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TomTom Sports now tells your Fitness Age

TomTom has launched Fitness Age, Fitness Points and Personalised Workouts across their sports watch range. Combined, these features give users the tools they need to work out smarter, achieve their fitness goals faster and live a healthier lifestyle.

The new features include:

  • TomTom Fitness Age shows users how fit they really are;
  • TomTom Fitness Points give users direct feedback about their exercise to improve their Fitness Age over time;
  • TomTom Personalised Workouts provide step-by-step exercise guidance tailored to an individual’s fitness level and exercise goals.

Corinne Vigreux, co-founder and managing director TomTom Consumer said: “I always wonder when I exercise whether my efforts have any impact on my fitness level and I know I am not the only one. By introducing Fitness Age and Fitness Points we have now designed a reliable way to measure your fitness level. We are proud to introduce a ‘personal coach on your wrist’ to motivate you when you need to do more and acknowledge your efforts when you’ve done enough.”

TomTom Fitness Age & Fitness Points

TomTom Fitness Age provides users with an age relating to their personal fitness level. It is based on their VO2 max and compares their fitness level to their age and gender. VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen an individual can consume per minute, for their body weight) is a key indicator of cardio fitness and a globally accepted measurement.

Based on your Fitness Age, you will earn Fitness Points every time you exercise. The greater the effort, the more points you achieve. Gain 100 Fitness Points per day to guide you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you hit around 500 Fitness Points, three times a week, your Fitness Age will improve over time.

Urho Kujala, Professor of Sports & Exercise Medicine at the University of Jyväskylä, involved in the research used to develop TomTom Fitness Age, said: “Recent research has proven that the recommended exercise to optimally improve people’s health and fitness is personal and especially determined by their current fitness level. TomTom Fitness Age is based on this research, and takes these individuals factors into account. Therefore it is an overall better guide to becoming fitter than just the existing and absolute metrics such as steps, calories, and active time and users are more likely to live a healthier and fitter life.”

Personalised Workouts

Personalised Workouts offer users fifty running and cycling workouts directly on their TomTom Sports watch. Intensity and duration are automatically adjusted to reflect an individual’s fitness level.  Personalised Workouts can help improve your Fitness Age, as well as support individual fitness ambitions such as running a marathon as well as fat burning, cycling or running speed and strength goals.

Additional updates

Phone notifications and Autopause are now also available across the TomTom sports watch range. Phone notifications allow you to see incoming phone calls and text messages on your watch. With Autopause, your TomTom Sports watch pauses automatically when you stop moving, preventing temporary breaks in activity from distorting your performance data.

TomTom Fitness Age and Fitness Points have been developed to give guidance and motivate everyone, no matter what their fitness level or fitness routine they enjoy. All the new features will be available via a software update across all our cardio Sports Products[2] and with the TomTom Sports app from September 2017.

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Time for smart energy

South Africa is experiencing an energy crisis that requires the public and private sectors, along with households to work together. Fundamental to this is embracing innovative technology that provides more efficient ways of managing the country’s energy.

Riaan Graham, sales director for Ruckus Networks, sub-Saharan Africa, said: “With the number of connected devices expected to top more than 75 billion worldwide by 2025, the Internet of Things (IoT) can be considered an important tool in reaching this goal. Already, connected devices can be used to deliver smart energy that sees a more optimal use of resources.”

This approach relies on a smart grid of connected sensors pointing to areas where energy is wasted. In turn, the supply to these points can be allocated to higher priority areas resulting in a better use of resources.

Aiding this drive towards connected devices is government pushing towards the establishment of smart cities. These cities require a technological infrastructure built around various sensors connected to the internet to not only generate data, but control things as diverse as traffic lights, street lamps, and other electrical devices.

Graham said: “These smart cities enable lighting to be automatically switched off when not needed. Sensors on the connected devices will detect when people are on the street and turn it off or on accordingly. What might seem like a novelty, can make a massive difference in reducing energy waste.”

According to Kate Stubbs, director of business development and marketing at Interwaste, IoT is just part of how technology can be used to create a more efficient environment.

