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Technology / April 26, 2014

Society has an obsession with visual content. Hence the rise in visual content platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

Marketers and businesses have used visual content to bring visibility to their brand for it’s effectiveness with consumer engagement. In this article, we explore the scientific reasoning behind this determine and how we can apply this psychology to create top-notch marketing content.

Content posted with colored images produced 180% more engagement. Customers are 85% more likely to purchase your product after watching a video about it. It’s no wonder then that social media platforms are becoming more and more visually-oriented, such as Instagram, Facebook live, Snapchat and YouTube. Lucky for us as marketers, this opens up a big opportunity to engage with our customers and show off our products and services. But in order to maximize our effectiveness, we need to truly understand the psychology behind it and how the human brain works. So why do we love visual content so much?

 

1. Process More. Process Faster.

Humans process visual information faster than text

Although we have 5 senses, our primary sense that is used to make sense of our world is sight. Simply put, we interact with our world through looking. Which is why 90% of the information that is transmitted to the brain is visual. This is what our brains are made to do and have done since day one. When we are first born, we immediately begin seeing things and are able to retain and make sense of that visual information right away, but we don’t learn to talk or read until much later.

Since our brains are made to be visual, and by the time we are “consumer-age,” our brains are able to process this visual information at an alarming rate. In fact, we process visual content up to 60,000 times faster.

And we don’t just process more, faster. We also retain and remember visual information far better than text, which the average person will only remember 20% of.

 

2. Color Captures Attention

Color is very powerful to the human brain and our emotions. Have you ever seen one of those viral videos that documents the reaction of someone that is color blind seeing a new color for the first time? It almost makes the viewer want to cry with joy!

But here we are, left wondering why is colorful so powerful to us?

There are two primary components of the eye that allow us to capture visual information to send to the brain. Rods and cones. The cones are responsible for color, and were developed to help us stay away from danger, particularly poison. So color really taps into our “lizard brains,” making it an extremely powerful tool for our survival. And although it has been a long time, these innate and instinctive behaviors don’t just simply vanish from humans. A recent study from the University of Berkeley, California concludes that we do still have strong negative and positive associations of color. While some of these will differ from the individual’s personal experience, the following can be generalized: Blues and greens are associated with nature, good health and cleanliness, white, along with blue is also associated with ‘freshness’ and clean living, and browns and certain shades of yellow evoke negative connotations (because these were colors we wanted to generally avoid while foraging for food – and we still dislike them thousands of years later).

 

3. Movement Captures Attention Too

psychology of video marketing

You know that feeling when you abruptly see something move out of the corner of your eye? It might give you an eerie feeling because you can’t tell who or what it was. Our heads immediately snap to the direction of the movement.

Rods, which capture peripherals and movement in our eyes. According to this article, “these rods in our eyes are more sensitive to movement for one very good reason, perhaps the ultimate reason – to keep us alive.”

Movement is so powerful to us for the same reason as color – it taps into our lizard brain for survival instinct. So when we see movement, it will capture our full attention and keep it, until we know it’s no longer a “perceived threat.” So if you are constantly changing the movement and information coming in, you will hold attention.

 

4. Visual Content is Simple Content

Our human brains are extremely complex. So complex, that they are simple. Or rather they simplify everything that they can in order to process complex information more efficiently and rapidly. Essentially, our brains identify and create shortcuts for us to make everything seem more simple.

So as much as our brains need stimulation, they really crave simple ideas and simple tasks where we can create these shortcuts. A shortcut for our brain is visual processing, because it is able to process that information much more quickly and with less effort. In fact, it only requires 50% of our brain to process a visual advertisement. This is also why public signs so often have a distinct look and portray information visually. Yes, it breaks down the language barrier, but it also makes things more efficient. Just imagine you’re driving and a sign reads “watch out, upcoming road will be windy and have a lot of turns.” You might pass that sign before you even read it all! Or you could just have a visual of an arrow and turns like the one below.

And this is exactly why we always say “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

we process simple visual information the fastest

 

5. Emotion Evoking

facial expression is powerful in visual content marketing

Perhaps the one thing that the human brain loves more than visuals are emotions. Reading facial emotions is universal according to this science brief by the APA. While we can experience emotions through text, we are true experts at reading facial expressions and emotions. “One of the things we are watching from day one is faces. Babies, even before their eye muscles are capable of focusing, still turn and face their mothers. We are hardwired to seek out a round object with two dark bands (one for the eyes, one for the mouth) even before we can see them clearly.”

Reading emotions visually through facial expression is one thing. But we also have the ability and oftentimes will feel that emotion in one of three ways. 1. Nostalgic – when we see an expression on another’s face, we often remember a time when we felt that emotion too, 2. Imagination – we will imagine ourselves feeling a certain way too, or a uniquely human characteristic 3. Empathy – we truly feel the emotion of that other person.

Other visuals also play a role in emotions, including color. For example, if we see a picture of someone with a slight smile and a white background, it will not be as emotionally powerful to us as an image of that same person with a background of the blue sky and a bright yellow sun.

 

Marketing Applications:

Now that we truly understand the science behind our love of visual content, we can apply this knowledge to developing more effective digital marketing strategies and better content. Here are some points to consider:

  • More Visual Content – Strive to make as much content as you can visual. We aren’t saying ditch your blog posts or white papers, but add images or videos to them. Many times, you can also switch out a description for a scene and replace it with an image (like in #4), or turn a “listicle” blog post into an infographic.
  • Color – Don’t shy away from using color! But also pay careful attention to the colors you’re using.  Although the perception of color does differ across cultures, blue is almost always a safe bet.
  • Movement – Make your visual marketing content move through animations and video.
  • High-Impact Movement – Remember how we said that constantly changing the movement holds our attention? Switch up the movement in your videos. For example, if you’re producing a corporate video with a long interview of the CEO, don’t just film it all at his desk. He says 3 sentences, then you switch scenes to him collaborating on a project with a voiceover. Then switch again to him standing in front of a set of cubicles with their employees, or better yet, walking around the office. This is sure to hold the attention of the viewer longer.
  • Keep it Simple – We like visual content because it’s simple for our brains. Crazy layers or double exposure and custom graphics aren’t going to appeal to this. Especially now, in a time of digital marketing and social media, we are processing more information in a day than ever  before in history. All this stimuli actually makes us attracted to simple visuals, which is why minimalist graphic design and branding is still trending, and will likely remain a trend for years to come.

 

The human brain’s obsession with visual content has driven the rise of visually-oriented social media channel. This has opened the doors for companies to promote their products in a visually engaging manner, to audiences across the globe. But due to the short life of every Instagram Post, or Boomerang video, it’s crucial to get the very most out of each advertisement or content post. And after reading this article, you now understand the science behind how to capture the attention of and win over your customers. Use this knowledge and the ideas provided to create captivating visual content that is sure to fuel your marketing strategy and convert customers.

 


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Aleah Radovich




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Recent trends suggest that Disruptive campaigns are now becoming the new normal in the advertising industry globally. The case is not different in Nigeria, where advertisers are combining both technological innovations and experiential marketing alongside conventional/digital media platforms to not only advertise their products but to engage their audiences on personal levels.

Perhaps, advertisers have realised that reliance on conventional media and regular media messaging techniques can only go so far in driving brand expectations, which includes market penetration and gaining market share. They do not want to wait for audiences to return from a 9-5 job, then tune in to their favourite TV or Radio  program, before catching the advert messages. Chances are that these audience might be tired and miss the show entirely or even skip the advert, as technology has made it easy to do so.

Now advertisers are going the way of innovative, penetrative and experience oriented marketing. These in many cases needs a fusion of conventional media and technology to make it quite disruptive and attention grabbing.

In an audacious move, Johnnie Walker, a leading Whisky brand, during its #ISeeYouLagos campaign, in commemoration of Lagos at 50, did the unusual with a disruptive activation at the Admiralty Lekki tollgate.

They flipped the script on Out of Home (OOH) adverting. Where a billboard advertising Johnnie Walker’s Lagos at 50 message is necessary and still effective, it is also likely to be ignored or missed by the millions of people who ply the toll gate, but paying for toll fees for drivers which allowed free flow of traffic has done much more for Johnnie Walker’s brand visibility. By way of innovation what Johnnie Walker has done was unusual and created a more memorable marketing experience for existing and new audience.

The campaign went viral; a priceless commodity in marketing communications. Many that experienced it could not stop talking about the “nice gesture” from Johnnie walker.

Posterscope, the OOH agency, that conceived, planned and executed it, described it as “an integrated out-of-home media campaign that showcased how a combination of digital out-of-home with experiential, mobile and social media can deliver earned reach many times the worth of paid media.”

Naturally, other brands will emulate this trend and this is one way to gauge its effectiveness. Pepsi has done the same with its #NoShakinCarryGo hour! From the early morning of August 11, to 6pm, it was a Zero toll at the Lekki Tollgate.

Digitally, advertisers are exploring highly targeted and effective Geo fencing technology. This is arguably the most disruptive tool for advertisers at the moment. This location-based mobile phone advertising technology targets users based on specific geographic areas and demography.

Using a filter, it tags all the smart phones in the area to acquire the required demography. Advertisers can now customize messages to specific audiences with high impact.

in Nigeria, Strata Media Limited is pioneering a Geo fenced ad campaign for Mall for Africa. This campaign that is running at Mbolaji Anthony and Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos is seeing people around that area at scheduled times receive ad notifications persuading them to do their shopping at Mallfor Africa. What this means is that anyone within these areas are compelled to view these messages. As intrusive as this method is, it is gaining popularity fast due to its accuracy in targeting the right audience and it is expected that other brands will latch on to this soon.

For advertisers, these innovations are just ways to counter the clutter of messages that are competing for the attention of audiences from different sources every day.

While Brands will continue to utilize traditional media, however, the race is on for strategies that are innovative and capable of making audiences stop and ask questions about what they are seeing and to go a step further by participating.


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Joshua
Joshua Chizurumoke Moses, is a Social commentator and creative writer. He is an ardent follower of Nigerian politics and Football enthusiast. He would love to travel the world.




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When it comes to video marketing, many businesses start creating video content without a clear and consistent strategy. This leads to their video getting lost in YouTube and other search channels. Here we offer seven valuable tips that will help elevate your video production to the next level.

1. Focus on high production values

It’s important to focus on high production values. Editing techniques such as the quality of the transitions and graphic overlays will make all the difference to the finished video. Develop a strong title sequence, and create a watermarked logo to display in the corner of your screen. Make sure the music is consistent with what the video is about, and ensure that each section of the video is relevant.

2. Keep it short

Videos under three minutes long tend to get the most engagement, so keep your videos short and to the point. If you’ve got a lot to say, why not break your video up into several segments? Brevity is key with video, so think of the one takeaway message you’d like viewers to take from your film and then chop out any unnecessary content.

3. Create a strong hook for the opening

Creating a great opening to a video is what keeps the viewer engaged, and watching until the end. Think about how you can position your video so you don’t lose viewers after the first twenty seconds. Will you start with a bold statement? Will you open the video with dramatic music or a dramatic scene? Try and grab the viewer’s attention so it makes them think or question what’s next.

4. Optimise with relevant keywords

Creating a video is one thing, but getting it out to a wide audience is another. Make sure that your viewers see your video by including relevant keywords in the title and in the description. Don’t be too generic – add in some longer tail keywords and some more descriptive words, so that viewers who are really interested in the subject matter will be able to find your video.

5. Create a strong title

A strong title is important because it affects the viewer’s decision to click on your video in the first place. Make sure the video title is engaging, yet uses your primary keywords. Titles such as ‘Why I …’ or ‘Ten ways to…’ get good engagement because it encourages the viewer to find out the answer and click on your video.

6. Develop a clear consistent message

Make sure your video message is clear and consistent throughout. A good way to ensure this happens is to write a storyboard before you begin filming. Get a piece of paper and down one side, list the timings of the video. On the other, write down what we’ll see on the video, and if there is any narration to go with it. This provides structure to the video, and you’ll be able to see if there are any sections that don’t fit or are not needed for that particular video.

7. End with a call to action

A call to action is really important because it inspires your viewers to take the next step. Once they have finished watching, what do you want them to do? If it’s visit a website, include your URL at the end. If it’s download a brochure or call you, make sure you show that on your end title screen. The call to action doesn’t need to be too obvious, but it should be clear to the viewer that this is the next action that they should take.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you achieve your online marketing goals.
Contact DigitalLagos.TV


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DigitalLagos News Staff




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So much can happen in the world of technology in 10 years, our tech-habits have come on leaps and bounds since 2007, and now dominate the way we live, from the way we communicate, do business and shop. With such an expansion in technology, there have been hundreds of new roles created that whole industries are based around that were unheard of a decade ago.

Uber Driver

Uber was founded in 2009 and has already been hailed as one of the world’s most valuable start-ups at $62 billion. Although we had cabbies 10 years ago, we certainly couldn’t see where their location via our phone, pay without using cash and give them a rating. Uber has created thousands of job opportunities for people across the world and now it’s working on creating even more with recent expansions such as Uber Eats. While Uber’s headquarters are based in California, people from more than 400 cities in 70 counties can become Uber drivers. With 8 million users and over 160,000 drivers world wide – that’s a lot of jobs created as a result of an app! Uber has become such an intrinsic part of city life, and it’s difficult to imagine the world without them.

Social Media Managers

10 years ago, most people didn’t even know what social media was, never mind that you could build a career around it. Social media has become such a key part of our lives after Facebook was launched in 2004, everything changed and social media platforms have been growing and developing ever since. Social media has become a key method in reaching a wide audience, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram offer a wide range of opportunities to business, assisting in building relationships with their following, creating brand awareness, and attracting potential customers. Most brands now will hire a social media manager to create strategies and manage their social media channels.

Airbnb Host

Similarly, to Uber, although in 2007 we, of course, had B&Bs, Airbnb allows hosts to state that their spare room is available for 3 days between X date and X date. Airbnb has nearly a million listings in 33,000 cities it is a rental service which matches hosts with people looking for a place to stay. Airbnb allows hosts to utilise their spare rooms for more than just collecting dust – like an ad-hoc guest house. There are hundreds of articles online on how to be the perfect Airbnb host and while it may not be many people’s main source of income, it has definitely created a market. You can now even host your neighbourhood, by letting your community know that you’re available to host their space, doing all the related admin and reaping the rewards so now you don’t even need a spare room to become a host!

Cloud Service Specialist

A decade ago if someone told you they worked in the cloud, you might have wondered what on earth they were talking about. Cloud computing has been around in some shape or form since the early 2000’s but has really taken off in recent years. The term ‘cloud computing’ first entered the technical lexicon at a google conference in 2006 and has become part of the digital vernacular ever since. Cloud computing is synonymous with online storage and the sharing of data and cloud storage specialist are experts in all things cloud related and can range from database managers, engineers, and strategists for storing and indexing huge amounts of data. Cloud computing has transformed the way business is conducted allowing for increased collaboration and the ability to scale up or down to respond to changing market conditions. With the emergence of cloud computing there has also been a spike in number of cloud-based security jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago, from cloud email security roles to cloud security architects who work on keeping your data safe and secure – 10 years ago there simply wasn’t the need for these jobs, oh how things have changed.

YouTube Content Creators

From beauty bloggers talking about make-up in their bedrooms, short films, to vlogs, creating content for YouTube is now a full-time career, with the most successful YouTube stars earning millions of pounds through advertising and sponsorship deals. In the past 10 years YouTube’s popularity has increased so much that millions now choose to watch their favourite YouTube stars instead of television. The digital age has created an increasing amount of non-traditional jobs, and YouTube content creators appear to be one of the most lucrative.

App Developers

Remember a time before apps? When software on your phone was clunky and all your phone could do was take a grainy photo, and play snake? Today apps have become an essential part of our lives from getting us from A to B, organising our diaries and creating shopping lists, it’s difficult to image life without them. Half the world’s adult population now own a smartphone so the need for apps and their developers is huge. The iPhone has now been around for ten years and thanks to the Ios app store thousands of jobs have been brought into the digital economy.

Driverless Car Engineer

Now this job does sound like it belongs in the future, but driverless cars are here and if Silicon Valley gets its way it won’t be long until most vehicles have empty driver seats. While driverless cars may take over some jobs such as taxi drivers and couriers they’ll also create roles such as engineers and software developers who will design and maintain these vehicles when they become increasingly in demand in the not-so-distant future. It’s predicted that driverless cars will create 320,00 UK jobs and add a huge £51bn a year to the country’s economy, so get ready to become a back-seat driver.

Drone Operator

Whilst drones have been around for years, they’ve only really come into vogue commercially within the last couple of years. Drone operators are now and established job with even some American colleges offering entire courses dedicated to studying drone operation. If you think that operating drones is the career for you, you’ll be delighted to know that they pay isn’t too shabby either with an entry-level drone operator salary starting at $100,000.

Millennial Generational Expert

Yes, that’s right a millennial generational expert is a real thing. Millennial generational experts are consultants that help companies to gain a better understanding of their changing workforce. Companies from every sector and size now face the challenge of recruiting and developing young professionals who have a different set of priorities from the parent’s generation. Companies want to build a workforce who will maintain loyal to their brand especially for a generation who see

User Experience Designer

Now that we live in an age where everything is digital, but most people aren’t aware of the process behind developing these products, this is where user experience designers (UX) come in. UX designers ensure that the interaction between websites and their users is as smooth as possible. Due to the digital-centric world, we live in it is a necessity that websites are incredibly user-friendly so that even those with very little technical knowledge are able to navigate their way around a website and have a stress-free experience.

 

Republished from lucidica.com


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DigitalLagos News Staff




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It’s that time of year again – Christmas is still reasonably far away and Easter is a distant memory. But something else is there to rupture the silence; the iPhone 8 rumours. Being its 10 year anniversary, the iPhone is set to be the most talked about product of September. Although this feels like a usual fire drill to most of us, it seems like Apple are hitting their heads against some pretty sturdy brick walls this year (and so will you be, once you see the price).

Image Source: http://ow.ly/8jUq30bPDyD

According to rumours, Apple may need to push the initial release date back by a couple of months because of supply issues and technical drawbacks. Although Morgan Stanley has tried to confirm that there is no delay for the original September launch, it still can’t be excused as a possibility. This could possibly be down to the change in overall body design, which is rumoured to be a mixture of glass and steel (like the iPhone 4). Other problems that have been stabbing Apple in the back are things like the fingerprint recognition, which is said to be proving extremely difficult as the home button is being removed. Because of this, the new design suggests that apple is trying to integrate the fingerprint recognition into the display, which would improve the overall utility of the phone. Others have suggested that the fingerprint recognition feature will appear on the back of the device, as it is on the concept image above. Us Lucidicans feel like having the feature on the back would be a bit of a design flaw, as the size of the phone would make it difficult to unlock your phone without dropping it, but that’s just us.

