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Samsung unveils “innovation that makes a difference”

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Samsung Electronics today unveiled its product line-up for 2016 at its annual Samsung Africa Forum event.

The company underlined the importance of “innovation that makes a meaningful difference in people’s everyday lives”, showcasing its new bezel-less curved SUHD TVs with Quantum dot display, the industry-first Front Load Washer with AddWash, and a range of refrigerators and freezers with Twin Cooling technology.

“Samsung has continuously worked to help people live smarter lives, and this year we have taken a huge step forward with our diverse products and services,” said Mr. Yoo Young Kim, CEO and President of Samsung Electronics, Africa Office. “We will continue to enhance consumers’ quality of life by listening to their needs and strengthening our ecosystem.”

The Next Generation of Home Entertainment

Samsung unveiled its new line-up of SUHD TVs that feature good picture quality with Quantum dot display; the world’s first bezel-less curved design.

Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs feature the world’s only cadmium-free, 10-bit Quantum dot display. The future of display technology, Quantum dot display converts light into nearly any colour in the visible spectrum without distortion or compromising the brightness level, delivering the optimum viewing experience for consumers, regardless of the lighting environment.

This year, all of the Samsung SUHD TVs will feature the ability to provide a premium high dynamic range (HDR) experience, with 1,000 nit HDR minimum for a higher level of contrast between light and dark images. New Ultra Black technology also significantly reduces light reflection, further enhancing picture quality with minimal glare.

Built on the Tizen operating system (OS), Samsung’s 2016 Smart TVs make it easier for consumers to discover and access all their favourite content and services, from TV shows and movies, to games and programme information, all in one place. The new Samsung Smart TV eliminates the need to juggle multiple remote controls. The Samsung Smart TV will automatically recognise the type of set-top box, game console, OTT box or home theatre system that is connected to the TV. This allows users to control all of the external devices with the Smart Control remote — with no setup required.

Samsung also unveiled the latest additions to its audio product line-up, including the HW-K950 Soundbar, the company’s first to feature Dolby Atmos, and the industry’s first soundbar package to include two Dolby Atmos-enabled wireless rear speakers. The complete HW-K950 package delivers an incredible 5.1.4-channel sound.

Intelligent Digital Appliances Transform the Kitchen

Many consumers have dreamed of owning a spacious refrigerator that keeps food fresher longer so their weekly grocery shop goes further. It is a common disappointment to reach into the refrigerator to find that the fruits or vegetables have lost their natural moisture, even when kept in the vegetable drawer.

“The R&D team at Samsung worked hard to overcome this problem. Now consumers can keep food fresher, longer, with Samsung’s innovative Twin Cooling Plus technology,” says Sunil Gupta, Africa Regional Product Manager, Digital Appliances.

Samsung’s Twin Cooling Plus technology is a truly independent cooling system, preventing unpleasant smells from food moving between the fridge and freezer, ensuring the original flavour of ingredients stored in the freezer is perfectly preserved and odourless.

No air movement between the compartments also means the freezer stays completely frost-free, prolonging the shelf life and the flavour of its contents. It also prevents the build-up of ice, removing the need to defrost the freezer.

Thanks to the Twin Cooling Plus™ technology, consumers can enjoy flexibility with cooling storage depending on their needs. The true independent cooling system allows for turning the freezer into a fridge when required, or just turn off the fridge compartment when leaving home for a long vacation. The five modes are Freezer-Fridge, Energy Saving, Vacation, Fridge Max, and Mini mode.

Samsung today also launches an affordable range of refrigerators and freezers, designed especially for African consumers. These include the vertical freezer, the 180-litre top-mounted freezer, the 1-Door 110-litre fridge, and a chest freezer in the small size capacity of 150 litres.

Making the Washing Machine Work For You

Samsung recognises that in the rush to get laundry done on a frenzied weeknight or during a crazy weekend, a stray sock may simply get overlooked, so Samsung’s simple, practical response to that is to add the industry’s first “AddWash” door to its front load washer.

The Samsung Front Load Washer with AddWash has a distinctive access door that makes it convenient to add any item, such as a piece of forgotten laundry or extra detergent, in mid-cycle without needing to drain the washer and open the main washer door.

AddWash utilises a SuperSpeed feature, which finishes a load in less than an hour. It also features our EcoBubble technology, which premixes detergent with air and water, penetrating clothes 40 times faster than a normal mix of water and soap. It comes with an array of smart functions, making it easier for users to monitor and control wash cycles.

From gently caring for delicate fabrics, to advanced technologies that make detergent work harder, to a full load washed in as little as 30 minutes, Samsung’s Front Load Washer with AddWash can easily keep up with your family’s toughest laundry tasks.

Corporate Citizenship at the heart of business strategy

For the first time at Samsung Forum, Samsung will be showcasing its Corporate Citizenship initiatives in Africa.

Samsung will bolster its efforts in Africa in a bid to help the continent achieve its Sustainable Development Goals.

“As a global citizen, we felt it was important to use our technology to give back to society. We do this in four ways: by creating new learning opportunities so that young people can enjoy access to better education; by using our technical expertise to develop and provide access to new healthcare solutions; by supporting youth employment through vocational training and skills development; and by reducing our impact on the environment,” says Abey Tau, Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs Manager.

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SA startups in Visa final

Leading fintech companies from the Sub-Sahara Africa technology startup community have made it to the finals of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative.

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Among the 12 chosen, from the 238 total entries, South African startups Howler and FinChatBot will compete against innovators from across Sub Sahara Africa for a chance to secure funding of up to US$50,000 to develop their ideas when the initiative concludes in Johannesburg on July 24. 

Fintechs in Africa are making incredible strides; not only to bring more convenience to consumers, but also to enable people who would not otherwise have access to financial services or even a way to connect to the formal banking system. Venture funding for African startups jumped by 51% to $195 million in 2017 and fintech in Africa is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years as it continues to disrupt the traditional financial sector. With a clear goal of reducing reliance on cash, building digital payment based economies and increasing financial inclusion, Visa is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in its payments landscape. 

The Sub Saharan Africa edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative challenged local fintech startup to deliver solutions based around three real life business challenges: 

  • How can startups leverage Visa Developer APIs to either:  Enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally OR Provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery?
  • How can startups use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach and social media partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments? 
  • How can startups leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system?. 

Entrants were asked to submit ideas to leverage Visa’s network and technologies to resolve against at least one of the challenges. One winner per brief will be selected, with each receiving funding of US$25,000. Winners will be invited to a working meeting with Visa and may be presented with the opportunity to create a prototype. Visa will then select one overall winner to receive an additional US$25,000.

Geraldine Mitchley, Senior Director – Digital Solutions, Sub-Sahara Africa, Visa, said: “We are delighted with the response to our Visa’s Everywhere Initiative and the quality of submissions we received is an indication of the region’s rich talent pool and innovative spirit.”

“Launching this innovation program in the region has been an exciting time for the Visa SSA team, and the takeup reflects Africa’s enthusiasm to develop and pioneer solutions to the continent’s challenge – particularly in the payments technology space. I would like to congratulate the finalists and  wish them luck as they enter the final stretch.  When they come together for the final, they will not only have the chance to turn their ideas into reality, but also potentially help shape the future of payments in the region.”  

Howler which enables cashless transactions and end-to-end ticket handling for consumers and event organisers is competing in the first challenge and FinChatBot, which aims to automate part of customer services for financial service providers through AI-powered conversations is competing in the third challenge. 

The SSA edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative will wrap up on July 24 in Johannesburg, with each finalist having an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges from Visa and the payments industry. 

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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 entries 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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