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SAA serves up tablets

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South African Airways (SAA) will be expanding the offer of Samsung tablets on board as a way of improving in-flight entertainment to business class customers travelling on regional flights.

“Following the launch of this offering in September last year on the Mauritius route, customers have shown a keen interest in this innovation which we are now expanding to our Nairobi, Kenya route as from this week after the successful uptake on Mauritius. We will continue to roll out additional routes after our Nairobi trial, while we continue to monitor customer satisfaction,” says Kim Thipe, SAA Head of Marketing.

SAA customer service surveys show that in-flight entertainment is a key factor when it comes to customer satisfaction and can add tremendously to how much travellers enjoy a flight. The 500 Samsung tablets are pre-loaded with South African, African and international content that can be used to read magazines, watch movies, listen to music and play games. Cabin crew are able to distribute the devices, which will contain both, once in-flight and collect the tablets prior to landing for safe keeping.

“Samsung’s relationship with SAA enables us to showcase the comfort and accessibility advantages that a Samsung tablet offers travellers. We are excited that SAA is now also expanding this service to other African routes. This initiative confirms Samsung’s philosophy that technology is meaningless unless it is placed in the hands of consumers and as such, our tablets provide SAA business travellers with technology tools that enhances their travel experience,” said Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics SA.

“Executive travellers demand an in-flight multimedia system that replicate, or even transcend, the experience they have on the ground. We therefore implemented this project last year to provide in-flight service on selected flights longer than three where limited in-flight entertainment was on offer to enhance the overall experience,” says Thipe.

“Tablets have proven very popular with customers, who find it more practical and convenient to be in control of their audio and visual experience,” said Menon Ramasawmy, SAA Manager Mauritius and Indian Ocean Islands.

“In partnership with SAA, we have customised the tablet content to meet the specific and unique requirements of their business class passengers,” adds Potgieter.

Today, more corporate companies are partnering with technology firms to increase and enrich customer experiences and therefore, their value proposition. SAA, together with Samsung and Microsoft, developed the customised application for regional flights, and as result of this collaboration, travellers will now be able to access information anywhere, conveniently and benefit from a range of applications including the some of the latest magazines, TV programmes and movies.

New generation aircraft will also make provision for the tablet to be conveniently placed in a slot in the back of the seat, and equipped with a charging point.

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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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