The display is looking like it’s going to include a 5.8 inch display with 5.15 inches of usable area. The rest of the display is said to be used for the virtual buttons that replace the home buttons functionality.

Source: http://bgr.com/2017/04/17/iphone-8-release-date-usa-sept-final-design-leak/

As for the camera, it looks like most rumours are pointing towards a 12MP primary camera with a 4k display, along with the Apple A11 chip and a plastic OLED screen. One thing that Apple fanatics will be happy to know is that the lightning connection port will be here to stay; for the next iPhone installation, at least. Many believed that the USB-C connection port would be the lightnings replacement, but rumours suggest that we don’t have to worry about adding yet another Apple product to the graveyard (like the 30-pin).

The words ‘wireless charging’ are being thrown around all over the show, so it’s easy to assume that the newest installation of the iPhone will have the option to include just that. It’s not new technology for phones to have wireless charging (LG Nexus 5 in 2013 was the first), so it’s quite possible that Apple may decide to take this route as a luxurious extra (probably costing you a kidney).

Finally, we come to the star of the show – the price.

Just as expected, it’s through the roof (so your heart shouldn’t stop this year), but you still might need to pick your jaw up from the floor. Coming in as the most expensive phone in the world, the iPhone 8 will come in two capacity sizes: the 128GB which can be yours for $999 (£766) and the 256GB is likely to weigh in at a teeth-shattering $1,099 (£851), as suggested by Simona Jankowski from Goldman Sachs.

Source: https://9to5mac.com/guides/iphone-8/

I’m sure that as time goes on leading up to September, many other rumours will come out the woodwork just like they always do. It’s always rather exciting to hear what Apple have to say (whether you’re a fan of their products or not) around releases

 

Reposted from lucidica.com


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Karen Walsh
Karen Walsh is a part time, extended contract, first year writing instructor at the University of Hartford. In other words, she's SuperAdjunct, complete with capes and Jedi robe worn during grading. When Karen isn't teaching, she is a freelance writer who works for a variety of marketing clients focusing on a variety of topics, including InfoSec and parenting. She works in order to support knitting, comics, tattoo, and museum membership addictions. She can be reached on Twitter: @kvonhard and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GeekyKaren/




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Elon Musk recently explained at Code Conference why he believes we’re all living in a simulation. His argument that such a simulation is possible is based on the exponential developments in video game graphics: “If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by one thousand from what it is now. It’s a given that we’re clearly on [that] trajectory.”

Whether or not you believe simulation theory is true, it’s hard to deny how much the gaming world has changed—even in the last decade.

Watching the new sci-fi short “Adam” by Unity makes this even more evident. Unity is one of the most popular multiplatform 3D game engines on the market. They made Adam” to showcase Unity’s newest capabilities. And it lends a little more credence to Musk’s opinion about the trajectory of gaming graphics—the visuals in “Adam” are amazing.

“Adam” was rendered in real-time at 2560×1440 resolution using an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics card on Unity 5.4 with a new cinematic sequencer tool. Additionally, according to Unity’s website: “ ‘Adam’ also utilizes an experimental implementation of real-time area lights and makes extensive use of high fidelity physics simulation tool CaronteFX.”

An excerpt of the demo premiered in March at the Gamers Development Conference and a playable demo was made available at Unite Europe early last month. The general public should also receive a playable version soon, with no specific date announced yet.

Unity’s website claims they intend to “democratize game development and level the playing field for developers across the globe.” “Adam” showcases the peak of what is possible today. But it’s even more fascinating to imagine what will be possible ten years from now as tools like Unity become more ubiquitous, virtual reality becomes inexpensive and widely available, and mainstream internet tech can handle real-time massively multiplayer online games in VR.

Want to see what decades can do for game design? Look at this image series of game graphics in 10-year intervals and watch this newly-released comparison of the original Doom against the newest one via IGN.

 


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Karen Walsh
Karen Walsh is a part time, extended contract, first year writing instructor at the University of Hartford. In other words, she's SuperAdjunct, complete with capes and Jedi robe worn during grading. When Karen isn't teaching, she is a freelance writer who works for a variety of marketing clients focusing on a variety of topics, including InfoSec and parenting. She works in order to support knitting, comics, tattoo, and museum membership addictions. She can be reached on Twitter: @kvonhard and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GeekyKaren/




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Looking forward to 2017, one of the major technological trends is the sharing eonomy. As a kid, the sharing economy meant trading sports cards or Pokemon cards. In the modern day, technology has leveled up peer to peer transactions. With the rise of apps like Uber or AirBnB, the sharing economy has elevated crowd sourcing to new levels allowing greater personalization of travel as well as greater economic efficiency. For marketers looking for an edge, the increased rise of the sharing economy provides not only an excellent model but also excellent opportunities.

What Is The Sharing Economy?

Not unlike trading cards as children, the sharing economy is borrowing or renting an asset that is underutilized by the owner. As kids, the economic growth arose out of the card received for the card not wanted. As adults, the economic growth is getting money for the location or object not being utilized to its fullest. For example, the AirBnB model allows people to rent rooms that are otherwise empty to people who need them. There is a supply that meets the demands. Unlike trading cards, however, the new sharing economy has grown predominantly in response to technology that connects people internationally who have diverse needs.

Travel Will Be A Model

Although the sharing economy discussions tend to focus on travel, marketers in all areas can learn a lot about how to utilize the peer to peer transaction model for their own products. Most notoriously, AirBnB has taken the lead in connecting peer to peer transactions. Although hotels are predicted to dominate the industry, peer to peer platforms will likely open up longer term stay options for many people. AirBnB and Uber have managed to gain large market shares by connecting individuals who are looking to swap resources and needs. Peer-to-peer marketing, based on the same principals as peer sales platforms, provide expertise, real conversations, and originality that better brand a product. Marketers can help connect individuals using sharing economy concepts.

On-Demand Apps Will Redefine Customer Experience

As people are more likely to try to lower costs in a fluctuating economic environment, on demand apps will continue to drive the sharing economy. People want to be able to do what they want, when they want it, and do it together. For businesses to follow the sharing economy’s on-demand model, they need to change their app development plans. Increasing end-user engagement leads to new ways to market a product and new revenue channels. By leveraging APIs, this digital automation can help promote a business as well as increase income.

Bitcoin Will Be A Catalyst For Click Throughs

For years, bitcoin was considered the golden unicorn of the internetBitcoins are an unregulated currency created through anonymity on the internet and act as the first entirely decentralized peer-to-peer payment network. In essence, bitcoin is the definition of fiat money. Large numbers of users determine how valuable the credits are, giving them a sense of community value, then store them in digital wallets and use them as payment for goods and services. In the last few months, bitcoin value has risen steadily as investors try to protect their money from unstable markets in the wake of political shifts.  With this rise of bitcoin’s social acceptance, performance marketing and affiliate programs are also seeing a rise in use. Bitcoin purchases reward any transaction with a percentage approach. For marketers, this can mean providing rewards for clicking through to a site or completing specific actions. 

Blockchain Technology Will Transform Digital Marketing 

Similar to a database, blockchain is the bank of bitcoin. In essense, people using bitcoin created encrypted data “blocks” that use cryptographic validation to link themselves together. Although blockchain stores bitcoin value, acting similar to a bank, its decentralized nature makes it the foundation of an economic sharing economy. Blockchain technology, and its rise due to the increased use of Bitcoins, can help decentralize the advertising world allowing better metrics. With blockchain technology, central authorities will no longer disrupt displaying ad networks, marketers can beat online ad fraud, and digital currency will allow for payments to be processed without a third party taking a percentage.

As people embrace the sharing economy, true peer to peer transactions will continue to grow in viability. Looking toward 2017, the sharing economy acts as a model of business success as well as a tool formarketing success.


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Chuck Seegert




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There are so many tech products in the market we can barely keep track of them. Some of them have pushed the boundaries so far that you won’t believe they exist. So here are top 5 unbelievable gadgets.

SmartMat | Yoga Instructor

SmartMat is an effective yoga trainer built that voices for your yoga exercise. The intelligent pressure detection system inside the mat calculates your position and orientation on the SmartMat and passes those pressure points to evaluate the next step.

Naked | 3D Fitness Tracker

Naked may look like a mirror, but it’s a health status scanner and 3D fitness tracker. It evaluates your fitness level, by generating a 3D image of your body and measuring how your workout is affecting different areas of your body like your abs, arms, thighs and so on. It also features an integrated smartphone app so you can keep track of your progress including your measurements, fat percentage, and weight.

MyFox | Security Camera

There are many types of home security systems, however, a few of them specialized in childcare and MyFox is one of them. MyFox security camera has a built-in motion detector to inform you of any intruders. It can directly connect to your phone and show whether your children are being playful or naughty.

One X | Fitness Tracker

One X is an amazing gadget that helps you check the oxidative stress on your body by simply scanning your palm. Just place your palm in the scanner for 20 seconds and One X will acquire your bio-feedback, which you can then track over days, weeks, and months. See, when you are able to measure your anti-oxidant protection level, you can excel in daily work without feeling weary at the end.

Odin | Laser Projection Mouse

Odin is the world’s first laser projection mouse. It projects a touchpad and the two mouse buttons in a square space on any surface, when you move your fingers on the laser projection area, Odin intelligently transcribes those coordinates with the screen. Odin conveniently helps you operate much faster without putting a strain on your wrists.

 

This is all for today, tune in next time for more!

 


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Molly Nelley




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Do  Nigerian tech startups stand a chance of success? Nigeria already has several successful startups in a variety of technology niches ranging from entertainment to digital payment processing to computer programming. Andela, a startup focused on nurturing African talents in computer coding is one of the prominent Nigerian tech startups making global headlines. As such, Andela’s story shows Nigerian homegrown startups stand a chance of success.

But is it easy to succeed in Nigeria? The Nigeria market presents startups with opportunities and challenges in almost equal measure. The country’s population of more than 170 million people is a huge market for startups to target and monetize. Then there is the rapidly growing internet penetration, with more than 48% of the population having access to the internet. More than 92% of Nigeria’s population now has mobile phones, with smartphones penetration reaching more than 30% of the population.

smartphones-penetration

While deepening internet and smartphone penetration are expanding the technology consumer market in Nigeria, the country’s tech startups are held back by several challenges. Power is one of the major problems. Not only are many parts of the country lacking access to mains power supply, but even those parts connected to the national grid still face problems of erratic electricity supply.

This problem is forcing startups to divert the money they would otherwise use to spur growth into buying power backup systems. Not only does acquisition of alternative power systems such as generators require huge upfront investment, but they are also costly to run, thus resulting in liquidity shortage problems that in the end cripple many promising tech startups.

tech

Though there are multiple challenges for Nigerian tech startups to confront, there is a chance for smart entrepreneurs to succeed in this market. But success in a challenging market such as what Nigeria presents requires a clear vision and thick skin on the side of the entrepreneurs. Besides the infrastructural challenges, Nigerian tech startups must cope with growing competition in domestic and global technology arena. But having a clear vision is one of the ways to stay competitive.

Nigerians want solutions to their problem. Identifying the problems to solve, developing an action plan and executing that plan are the keys to success in emerging markets. Any startup should strive to understand its target market. Success is almost guaranteed for Nigeria startups seeking to solve people’s problems. These opportunities exist in healthcare, education, retail and finance sectors.

Getting it right in a developing market

In a developing economy such as Nigeria, tech startups can succeed quickly by developing platforms that are user-friendly. If it is an e-commerce site, product discovery and checkout should be hassle-free. In a country where internet data is still priced expensively, no one wants to waste time on a site that takes them round in cycles and consumes their precious internet data. As such, the more sharply focused and simplified a platform is the more it is likely to appeal to more users.

nigerian-startups

One of the major problem areas for Nigerian tech startups is funding. Many brilliant startup ideas have perished mainly because of a lack of financial resources to turn the dreams into reality. However, while venture capital investors are beginning to pour their money in Nigerian startups, it is still important for entrepreneurs to be careful. While a lack of funding can kill a vision, toxic investment is equally dangerous for startup survival. As such, an entrepreneur should make sure they understand the terms of the investment and that the investor shares their vision.

Nigeria is a promising technology market and homegrown startups have an advantage if they can cope with infrastructural challenges, offer the solutions the people want and avoid the pitfalls.


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Ruchi Gupta
Ruchi Gupta works as a freelancer covering various beats from finance to technology and from lifestyle to hobbies. She has an MBA in Finance. Ruchi enjoys writing on celebrities and political news. She likes traveling and exploring places.




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Toy gadgets bring an enjoyable aura to our homes. They can never replace real pets or be as cute as real puppies, but Domgy is here to change things a bit. Domgy is a cute robot toy by Roobo that service as a homing device and a communicator. It is a smart electronic dog that doesn’t require feeding, walking or nurturing.

Unlike other consumer robotic toys, Domgy is both functional and fun. Here are some of the best Domgy features of this cute robotic dog.

Bold Features

  • Integrated camera and screen
  • Voice recognition
  • Face recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Home Security
  • Home Automation
  • Personal Assistant
  • Communication Assistant
  • Weather Forecast
  • Route Information
  • Remote Control
  • Voice Command Photos and Video
  • Home Device Control
  • Video recording
  • Smart Self-Charging
Wakes you up in the morning

Wakes you up in the morning

Domgy Design

Domgy’s designed is inspired after puppies, very cute looking and useful at the same time. The body is made up of durable fiber touch sensors so when you pat it, it responds with lovely reactions. There are two wheels under each of the arms and on underneath the main body. The rotating neck and hinged arms allow a variety of motions.

Domgy face recognition

Domgy featres face recognition

Human-Friendly, Interactive

There are many ways you can interact with it. Clap to call Domgy and tell it to take your photo or record a video. If you want to call a friend, it has all your contacts so phone calls, messages, and even video calls are just a voice command away. Domgy comes with a remote control so you can manually control it as well for accurate motion. At certain times you even don’t have to interact with it, it comes to you. For example, it can wake you up in the morning so you don’t have to use annoying alarms.

Domgy recharges itself without any help

Domgy recharges itself without any help

Smart Communication, Homing Device

This amazing toy dog connects to your home appliances like TV, printer etc. So it can stream videos directly to your TV, mirror its screen or in and show you photo gallery. Domgy can also upload your photos and videos to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Want to listen to music, just tell Domgy which song.

Domgy servies as a homing device

Domgy servies as a homing device

Home Security

Domgy patrols your house when you sleep. Its built-in motion sensor detects any suspicious activity in the house. The AI software of the gadget helps it capture and archive various events like who visited your home. Its face recognition feature creates a list of the visitors and shows them to you by name and warns you if an intruder comes into your home.

Domgy Security Report

Domgy Security Report

What More Can Domgy Do?

  • Tell you weather forecast including the temperature, humidity, and general weather report.
  • Tell you route information like Google Maps.
  • Serve you as a personal assistant and manage your tasks.
  • Automatically charge itself by connecting to its charger and disengage from it when fully done.
  • Play your favorite music, and dance to the tune with you
  • Print photos on the printer
Domgy weather report

Domgy tells weather report

Domgy is more than it appears on the surface, but you have to bring it home to discover its advanced home monitoring, entertainment, and other AI features.  The price has not been revealed, but it is coming soon!


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DigitalLagos News Staff




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Communications Trend Limited (CTL) has become the first pay-Tv provider to take advantage of Conax’s improved content security platform offered as Contego-as-a-Service (CaaS). The Nigerian pay-Tv provider is hoping to enjoy a wide range of competitive advantages following its adoption of CaaS.

CTL is banking on the adoption of CaaS to boost its service offering in the 12 Nigeria cities it currently serves. Commenting on the adoption of Conax’s CaaS, CTL’s COO, Ofem Ekapong Ofem, said that their philosophy is that quality television services inspires educational opportunities. That explains why CTL is not afraid to invest in new technology geared toward enhancing the viewing experience of its growing number of subscribers.

caas

CTL has been using Conax’s solutions since 2003.

Conax said the upgrade will enable CTL to move to a platform that is more robust, flexible, scalable and secure. The content security provider also sees CTL differentiating its offering from the competition through the move. By differentiating its offerings, there is an opportunity for CTL to not only secure its existing revenue base, but also expand it is it grabs market share from the competition.

What’s the promise?

CTL is promising its customers enhanced pay-Tv programming. Mr. Ofem said the move gives them access to technological tools for the future. CTL, the owner of CTL Cable TV, is moving to CaaS at a time when the shift to service-based business models is on the rise globally because of its economic benefits.

For instance, Conax says that CTL is set to enjoy lower capex and reduced platform operational complexities with its CaaS solution. As such, CaaS provides CTL with an opportunity to increase internal efficiency and position itself for long-term growth.

With the technology that CTL is acquiring from Conax, the pay-Tv will offer its customers a streamlined experience cross multiple devices and technologies.

pay-Tv

pay-Tv

 A look at Nigeria’s pay-Tv market

A survey carried out by Research and Markets and released in 2015 showed Dstv, owned by MultiChoice, as the dominant pay-Tv provider in Nigeria. Dstv controlled almost 48% of Nigerian pay-Tv market as of the end of 2014.

dstv

The report further revealed that the vast majority of Nigerian households at 85% still rely on the free-to-air terrestrial television services. That indicates a massive growth potential for pay-Tv providers in the Nigeria market.

Total television penetration in Nigeria stood at 56.6% (17.85 million households) at the end of 2014. However, pay-Tv subscribers in Nigeria numbered 3.63 million in 2015 and the number is projected to grow exponentially to 7.52 million by 2021.

The growing industry requires a versatile platform that can not only keep up with the competition but also win the competition. Conax believes its CaaS can help pay-Tv providers attain their dream in the fast-growing and competitive Nigeria pay-Tv market.

Potential customers

Having won the heart of CTL with its cloud-based content security platform, Conax can now target other pay-Tv operators in Nigeria interested in modernizing their platforms and kicking out operational inefficiencies.

Outside CTL, other potential users of Conax’s cloud platform in Nigeria’s rapidly growing pay-Tv market include HiTV, Consat, Daarsat, Metro Digital, Montage Cable Network, MyTV and TrendTV.


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Ruchi Gupta
Ruchi Gupta works as a freelancer covering various beats from finance to technology and from lifestyle to hobbies. She has an MBA in Finance. Ruchi enjoys writing on celebrities and political news. She likes traveling and exploring places.




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The latest data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that mobile number portability (MNP) activity is on the rise in the country. That is an indication that a growing number of mobile subscribers in Nigeria are taking advantage of the MNP scheme to switch providers at will to enjoy service variety without much inconveniency.

NBS numbers show that incoming and outgoing MNP activities in 2Q2016 totaled 122,110. Incoming NMP activities were 61,754, suggesting an increase of slightly more than 12.5% compared to the same quarter last year.

On the other hand, outgoing MNP activities in 2Q2016 rose 13.9% over the same quarter last year to 60,356 in the latest quarter.

