with existing technology-based solutions or products will also be able to use the R&D Lab as a facility for upgrading, expanding and evolving products and services.”

A dedicated team of development experts has been appointed as the design support backbone of the R&D Lab.

The programmers are  literate in a variety of major design programming languages including Javascript, C#, Android Development, Google API’s, SQL, SQLite, MySQL, Python, F#, Matlab and  HTML.  Developers will work closely with and under the direction and supervision of tech entrepreneurs and SNII incubator clients to produce cutting-edge, technology-based products, services and solutions.

The SNII R&D Lab will allow users of the service and facility to design and develop new technology solutions, develop and own technology intellectual property and patents, and unlock technological innovation.

“The R&D Lab is envisioned as the city’s technology innovation epicentre,” said Zambonini.

“The facility will not only empower private and public sector organisations who require technological innovation to remain at the forefront, but will also help SMME’s, tech start-ups, entrepreneurs and clients enrolled on our incubation programmes to take their ideas to a more concrete phase of development,” he said.

Zambonini said that the SNII R&D Lab will improve technological innovation in sectors of Nelson Mandela Bay’s regional economy, including automotive, manufacturing agro-processing, renewable energy and green technology and mari-time economy sectors.

“However, the R&D Lab is first and foremost a resource for big dreamers and innovators from a small business grassroots level.   Raw and rough-diamond business and technology ideas of SMME’s will be brought to life through the support and resources offered by the R&D Lab” he said.

Zambonini said the SNII R&D Lab will also offer the private sector a way to invest, support and show a return in BBBEE enterprise development and skills development spend.

“Through the SNII R&D Lab, corporates and development agencies will be able to allocate financial and non-financial resources to deserving entrepreneurs and high-potential enterprises.”

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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