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Vodacom demos broadband trunking for safety comms

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Vodacom has demonstrated the first broadband multimedia trunking solution on a commercial LTE network in Africa making it easier for the public safety industry to communicate.

The solution makes it easier and faster for public safety industry to communicate and it incorporates latest multimedia functions which makes it quick to avert disaster situations.

Vodacom believes public safety services such as police, ambulance and fire services and other vertical industries such as public transportation, logistics, mining, construction, air/sea/rail ports and security can greatly benefit from the demonstrated LTE broadband multimedia trunking solution particularly when one factors in its performance, capability, total cost of ownership and time to market benefits.

Andries Delport, Chief Technology Officer for Vodacom Group commented:

“I’m excited by what my team has done here as this is the first LTE broadband multimedia trunking demonstration in the whole of Africa. The mission critical broadband trunking solution is an innovative new technology which leverages Vodacom’s superior coverage to enable exciting new applications on its LTE network. This is yet another example of Vodacom being the first and most innovative network to launch new technologies in South Africa and also Africa.”

Vodacom has partnered with Huawei for the demonstration to use Huawei’s LTE integrated Trunked Radio (LiTRA) application to demonstrate a broadband multimedia trunking solution which runs on Vodacom’s commercial, nationwide LTE network.

The LiTRA solution also overcomes the challenges of using a public LTE network for mission critical communication by prioritising emergency communications with a higher Quality of Services (QoS) and also ensures encryption and security of these messages.

Traditional private mobile radio network technologies (such as TETRA) mainly provide basic voice trunking services such as Push to Talk (PTT) and cannot support new, innovative, high speed data services such as video and multimedia services. In addition, these traditional private mobile radio networks are expensive to construct and maintain, the user terminals are expensive and have limited variety, and the network technology is often proprietary and inflexible.

These issues currently facing traditional private mobile radio networks are overcome by using a broadband public trunking communications system such as the one demonstrated by Vodacom. The Huawei LiTRA application enables Vodacom’s existing and entire LTE network to be leveraged to provide high bandwidth and low latency trunking capabilities to improve the performance of existing mission and business critical services such as PTT, but more importantly which can also support new broadband multimedia trunking services such as push to video, real-time video surveillance, high resolution photos and location based services.

The LTE based trunking service demonstrated by Vodacom is also compatible with existing consumer LTE smartphones and new rugged LTE smartphones, and does not restrict the user terminals to exclusive providers as was the case with traditional private mobile network technologies.

The live demonstration at Vodacom’s Innovation Centre in Midrand showcased how users of mission and business critical services are guaranteed the highest priority on Vodacom’s LTE network. Various use cases were demonstrated such as:

·         Push to video and Push to talk between users in Midrand and Cape Town.

·         Video uploading from a user in Cape Town to the central dispatch centre in Midrand and forwarding to selected other users.

·         Real time video surveillance whereby a user is able to view a camera feed installed at a separate permanent location.

·         Viewing the location of all users in real time from the dispatch centre.

·         Audio and video recording of all activities.

The broadband multimedia trunking solution demonstrated by Vodacom and Huawei is fully compliant with 3GPP standards and is easy and quick for Vodacom to deploy across its entire and existing LTE network which currently provides coverage to 75.9% of the total South African population and which is the widest LTE network coverage in South Africa.

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Win Funko Fortnite in Vinyl

Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to three readers.

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A Funko Pop figurine based on a character set is indicative of reaching the heights of pop culture. It is no surprise, then, that the world’s biggest online game, Fortnite, has its own line of Funko Pop figurines. The Funkos are modeled on the characters in game, including Drift, Ragnarok, Dark Vanguard, Volar, Tracera Ops, and Sparkle Specialist.

Now, local Funko distributor Gammatek has released the Fortnite figurines in South Africa. To celebrate, Gadget and Gammatek are giving away a set of three Funko Fortnite figurines to each of three readers. To enter, first follow Gadget and Gammatek on Twitter. Then click on your favourite Funko Pop on the next page and post the Tweet that appears.

You can put the tweet in your own words, but entries must have the competition’s hashtag (#FunkoFortnite), mention @GadgetZA and the link to this article (bit.ly/FPFortnite) to be considered valid.

Click here to see the Funko Fortnite characters and to select the one you want to tweet.

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CES: ThirdEye X2 mixed-reality glasses

The X2 mixed reality (MR) glasses, unveiled at CES last week, are the smallest mixed reality devices yet. They boast a 42-degree field of view, HD resolution, and run on the Android platform. The glasses are not connected to wires or tethered packs, and boast a built-in VisionEye Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) system for accurate environment tracking. The UI allows the user to wear it while completing tasks indoors and outdoors.

Click through to read how the software makes these glasses a reality.

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Nick Cherukuri, founder of ThirdEye, said: “The goal of the X2 was to integrate SLAM into a small glasses form factor – that is the future of making MR Glasses mass produced.”

ThirdEye has also partnered with a major manufacturer, which will enable the X2 to be shipped in mass scale, which is currently a significant hurdle for many startups.

The glasses have built-in software like the ThirdEye App Suite, which provides a full MR software platform built into the units. The App Suite includes live audio and video streaming, AR data communication between remote users in the form of a “see what I see” application, and 3D scanning capabilities.  The glasses run on Android 8.0, creating a platform for a worldwide community of developers to submit AR, VR, and MR applications to the ThirdEye App Store. 

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