Nigerian Bureau of Statistics

Nigerian Bureau of Statistics

Nigeria’s march to MNP

Nigeria started implementing mobile number portability in 2013 to a huge sigh of relief for mobile subscribers given the long period of waiting. MNP enables subscribers to switch service providers without losing their phone number. For business customers, the simplicity of shifting providers has eliminated the usual costs of updating business letterheads, cards and advertisement whenever there is a change in network provider.

NMP has increased competition among services providers, thus inspiring innovation that is leading to quality services for the subscribers.

How MNP is impacting Nigerian phone carriers

Etisalat counted for the highest number of incoming porting activities on its network in 2Q2016. Incoming porting activities on the network of Etisalat in 2Q accounted for 57.8% of the industry total.

Etisalat

Etisalat

In contrast, MTN, the leading mobile network in the country, accounted for the least number of incoming porting activities on its network in the quarter. Incoming porting on MTN’s network accounted for 4.67% of the national total. However, the actual number of porters moving to MTN’s network more than doubled between 1Q2016 and 2Q2016, increasing to 2,878 from 1,353 between the quarter. On year-over-year basis, the number of incoming porters increased 31.6%.

On its part, Globacom accounted for 6.29% of incoming porting activities in 2Q, though the number of actual porters on its network decreased almost 34% between 1Q2016 and 2Q2016 and increased 6.61% between 2Q2016 and 2Q2015.

Incoming porting activities on Airtel’s network were few compared to its rivals in 2Q2016. The carrier registered a 0.03% uptick in the number of incoming porters on its network.

What about outgoing activity?

Globacom registered the largest increase in the number of porters exiting its network. Outgoing porters on Globacom’s network rose 76.4% QoQ and 47% YoY in 2Q2016. Some 12,614 subscribers ported out of Globacom’s network in 2Q2016 compared to 7,152 outgoing porters in 1Q.

Globacom

Globacom

Etisalat also recorded a significant increase of outgoing porters at 59.44% QoQ and 28.9% YoY. Outgoing porters on Airtel’s network rose 32.1% QoQ and 26.1% YoY in 2Q2016. However, on MTN’s network, outgoing porters declined 13.3% QoQ and 9.3% YoY.

NMP activity in 2Q2016 did not change the outgoing porting ranking of Nigeria’s four leading carriers.

For providers, porting affects subscriber retention. As such, it puts pressure on network operators to offer competitive services to avoid massive subscriber outflow. But the competition is benefiting subscribers who enjoy competitive voice, text and data rates as carriers undo one another to keep hold of subscribers who migrate to their networks from rival’s network.


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Ruchi Gupta
Ruchi Gupta works as a freelancer covering various beats from finance to technology and from lifestyle to hobbies. She has an MBA in Finance. Ruchi enjoys writing on celebrities and political news. She likes traveling and exploring places.




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Nigeria is looking at technology as a sector with massive growth potential in its economy. Shortage of IT literacy and lack of adequate government supports for IT innovation have kept Nigeria from achieving its full technology potential.

However, things are set to change soon or later. The federal government of Nigeria has drawn a plan that will see 400,000 youths equipped with technology skills that they can use to innovate and make the country competitive in the global technology scene.

Yemi Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo

The training of the youths is being done partnership with Google and a host of other major tech companies. Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, revealed the plan to train 400,000 youths in technology at the launch of Google Digital Training for Youth Empowerment.

Upcoming Tech Hubs in Lagos and Abuja

According to Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the minister of Science and Technology, Nigeria scored 2.8 out of a possible 7 to rank at position 117 out of 140 countries in Technology Readiness ranking in the Global Competitive Report for 2015/2016. That signals the country’s upside potential if the government can increase its investment in and support for tech literacy and innovation so that the country can not only cut reliance on other tech producers but also export its technology for foreign exchange earnings.

The VP Osinbajo said that the government is looking to establish two major tech hubs in Lagos and Abuja. There are also plans to set up six regional hubs in Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu

Whether in Abuja or Lagos or the six regions, the VP said the hubs will be properly equipped for capacity building.

Can technology transform Nigeria economy?

The plan for tech hubs across the country can be seen as recognition by the government of the role technology and innovation can play in transforming Nigeria economy.

Nigeria’s economy has entered into recession mode, following a 2.1% of the country’s economy in the June quarter. That marked the second quarter in a row that Nigeria economic contracted. Nigeria is feeling the heat of the slump in crude oil prices. The country relies on oil money for 70% of its national budget. Oil also contributes 90% of Nigeria’s foreign earnings. The IMF predicts that Nigeria’s economy will shrink 1.8% in in 2016.

By building more local technology capacity and inspiring innovation, Nigeria can fire its economic growth and diversify its sources of revenue for a more resilient economy.

Focus of Nigeria’s tech hubs

Given the efforts that startups are already making in Nigeria technology sector, it is welcome news that the government has plans to train thousands of youth in technology studies, a move that should support rapid industry growth and diversification.

Nigeria’s tech hubs

Nigeria’s tech hubs

VP Osinbajo said that each of the hubs to be set up across Nigeria will be focused on producing relevant technology and solutions that encompass a wide range of economic sectors. Some of the sectors targeted by technology innovation are education, healthcare, government services and renewable energy.

Government sets aside budget for 65,000 youths

To signal government’s commitment to improve the country’s IT literacy and innovation, the VP said that a budget has already been allocated for training of 65,000 Nigerian youths in hardware and software skills, ranging from the basics to the more sophisticated skills.


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Ruchi Gupta
Ruchi Gupta works as a freelancer covering various beats from finance to technology and from lifestyle to hobbies. She has an MBA in Finance. Ruchi enjoys writing on celebrities and political news. She likes traveling and exploring places.




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All eyes were firmly on the Google I/O as we all anticipated the ingenuous products and gadgets that are showcased annually on this platform. It is an annual 3day experience that lets developers launch products and services. Google I/O 2016 was marked by the virtual reality feud that is just going on. Google jumped in with their Google DayDream VR butting google on the Map as a force to recon with, now along with Occulus with their Occulus rift and HTC’s vive. Google also threw in their new Android operating system, the Android N and products like the Google home, Allo and Duo just to mention a few. Google CEO Sundar Pichai definitely made a mark this year just having been put in the position not long ago. I sampled a couple of products just to give you the taste of the Google experience on that weekend. The virtual reality war looks to have already sparked and this is definitely going to be one to watch all this year. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.

Android “N”

Android N

 The fuss is over, well since the android series came out. First of all, this will be the first android version that the community is involved in naming, but eventually it will be Google’s decision to choose the name among the suggestions. Speculations however, are that Google will name the OS android N and that’s it. Well, we have to wait and see. Apart from the name, android N is full of better security features and other updates that everybody will love. Google has always been keen about the quality of android and how the security protocols are designed and the Android N doesn’t disappoint.

Wearables 2016

Google Wearable 2016

Wearables are on the rise in recent days. Did I say rise? Underestimates, sorry. There is a wearables war booming in the tech world. We are talking about Google and Facebook moving daily to impress and create experience. First, you probably want to know about Google’s efforts in these fields so ladies and gentlemen, Daydream.

Daydream virtual reality.

Google Daydream Virtual Reality

Google decided it was time they jumped into a virtual reality game, and jump they did. Google launched the Daydream VR this year and it is just out of the world. The software and hardware have been made by Google itself. It dived in with might. The virtual reality comes with a headset that is connected to the lab developers who are still coming up with content to make you daydream as you’re supposed to. During the I/O conference they showcased this piece with YouTube and a pancake flipping game. This was a great start because the response was just awesome, giving the VR a great head start and thus we will be waiting to see what Bring and his team of geniuses work on. We all know Google has the element of surprise you can’t explain, but you still love it.

Google has been working with wearable for some time now, actually first starting with the google glass. It got a response that was promising but critics came on equal measures with the critics hitting the glass in terms of prices, saying it was too expensive and then the aspect of look, people looked like cyborgs. But it’s just opinions, what can you say.

The wearable war.

2016 WEARABLE WAR

  The war now is between Facebook, HTC, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Google among others.  Facebook has just acquired a virtual reality company, Occulus and is looking to face the competition head on. Google, however, is not taking this threat lightly, as a matter of fact, we have seen them gearing up to make more cool stuff to help them keep up with the heat.  HTC’s vive has been the most impressive in my case. It has been designed by HTC in collaboration with Valve. Equipped with 70 sensors, a 360 degree head tracking and a 90 Hz refresh rate, this is the best I have seen. However to be fair, the Oculus rift has almost the same features, great engineering, however it lags behind the Sony PlayStation VR. However, they are still working on better prototypes.

Who is winning you may ask, well, let’s give it time, trust me the winner always shows up. Maybe to make this more exciting let me put my money on HTC. They never disappoint.

GOOGLE HOME

Google Home 2016

So after Amazon launched Amazon echo, we were all waiting to see what kind if crazy Google was working on, sure enough, they came up with a competing product, Google home. A Bluetooth speaker equipped with the google assistant lets you check up your schedule, mail and other stuff you may need to. They did not mention the retail price, but since it is a competing product, we expect that it is somewhere close to the price if the Amazon echo.

Duo and Allo.

2016 Duo and Allo

Say hello to the Google FaceTime version. Duo call is a google initiated application that allows you to video chat with people. Well, I know what you are thinking, it was about time. Google has launched this service to simply create the experience of video chat in the hardware products they make. With the showcasing at I/O conference, the public got to experience what this product is all about.

As if Duo was not enough, Google has taken a step ahead by actually introducing Allo. Allo is a messaging platform aimed at giving you the kind of experience you can’t get from anywhere. To tech analyst, it looks like this move will kill hangout, but it’s a win-win for Google. A better product means excited users, all this just shouts PROFITS, and experience of course.

This year Google has just taken the game to another level and at the same time proving that it’s in this market not only to stay, but to dominate. Android enthusiasts are definitely looking for what the company has in store next time. The guaranteed thing is just the same experience, full of zeal and fascinating engineering.


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DigitalLagos News Staff




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Alcatel had been in the VR business since it first unveiled its smartphone-based VR headset, but the tech company’s latest wireless virtual reality device drops dependency on phones and develops and inbuilt hardware for computing.

Alcatel’s Vision VR headset is its official entry into the VR race. It is worth noticing that Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are run by PCs while likes of Samsung Gear VR and like the earlier Alcatel VR device are driven by smartphone. The company’s latest virtual reality gadget is standalone, which puts it next to other wireless VR headsets like Intel’s Project Alloy.

So today we will be reviewing Alcatel Vision VR and some of its best aspects that might give other standalone virtual reality gadgets a run for their money.

VR Vision Display

Alcatel Vision large spacious apertures

Alcatel Vision features spacious apertures

The Vision boasts two 3.8″ AMOLED screens with a display capability of 1080 x 1020. As mentioned before, the newest Alcatel VR headset doesn’t need smartphone placement. The best thing about the display is that it is fully covered, blinding your eyes from the ‘window effect’ observed in some low-end VR headsets.

Alcatel Vision Design

Alcatel Vision Design

Alcatel Vision VR headset drops side straps.

Inspiring a new type of VR headset model, Alcatel has dropped the side straps that cupped the head from both sides and instead employed a single overhead strap that perfectly sits on your skull. The entire device is essentially white in color and feels light compared to some other virtual reality headsets. Like its predecessor, the Vision is designed to lock your face completely, leaving no slit-spaces so you get an immersive VR experience. A battery has been integrated into a module on the back side of its structure which also embeds headphone jacks. Thankfully, the front piece is spacious enough to accommodate glasses if your lenses previously didn’t let you wear a VR headset.

Connectivity

Alcatel Vision Battery pack

Alcatel Vision’s Battery pack have smartly been shifted to backside.

The latest Alcatel Vision VR headset connects to the internet via Wi-Fi, which not surprisingly is again a borrowed feature from Alcatel smartphones.

Performance

Alcatel Vision VR headset is lighter than most

Alcatel Vision is lighter than most VR headsets.

The headset is not fully available and all the reviews available on the internet are based on the prototype. So we will reserve our vote till the final piece comes out and hopefully it will come out victorious. Some hands-on reviews have reported some sort of blurriness because the screens are far apart from the eyes, but we can’t be too sure because according to other users the imagery is perfectly vivid and clear.

Specifications

For a standalone VR device, the Vision is well-equipped with a powerful octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB storage while the sensors include an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a proximity sensor. Alcatel says its battery can last up to 3 hours before per charge before it starts dimming off.

Alcatel Vision VR headset Release Date

The Vision will be available in stores by the end of 2016 costing around £425-510, $560-670 or AU$740-890. That is not cheap but it is less than some other VR headsets in the market. Alcatel says that there will be at 100 VR optimized videos and over 50 games at the time of its launch.


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DigitalLagos News Staff




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Pokemon Go has broken all the previous records. Just during its launching month, the smartphone game has gained a user-base of $100 players and earned $200 million revenue. This exceeds the 30-day income of games like Cash Royale by two times and Candy Crush So Saga by four times. Companies are earning a great deal by selling game’s T-shirts, watches, and what not. And now, these are some hottest gadgets for Pokemon Go fans that are trending everywhere!

So brace yourself for the amazing gadgets for Pokemon Go that fans are buying all over the countries where the game is available now.

  1. Pokemon Go Ball Shift Knob

Pokemon Go Ball Shift Knob

You instantly fall in love with the look and feel of this Ball Shift Knob. This is a fine way to tell your car passengers that you are a great P.G fan. The $46-gear shift ball is available for all kinds of cars and good thing you can get it on Etsy because they ship products all over the world.

  1. Perfect Aim case for iPhone 6/6s

Perfect Aim Gadget for Pokemon Go

Do you really hate it when the Pokeballs miss the target? Perfect Aim is the perfect treat for you. This smart case is available for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. The casing wraps around your phone flawlessly, even around the screen. A gap is left out in the center so you can slide your Pokeballs directly at the target. Since your fingers swipe in a perfectly straight manner, the chances of successful hits are dramatically increased. At $10.99, Perfect Aim is a fun investment to get more XPs on the game.

  1. Poke Ball portable battery charger

Poke Ball portable battery charger for Pokemon Go

Poke Ball portable battery charger is the coolest gadget for Pokemon Go that you can buy today. Apart from its signature Poke Ball shape, it is lightweight and you don’t need to even hide it because its beautiful cartoonish design is something to boast off. It’s 5,300 mAh battery is more than enough to supercharge your smartphone for another day. The ball features LED indicators that separately indicate whether the battery is charging or the charger is correctly charging your mobile phone. It comes packed with a USB Type-A port for phones and micro-USB cord for recharging. A clip has also been provided so you can just hang it on your belt, bag, or on the wall.

  1. Pokemon Go Plus

Pokemon Go Plus gadget

There is a reason why Pokemon Go Plus the best gadget for Pokemon Go on our list. It is hassle-free and very useful. It is a wristband connects with your smartphone and vibrates whenever a Pokemon is nearby. This helps you collect more Pokemon on the without having to keep your eyes on the phone all the times. The best things in life aren’t easy to get. Unfortunately, the gadget is currently out of stock in the US, but fans in the UK can pre-order them at Nintendo.co.uk.

 

Get the hottest gadgets for Pokemon Go today, fans don’t be late or they could get sold out.


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DigitalLagos News Staff




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Microsoft Xbox One S has finally been delivered, but does it really delivers the promise compared to PS4? Today we are going to review the changes that come with Microsoft’s latest console and whether you should upgrade to it or not.

Xbox One S Design

The most significant upgrade is that the One S is 40% smaller. This makes a huge difference to space-conscious people who like a neat arrangement of their personal space. Secondly, it is white: the controller, the console, and all of it. Now you also don’t have to deal with the big black box that served as a power source in Xbox One, because the latest console has dropped it completely with a sleeker new cable minus the adaptor. Included vertical stand also adds to its awesomeness.

Hardware and Specs. 

Slightly powerful GPU, but in practice, it would be tough to spot the difference during the gameplay. So the hardware isn’t really a huge leap here. It comes with different storage varieties, but with its easy plugin & play, you can also use your old hard drive. Not surprisingly, it does not natively support Kinect. To use it, you have to buy the AC powered USB adaptor, which is quite of a junk of wires and will cost you $40 if you don’t already have it from Xbox One.

Gaming ExperienceXbox One S review gaming experience

It is fair to say that your gaming experience will remain unchanged apart from the revitalized feeling of the new Xbox One S controller. Yes, it supports 4K gaming, but here is the catch: 4K games aren’t here yet and one or two titles may appear towards the end of 2016. And if you can wait this long that you should buy it. But your opinion might change by the time you have read our verdict.

New Controller

Xbox One S review controller

Blue tooth support for easier pairing with PCs, phones, and tablets at a much greater range. Controller also has a headphone jack if you won’t want your neighbors to complain about the ‘noises’ in your room.

Video Experience

Xbox One S offers HDR 10, which is the new standard of high-quality videos that make dark colors appear dark and bright color much more bright, which really makes the videos stand out. Again, the problem is that you need to have a 4K capable TV to use HDR 10 standard, which is a new high even for the most recent and slimmest TVs. Other than that, the 4K Blu-Ray is discs are also supported and if you have a serious bandwidth, enjoy 4K on Netflix.

Graphic User Interface

A more dynamic users interface (UI) for quick access to games and videos. However initially setting it up takes time. Cortana has also been integrated and performs functions much flawlessly through the voice commands. All in all, the new interface has is of the best things about the One S compared to Xbox One.

Xbox One S review kinect

Final Verdict

With so much going on and bits of improvement, lesser space, an upgrade is not recommended because the difference is not really worth it. Microsoft has already announced Project Scorpio, which is a 2017 presentation that is being dubbed as “the most powerful gaming console ever!” Since we are already halfway through 2016, a little more patience can get you a much bigger deal. So save that money.


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DigitalLagos News Staff




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If you are an avid reader of technology news, you’d know that health and fitness bands are on the rise and the latest list of Startup 500 comprises health products scattered all over from top to bottom. This is because people are getting more health and fitness conscious and what to keep you better informed about the status of your physique than a simple device that you can wrap around your wrist.

To keep your fitness level in check you need something that you can carry on you all the times and this is exactly why we are recommending these top 3 trending fitness bands for fitness freaks and body conscious people.

3. FitBit Blaze | $200

FitBit Blaze Watches

FitBit Blaze is a fine blend of price and usability between Apple Watch and Pebble Time Round. That doesn’t mean that the smart watch doesn’t offer you unique features. There are a wide variety of bands to go along with equally dashing frames to suit your personality. Secondly, the Blaze enjoys a cute color touchscreen, with various customization options (not to mention it also shows time). Moreover, the display also capable of calling your phone, sending texts on it or deliver calendar jobs. However, the best feature that really kicked off this product is FitBit’s subscription-based service called FitStar, which keeps your workouts and heart rate in check. The only setback is you will need your phone on your all the times to track your navigation based data.

