Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

15 Must-Have Business Apps

Friday, November 29th, 2013
  1.  Focus@willapps1

Focus@will uses a specially formulated music system for you to listen to. This increases productivity by increasing your focus levels.

2.  Wunderlist

Whether it be for your SmartPhone, iPad or PC, this app is a great tool. Primarily used as a ideas and memo tool, keep your lists handy too.

3.    Box

This app allows users to edit files and securely send them to customers or colleagues effortlessly. View the progress of company projects and give feedback all in one easy application.

4.    Refresh

For HR folk, this app is great. Refresh crawls all social media networks and tells you everything you want to know on the person within 30 seconds!

5.    Audible

If you find yourself constantly on-the-go, and don’t have time to keep up with the latest books and news, this is the app for you. Listen to text on-the-go with this handy little application, straight from your phone.

6.    Flowdock

Collaborate instantly on projects with your colleagues through Flowdock. Think of this app as a chat-meets-inbox tool. Whether you use it on your SmartPhone, tablet or PC, it’s great for staying organised. With inbox features, drag and drop, file uploads and activity streams, you can stay up to date with what each department is doing, Flowdeck is for you.

7.    Gliph

Send private messages across a variety of platforms with one application. Gliph comes along with document storage and encryption features to ensure your safety and security of contents.

8.    Fleksy

Type without looking at your SmartPhone screen! Interested in finding out more? Go on, download it now.

9.    Triplt

For those travel bugs, keep your life organised with this app. Log your flight bookings into the application by emailing it to a certain address.

10.  Full

Set your goals, whether it is for business or personal. Monitor your progress with Full.

11.  Brook

This is an application that focuses on certain update from different social platforms that is relevant to you. Brook is still in Beta mode, so be sure to keep an eye out.

12.  CloudMagic

Search through all your servers: Gmail, Yahoo, Dropbox etc with one simple search.

13.  Venmo

This app acts as a peer-to-peer payment service system. Free and easy to use, Venmo offers users friction-free transactions.

14.  Lift

Lift is like a Twitter for tracking habits. Support your friends and monitor each other progress reports.

15.  WinStreak

Make three daily goals you want to achieve per day. WinStreak helps and reminds you to focus on what’s important and the steps you need to take to accomplish what you set out to do.

Teenagers and Facebook

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Facebook has made some recent changes as of late. One of which now allows kids from the ages of 13 to 17, to publicly gain followers. Before this change, users of this age group were only able to share their personal content with friends and custom groups. Now, they too, have the freedom to be able to gain followers and spread their posts to a wider audience.

Techno-Born

As we find ourselves amidst the age of all things digital, the impact has been immense. Children born from the 90’s onward fell straight into a life that’s all things digital. From playing “pick-up-sticks” to rocking GTA on a portable Playstation, technology has dramatically impacted the concept of childhood. More importantly, the way we socialise has also been impacted.

On many nodes, online platforms such as Facebook or Myspace, make life easier. You are able to access details about others lives which you wouldn’t know. And in this hectic life, between work, school or college, there isn’t always time to be actively socially engaged.

A Thought to Ponder…

Although, how many would agree that this is a good idea? Do children between that age group have the knowledge, wisdom and responsibility to utilise an online platform? Do they understand the repercussions to which their say could inflict?

Technology Tragedy

On 15 October 2013, a report from America shocked the world. A young teen, 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. What is the connection you ask? She was a victim of online bullying. Online bullying is real and its consequences are dire.  14 and 12 year old girls were arrested and charged with felonies of aggravated stalking.

After bullying Rebecca and telling her to “drink bleach and die”, the victim of this online bullying succumbed and committed suicide. Once the bullies found out of her untimely death, they posted “I know Rebecca killed herself but I don’t give a f___.”

So… With Facebook’s recent allowance changes, how many teens are going to be able to use this online media profile responsibly? Would it just be more of a platform for online bullying? We’ll have to wait and see…

More Than Just a Watch…

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Samsung_GearTechnology never ceases to amaze. We have found ourselves smack in the middle of a time where the age of digital is upon us. Technology advances have been immense over the past few years. Most of it is technologies that we hear of, not experience. With the exception of advances such as the smartphones, tablets and such, most exceptional developments have been behind the scenes.

No longer is that the case. Now it’s brought closer to us than ever before. So close in fact, it’s made to be attached to your body. Introducing… The Samsung Gear.

 

 

 

Specs:

  • 800MHz Processor
  • 1.9mp Camera (Located on the wristband)
  • 4gb Memory
  • 1.63 Inch Touch Screen

What Does it Do?