“South Africa produces an average 108 million tonnes of waste annually,” said Stubbs. “Of this, only 10 percent is recycled. There is significant potential to use this waste and convert it to energy. This is more than just the traditional way of viewing recycling. Instead, it is using technology to extract value out of waste through initiatives like refuse and waste-derived fuel.”

The first South African Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) plant was launched in 2016 and not only aims to reduce landfill, but also the country’s carbon footprint. As the name suggests, the plant converts general, industrial, and municipal waste into an alternative fuel that is used in the cement industry.

Stubbs said: “Spin-off benefits of this plant includes the creation of additional employment opportunities and a reduction of South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions. Waste management entails so much more than what many people think. But the key remains a combination of technology innovation and a willingness to use the resources generated by this.”

Graham agrees about the need to readily accept the innovation technology brings as the country is teetering on a significant energy disaster.

He said: “New technologies are critical in helping the countries and their cities of the future promote sustainable energy use. For example, Nairobi has introduced smart street lamps that use LED lighting saving money and resources on energy costs. These lamp poles also have Wi-Fi embedded in them that sees air quality probe sensors submitted vital data for city planners on where there are pollution hotspots.”

Stubbs feels these are good examples of how energy management approaches in the connected world need to be non-linear.

“The traditional ways of adopting technology, recycling, and managing energy must be seen as relics of the past,” she said. “Instead, we must all work together and readily embrace modern solutions or risk our country entering a new dark ages.”

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Girls4Tech aims to cut gender gap in AI and security

Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are two of the hottest technology fields today, with job opportunities continuing to grow across both. However, worldwide, women make up less than 15 percent of the professionals in these high-tech jobs[1], and only one in 20 girls opts for a career based in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)[2].

To help narrow the gender gap, Mastercard has been cultivating young technology enthusiasts as part of its signature education platform, Girls4Tech. Currently in its fifth year, this hands-on, inquiry-based STEM programme has reached more than 400,000 girls (ages 8-12) in 25 countries, more than doubling its established 2017 goal. Girls4Tech was first launched in the South Africa in 2017, and has seen numerous Mastercard employees acting as mentors to local students ever since. As Mastercard marks the fifth anniversary of the programme, the company builds on a successful track record of impact with an even more ambitious commitment to reach 1 million girls by 2025.

Mastercard created Girls4Tech in April 2014 to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers through a fun, engaging curriculum built around global science and mathematics’ standards. The programme incorporates Mastercard’s deep expertise in payments technology and innovation, and includes topics such as encryption, fraud detection, data analysis and digital convergence.

“Driving inclusion, equal opportunity, and women’s empowerment are key priorities at Mastercard. Investing in a more inclusive future is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do. Women are the driving force behind global economic growth, and their contributions will continue to elevate communities and society as a whole,” says Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa at Mastercard. “Through our Girls4Tech programme, we’re extending our commitment to the next generation of women leaders and developing a strong pipeline of talent by encouraging girls to embrace the subjects that will prepare them for the workforce of tomorrow.”

New Curriculum Unveiled

As technology skills continue to evolve, the Girls4Tech programme is launching a new curriculum to give girls deeper exposure to the growing fields of cybersecurity and AI.

Furthermore, to continue the engagement with girls who have already participated in the programme, Mastercard is launching Girls4Tech 2.0. Designed for older students, ages 13-16, the new programme aims to keep girls excited about STEM throughout the critical high school years and also emphasises important 21st century skills – such as collaboration, creativity and communication – as they work in teams to apply their technical knowledge to solve real-world challenges.

Impact Highlights from the First Five Years

  • To date, Girls4Tech has reached over 400,000 girls, with events in 25 countries and six continents.
  • The programme has engaged more than 3,800 employee mentors worldwide.
  • Mastercard has created partnerships with Scholastic, Be Better China, Singapore Committee for UN Women, Major League Baseball, R&A, and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to further scale the programme and offer STEM skills in unique ways to girls ages 8-12.
  • The programme has achieved global reach with the curriculum translated into 12 languages.

To learn more about the programme, please visit the Girls4Tech webpage.

[1] 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study:  Women in Cybersecurity

[2] U.S. Department of Commerce, Women in STEM 2017 Update; World Economic Forum, Gender Parity and Human Capital Report 2017

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