2. Mira Vivid Wellness | $169

Mira Vivid Wellness Collection

Here is something that is specifically made for women’s taste. While fitness bands are modernized to appear fit on any wrist, some women still want everything they wear to depict their feminist side. Mira brings Vivid Wellness fitness bands to keep the women fit and stylized as well. The bracket you see in the pictures are available in “heart of gold” and “rose” finish. Once you put it on, Vivid band monitors how much calories you have burned through walking or running; so basically tracks how much distance you have traveled. Unlike other fitness bands, Mira Vivid Wellness collection’s tracker is hidden inside it so it appears less like a band (device) and more like a bracelet (jewelry). The latest Mira bands are yet to arrive in the market but you can buy the previous collection.

1. Misfit Ray | $100 (Preorder)

Misfit Ray

Why are we putting Misfit Ray on the top our list? Because it can last as long as six months without requiring a recharge. Longevity matters, not only in mobile phone batteries but fitness bands as well. The Ray doesn’t have an extra-large large battery, it extends the charge by cleverly putting the tracker device to sleep during the period of inactivity. The design is also unique. It is modern, slim, and with a kind of “The Matrix” like aurora about it. I know you are impressed, but we are not done counting the best features. Misfit Ray bands are waterproof for down to 50 meters of depth and can fit into many types of accessories. If you feel it’s not doing the charm on your wrist, hang it on your neck like a necklace and no one will even notice it’s actually a wristband.

In this Top 3, we kept ourselves bound to fitness bands only. But in future posts, we will also list other health gadgets as well. Stay tuned till then and stay healthy!


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OnePlus 3 is the new chef in town, the one which takes the power of android, gathers all the awesome features from high-end and costly smartphones and merges everything into this one dashing piece of hardware. For starters, how does 6GB RAM sounds? Unparalleled right? Then Keep on reading cause you are in for a mighty treat!

Design

OnePlus 3 design, like most of its other hardware and software features, is borrowed from multiple high-end smartphones. It almost feels like holding an HTC or Huawei phone in your hand. But an average smartphone buyer wouldn’t consider that because he is getting a marvellous phone at an affordable price. It is a huge upgrade compared to OnePlus 2.

Specifications

OnePlus 3 specs

The all-new OnePlus 3 is heavy loaded… fully loaded to be more exact. It cherishes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 6GB RAM, 3000mAh battery, and 16MP camera; all at the price of $399. So there are two things to love about this new android master. It can compete with high-end android phones like those offered by Samsung, LG, and HTC. And it can do so with nearly half the price!

More Amazing Features

The latest android phone has everything you could possibly look for in a smartphone (not including Google Tango technology because that just came in). It also boasts AMOLED 5.5” 1080p display, lightweight thinner aluminum body, fingerprint scanner to unlock the screen, HD photographs, HD videos, and you name it.

Accessibility

OnePlus 3 Sotware

You can unlock the phone using its superfast fingerprint scanner or change the setting to double-tap screen for the purpose. Nowadays, accessibility features are also about phone’s view in the VR mode, which honestly isn’t very promising compared to heavy duty pixel masters like Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7S. But unless you don’t put it in a VR headset, the resolution difference is not easily detectable with the naked eye. There are a variety of customizable settings as well like pressing the power button to launch the camera, swipe your hands over its screen to see notifications or time.

Camera and Software

Android Nougat experience is really awesome on OnePlus 3. In fact, it is coolest next to Google’s own Nexus phone. No bloatware. No extra apps. Just pure fun. As to the camera, we had just highlighted its megapixels, but to give you a clear idea, its quality cannot match Samsung Galaxy S7, let iPhone 7s alone. But it does not mean it is not competent, just not equal when it comes to handling low lights and extra brightness.

OnePlus 3 Design

Availability and Market Power

Unlike its competition, OnePlus 3 is outright available almost everywhere. In fact, its marketing hype grew so much out of control that people were getting the summer of their life in the long ques. Reportedly, over 30,000 units sold in less than 5 seconds after its launch, literally setting a hard-to-beat milestone for upcoming android smartphones.

Wrapping Up

The makers of OnePlus 3 have learned a lot from its past mistakes and their latest $399 presentation is a proof of its improvement. In Nigeria, you can get it for ₦ 247,199 which is just reasonable if you compared it to Apple phones.


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Virtual reality phenomenon has spread so fast the VR games are no longer a ‘freshly out.’ But even after Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR, people still don’t really know what games to buy to get the best VR experience. This is not the fault of standalone VR headsets, but cheap low graphics games offered for Google Cardboards.

Truth is, the virtual reality technology itself is still nascent and it will take some time before inconveniences like window effect and low frames rates are completely eradicated. For now, we can only rely on VR games for high-end developers which offer both graphical power and optimization as well.

These top 3 VR games with HD graphics and high performance include Chronos, The Climb, and Robinson: The Journey.

3. Chronos (2016)

Chronos is more like your traditional game but with supersized VR window. The latest RPG game is designed in a way that the more you play this game, the more you will about the survival tactics, so only very engaging players get to be the best. The graphical fidelity is really good for a VR game in its initial stages. The gameplay is downright full of action and monsters that appear really lively through the lenses of Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. If we have to give you an anonymous example, think of a combination of Tomb Raider and Zelda.

2. The Climb (2016)

The Climb by Crytek is the most thrilling VR game that you are ever going to play. It’s coming from the gaming studio that brought you super-awesome graphical and visually stunning games like “Crisis 2” and “Crisis 3.” As the name indicates, the game is about climbing mountains in virtual reality, each time trying to win a greater high. While two pair of gloves is all you would see, the experience is so immersive that when you look down, the fear of falling down gets to you at least on some level. Moreover, there are chances that some weak-hearted players would feel their head spinning and start puking, not due to apart from side effects of low frame rates, but due to acrophobia.

1. Robinson: The Journey (2016)

This again comes from Crytek and it seems like they are hellbent to give you a journey of your life through games that are packed with adrenaline. Unlike “The Climb,” you don’t have to fear the heights, this time, you fear the Dinosaurs! The official trailer of the game shows the player is standing in a jungle and there’s a cute spherical hovering robot your his assistance. Suddenly there’s some sort of unrest and dinosaurs are running from something, which turns out to be nothing but your worst dinosaur nightmare, the T-Rex!

 

Final Words

Did you know that some VR games were exclusive to Occulus Rift and you previously couldn’t play them on HTC Vive. This included Chronos as well. Thankful, Occulus removed the exclusivity and the Vive users play such titles by employing a simple hack. Now that PSV is also here, these top 3 VR games with HD Graphics and High Performance will reinstate the image of virtual reality in your eyes.


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GoPro is undoubtedly the world’s best adventure cam that can be used to record HD videos for any occasion. Designed for pro-quality videos, it comes in multiple varieties but GoPro Hero 4 certainly has the lead as the most favorite among stunt makers. For such a cool camera gadget, it is necessary to buy a few accessories that come handy on the travel. So today we will be focusing on top GoPro tripod accessories, their features, prices, and what makes them stand out in the market.

Octopus Tripod for GoPro Hero series | 6.49 USD

Octopus Tripod for GoPro

Fat Cat takes inspiration from Spiderman 2 and converts Hero 4 into Doctor Octopus with this cool tripod. The legs are made from ball-like beads that function as hinges and give a pretty good flexibility and adjustment to the camera. The design is awesome with the black and white finish, the material is very solid with steel support to the plastic, and can sustain up to 1 kg weight without bending out of the form. The pods are pulled closed enough; it can rise as high as 25 cm.

3-in-1 Bracket Tripod Monopod and Extension Arm for GoPro | 37 USD

3-in-1 bracket tripod for GoPro

Now here is what flexing tripods don’t offer: a great pole grip, high mounting, fast rotation and, easy management but you can get it with this professional looking multipurpose GoPro mounter. It serves as a 3-in-1 mounting accessory; camera grip, extension arm or tripod. Doesn’t matter which mode you are using, its amazing folding ability moves along. So this can reliably replace your typical selfie stick with a longer and flexing one.

At the base is a tripod that can be pulled out to turn it into a stand combined with which it gives you a total height of 50.8 centimeters from the floor. It is some tough stuff and is made up of plastic, metal and silicone components.

Joby GorillaPod Tripod Mount for GoPro | 20 USD

Joby GorillaPod for GoPro

While Octopus tripod is a good choice, it is not as stable as GorillaPod could be on thousands of surfaces and situations. It is comparatively more flexible, more portable, and all out more useful for adventure cams and stunt making. You can wrap it around trees, poles, ledges, or simply hang it up on a wire. It is durable with lightweight carbon fiber body, and can lift up to 5 kg load without flexing.

Its design is essentially the same as our third tripod, but with an added flexibility. The original Joby GorillaPod comes at $20 but some varieties can cost up to $100 (GorillaPod Focus). We are putting this on the top of our list because it can cling to available objects so you can maneuver amazing camera angles for your perfect shot. This is exactly what GoPro wants you to have to Be A Hero.

 

There are also other mounting accessories for Hero 4 (and its siblings) in the market, but if you consider versatility, affordability, and portability; these top 3 GoPro tripod accessories are the way to go. Keep in touch for more top listings and don’t forget to comment.


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Why Moto Z phones is the Best Modular series till date?

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Motorola recently launched its modular smartphone series Moto Z and Moto Z Force. We have known about Google’s project Ara, LG G5 for a quite some time now along with other highly anticipated modular phones, however, Moto Z surprisingly serves took the lead away as  the first every fully functional modular phone with swappable components. So is it really the best?

Let’s look at some of the best features of the phone and what makes it is currently the champion of modular phones.

Best Features and prices

Moto Z-Droid 32 GB $624
Moto Z Force Droid 32 GB $720
Moto Z-Droid 64 GB $674
Moto Z Force Droid 64 GB $770
  • Shatterproof screen
  • Modular snap on accessories
  • High processing power
  • Slim, elegant design

Moto Z Design

The first thing that we noticed in Moto Z series is that they were lacking headphone jacks, offering only Bluetooth-enabled headphone connectivity. Thankfully, Motorola was quick to learn its mistake because we cannot live without it. Next, the design is pretty gorgeous for a modular phone. In fact, this is the first in its category without weird looking attachments or dividers on its body.

Hardware Specs

Moto Z and Moto Z Force specs comparison

Motorola has endowed both smartphones with 5.5” QHD display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 32GB and 64GB (optional) internal storage with up to 2TB microSD support. Moto Z boasts a 2,600 mAh battery, Gorilla Glass 4, and 13MP camera while Moto Z Force has 3,500mAh, shatterproof glass (hence called Force), and 21MP camera. So for modular phones, these handsets possess a formidable firepower inside the body.

Modularity

Moto Z modular accessories

What makes Moto Z phones stand out is their snap on accessories that elegant fight on its back. Furthermore, they are universal which means a single accessory can work across all the present and future Moto Z phones. These modules include,

Back covers: Costing $13 each, the back covers virtually flatten otherwise a bulging camera on its backside and there are a variety of designs.

Speaker module: At $80, the module comes with a hinged stand that merges into its body, and are useful when you are out on a trip.

Moto Z speaker accessory

Moto Z projector: It the most advanced tech accessory that projects your phone’s screen to 70” display with a 480p resolution, but it isn’t very affordable at $300, which is half the price of the smartphone.

Moto Z Projector

Power accessories:  The prices range from $60-$80 based on how much charge they can hold, but none of the back modules fully charge the smartphone to 100%.

Motorola promises more accessories in the future which could mean many things, but for now, these accessories are enough to take off the Moto Z Hype.

Best modular phone?

It depends on how you measure it because it may be a modular phone but its modularity is restricted to basic elements which come as accessories. In comparison, modular phones like Fair Phone 2 offer deep hardware reconfigurations for RAM, camera, and more. Likewise, Google’s project Ara goes as far as replacing all the individual components, leaving the motherboard as hollow case and they can be swapped much easily.

Google project Ara

The Verdict

I think Motorola leads the market because it is available and with not a very bad offer. At the same time the other modular phones are still passing through prototyping. Beautiful design, powerful cameras, range of high-tech snap on accessories, and especially the invincible screen of Moto Z Force add a strong sale life to the new Moto Z series.


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Disruptive Technologies is Pivotal to Nigeria’s GDP growth

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If there’s any observation that was made clear during the just concluded Nigeria International Technology and Exhibition (NITEC) conference, it’s the fact that disruptive technologies if adequately explored can contribute significantly to Nigeria’s GDP. Currently, the total contribution of ICT to Nigeria’s economy lies at nine percent.

Disruptive technologies refer to either a new technological concept or innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts existing market forces while also displacing the established market leaders and alliances.

Leading investors such as Airtel Nigeria, Nigeria Internet Registration Association and Yudala.com among other stakeholders that were represented at the conference hold the vision that ICT start-ups in the country can contribute even more to the economy if they can embrace the increasingly available opportunities in the market as well as innovations that deliver value.

Some of the sentiments from the major market players and regulators were:

1. NCC

Speaking on behalf of the executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo said disruptive technologies and innovation is a positive development concept in the transformation of the GDP of not only Nigeria but also the African continent where traditional operators have enjoyed generous technological opportunities.

He noted that in most cases big corporations dismiss the value of disruptive technologies in the notion that they do not reinforce specific goals held by the companies only to be blindsided as the technologies mature and gain larger audiences as well as market share and later threaten the status quo. These enterprises are notably stuck to working with the so-called sustained technologies.

2. Airtel

Also at the conference was the deputy president of network operations, Airtel Nigeria, Adedoyin Adeola who challenged the government to formulate regulations that allow spectrum and active infrastructure sharing, removal of double taxation and declaration of Telco as a critical national infrastructure as well as helping SMEs to develop Innovation Centers.

While identifying enabling fiscal and monetary policies, quality and data transmission, economic ecosystem for phones, cloud service, and broadband penetration as significant concerns that need the attention of both the government and SMEs, Mr Adeola further challenged the latter to invest in capacity building through internships and challenge programs so as to discover young talents.

Contribution Overtime

There have been several new disruptive technologies and innovations since the new millennium when telecommunications sector hardly earned the country a billion US – dollars and there were not many people owning mobile phones but over time the figure has increased to over $32 billion with approximately 148 million people owning the gadgets, of course, thanks to liberalization.

Applicable Technologies

According to a report by McKinsey and Company, there’re about 10 disruptive technologies that are applicable in Nigeria and elsewhere in the continent. These includes mobile internet, internet of things (IoT), cloud connectivity, advanced robotics, over the top services (OTT), autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles, renewable energy storage as well as value addition among others.


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Molly Nelley




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Top 5 Extreme Gadget Technologies

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Technology is advancing at a rapid pace. What used to take decades to complete is now accomplished in less than a week. Human Genome Project is a significant example, which took billions of dollars and over 11 years to sequence the first human genome. Now it can be done in a matter of days at the expense of a few hundred dollars. So let’s have a look at the top 5 gadget technologies that are changing the world as we are watching it happen.

5. Google Tango

Google Tango technology uses GPS and cameras to track a user’s path and read his environment. It has given way to what we called an indoor navigation system. So basically, a Tango-enabled device learns about its surroundings and processes that information to guide you through complex buildings, keep a tag on objects or use the data in a fun way to make augmented games. This extreme innovation is soon coming to your smartphones as Lenovo Tab 2 Pro is going to be the pioneer cell phone to introduce the technology, but it will eventually find its way into other gadgets in the coming years.

4. 3D Holography

3D Holography is amazingly just as simple as extreme it sounds. Thankfully, science was quick to break it open for us and we are making amazing holography gadgets, but the technology itself still nascent and it is still trying to hit the perfect idea that is both marketable and practical. Of course, smartphones is the most efficient way to go. Takee claims to be bringing the world’s first holographic 3D smartphone. But the company is employing a state of the art eye tracking system using four cameras while a more refined form will be based on lesser sensors. Watch the DIY 3D Hologram phone video below to understand its simplicity.

3. Augmented Reality

Microsoft HoloLens is the first thing that comes to your mind when AR technology is under discussion. However since its arrival that have been Magic Leaps that take augmented reality to the next level. While the later company is still working under the hood to perfect its product, HoloLens is already being used by automakers like Volvo to create something called ‘Augmented Showrooms’ where cars and their different body parts are projected in an augmented version, which is pretty extreme and awesome too.

2. Bluetooth 5

bluetooth-5 extreme

What is Bluetooth 5? It is the same like Bluetooth (4.2) but with 2X speed, 2X coverage, and 2X more accurate. Yes, Bluetooth 5 is not only going to enhance the range of connectivity, it will also be more location-aware and thus will be used for more precise navigational uses in smartphones and other gadgets. We are adding it in our list because it will have a range of over 300 meters, virtually beating the Wifi systems.

1. 3D Printing

Designers and innovators are using 3D printing technology to prototype their products. It has become very scalable in a fairly short time and is being used to print out from tiny hardware components to objects as large as automobile monocoques and even entire houses. Although typical 3D printers available in the market are often criticized for their performance and output, but thanks to likes of extreme gadget makers like nuTech, Tiko is finally here for builders at home.

 

These top 5 extreme technologies for gadgets are going to change lives in the future just like touchscreen did when they first arrived. So let’s keep a close tag on them and see what happens. Hopefully, you enjoyed our selection.


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Top 3 Smart Casings for Your Smartphone

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There is tons of variety out there in the market when it comes to smartphone casings. You will find shiny ones, artistic ones with monstrous and scenic engravings, and so many other mainly focused on the design. However, the ‘smart’ smartphone casings do more just than show off. They serve an extra purpose and make themselves more useful while you are on the move. So here are top 3 smart casings for your cell phone. Let the countdown begin!

  1. Flitchio Gaming Case

Here is a cup of tea for the gamers. Flitchio is an incredible gaming smartphone casing that upgrades your mobile gaming experience with physical buttons and joysticks. It includes two joysticks on the back and two shoulder buttons on the side for horizontal games. The advantage is that not only you enjoy a complete view of your phone’s screen (without interruption of fingers) but also get a measurable feedback from the physical buttons.

The gamepad-cum-casing stands out because it is pressure sensitive like iPhone’s 3D touch and connects wirelessly via NFC. The technology is completely open source and dozens of games have already been distributed for the platform.

  1. Nexpac Modular Smartphone Case

Nexpac… we really like. It is a modular smartphone case that we would love to put on the top of this list, but rest assure the number one won’t disappoint you. As for Nexpac, it allows you a world of possibilities including adding modules like camera, laser, hotkeys, air quality detector, amplified speaker, extra battery, thermometer, USB flashlight, 32GB storage, SD card reader, and even a breathalyzer as well. It is currently available for Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6.

The best thing is you can change modules with friends and family and put on the only ones that you really need at a time. So you can make different module combinations for your holiday trip or office work. Even if you change the phone, you will only need to change the Nexpac case, all the modules are universal and transferable across all the Nexpac modular smartphone casings. No doubt, it is a complete upgrade package for your favorite smartphones.

