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Portable WiFi extends LAN far into the field

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Netshield has developed the APN Case, a portable Wi-Fi solution weighing less than 9kg. It enables the extension of an existing LAN with a line of sight radio link up to 6km from the existing LAN infrastructure.

With the aim of providing a convenient Local Area Network (LAN) extension solution, Netshield South Africa has developed the APN Case, a portable Wi-Fi solution weighing less than 9kg. It enables the extension of an existing LAN with a line of sight radio link up to 6km from the existing LAN infrastructure.  The Case is SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) compliant.

Designed for environments like construction sites, mines, university campuses, game lodges, and conference venues, the APN Case gives many users a mobile connection to the network where it was previously not viable, where it isn’t possible to lay cables or where GSM connection is unstable.

“In South Africa, businesses often have to deal with working in harsh, difficult and sometimes difficult to navigate environments. What the new APN Case enables is a stable, quality and mobile Wi-Fi connection for those hard to reach places,” says Inus Dreckmeyr, CEO of Netshield South Africa.

“We originally built the solution to solve congestion in Durban harbours as it was taking too long for custom officials to preclear all the goods on ships once they had docked. The APN Case was then flown out to the ships with the customs officials before the ships docked, helping to get the job of clearing goods done before the ships even reached the harbour,” adds Dreckmeyr.

The Wi-Fi technology has been built into a waterproof and dustproof carry case enclosure with a trolley attachment and backpack harness so it is easy to carry and even wear if needed. The case also comes with a fully licensed omnidirectional uplink radio, local AP and GSM configuration, equipped with an external USB port for radio configuration and LAN connection. The APN Case runs off of an enhanced battery backup system and will give 13 hours of continuous operation between charges.

Built-in GSM tracking means the location of the APN Case can be tracked at all times and the case is also fitted with locks. Should the APN Case be dropped or manhandled a shock monitoring sensor will report it via the GSM management connectivity. It will also report on battery status and radio signal strengths and the radio can be turned on or off as needed.

The Wi-Fi AP, LAN point and uplink radios are interconnected inside the portable case creating a remote LAN, using a single point to multi-uplink to a high-site that is connected to the back office network that runs the required application software and security required to access critical information and process information accordingly.

“We have already used the APN Case to provide solutions for multiple institutions in the public sector, including the South African Revenue Service, Mining Industry and Development Operations. Its rugged design makes it perfectly suited to harsher working environments experienced by South Africans. The fact that it is mobile just adds to the APN Case’s convenience.”

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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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