In an effort to help emergency personal reach a home in a time of need, Grey Design has released Satellife – a multi-coloured vinyl that can be stuck to a satellite dish or roof for easy location.
What do you do when you see people suffering because of a lack of infrastructure? Do you shake your head in sorrow as you walk away and comfort yourself however you choose to or, do you brave the emotions and become a part of the solution? For Grey Design, a local advertising and design company, the answer was obviously the latter.
In South Africa’s dense, growing metropolitan areas, thousands of people do not have visible house numbers. This is not just an inconvenience, it’s a life and death situation as it means that emergency services cannot always reach people in time. Introducing Satellife: a simple, life-saving solution which employs the use of effective visual design to aid residents who encounter medical and other emergencies. Satellife employs the use of creatively designed, multi-coloured vinyls which are stuck onto satellite dishes and mounted onto houses, allowing paramedics and other emergency professionals to easily locate house numbers in the event of a crisis.
The project is a pilot project in which 10 houses were chosen and given clearly marked house numbers. If successful, Grey Design will approach local municipalities across the country with intent to roll-out Satellife nationally.
Activations company Loxyion Connexion is Grey Design’s Satellife partner. “We would never have been able to get the project off the ground if it wasn’t for Loxyion Connextion, as they have deep connections and relationships in Soweto. They approached all the homeowners on our behalf to get permission and buy-in,” said Fran Luckin, Chief Creative Officer at Grey Design.
“The plight of these residents isn’t heard of in suburban South Africa so our mandate is two-fold: provide a solution to this very real problem as well as create awareness of this issue. Kliptown was specifically chosen as the houses are close together and it’s difficult to see the house numbers – which makes it perfect for what we want to do,” she said.
A local Kliptown resident told of how her daughter fell gravely ill in which sadly, ended in a fatal casualty due to an ambulance having taken over three hours to arrive. “I hope to see that other residents won’t have to face the heartache I live with every day because of this clever idea,” she said.
“It’s a great time to be working in emergency service assistance,” said Connor Hartnady, Emergency Care Practitioner and Lecturer at Department of Medical Care at the University of Johannesburg. “I’ve lost track of the incidents we’ve had to gravely deal with due to paramedics being unable to locate distressed houses. Satellife is going to help us save many lives,” he said.
Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart
Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.
As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page
KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching.
The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter.
The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style.
The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button.
The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on.
In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode.
Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.
Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.
Find them on Kickstarter here.
Taxify enters Google Maps
A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.
People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.
Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.
Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.
If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.
This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.
“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.
Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.