  1. Alien Skin Protective Smartphone Case

This is our top pick because we haven’t seen anything quite like this. Alien Skin is the ultimate guardian of your smartphone and protects it from all sorts of environmental stresses. The cell phone casing is shockproof, shatterproof, water resistant, anti-bacterial, and even repels stains as ignorable as fingerprints. All that awesomeness without putting on more than few grams on the phone and with a transparent covering that you can barely notice.

The more you learn about amazing features of this smart casing, the more you wish you could get one for yourself too. It is also able to repair itself, blocks 95% of the sunlight from reaching the body inside, and offers all-around protection (full body cover). You can wrap it on just as easily as you can remove it. Last but not the least, it comes with Lifetime guarantee! The only setback is that it is for iPhones exclusively.

 

There you go, the top 3 smart cases for your smartphone. We will put out some more interesting gadgets, accessories, and collection so don’t forget to tune back in soon.


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At Google’s recent I/O 2016 event where they unveil some of their latest technology and software endeavors, they stunned the crowd when they confirmed their plans to enter into the Virtual Reality (VR) realm. With many of the tech giants looking to create a berth within the emerging market, Google is the latest to hop on board with some exciting new product and software developments that are going to take the industry by storm.
Google unveiled a new mobile VR platform called Daydream. It is currently built on top of Android N, which happens to be Google’s current mobile platform on all of their devices. Daydream is going to push virtual reality into a different marketplace, so that it doesn’t have to compete with some of the current market leaders like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. Some developers are creating virtual reality backpacks, which require the user to carry around a compact PC to use, but it’s clear that Google wants to do even better than that. Daydream is Google’s platform that will allow creators and developers to build an ecosystem of applications and video games with virtual reality in mobile devices. Google has already taken the first step forward by creating special virtual reality versions of their applications like Google Photos, Google Movies, YouTube, and Street View from their Maps.

Daydream virtual reality.

Some big companies have also jumped on board with Google’s new VR platform like entertainment companies HBO and Netflix, and gaming giants Ubisoft and Electronic Arts. Currently Google’s new VR platform will only work on new phones that are going to be released in the Fall of 2016 from phone makers HTC, LG, Samsung and Huawei.
In order to use Google’s new Daydream platform that will launch alongside some of the newest Fall 2016 phones, Google also announced their own version of a VR headset. There were previous rumors that they might do so, and it was confirmed at the event. They unveiled some mock designs that will utilize a headpiece along with a touchpad controller. Google is essentially providing developers with the idea of where their hardware is heading, and their software will provide the tools with which to get there. Google currently has plans to make the headset more affordable and readily available than the current VR headsets on the market like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive.

riftvive-980x443
The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are two of the most known virtual reality headsets to hit the marketplace, and now that Google is entering, the explosion of VR related software and applications is going to jump leaps and bounds. Google has its very own vast library of developers and creators that will help push virtual reality devices and connectivity into the future. With the large application network they have through their Google Play platform, Google will be able to adapt and create new application development opportunities that previously didn’t exist to such extent.
With Google’s open software platform, the possibilities of VR applications are endless. If Google’s venture is successful, no longer will virtual reality users be tethered to a large computer or gaming platform, they can do it all through their phone. Google will also be able to create multiple products from potential ideas that might spin off of their Daydream development community.
Only time will tell who will win the battle between some of the tech giants getting involved in the race. If the past is any indicator, the company who provides the most open source development and platform support will be the likely winner. With Google’s entry into the marketplace with their very own VR headset and mobile platform called Daydream, it is clear that the company is making virtual reality a priority for the future.


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Google’s biggest annual event Google I/O 2016 came to pass last month, and with it loads of new gadgets, apps and, tech upgrades were announced. The actual list and their individual details are too much to take, so we are going to focus on the ones that will really make you jump. So here are some coolest new technologies Google announced on the big occasion.

 

Revitalized Google Assistant

Google CEO Sundar Pichai opened the I/O 2016 with the introduction of the new Google Assistant, which is now more intelligent, heuristic, adaptive, personalized, and even chattier. The AI program is more user-friendly with extensive app integrations, especially when it comes to driving Google’s own products like Allo and Google Home. Additional features including voice commands that not only help find stuff but order them as well, so future of voice-based transaction is already here.

Android N

Say goodbye to Marshmallow, the torch has been passed to Android N, featuring quick setting buttons, loads of emojis, and the most anticipated function that never fully got to Android until now… split-screens! Not only can you multitask with the Nth itineration of new smart OS, you also get more control over your notifications, GPU, 3D graphics, and much more. In fact, the only thing we don’t have about Android N is its name.

Android Wear 2.0

Android Wear 2.0 isn’t really the Magic Leap we expected, but it has certainly been enhanced, like the ability to let users make data from any app show up on any watch face. Version 2.0 makes Android Wear fairly autonomous and relies less on smartphones or cellular networks, so you can have fun with your watch without hovering around your phone. Android Wear 2.0 also gets tiny QWERTY keyboard and third-party app integration so it’s fair to say the air around Apple Watch is getting tighter.

Google Home

Google Home is the search giant’s take on Amazon Echo’s home invading strategy. These are central smart home devices that work with other connected devices to let you automate your home appliances and even schedule tasks like the time your coffee-maker. Furthermore, like the Echo’s Alexa, Google Home comes with now revolutionized Google Assistant with voice-based commands and chit chat. It is going to be a complete package for home management.

Android Instant Apps

Running Android apps without downloading them would be really time-saver, wouldn’t it? Well, now you get to play with new android apps without having to download the massive amount of megabytes, just to get disappointed later. So Google I/O 2016 completely nailed it when it finally announced that this option is soon coming home with Android Instant Apps.

Google Daydream VR

The I/O 2016 announced it out loud… Google is finally stepping into the virtual reality business with Daydream VR. Of course, there is Google Cardboard but the tech behemoth is taking it to the next level, without bloating on its price. The new VR headset is going to get increased performance support from Android N and will compete with likes of Samsung Gear VR.

There you go! We know these coolest Google I/O 2016 announcement will keep you spell-bound for a while so we will let you be. Keep tuning in for more interesting technology updates.


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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is looking for a framework to regulate operations of messaging apps like WhatsApp messenger, BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook, and Skype in the Nigerian telecom market. The messaging apps offer Over-The-Top (OTT) services which mean, they operate over the traditional telephony networks to empower users with multimedia communication, but they are not linked to a carrier service provider which regulate their operations.

This is because OTT services are offered through Internet communication, using which top tech companies like WhatsApp messenger, BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook, and Skype deliver their services worldwide. These services fall under messaging apps and local telecom operators are not entitled to regulate their operations.

As of now, the major players in the Nigerian telecom market are MTN, Etisalat, Glo, and Airtel. These operators do not have the rights to regulate operations of messaging apps. Apart from that, internet telephonic services and live streaming apps are also part of OTT services and the advent of 3G and 4G networking in Nigeria has further amplified the usage of such services.

According to a new report forwarded by the Policy, Competition & Economic Analysis Department of the NCC, OTT services are posing a threat to traditional telephone network operators. The report titled ‘An Overview of Provision of Over the Top [OTT] Services,” seeks to regulate operations of messaging apps by discouraging the expansion of over-the-top services. The report further postulates that the cheaper rates, sometimes free, of such internet telephonic services can affect the national economy.

OTT services providers have many advantages over Nigerian telecom service providers including taxes that they don’t have to pay to the local governments. So while companies like MTN, Etisalat, Glo and Airtel pay tolls, WhatsApp, Facebook, Viber, and Skype do not hold any monetary liability, which is posing a threat to future of local telecom companies because their revenues will continue to plummet over the years.

“To further worsen this issue, the traditional operators still have to make significant investments in upgrading their networks to handle the increasing volume of data generated by the same providers of OTT services,” the report continued, “Similarly, third-party web content and social networking companies such as Google and Facebook are increasingly generating huge revenues and driving high levels of data traffic which ride on the broadband networks of traditional telecom operators’.

The NCC report concluded that unless OTT services are charged for revenues they generate over the internet, local telecom companies might lose the incentives “to continue to maintain or upgrade the networks,” meaning that the telephonic companies might completely discontinue their services in the face of increasing loss. The report also notified that a regulation system would also curtail security risks posed by OTT services.

“Because VoIP relies on your Internet connection, it may be vulnerable to many of the same problems that face computers,” the report denoted. Which means, these services can serve as a wild horse for malicious attackers to ride on and carry out deleterious activities like intercepting communications, causing failure of services, infringing phone to make unsolicited calls and manipulate caller ID among many other security threats.

The NCC report doesn’t speak for just Nigeria, OTT services are becoming a rising debate across the globe. Recently Facebook’s Free Basics service was banned in India on the grounds of not up keeping with internet neutrality.

 


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The fact Infinix is taking over the African smartphone market is not new. How this is happening however, is a trending debate. The now leading smartphone brand in Africa has a strong mobility both within and beyond the continent. This strong Infinix mobility is matched with a similar online presence and superior unique mobile tech abilities.

Astonishingly, the Infinix product range is nothing compared with its’ competitors. Unlike them it covers the market with just two smartphone series, these are: Infinix ZERO and, the Infinix HOT. Whereas the ZERO series offers higher-end mobile tech specs targeting the fast emerging African middle class, Infinix HOT devices have mid-level technology that targets students & entrepreneurs.

 

The narrow product range enables the manufacturers to focus their attention on research, innovation, and development of each of the smartphone series. The fastest mobile phone’s manufacturer is said to have sold at least 150,000 products of its latest mobile phone devices as at now, three years since the company’s inception into the market. So it seems the slim product range allows it proper selling.

70% of the sales are actually attributed to E-commerce. 30% sales are however attained through the conventional channels including offline retail agencies and stores. The Infinix HOT devices come with a number of pre-installed e-commerce applications such as Jumia.com, which are by the way increasingly gaining popularity within Nigeria, Africa and beyond. Access to content therefore is easier. Retail stores such as SLOT and YUDALA are also investing in the online space.

Infinix HOT 2 runs on the latest operating system in the market, Android Lollipop 5.1. This is an updated version of the Lollipop 5.0. Other than enhanced screen sensitivity, the Lollipop 5.1 O.S is great in fixing multiple bugs, improving stability, performance, and the battery life. It has some well-ordered little tricks and fancy animations that make it even more lively. With the O.S, Google made quick settings even better.

Other than the new Android Lollipop 5.1, key features of the popular Infinix HOT 2 smartphone series include: A 5.0” display color IPS LCD Screen, 720 x 1280 pixels (293ppi) display, 16GB, 1GB RAM internal memory, 32GB SD card support, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, W-LAN, GPS, 8 MP rear camera and 2MP front camera, 1.3GHz quad-core Processor, a LED Flash, and a stylish sleek design and multi-colored cover.

As if these are not enough, the device will get an automatic and unrestricted update of Android Marshmallow 6.0 later this month. The state-of-the-art update to the Android operating system offers a number of features specifically designed to enhance the user experience, among them:

  • Simplified permissions and a greater control of the information applications can access, that is, not only at the installation stage but also at any other time when in use.
  • A silent feature for sound and vibrate modes as well as a “Do Not Disturb” mode to block all sounds or only alarms and notifications.
  • Doze Mode which shuts down background processing of certain apps when the phone is not in use, to significantly prolong battery life.

Other than offering products with cutting-edge technology applications, Infinix Mobility holds an interestingly simple but efficient marketing strategy. Theirs is based on two more aspects, that is; customer experience and online presence. The company recently developed its own User Interface.

While many manufacturers tend to provide pretty much the same user interfaces. Infinix Mobility however stands out. It delivers customized interface that suits most client needs. Their interface (UIX) focuses on offering products with a better design, faster screen sensitivity and enhanced energy efficiency.

While commenting on this, Bruno Li, the country Manager said customer’s participation was the key. He said Infinix is not only selling devices, but including its fans to take part in building and improving its’ high-tech. “Young people are always connected and looking for what’s trending. It seems the demand is online,” he said adding that using the right marketing channel was the key to their success.

As mentioned earlier, Infinix Mobility uses its’ strong online presence to reach out to its’ clients. According to Benjamin Jiang, the Infinix Mobility CEO, social media is extremely important to their consumers. And just show how, he recently opened up: https://www.facebook.com/Benjamin-Jiang, his Facebook page to the public. In not more than a month his profile gathered an emphatic 3000 fans.

Also commenting about their No. 1online smartphone brand status, Jiang said: ”We talk to our fans as they are our close friends. Infinix fans are much more than users, they are our main concern. The most important thing for us is to understand what consumers need, to provide smartphones that fit their needs”.

Infinix Mobility also noted it is just about getting clients online. But in gaining their loyalty through offering better products, services, a better customer participation and experience. Loyalty of the fans was cultivated through a BBS forum owned by the company. In it users are welcome to share their suggestions about products through a loyalty program. Sometimes suggestions can be transferred to market facing product improvements.


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Since 1871, the rise of technology has created more job opportunities than it’s replaced, a new study has found, stating that while dangerous and repetitive jobs have been handed over to machines, positions in the care, education, creative, and service industries have increased.

“The dominant trend is of contracting employment in agriculture and manufacturing being more than offset by rapid growth in the caring, creative, technology, and business services sectors,” economists at US consultancy Deloitte write, having analysed census data for England and Wales between 1871 and 2011. “Machines will take on more repetitive and laborious tasks, but seem no closer to eliminating the need for human labour than at any time in the last 150 years.”

As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated with every humour-detecting,philosophy-spoutingcard shark of a robot that gets wheeled out of a university robotics lab, there’s always the worry that one day a machine will do all of our jobs better than we ever can. Right now, driverless cars have truck drivers seriously worried, automated check-out systems are replacing human cashiers – whether you like it or not – and the Associated Press even has ‘robot journalists’ penning their own stories now.

But worry not, fellow humans, because the Deloitte economists’ review of technology’s place the job market – in the UK at least – has concluded that it’s a “great job-creating machine”, increasing our collective spending power and creating opportunities in the burgeoning ‘leisure’ sector.

“Rising wages and more leisure time has meant that people are spending more money on grooming now than they were during the Victorian period – as a result, there is now one hairdresser for every 287 people in England and Wales, as opposed to one for every 1,793 in 1871,” Doug Bolton writes at The Independent. 

The same thing can be seen in another great time sap: bars. “Despite the decline in the traditional pub, census data shows that the number of people employed in bars rose fourfold between 1951 and 2011,” the report states.

Adding to this is the fact that more advanced technology has led to some serious price-cuts not only in essential goods, such as food, but also in bigger investments, including cars, televisions, and kitchen appliances. Which means more money leftover to take more holidays (= more tourism jobs), own more pets (= more vets and pet-sitting jobs), and indulge in more restaurant meals and cocktails (= more restaurant and bar staff), for example.

Plus all that extra cash needs someone to look after it, the report finding a 20-fold rise in accountants over the past 140 years.

We’re also living longer (perhaps in part because we’ve given the dangerous jobs to machines) which has seen positions in the care industry skyrocket. As Katie Allen reports for The Guardian, the report found a 909 percent rise in nursing auxiliaries and assistants over the last two decades alone. In the same period, Allen reports, there was also a 580 percent increase in teaching and educational support assistants.

On the other hand, where technology seems to have irrevocably replaced jobs is in the agricultural field and, yep, laundry.

“In the UK the first sector to feel this effect on any scale was agriculture,” says the study, calculating that the percentage of the workforce of England and Wales engaged in agriculture has gone from 6.6 percent in 1871 to 0.2 percent today.Similarly, says The Guardian, back in 1901, 200,000 of England and Wales’s 32.5 million people were employed in the clothes-washing business, and by 2011, just 35,000 in a population of 56.1 million are flying the launderers’ flag.

“A collision of technologies, indoor plumbing, electricity, and the affordable automatic washing machine have all but put paid to large laundries and the drudgery of hand-washing,” the economists conclude.

Head to The Guardian to see a full breakdown of the results of the study.

Of course, the results apply only to part of the UK, so it would be fascinating to see how things shaped up for the rest of the world. And, interestingly, Deloitte itself acknowledges that things could change in the coming decades. A separate report published late last year found that one-third of jobs in the UK at risk from automation, with 35 percent of existing UK jobs at high risk of replacement in next 20 years.

Whatever happens, humans are nothing if not resourceful. Maybe we’ll all end up serving our robot masters in robot bars, robot petshops, and robot cruise ships? As long as they don’t turn on us, we’ll probably be just fine.


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Show, don’t tell, seems to be establishing itself as the fastest-growing method of communication among millennials. With the monopoly that social media and the Internet have on interpersonal interactions between friends, family members, and acquaintances, it comes as little surprise that young Americans rely predominantly on smart phones and their messaging apps to get in touch with one another. But when it comes to what type of services they’re using, apps like Pinterest and Instagram are becoming more and more popular, while the still-dominant Facebook has rather plateaued. According to a recent Pew Research study regarding mobile messaging and social media in 2015, both Instagram and Pinterest have seen their user base numbers double in the last three years.

Thirty-one percent of online adults now report using Pinterest, and 28 percent say they’re active on Instagram — up more than 100 percent from 2012, when just 15 and 13 percent, respectively, of the online communities claimed to be loyal users. Nearly 60 percent of Instagram users report checking the app on a daily basis, whereas just a year ago, less than half reported such behavior.

RelatedThese corporate social media fails are so bad, they’ve had to issue mea culpas

Interestingly enough, Instagram’s user demographics also differs a bit from other social media networks, boasting a larger proportion of nonwhite individuals than sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And as for the inspiration boards of Pinterest, women remain the dominant site visitors, with the vast majority of them being under the age of 50.
15612462524902024692 Despite these positive trends for the highly visual social networks, Facebook certainly remains the mothership when it comes to online communities. Seventy-two percent of the online community has a profile, and 70 percent report daily visits to the site. And while the company may be reaching its saturation point, its continued efforts towards monetizing its user base is keeping investors highly interested in what Zuckerberg and Co. have yet to offer. So keep on connecting, millennials. Just don’t forget to step away from your screens and actually see one another face-to-face every once in a while.

Re-blogged from www.digitaltrends.com


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Digitallagos blogs welcomes its readers to another week full of happening events. This week Digitallagos brings you the highlights of the Alcatel-Lucent Week that took place earlier this month in Lagos and Abuja. The event exhibited the importance of Networking Technologies and its scope in Nigeria. The main attention was on the fact that how could Ultra-Broadband benefit the nation?

The event was attended by a number of professionals from the ICT sector and the count nearly touched hundreds. These professionals included those who are involved in network design, strategic planning, new service implementation and network management groups working with big names like Airtel, MTN, NATCOM and NCC (Nigeria Communications Commission). With veterans from such reputed organizations attending the event, the attendees had a lot to learn and take with them. The topics showcased included ultra-broadband that covered wireless and LTE, IP routing and transport facilities, Microwave and optics transmission. The agenda was designed and formulated such that both the Nigeria ICT professionals and the Alcatel-Lucent subject matter experts exchanged their frank and valuable views about the upcoming technologies in the field of communication. They also discussed how the opportunities that are available in this field would bring a bright future to this ultra connected world.

