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SA start-up raises $12m for public safety tech

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South African tech startup RapidDeploy, whose cloud-based software enables public safety officials to reduce emergency response times and improve situational awareness, has raised $12 million (R163 million) in Series A financing. GreatPoint Ventures and Samsung NEXT provided the Round A funds, enabling RapidDeploy to accelerate the development and deployment of its Cloud Aided Dispatch platform.

“We are exceptionally honoured to have such influential and experienced partners on board, which will not only enable us to expand our existing and highly innovative product and technology teams but will also assist us to further leverage leading cloud and mobile technologies in the interests of the first responder communities we serve,” says Brett Meyerowitz CTO and co-founder. 

Ray Lane, Managing Partner at GreatPoint Ventures and former President and COO of Oracle, will join RapidDeploy’s Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to join the RapidDeploy team. Modernising the first-responder ecosystem with cloud-based dispatch technologies will enable public safety organisations to perform faster and seamlessly across jurisdictions,” said Lane.

“Together with RapidDeploy, Samsung is building the first-responder technology of the future,” said Raymond Liao, VP and Ventures Managing Director at Samsung NEXT. “We are excited about RapidDeploy’s products and first-responder culture, which complement Samsung’s end-to-end solution to public safety including smart devices and public safety LTE infrastructure demanded by emergency service providers.”

Designed by first responders, RapidDeploy uses modern cloud-based technology that solves key challenges faced by emergency service providers who often are slowed down by legacy infrastructure. RapidDeploy’s Cloud Aided DispatchT technology is more reliable, faster to deploy, more cost-effective, and richer in interfaces and features than outdated, on-premise computer-aided dispatch software.

Last August, AT&T announced that it was teaming up with RapidDeploy to provide 9-1-1 centers access to RapidDeploy’s cloud-based platform. Since then, RapidDeploy has assembled a core team of US-based public-safety industry leaders who are passionate to drive innovation and improve emergency communications, and opened its global headquarters in downtown Austin, TX, earlier this year.

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Google announces its ‘Netflix for gaming’

The new gaming platform, Stadia, promises high-definition gaming on TVs, computers, and mobile devices, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Google has announced that it has moved into the gaming space, and it focuses on two big aspects of gaming: streaming of games for gamers, which will allow gamers to game anywhere with a fast, low-latency Internet connection; and audiences that watch gamers in-game.

This is a big move in making gaming accessible to more gamers, as it reduces hardware costs, by utilising the benefits of low-latency cloud computing. This will be achieved by using a globally connected network of Google data centres. Gamers who stream games are most likely already using a high-speed, low-latency Internet connection, so access to the Stadia platform will be an added expense.

Through the Stadia platform, gamers will be able to access a large library of games at all times, with no installation time, on virtually any screen. Scaling of hardware like CPU, GPU, memory, and storage is also possible, as one would for cloud server resources.

Google will be leveraging its other platforms, like YouTube, with Stadia streaming. It claims that 200-million people are watching game-related content daily on YouTube. This allows, for example, Stadia players to jump in with other Stadia players – no downloads, no updates, no patches, and no installs.

For console players, Google has designed a custom controller.

The controller was designed to establish a direct connection from the Stadia controller to Google’s data centre through Wi-Fi for the best possible gaming performance. The controller also includes a button for instant capture, saving, and sharing gameplay in 4K resolution. It sports a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone, as many Google products do, for voice control. 

The device is expected to be released later this year, pending FCC approval.

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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