Richard Edet, managing director of Alcatel-Lucent Nigeria feels that Nigeria is the fastest growing economy in Africa and has the base for the largest and the fastest growing telecom industry in the continent. He said ‘telecom industry is getting involved day by day and is changing the face of this world with its immense potential’. He also added that the telecom sector can give boost to other related sectors and can create a number of opportunities there but for that the country needs a amendment and improvement in its current infrastructure. ‘The existing infrastructure will need much greater capacity in order to implement ultra-broadband connectivity that could support end-to-end reachability between both urban and remote areas’, he said. This directly points to investment in technology areas like, mobile, cloud and big data analytics that will offer the right base for implementation of the IP networking technologies. His views about the event said ‘The Alcatel-Lucent week is an excellent occasion exchange, share and build up together the next innovation framework that will help our customers. I look forward to the next coming up session.’

An ultra connected society will power individuals to have fast and easy connections everywhere and all the time. This will bring along a rich experience whether we talk about a video call, a web browser session, instant messaging or video buffering. Banking, health-care, education and many more sectors will be affected in a great fashion through the implementation of ultra-broadband services thus leading to a interconnected world. All this is indispensable for Nigeria’s progress. In a growing country like Nigeria, such advancements can bring about a better quality living.


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E-commerce offers great benefits to any community. Online shopping and Internet businesses have rocketed rapidly and these play a vital role in affecting a country’s economy. With innovation happening across the globe, a good percentage of world trade is done via the Internet. Nigeria is backing up on the improved broadband access, which is the reason online shopping is flourishing in this country and has become Africa’s largest economy.

Emergent e-commerce:

Nigeria is productive and high-yielding ground for e-commerce and it has been evident by the statistics. According to a research study, the amount of existing and potential online shoppers in Nigeria sum up to 89 percent of the Internet users. You can say that this covers almost each of the users who are connected to the online world. Comparing this to South Africa, the numbers are 70 percent with just 60 percent in Kenya. It has been estimated that transactions of around 2 Million USD are done weekly in Nigeria with Jumia, Konga and Google store being the hot favorites.

How mobiles are driving a positive change?

Mobile technology is penetrating very well to drive a positive change in this area. The mobile apps have changed the way we work and today there’s an app for almost everything. Online retailers are targeting audience by launching mobile apps. Almost 50% of users, who own a smart phone, have used it once a month for online shopping. Though shopping through mobile browsers can be cumbersome, the number is more significant than the app users. This is mainly due to lack of availability of apps for some of the retail stores.

What encourages buyers?

 The factors that encourage a buyer to indulge in online shopping are offers, faster and convenient deliveries and low prices (in that order). Giving offers on certain items is the most used method by retailers and is the most intriguing one. When asked, people tend to feel that a door step delivery is much more fun to have rather than wasting time to reach the stores and facing traffic jams that is a common scenario in Nigeria.

What discourages buyers?

 Payment security and cost of deliveries put off customers sometimes. Nearly 30 percent people don’t shop online cause they feel that online payment is not secured. In such a case, they are not ready to feed their credit card details to the online merchant or to the website. Implementing cash on delivery is making improvements in this area. The second concern is the cost of deliveries. Around 25 percent feel that cost of deliveries on certain items is high.

This sector is becoming big and is the next thing to look forward to for the investors and job seekers, as this will result in a good amount of revenue for the investors and create a number of jobs for young Nigerians. There just needs to be some awareness and technological advancements that help people build trust in this new upcoming and potential idea. Let digitallagos know about your views by commenting below and stay tuned for my post.

Source: http://venturesafrica.com


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Efficient project managers are key to the success of any business – but do you need to hire one? With collaborative management app Trello, it seems you won’t have to.

While that might be stretching reality a bit too far, Trello does provide a simple and effective web-based application from which to operate. It also somehow makes managing your projects enjoyable.

Similar to the kanban method of progressive to-do’s, Trello offers users a ‘pinboard’ style project management platform. Basically, a system of lists containing lists, it’s useful to people or businesses that need to manage collaborative projects – whether day to day office tasks, a collection of remote employees, a content calendar or the next end of year party. By implementing powerful in-app functionalities and integration with both Google Drive and Dropbox, Trello moves above and beyond a simple visual organisation tool.

Apart from the more obvious functions one would expect from a pinboard style app, Trello offers a few that really facilitate communication and efficiency. The “@member” mention options allow users to discuss projects in context, with each comment appearing under the relevant card or list. While the option to add members and labels to specific cards and lists enables a user to quickly identify each and every area of responsibility they have been assigned to – I find this especially useful for small businesses, where staff often wear a hat or ten. When it comes to adding attachments, Trello has a drag and drop feature; add files and images straight from your desktop and other websites by pulling them straight onto the relevant card, or copy and paste them directly in from the source. This feature comes in handy when sharing and discussing screenshots, and works well with Evernote’s Chrome clipper extension – unfortunately, Chrome is currently the only browser that supports it.

Users can keep on top of their projects while on the go by utilizing the Trello mobile app, which offers the full functionality of the web version. Available for both Android and iOS, you really can keep your hands on your business at all times – as a freelancer who spends hours on buses commuting across London each week, the app allows me to turn potentially wasted time into productivity. The ability to work both in office and remotely, while ensuring access to clear communication, cohesive resources and mutual expectations across the board is something to be valued and desired – and Trello gives it to us for nothing. While technically a ‘freemium’ product, the core functionalities are all available within the free version. Unless you want to change the background image, there’s no real reason to upgrade to their paid packages, Business Class and Gold.

If there are any words I appreciate more within the tech community than ‘free breakfast”, they would be ‘efficient‘, ‘effective‘ and ‘easy to use‘. Trello embodies all those and more, and is an ideal solution for small business project management. Of course – it isn’t the only option for online project management.

If Trello doesn’t quite inspire your team or work with your business management style, other programs such as Asana, Insightly and Basecamp all offer alternative choices for your collaborative project solutions. While each have their specific strengths and appeal, either or all can be used to streamline your business and keep your projects on track.

 

reblogged from: http://www.lucidica.com/


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WWDC ’15 took place this month at its customary location in California, United States. The colossal event was attended by developers, university students, enthusiasts and marketers with a great zeal, making it big like every year. If you didn’t get a chance to put in an appearance at the conference or if you missed its live streaming due to work, digitallagos.tv is here presenting you the key events that took place.

Over the years, releasing a new iOS version at the conference has been a tradition of apple and users wait for it anxiously. This fall, iOS 9 will be released and it is full on enhancements and remarkable features that affect day to day productivity by providing multiple task handling techniques and smart suggestions. Here are the 10 key iOS 9 features to look for:

1. Slide over: the new way to multitask

With the slide over feature, you can switch to any another app without leaving the current app view. This was much needed for the iPad users and they get it this time.

2. Split view: this will revolutionize the iPad

Were you longing for this? Certainly you were. With the Split View in action, your iPad can open two apps simultaneously, bringing in more focus and productivity.

3. Picture in picture: Probably the most loved feature

Your FaceTime call won’t pause now if you are accessing some other app in between. Instead, it minimizes to the corner of the display so that you can video and work at the same time. You’ll love this in action.

4. Spotlight: the genie that takes your orders

Spotlight has been improved and made so smart that it nearly does everything asked by you. Typing 5+5 in spotlight lets you know that it’s a 10. Partnering with Siri, you can now ask your apple device to show you the photos that you took on John’s birthday or tell you to remind something when you reach home.

5. iOS 9 that you are up for some music

Your device now recognizes that you plugged in your headphones or connected it to the Bluetooth in your car. Accordingly it suggests some recently played music and your favourite playlists.

2

6. Notes: your own scribbling space

The Notes app has been redesigned to add features like checklists. Now you can also add photos and sketch and free hand write inside your note to make it more real.

3

 

7. News app: Stay updated

All news and events combined at one place. Say goodbye to your Reuters app or if you use any other. Having the leading news sources, you get to choose from a number of topics that interest you.

 

8. Hardware improvements

The new iOS brings you 1 hour extra battery life faster responsiveness and improved security with 6 digit passcodes. iOS 8 gave users a hard time with the software updates. Thankfully this thing is corrected in this release, with update size being just 1.3GB as compared to the 4.5GB of iOS 8.

9. Apple Maps are just enough

Maps are so improved that it can suggest you nearby eating points and movie theatres. There is simple no need to install multiple apps that were previously telling you what movie is playing.

10. Moving to Android made easy. But why would you?

If you are switching to Android, you can do it easily with an app. Mail accounts, calendars, contacts and even app library is maintained as it is.

5

We are sure you must’ve had a great time reading these features and you must be waiting to do a haands-on. But for that you’ve to wait till this fall till the iOS release is available to its users including the iPhone 4s users! Stay tuned and watch this area for other happenings at the WWDC 2015. Next Lagos blogs will bring you the details about the new MAC OS.


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Abhishek Gautam




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When you’re managing a social media presence, it’s important to have key objectives – what is all your hard work actually trying to achieve? By putting together a social media strategy, you’ll ensure you’re able to measure the benefits of your activity, providing you with direction when sourcing and producing content.

Here are five steps to setting up your social media strategy:

Step one: set your social media goals and objectives

The very first consideration is to outline your goals and objectives. Are you aiming to raise the profile of your department’s research? Or are you aiming to communicate with students? Once you’ve decided on a purpose and outlined your intended audience, your content strategy becomes much more straightforward.

Questions to consider:

  • What is the purpose of your social media account?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Are your objectives S.M.A.R.T: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound?
  • Who is your intended audience?

Step two: account management

Never neglect your social media account admin. Although it won’t determine your content strategy, it’ll keep your account secure. If you’re running a feed on behalf of a department this will be even more essential, you don’t want to be locked out of the account if you or another team member leaves.

Questions to consider:

  • Which social profiles do you currently manage?
  • Is control over the passwords centralised? Who has access?
  • Who is primarily responsible for the account (lead administrator)?
  • Do you have a content checking process before anything is posted?

Step three: profile set-up

This step is primarily for those starting from scratch, but still relevant to those with an established social media presence. An unfinished account looks unprofessional and will make followers think twice before choosing to follow you.

Questions to consider:

  • Are your profiles filled out properly and thoroughly?
  • Are all of the accounts and profiles on brand?
  • Profile images
  • Descriptions
  • Tone of voice
  • Writing style
  • Content
  • Would a new visitor follow me after seeing this profile?

Step four: considering content

Now is the time to start thinking about the type of content you’re looking to post via your social channels. What you want to say might not match with what your audience what to hear – try and find a way to combine both. The best content on social media is either informative or entertaining (or both) – stick with what most suits your brand.

Questions to consider:

  • What type of content do you want to post to each social network?
  • What do your audience want to see – how can you add value?
  • How often will you post content?
  • How are you going to plan content
  • Do you have an editorial calendar and/or a social media content calendar?

Step five: measuring success

You’ve been posting content for weeks, but seen no increase in followers or engagement. It’s probably time to change your content planning. Analytics are the key to success with social media, so don’t ignore them. Look at what works well and what doesn’t, test new approaches, times and formats and see what your audience would most like to find in their newsfeed.

Questions to consider:

  • How will you measure your social media success?
    Which metrics will you consider? (e.g. new followers, engagements)
    How often will you analyse your results?
    Are you prepared to quickly change your strategy in response to these results?
    If you’re just getting started with social media, take a look at our Social Media Toolkit for staff.

Reblogged from : https://blogs.surrey.ac.uk


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iPads and other tablets are brilliant devices for forcing us allowing us to be more productive on-the-go. They are much more than entertainment hubs and if you really wanted to, you could probably do most of your job with one if you have the necessary apps installed. Here’s a look at some of the best iPad apps available to help you do your job when you’re not chained to a desk.

MS Office – free

We have to start our list with the behemoth of work applications. Microsoft Office is now available for iPad and it includes all your favourites – Word, Excel and Powerpoint – and they all do the essentials that the desktop versions would. Now there’s no excuse for just reading on the train! Oh and it’s free.

Officetime – free & Pro versionOfficetime – free & Pro version (£5.99)

This little app is every small business owner’s dream. It’s handy for recording expenses, recording billable hours and generating invoices. It’s just so darn useful! It works offline and best of all there’s a free version. However, if you want to export to Excel, track unlimited projects and categories or sync it to the desktop version, you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro version which is currently £5.99.

Mint.com – free
Take control of your finances with this neat app. Add your card or bank details and the app will automatically import and categorise your spending so you can keep track of purchases and budget accordingly.

Slideshark – free

SlidesharkIf you’ve got a Powerpoint presentation to do then Slideshark could be a big help. It’s a free app that allows you to upload your presentation from a computer to the web and then showcase it from the iPad.

Umbrella by OpenDNS – free to download but plans vary

If you have a lot of company devices like smartphones or tablets that you let staff get their mitts on, then this app could be just what you need to keep them all safe when they connect to public or unsecure wifi hotspots. It allows you to apply security policies and push out anti-phishing and anti-malware on all devices that are connected. The device will be protected as long as it’s connected to the internet.

Adobe Photoshop Express – free & in-app purchases

Adobe Photoshop Express – free & in-app purchasesPhotoshop Express manages to pack in quite a few of the essentials that the full Photoshop desktop version has, but of course it’s not got all the bells & whistles. Still it’s good for doing a small amount of creative work on-the-go. You can adjust colour of your images, blemishes, add filters, add borders and if you buy the Advanced Paid Packs you can reduce noise, defog, and get RAW image support and upload to social media.

Skitch – free

Simply put it lets you annotate images that you take or have in your photo library.

Dragon Dictation – free

This free app allows you to dictate and send your message via email, Facebook and Twitter. It offers rather accurate voice translation and is a helpful tool for anyone still using an old-fashioned Dictaphone. (Seriously, it’s time to ditch that thing.)

DropboxDropbox – free & Pro version (£79.99 for 1 year)

Dropbox – free & Pro versionThis list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Dropbox. This free app allows you to sync files (docs, videos, photos etc) between your iPad, desktop and phone and access them from either of these devices. Every file you save to Dropbox is stored safely in the Cloud ready to access from anywhere you have internet. You get a generous 2Gb of space when you sign up (for free!) but if you go pro (1 year is £79.99) you get a huge 1TB.

reblogged from: http://www.lucidica.com/


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In this series of articles we will look at the emerging trends to look out for in 2015, so that you know what to keep an eye out for in the coming year.

Following on from our article on the emerging trend of The Internet of Things, we will know look at the emerging trend of Immersive Content and show you what to keep an eye out for in the exploding word of Virtual Reality.

With Microsoft’s recent announcement of the HoloLens, a device which allows the user to project holograms into the world around them. This already shows that 2015 is shaping up to be the year of Immersive Content and Virtual Reality.

Microsoft’s HoloLens will allow you to project holograms into your surroundings and no longer means the way which you interact with technology is limited by the size of your screen and the hardware you use.

A brief summary of the internet of things

Microsoft is obviously a big game player in the world of Immersive Content, but are there any other companies to look out for in 2015? Here we present the 3 biggest players to look out for in 2015 in the Immersive Content space.

  1. Facebook – Facebook may be known as the king of the social network, but with their recent acquisition of Oculus Rift for $2 Billion Dollars, this shows that they are comfortable leaving this space. Oculus Rift are a company that focuses on developing Virtual Reality headsets that enable gamers to fully immerse themselves in the game. But will Facebook keep Oculus within the gaming industry, or choose to expand them to their already massive user base. Only 2015 will tell.
  1. D-Box Technologies – With many companies such as Facebook and Microsoft focusing on the “what we see” end of things. D- Box is a company concerned with a different end of the immersive content spectrum. D-Box recently showcased their brand new technology which is focused on the “what we feel” side of things. Already existing in 4-D cinemas, 2015 could be the year that D-Box finally moves into the home.
  1. Go-Pro – The Company known for its red bull fuelled adrenaline junkie videos. Only last week, Go-Pro announced its entry into the world of immersive content. With a live streaming unit now built into its latest test models. It is now possible for Go-Pro alongside content producers to broadcast live 3D first person views from any sport. This is set to revolutionise the world of sports broadcasters, and 2015 will be the year we start seeing it on our screens.

So what do these technologies produced by the Microsoft amongst many others mean for the world of Virtual Reality and Immersive Content, and how is this going to change the way you consume media?

Unlike our previous post in which we discussed the internet of things, which has existed since the early 2000s and is only starting to gain traction this year. Immersive Content is something which has only existed in Science Fiction for the most part. With the large amount of Immersive Content technologies being established by two of the largest tech companies – Facebook and Microsoft, this shows that this is no passing fad and 2015 is set to be the year where Immersive Content finally starts to enter the home in a real tangible way.


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In typical Apple style, Apple announced the iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus on 19 September 2014 at the “special Apple event”. As usual, the market was rife with speculation about the upcoming generation of iPhones with extremely tall claims. In fact, some websites went as far as claiming that the new iPhone may let you actually feel objects on screen, allowing you the physical sensation of using a keyboard while actually using a flat touch screen! As is customary with any Apple device launch, a wild debate was sparked off about whether the new iPhone would be better than the other major smartphone competitor, Android.

Maybe it was due to the extremely high expectations of people, but the initial unveiling of the iPhone was met with strong disappointment from all but hardcore Apple loyalists, and they too, found it hard to defend their beloved company. The Internet was rife with memes jeering the new iPhone, pitting it against Android phones and claiming that Apple had finally introduced simple sharing features that a majority of Android devices had possessed since as far back as 2011. This was not entirely false, what with the late introduction of sharing options and NFC on iPhones.

However, fast forward two months and we see a changing trend. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus seem to have discredited all their disparagers. The flagship Apple devices have regained their top spot, and with relative ease. The new iPhones are better in many respects. They have much better battery lives, an easier user interface and much better cameras than most Android devices. Moreover, with the added features like NFC and Apple Pay, they have become extremely versatile and user friendly. Apple’s simple touches to the iPhone 6 Plus ensure its leadership position among the “phablet” segment of mobile phones.

A staggering fact is that 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units were sold within just 3 days of the launch! Two weeks later, they had reached 20 million units. Further, analysts expect that they’ll sell about 71.2 million units over the holiday season. That is without a doubt one of the largest sales of a phone in a premium price range. The reasons for this are manifold. Primarily, many Android users who were sticking to Android solely for the ease of sharing files and data happily switched to Apple iPhones after the new sharing features and NFC options were introduced. Moreover, the added features motivated old brand switchers to choose Apple as well.

With its smart marketing that was very subtle and yet, effective, Apple managed to garner very strong sales for their newest iPhone. By providing a premium quality product that fulfilled their consumers’ needs both in terms of hardware and software, they ensured that they stayed above the competition. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have to a great extent, challenged Android’s claims of being the undisputed market leader in terms of openness of software and connectivity. Though not well – received at the start, in just two months it has become apparent that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have managed to live up to the initial hype surrounding them.


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Payment processors, financial services providers and other players in the information and communication technology including the judiciary and the law enforcement agencies have identified collaboration among themselves as a critical factor in the fight against electronic fraud in Nigeria.

The stakeholders made this observation at the just concluded 5th annual Payment Systems & Fraud Conference 2014 organised by Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN), in Lagos.

They therefore called for active collaboration among industry players and more proactive measures to tackle electronic related fraud in the country.
Delivering a keynote address at the conference, Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Olajumoke, said e-payment industry in Nigeria is prone to manipulations and attacks by fraudsters, and that it has become imperative for the criminal justice sector to develop the appropriate tools and strategies for combating e-crimes and e-fraud in the country.

While calling for improved efforts among the law enforcement agents in the presentation of cases for trial, especially as regards electronic fraud, Justice Olajumoke, who was represented by Justice Atinuke Ipaye of the Ikeja High Court, also noted that the Evidence Act has helped in the trial of cyber cases.
She said it is also important that both the investigators and the prosecutors understand that they must work together and collaborate to achieve successful prosecution.

“They must work together, pay great attention to the detail and be meticulous to ensure that their investigations will stand up to the scrutiny in the court room and do everything by the book”.

She noted that, “The role of the judiciary as ‘resolver of disputes and interpreter of the law and defender of the constitution’ remains unchanged even in these times of great technological advancement. What must however change are the tools and resources deployed to tackling crimes”.

Olajumoke whose speech dwelled on the conference’s theme: “Unbundling the Criminal Justice Process in a Digital Economy,’ said although, the legal environment is traditionally conservative and wheels of justice always turn slowly, with articulate evidence, securing a conviction in the case of e-fraud is not impossible.

On her part, Executive Director of Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, NIBBS Mrs Christable Onyejekwe, said Nigerian businesses especially in the finance sector incur huge cost preparing against fraud. She noted that e-fraud comes with enormous social, financial and economic cost which should have been channelled to business expansion and raising quality of life.

Represented by NIBBS’ Chief Risk Officer, Mr. Osioke Ojior, she said that financial institutions in the country must step up their fights against electronic and other related financial fraud.

According to her, some banks find it difficult to notice when they are breached, causing several billions of Naira lost to fraudsters yearly.
She disclosed that according to e-fraud report available to NIBSS between January and September, 2014, Nigerian banks have already lost over N4 billion from 916 attempted frauds. Other financial players lost about N32 million in 30 attempted attacks.

Earlier in a welcome address, Chief Executive Officer of E-PPAN, Mrs. Onajite Regha, said that, compared to any other time in its history, the e-payment industry faces an overwhelming variety of security challenges as the transaction environment grows in size and complexity.

Regha said that with more stakeholders, payment channels and the users driving the use of payment cards, the need to enhance the integrity of an increasingly dynamic system while ensuring global acceptance is more important than ever.

She noted that, “On a global level, fraud continues to migrate from more secured to less secured regions and channels. This obvious shift is accelerated by an increasingly adept and organised criminal community that seeks to exploit security vulnerabilities and fraud. Criminals are targeting not just unmonitored, stand-alone, point-of-interaction devices, but also launching sophisticated attacks on the private networks of well-known entities, such as major data processors and top-tier merchants”.
She warned that the aforementioned factors can lead to fraud attacks that cause erosion in confidence and global acceptance of e-payments.

Regha added that, in a bid to forestall the trend, E-PPAN has decided to use the e-fraud conference as a platform to carry along identified and very important stakeholders in the fight against e-fraud.


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Kabelo Mekwane is the country manager of Microsoft in Nigeria. In this interview with digitallagos.tv, at the recently concluded DemoAfrica conference in Lagos, he argues that it is imperative for tech innovation hubs within Africa to collaborate. The prize for such collaboration, he msitains, is that tech start-ups get more ideas, more dimensions around the same sort of products in order to make sure that they don’t recreate something that the market already has. He also spoke on other initiatives that Microsoft is involved in while also sharing insight into the expectations of DemoAfrica, its implications for African start-ups and Africa’s technological landscape.

What informed the sponsoring of DemoAfrica by Microsoft?

Demo Africa is a very important conference. It is the coming together of different stakeholders who are very interested in seeing the evolution of innovation. People that are very interested in essentially interested in investing and supporting the start-ups. So in Microsoft as you know, one of our key areas is how to enable start-ups in Nigeria through incubation programmes and essentially how we incubate them and help them to grow so that they in turn can contribute to job creation and help the economy. We have about 60 million small enterprises in the country and you know that unemployment is a big challenge in the country, so what we aim to do is to potentially contribute to the creation of more tech start-ups so that they in turn contribute positively to the alleviation of the unemployment scourge.

Is there a market for these start-ups?

From what we have seen there is actually a big gap in the market currently. This is where i think we can make meaningful impact because if you look at the big enterprises, the reality of it is that if you look at the banks, the telcos, and other major corporations, they are not going to be employing people in droves instead the reverse will be the case. This is because as big corporations, they are always looking at how they can optimise cost by reducing overheads. And so we have to look up to the start-ups, because even government for instance will not be contributing significantly to the eradication of unemployment. Research has shown that when you begin to make investment in SMEs, this is when you will begin to make meaningful impact.

Is Microsoft going to invest in any of them?

We have teamed up with few industry stakeholders and others that are of like minds. For instance we have teamed up with USAID, and a few other stakeholders. There are a few other ventures capitalist, investors that essentially want to provide seed funding. Beyond that there are lots of others in the DemoAfrica conference that will be interested in helping these start-ups to move from a start-up face to running sustainable businesses. It’s not a single handed thing for Microsoft; there are a number of partners who are con-investing with us in order to

Help these guys be successful.

Why has Microsoft decided to participate in Demo Africa for third consecutive time?
Demo Africa represents an opportunity for us to participate and get to know like-minded stakeholders who are essentially looking to invest in young people particularly young people that are starting up businesses. Our purpose is to focus on businesses that are innovative to create opportunities and to bring product and services into the market. So, it’s an opportunity for us to collaborate with the likes of AfriLabs, USAID, venture capitalists and other stakeholders.

What did your being a platinum sponsor entail?

As a platinum sponsor, we are first and foremost in the evaluation and judging panels. We are very much informed about their opinion of whether they are businesses or whether their ides or innovations are viable businesses. As a platinum sponsor, it also meant that we had a commitment to seeing those start-ups through in terms of direct investment in their success and their partnerships with all the other stakeholders. So we are going to be investing very directly as Microsoft in some of the winners that will emerge from this event.

The idea of this is not to do a conference for the sake of it. It is to showcase what is impossible and what innovations there can be. The idea behind this as far as we are concerned is to take this a step further because one of the challenges we are solving is that of unemployment. We are also trying to address the challenge of youth employability, lack of unemployment opportunities in the market. This goes beyond awarding a prize to tech start-ups as a winner. It goes to the next level where through our African investment, we are then able to invest in those start-ups where we are also able to incubate those start-ups and help them to invest in successful businesses that can employ people within the economy and contribute to alleviating the economic challenge of youth unemployment. Specifically, we have had lots of experience within the context of Nigeria and other African countries where we have invested in a few tech start-ups. We want people want to create economic opportunities using their innovations. So this start-ups’ idea is really about how to monetise and essentially about creating products that is of global standards.

Having said these, what does the investment landscape for Africa look like?

It’s getting better. I believe that we are starting to see momentum in terms of more and more youths realising the opportunities around creating mobile apps, creating companies that will deliver services leveraging the benefit of technology, innovations that could talk to agriculture, the financial services sector, etc. One of the realisations in the Nigerian context after the rebasing is that the services sector was a significant contributor to overall GDP in the country. And so what is in the services sector apart from the financial services and legal services is also technology services, that is, in terms of how we consume technology. So when you talk of landscape, we have lots of young minds who needs someone to take what they have, help them to actualise it, incubate it, make it sustainable and help them to actually create businesses and participate meaningfully in the local economy.

What is your collaboration with AfriLab going to play out?

We have been collaborating with AfriLabs across the continent. Afrilab is an important incubation centre for us who provide beyond skills to technology of which we are significant contributor. But also they provide skills in terms of business like how people can put together a sustainable business plan, how to monetise and create a viable business out of an idea or something based on intellectual property. So we provide the technology and they provide the skills in terms of development skills, technological skills to enable businesses produce their products and make them saleable. The complement us in terms of business and technological skills needed to be viable.

Why do you think it is important for innovation hubs to collaborate?

The significance of innovation hub collaborating is that you know we have seen more and more innovation hubs springing up and I think we need to do more. We have good support from the ministry of communications technology challenging the tech industry to thrive. The significance of the collaboration really is that these innovation hubs can learn from one another, exchange skills and accelerate. There are more benefits that can be derived from the hubs collaboration because operating in isolation will certainly lead to slower progress. Two minds are better than one in any given circumstances. So the prize for the collaboration is that you get more ideas, more dimensions around the same sort of products in order to make sure that you don’t recreate something that the market already has. I think it is important that ideas are passed on to more than one person. Ultimately at the end we are all struggling for the same idea, outcomes and objectives, so it makes sense that we essentially pull resources together so that we can begin to make more meaningful impact.


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By Chuck Seegert, Ph.D.

African internet use is a growing segment of the world market. Currently it hasn’t reached its full potential due to a number of factors. Instead of being seen as a negative, however, companies like Facebook are seeing a huge opportunity and making significant investments.

According to recent statistics, internet use on the African continent has reached about 21%, while the rest of the world has achieved a 42% penetration. Another interesting fact is that one in ten Africans are logging on to Facebook at least once a month, according to a Reuters story. One in ten represents approximately 100 million people, which indicates there is a substantial advertising potential throughout the continent as it currently stands. Increasing penetration even more, will top even these already impressive numbers.

Accessing this potential is receiving the focus of a number of companies, chief among them is Facebook. In order to do this, however, barriers must be removed so people can get online. To do this, an organization called internet.org, led by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, recently released an app that can be downloaded on smart phones. This app, which is first being released in Zambia, allows free internet use for people so they can access key services.

“Right now, only 15% of people in Zambia have access to the internet. Soon, everyone will be able to use the internet for free to find jobs, get help with reproductive health and other aspects of health, and use tools like Facebook to stay connected with the people they love.”, said Zuckerberg in a recent Facebook post. Plans to spread this app to other regions are underway.

“Zuckerberg realizes internet access is not the problem, it’s the fact that people have to pay for it. The internet is still seen as a luxury in countries like Zambia, where a reported 15 per cent currently access the web,” said James Briscoe, chief executive of digital media agency Unique Digital in a recent article. “By giving away access for free, Internet.org will convince people in these African countries of the value the internet can bring.”

In addition to the new app, Facebook has started development efforts to provide internet services from the sky. In a recent article, it was announced that the company is looking into solar powered drones that can fly for several hundred days as a tool to beam internet to the ground.

Facebook is not the only player to see potential in Africa and many of its developing nations. Recently Google announced that it would be launching a new fleet of satellites to reach developing areas of the world. Reportedly this investment will top a Billion Dollars.

Nigeria’s internet penetration approaches that of the majority of the world with an impressive 38% according to the statistics previously cited. Many of the surrounding countries stand to benefit from these efforts, however, and as those countries begin to enjoy increased connectivity and access to the internet other benefits for Nigeria should begin to appear.


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With over 121 million active telephone subscribers, Nigeria’s tele-density has increased to 86.62 percent up from 114.76 million in 2011 and 95.9 million in 2010, said Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology Minister, Omobola Johnson.

She also disclosed that as at June 2012, Nigeria was home to 48.4 million internet users up from 45 million at the end of 2011. The 2012 figure represents 28 percent internet penetration and 29 percent of total internet users in Africa, making Nigeria the largest internet market in Africa by volume, citing statistics from International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Johnson made this known while delivering a keynote address at the ongoing third regular meeting of the National Council on Communication Technology in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Speaking further, she said “The ICT sector now contributes 10.44 percent to GDP as at 2013 and quite importantly is 19 percent of the Services Sector which with the rebasing now contributes 54 percent to GDP. In other words the ICT sector is even more strategic to national development than we had originally thought. It is therefore imperative that this Council, which is the highest policy advisory forum of the ICT Sector forges the integrated and coordinated development of the sector to not only sustain but to surpass these impressive statistics.”

Johnson further said that the concerted efforts must be made by all stakeholders to exploit the inestimable potential in ICT sector and enhance its capacity as employer of labour especially among the youths.

“A laser like focus on implementation by all stakeholders will ensure that ICTs continue to facilitate and support the much needed growth and diversification of our economy. ICT infrastructure must be built quickly and cost effectively all across the country, human capital that will take advantage of this infrastructure must be nurtured and developed and products and services that engender the rapid penetration and diffusion of ICTs must be deployed at the national, state and local government level. These actions will lead to the creation of much needed jobs not only in the ICT sector but in sectors that ICTs enables as well – financial services, health, education, agriculture to name a few,” Johnson said.

She explained that the top priority and focus areas of the Ministry of Communication Technology is to connect Nigeria with a focus on building ICT infrastructure as well as connect Nigerians through cost effective access to the infrastructure by all Nigerians regardless of socio economic status. She said the overall objection is to leverage ICTs to improve public sector productivity, efficiency and governance and Local Content Development and increase the domestic value added of the ICT sector.

Nigeria, she noted, has made appreciable progress on these priority areas as indicated by the increase in tele-density.

She further hinted that Nigeria’s software development industry is gaining recognition both continentally and globally, citing the hosting of the Demo Africa as an indication of the progress.

“Next week Nigeria will host Demo Africa, the largest meeting of software developers and investors in the software industry. Apart from the fact that this is the first time that DEMO Africa is being hosted outside Nairobi, Kenya, fourteen of the 40 African start ups that will be pitching their software apps at this event have come from incubation hubs in Nigeria,” she said.

Speaking further on the strides of the authorities in the ICT sector, she said: “In the area of ICT in government, in the most recent ranking of countries in the UN egovernment index, Nigeria moved up 21 places to number 141 and improved her e-participation scores by 22 points.

“This is a testimony to our hardwork but despite this impressive progress, there is still much work that needs to be done. ICTs have tremendous potential to help this nation address many of its current challenges which today include physical security, health, food security, good governance and human capacity building and take advantage of the job and wealth creation opportunities that ICTs present.”

She further said that, “Through three major policy documents – the National ICT Policy, the National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap, the Guidelines for Nigerian Content in the ICT sector and several other guidelines that we have issued for the sector, the Ministry of Communication Technology will provide the necessary leadership and rallying point for ensuring that the potential of the Nigerian ICT sector is fully harvested in support of Nigeria’s attainment of a more inclusive and sustainable development”

Johnson also emphasized the need for each state of Nigeria to develop an ICT policy that is aligned to the National ICT Policy and articulate how the state will leverage ICTs for socio-economic development.

She also called for the establishment of a Ministry of Communication Technology in each state of the Federation and ICT Secretariat in the Federal Capital Territory to facilitate the articulation and implementation of the policy.

NaijaCloud goes nationwide
According to her, “There is a need for each state of the Federation to hold Microwork/Elancing Workshops with the objective of creating awareness about the work opportunities that microworks and elancing has for youths. NaijaCloud, Nigeria’s brand of micro works/elancing initiatives was piloted in March 2013.”

She said: “About 1500 youths were trained in Lagos and Abuja and from the reports of our international partners after the training $120,000 was earned by young Nigerians that grasped this opportunity with both hands. I am happy to announce that with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation we will now be rolling out the Naijacloud in all 36 states of the federation commencing tomorrow with Bayelsa State.

“We will train ouths in each state and once training is complete we will, in collaboration with the state government, establish a monitoring framework to ascertain revenue generated and jobs created as a result of this programme.”

She said state governments should be encouraged to commence immediate implementation of NEC’s decisions to reduce multiple taxation and levies on ICT infrastructure in states, adding that they also take necessary policy action on the implementation of relevant aspects of the Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan.


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These days most businesses are trying to find more and more ways to become environmentally friendly, but some tech companies have taken things to the next level. Here are five green technologies that are designed to make a difference in the world.

Pop-up solar power station

This invention is designed to help people who need disaster relief. It can also be used for military operations and power in remote locations. It’s called the Ecos PowerCube and it provides energy, water and communications. It can fit inside shipping containers for easy transportation and once unloaded, its solar panels extend out, storing energy in on-board batteries. There is an on-board water treatment and distribution system, internet connectivity and satellite communications. It’s completely self-sustaining and can generate the maximum amount of solar energy possible. For more info seeEchosphere Technologies.

Ekocycle Cube by 3D Systems

ekocycle-300x168This 3D printer can print new designs using plastic like water bottles and other post-consumer waste. Coca-Cola and Will.i.am support this machine and have collaborated with the project for a  number of years. The printer can produce phone cases, guitar picks and other useful items making it a great way to reuse plastic. Will.i.am’s philosophy is ‘it’s only waste if we waste it.’ So imagine getting home after work and instead of throwing away your water bottle, you make a new phone case out of it. Even if it doesn’t make a huge difference currently, it could someday revolutionise the way plastic is reused.

Pollution-fighting billboards

UTEC-Air-Purifying-Billboard-300x138The University of Engineering and Technology of Peru has developed billboards that can purify 100,000 cubic metres of air every day. If the project is successful it could spread to other cities around the world and help reduce pollution. Currently London has the highest amount of NO2 emissions in Europe, so billboards like these could help reduce this. The university has previously developed billboards that convert humidity into drinking water. With these, moisture from the air is processed through a filtration system and can produce 96 litres of water a day. The university’s website is here.

 Floating wind turbine

wind-turbine3-300x194They may look like flying spaceships, but these helium-filled wind turbines will produce enough electricity for more than a dozen families.. Designed and built by MIT startup Altaeros Energies, the turbine known as BAT-Buoyant Airborne Turbine will hover at an altitude of 1,000 feet for 18 months in Alaska, catching air currents that are five to eight times more powerful than winds on the ground. If the project is successful, the company hopes to use these wind turbines in disaster relief aid, remote areas and military operations.

 

The Earth Home Builder

Earth-Home-Builder-machine-3d-printing-2-300x220United Earth Builders has built a machine that fills earth bag tubes at a rate of 400 feet per hour (compared to 30 feet per hour by hand). It can bring affordable housing to people that need it – fast. By using earth, solid, reliable housing can be built with a fraction of the materials a regular house uses. Depending on the number of machines built, houses can be built for families all over the world, particularly in disaster-hit areas and war zones. The California-based company is currently looking for non-profit organisations to partner with.

 

 

repost from Lucidica


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Google I/O had always been filled with surprises and inspiring new innovations with the glimpse to the future technology. Like every year, Google I/O is always committed to provide a glimpse into the future potential and technology and with several other innovations and announcements, Android L was probably the most staggering announcement of the year showcased this year at annual Google I/O. Android operating system is one of the most widely used mobile operating system these days and every possible news or update about Android is certainly a big new for the technology enthusiasts around the world.

With the next version Android L, the android operating system is expected to experience a major overhaul that is expected to change several existing features and expected to add several new features including heads-up notification appearing on full screen applications, animated themes, improved battery performance and recent App activity manager.

Android L

Android L: An Insight

We get you an advance preview of the upcoming Android L platform that is expected to change the user experience to a great extent. With several new features for users and App developers lined up the release date still remains a mystery. Take a look at the proposed updates:

Material Design:

The upcoming release will be sporting a brand new material design style with a fresh sleek, stylish and a catchy look. Material design with animated shadows and activity transition effects will allow raising user interface elements. With light and dark theme customizable UI widgets with the color palette app bars add on another dimension to the stylish appearance.

Notifications:

With the notification feature being updated, the new update offers the ability to present notifications even in the lock screen mode. User settings will give you a choice to allow sensitive notification content to be displayed even over a secure locked screen. However, you can choose to disable such notification also. In addition to lock screen notification, another exciting new feature includes heads-up notification that will appear even for the full-screen applications. With heads-up notification appearing on top of full-screen supplication now you can easily know if someone sent you a message or any other notification that you were missing while playing games or using any other full screen app. Simply swipe these notifications to dismiss them.

New Android Runtime (ART):

Packed with plenty of new features that are plenty of reasons like AOT compilation, improved garbage collection and improved debugging support to say good bye to the Dalvik runtime and a preferential replacement with New Android Runtime (ART).

Recent Screen:

The previous versions displayed only the latest interaction with the Application in recently used apps, however the new update will let the user to checkout various activities within the app, in the recent screen giving way to efficient multi-tasking between individual activities within the app and also promotes quick switch between individual activities and documents from separate apps.

Power Efficiency:

Dedicated to prolong the battery life and improve the power usage, the project volta will take up the issues for high battery consumption. So if you are the one complaining about low power efficiency of your android, then certainly there something for you in the new update.


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The global community in response to the ravaging influence of technological innovations in communication is switching over to digital broadcasting.
This means that the broadcasting world is migrating from the era of transmitting blurred motion pictures and messages to the era of clear and high quality digital television.

It was as a result of this that the International Telecommunication Union, ITU, set 2015 for the entire broadcasting stations in the world to go digital. The body set June 17, 2015 for all UHF channels to have gone digital. It also set the digitisation of all VHF channels for 2020.

Nigeria set 2012 for broadcast stations in the country to be digitised. This was three years ahead but as a result of challenges of policy inconsistencies and apparent dearth of the required infrastructure, it could not meet this self imposed deadline and has now set January 2015 as deadline.

It is just less than six months to the deadline. What must Nigeria do to successfully complete this transition? What are the challenges and opportunities that exist for the country, stakeholders and investors alike?

Speaking recently at a breakfast seminar organised by finance and account services firm, KPMG in Lagos, on the digital transition, Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson said, the broadcast sector is one poised to grow exponentially as a result of inclusion that the digital transition will help to drive.

She explained that the digital transition will among other things, help to bridge the urban-rural infrastructure gap and lead to significant latent demand for ICT goods and devices.
She also noted that the transition provides quite a number of investment opportunities especially in broadcast infrastructure and devices.

She said the federal government’s policy focus and priority included: “Partnering with the private-sector to ensure that the transition to digital broadcasting is completed within the specified time frame and with minimal disruption to the viewing public.

While noting that the transition presents huge market potential as 20 million households are expected to have at least one television set each, she said the transition will facilitate low cost packages aimed at less affluent households, adding that the global timetable and acceptance of the migration presents a captive market, and the need to secure the rights of citizens to information increases Government’s commitment to the transition.

She further added that more opportunities exist for entities active in signal distribution, broadcast equipment supplies, end-user device manufacturing, installation and after-sale support services, content aggregators, producers and distributors.

Also speaking, Jehil Thakka who is a Partner and Head of Media & Entertainment, KPMG said the switch over is also expected to contribute significantly in building a new broadcast economy that have more impact on employment generation, good governance and economic development as they are also expected to boost the gross domestic products, GDP.
He however noted that for this to be achieved a wide gap in key social and economic metrics needs to be addressed through infrastructural development.

This is very important because digitising any services posits different and often technical challenges. First is the fact that once any service is digitised, some level of literacy and social infrastructure like electricity usually become critical to the successful deployment of such services.

In Nigeria’s case, 70 percent of the population according to statistics live in rural areas where there is little or no access to energy. This is in addition to the fact that digital transition is subscription based which means that television content will remain inaccessible to low income earners. These are some of the challenges that government needs to deal with in its policies as regards the transition if it must be successful.

Tharkar added that for it to be more successful, government should also determine the quantum of digital dividend based on practical issues as simulcast, interference, and different uses of spectrum; assess various market developments, that is, demand of services, technology developments etc, across industries of broadcasting; determine the usage of spectrum bands based on ITU guidelines, service requirements, current status of investments and nation’s long term interests.

On the frequency plan, he recommended that government needs to develop detailed plans for transition planning e.g. from broadcasting to telecom / analogue to digital / new technologies within digital, release the frequency plan well in advance to industry players, run campaigns to educate subscribers and where applicable, engage with neighbouring countries.


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Nigeria’s commercial capital city of Lagos hosted the first ever Tech4Africa conference. According to the organisers, the goal of the conference is for participants to walk away both informed, entertained and inspired.

Tech4Africa is already being held in Kenya and South Africa. For the first Lagos edition, greatest emphasis was placed on learning, interaction, engagement and discussion.

“We want Tech4Africa to be a place for new ideas and to encourage people to make and change things,@ organisers said.

Speaking to entrepreneurs in attendance, the convener of Tech4Africa and Founder of UK’s WeDo, Gareth Knight, said African startups should focus on solving problems that people face daily. He also enjoined them to make their innovations to be simple and focused on the customers.

“Focus on the user – ignore that, and your product will fail. Execution is everything; it is the difference between winning and losing, building a career and enjoying a hobby,” he said.

Also speaking at the conference, Obinna Isiadinso, founder and managing Director of FirmCore Capital, said startups that are at the level of revenue generation are more valuable and attract more investment than those at early stages. This he said was evident in the proportion of investments that went to such companies in 2013.

“About 80 per cent of investors in 2013 invested in companies that are at revenue generation stage. This shows that most investors are waiting to see products generating results. This makes companies at product development or revenue generation stage to be more valuable,” Isiadinso said.

On the potentials of startups in Lagos and other African cities, he said most of them are not attracting investors because they are not investible. To attract investments, he said startups must have future potentials.

He urged entrepreneurs to “sit down, think, plan and understand what is needed at each stage,” urging them to find ways to position their businesses for the long term. He said government and other stakeholders have a lot of work to do to develop entrepreneurs with high impact.

“Government needs to come up with initiatives for the system to produce high impact entrepreneurs,” he said. Isiadinso advised African governments to learn from the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Brazil and Turkey.

“Entrepreneurial ecosystems are not created overnight. Buenos Aires took 15 years for a rich network to develop; Silicon Valley took a few decades. In the case of Buenos Aires, entrepreneurs from three companies comprise a significant share of the network activity,” he said.


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Google I/O is a conference for developers in which Google reveals its masterpieces to the developers for preview. Each year Google brings new and cool things like Google Glass and Self Driving Cars. This year, Google came up with an arsenal full of amazing products. Some of them are listed below.

Announcement of Android L:

The latest upgrade of Android after Kit Kat will be called Android L. Since iOS 8 is also announced, it seems the rivalry continues.

Google has updated its software very impressively by adding cool features like lock screen notifications, do-not-disturb mode and battery saving mode. Other than that they have improved the theme too and simplified some of the button functions by adding intuitive geometric shapes that resemble their tasks.

google io 2

 

Android Wear Smartwatches:

The best thing about this announcement of Smartwatches is that they will be available in the later part of this year. Some of the companies have even put the pre ordering already.

google io 3

There are mainly 2 companies which are producing Google based Smartwatches, Samsung and LG. Their products are called LG G and Samsung Gear Live. They are already put on pre order on their websites. Google is also providing the SDK of the software of these Smartwatches for developers separately.

Android TV:

The idea of Android TV is simple. It just adds all the features of smartphones on TV’s. You can get to have the Play Store and install all the apps that you can on a smartphone and play all the games like in an Android based phone.

google io 4

This thing allowed big electronics companies like Sony, Sharps and Phillips to come forward and have manufactured the TV’s in this platform.

The additional requirements for these TV’s are just the D pad and voice recognition.

Android Apps for Chromebooks:

The synchronization of mobile devices and PC is being brought up to the next level with the help of new features that Google has announced.

google io 5

The Android based PC will now be able to receive all the notifications from your android handsets and also run applications directly from PC. This is really reducing the distance between laptops and smartphones. You can also get incoming calls and text messages on your Chromebook.

Android Auto:

The idea of Android Auto is to interface your Android phone with the controls of your car. Everything that the buttons and knobs control, can be controlled by your phone. It even controls the touchscreen present in your car. The use of Google maps for navigation is now in front of us.

google io 6


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Two-year old MoboFree, mobile social marketplace that allows African customers to buy, sell, rent and swap stuff with trusted parties, has announced it now has more than 3.3 million users. It said Nigerians are the highest users followed by Ghana and Zimbabwe.

“From the get-go we are a person oriented marketplace. Instead of adding in a social element to our service as an afterthought, we have focused on the social aspect of selling and purchasing from the very beginning and have made it an integral part of the MoboFree experience.” – said Neringa Kudarauskiene, CEO and co-founder of MoboFree.

The founder said the platform is successful because it allows buyers and sellers to connect and interact safely and securely. Users can connect directly through social networks alongside classifieds postings, whereby people can see purchasing history, social reviews and common friends.

The co-founder said that MoboFree adds a personal dimension to classifieds. According to her, in countries where people are still weary of online shopping and “going to meet a stranger with a few bucks in your pocket” MoboFree gets an extra layer of trust that users truly appreciate.


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The World Wide Web turned 25 last week so to celebrate we’ve picked out some of its milestones and some things to remember.

Launch

On 6th August 1991, Tim Berners-Lee launched the first ever website but it was on March 12 1989 when he first wrote the proposal for it, describing an information management system. He shows it to his boss at CERN who described it as ‘vague, but exciting.’ The following year, along with Belgian computer scientist Robert Cailliau, Berners-Lee wrote a proposal for a ‘web’ of ‘hypertext documents accessible by ‘browsers’. Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web on a NeXT Computer – the company founded by Steve Jobs when he left Apple in the late eighties.

Buying Stuff

In 1994, things started to get commercial. Online banking popped up, as did Pizza Hut’s online ordering system, then came Amazon and eBay in 1995. Today, online shopping is huge. In 2012, there were 242 million people shopping online in China and in 2015, the US online retail industry is expected to be worth $279 billion.

Searching Stuff

early-google-300x173Google was founded in 1998 in California by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were PhD students at Stanford University. Search engines were already around, but the Googlers invented a different system to how pages were found. They invented Pagerank, which looks at relevance, not just the number of keywords on a web page. In fact they tried to sell Google in 1999 because they felt it was taking too much time away from their studies. They offered Excite CEO George Bell the opportunity to buy the company for $1 million but he rejected the offer. Today, Google’s total assets amount to $110 billion and it pulled in $59 billion in revenue in 2013. It has over a billion unique visitors every month.

Social Stuff

friendsterFacebook may be the biggest social networking site in the world today but it was certainly not the first. The first of the social networking sites as we know them today popped up in 1997 and lasted until 2001. It was called SixDegrees.com and users could list friends, send messages and post bulletin board items to people in their first, second and third degree lists. Eventually it was overtaken by more popular sites such as Friendster, MySpace and Bebo. Facebook was launched in 2004 as a Harvard-only social network.

Crime stuff

Unfortunately, one of the few bad things about the web is the storing of people’s personal information, hacking and cyber-attacks, fraud and other crimes. Websites that require or store personal information such as payment details, bank records or phone records all need to be secure, but sometimes secure isn’t enough. The web has allowed for a different platform for criminals to commit crimes.

Changing Stuff

One of the greatest achievements of the Web is the ability for large amounts of people to come together in support of something. Change.org is a website that allows anybody to sign a petition and support change. In 2010, a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests emerged all over the Middle East and North Africa and helped to overthrow four different governments including President Muburak in Egypt and Libyan leader Gaddafi. Nine out of ten Tunisians responding to a poll, said they used Facebook to organise protests and spread awareness. The use of social networking sites was a major tool for people coming together quickly in numbers to make change.

Annoying Stuff

dialup_window-266x300The World Wide Web has changed the world but it wasn’t always as big, as fast or as easy to access. There are some things that only those old enough will have the pleasure of remembering:

the awful dial-up tone, external modems, disconnecting the phone to use the internet, paying by the minute, chat rooms and a/s/l, very slow loading times, images loading line by line, MSN Messenger, Ask Jeeves and the huge box computers we used to access it all on. Those were the days.


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Next year, Nigeria is expected to have migrated from analogue to digital broadcasting following the country’s inability to meet the earlier 2012 deadline. According to Labaran Maku, the new date in 2015 was fixed to ensure a seamless transition to digital broadcasting.

He said the White Paper on the Report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Broadcast Digitalisation had been approved, and the Federal Government is firmlycommitted to meeting the new target.

The migration target was initiated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and when fully implemented, it would go a long way in enhancing the broadcasting industry in Nigeria with significant improvements audio and visual qualities.

Other benefits of the digitalisation to Nigerians include a more advanced, value-laden digital technology, which would enable consumers, especially those in the rural communities, explore the opportunities of quality signals and choice channels numbering up to 100 on their television sets.

In the industry, the consensual opinion is that the target would afford stakeholders, especially the operators and consumers in the market segment time to exploit these immense benefits, while also providing operators the opportunity to prepare for the challenges the transition might throw up.

But despite of the numerous benefits of the migration, there are growing concerns in its achievement with least optimism in the ability of operators in that market to meet the new deadline.

DigitalLagos.tv gathered that skepticism is hinged on the fact that there seems to be nothing much on ground to suggest that the industry is preparing for digital broadcasting in the next few years.While the race to meet the deadline has been flagged off, curiously, stakeholders believe that the level of awareness concerning this all-important date is still abysmally low.

According to the Manager, Public Relations, Continental Broadcasting Service Ltd, Celestine Umeibe, though the deadline seems to have triggered activities in the nation’s broadcasting industry, only a negligible few are actually aware of the migration deadline or the processes in place to ensure that they are not cut-off from television viewing,

“Though everybody seems to be working towards the date, how sure are they at making the deadline?” he asked.

He said nothing much is being done in creating awareness about the date, while urging the Federal Government, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), under Director General, Emeka Mba, and other relevant regulatory agencies to take up the task of sensitising the people about the date.

A cross section of Pay TV subscribers inNigeria told DigitalLagos.tv they are looking forward to the migration, one of them, Biodun Roberts, said going digital is the best thing to happen in that market segment, since the Nigerian consumer has been taken for a ride for too long.

“We have been subjected to poor quality services by operators. But this development would enable us move ahead at a speed the world is moving in broadcasting. And I believe the body language of some payTV brands in that industry, such as StarTimes, gives one hope that the January 1, 2015 deadline may be achievable after all,” he said.


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Most professional software can set you back thousands but sometimes, free or cheaper alternatives can really get the job done just as well. So here are some inexpensive software replacements to help you create.

Video Editing

Expensive: Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Motion Graphics, Final Cut Pro

Cheap: Lightworks Basic (free) or Pro version (£179.99)

Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Details: Lightworks is a professional editing tool used for many big Hollywood films such as Pulp Fiction, Shutter Island and The King’s Speech. It’s a powerful tool and the basic version is absolutely free and has all the power of the pro version. The only real difference is you can only export to MPEG-4 (Web, YouTube and Vimeo) at a maximum resolution of 720p. The pro version is not that expensive though if you wanted all the export options.

Audio Editing

Expensive: Adobe Audition

Cheap: Audacity (free)

Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Details: Free open-source, easy-to-use multi-track audio editor. Record, import and export, edit and add effects to your audio. Not as many features as some expensive software but it certainly has everything you need to edit audio.

Image Editing

lightworks-trim-screenshot
Expensive: Adobe Photoshop

Cheap: GIMP (free)

Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Details: GIMP is a great free software that allows advanced photo retouching and it supports all the main file formats (TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PSD) you would expect. Each interface is customisable so you can change widget spacing, colours, icon sizes and custom tools.

Vector Graphics

Expensive: Adobe Illustrator

Cheap: Inkscape (free)

Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Details: Create a wide variety of vector graphics such as logos, illustrations, diagrams, maps and web graphics. It has many of the same features as Illustrator but without the cost. You can create and manipulate objects easily or draw freehand.

Productivity

lightworks-trim-screenshot
Expensive: Microsoft Office

Cheap: OpenOffice (free)

Platform: Windows

Details: This is another free, open source software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and databases. It’s easy-to-use, simple and the software will read most file formats including those created in other office suites like Word or Excel.

Animation

Expensive: Autodesk Maya,

Cheap: Blender (free),

Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Details: Blender is an open source platform and has many great tools for modelling and sculpting 3D objects, characters and landscapes. It also simulations such as crumbling buildings, fire and rain. It also includes a game engine, so you can create a 3D game right inside the software. It has a completely customisable interface and is a perfect alternative to expensive 3D animation software.

Website creation

lightworks-trim-screenshot
Expensive: Adobe Dreamweaver

Cheap: KompoZer (free)

Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Details: This is a simple WYSIWYG FTP site editor and just like Dreamweaver, you can view both the WYSIWYG and the HTML code.

PDF editing

Expensive: Adobe Acrobat

Cheap: Foxit Reader (free),

Platform: Windows

Details: While you can’t directly edit the PDF text with Foxit Reader, it does have many tools available such as adding pop-up notes, annotations, add text on the page, add sticky notes and attachments. Many people actually prefer this software to Adobe Reader because it’s so lightweight and simple. Foxit Phantom is their PDF editor, similar to Adobe Acrobat, and that is available for $89.99.

Desktop Publishing

lightworks-trim-screenshot
Expensive: Adobe InDesign

Cheap: Scribus (free)

Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

Details: A great, free alternative to Adobe InDesign which has many of the same features. It can be tricky to the hang of it at first but it allows creation of page layouts, supports CMYK, spot colours and many other features found in Adobe’s professional software. So this is perfect if you’re looking to create print-based literature for your business.

Anti-Virus

Expensive: Norton, McAfee

Cheap: AVG Avast, ZoneAlarm-free, Avira, Panda

Platform: Windows

Details: Any of these are great, free anti-virus tools to protect your computer. These days paying for software is not always needed as these free alternatives offer the same security and in some cases work even better, are simpler to use and for the average computer, they do the job.

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