Where to start? It’s a digital watch that acts as a smartphone. Attempt to wrap your head around that. The movies where people spoke into their watches to call the command base, has now become a reality. This Samsung Gear smartphone watch allows you to respond to text messages by simply speaking to it. This wristwatch will convert your speech into text. By saying a simple command- Your text is sent. Find yourself on the street and witnessing something extraordinary? No need to scratch around for your phone. Simply say the word “camera” to your Samsung Gear Wristwatch and snap away with your 1.9mp camera on the wristband. Ever had the feeling that you were about to do something but forgot? We’ve all been there. Now simply say what you are doing and what needs to be done and your all-powerful wristwatch will auto record for your convenience.

Featured Applications:

Samsung.com gives you a range of apps for your wristwatch that add to the attraction of this handy little contraption. Here we have a few selected apps to show you just how magnificent the Samsung Gear is:

  • eBay:

Complete all transactions on eBay through your watch, in real time.

  • MyFitnessPal:

This app tracks your nutrition and exercise.

  • Triplt:

Organise all your travel plans.

  • Vivino:

This wine scanner allows you to take a picture of any wine and get to know everything about it instantly.

Interested? Take a trip down to your nearest Samsung store and go try it out for yourself! Available in a range of colours, this functional accessory is definitely one not to be missed.

Welcome All: Augmented Reality, Say What?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

imagesThis innovative and technologically advanced trend is set to hit the world with a force. Augmented Reality Ad Campaigns are Hot Hot Hot! Big brands such as Toyota, Samsung and Heinz have taken to this new way of advertising.

What is it?

Augmented reality allows customers to interact directly with the brand through their smartphones or tablets. Think here of a printed advertisement. Simply point your smartphone at the ad and watch it trigger through your screen into a 3D, interactive video. Talk about futuristic. This advancement has the ability to change the advertising world forever! Riveting stuff, right?

This technology started around 2008, but has only recently hit it off as nearly every person has a smartphone. This mode of advertising, gives the brand an opportunity to directly integrate themselves within the digital and real world.

How Does it Work?

By downloading an app, here I’ll use the example of Blippar, the app uses your camera on your smartphone/tablet to recognise images which have components of augmented reality. It then triggers an automatic response to which is submitted back to your phone, allowing you to interact with whatever the ad campaign is all about.

Have a look at a few examples of this revolutionary ad experience!

Heinz

Maybelline

Toyota

Clean Convenience On Your Car -The Road Shower

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

With spring around the corner, the avid outdoorsy types come out to play. For those of you who areRoad.Shower

into all the latest gidgets and gadgets, as well as being a lover of all things outdoors- this is for you.

Introducing…. The Road Shower!

 

This innovative product sees to it that you have a shower readily available for all those hikes

and camps you’ll be taking come summer sun. Made by Canadian, Joel Cotton, this Road Shower

creation consists of a pressurized tank that mounts easily on your vehicles roof rack. The tank is

made up of powder-coated aluminium with holds 19 litres of water. Whilst up on the roof in the

sunlight, the black paint aids in absorbing the heat, thus warming up the water for when you get

back to base. Fear not cold shower lovers, there is a handy radiator-inspired fill cap which relieves

steam should the water be too hot.

This handy apparatus is great for a number of purposes aside from the shower aspect. Use it to

rinse off your bikes after a few hours on the dusty mountain or haul it conveniently for easy water

consumption.

Keep an eye out for this Road Shower once it hits on a commercial scale.

How to React and Market to 7 Popular Types of Facebook Fans

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The famous and most popular medium of engaging with consumers is via Facebook. When using this platform to market your business online, as well as connect with current and prospective customers, your fans become critical to your success.

But not all Facebook fans are the same. Understanding the different types of fans is vital in order to engage with them on the right level.

Take a look at seven common types of Facebook fans, how and why they connect with businesses and what they mean to you.

fb fans

#1: The Quiet Follower

This fan likes your page to see updates on your brand, but doesn’t actively engage in posts and rarely comments on your content. It is a good idea to try and generate engagement from these fans by testing what, when and how you post content. Ask fans to “like” a status update or a photo and experiment with contests. Getting silent fans to engage with your posts will show up in their News Feeds, exposing your brand to a new bunch of potential fans.

#2: The Casual Liker

This fan liked your business on Facebook because they enjoy the content that you share. Get more out of the “liker” by adding strong calls to action on your posts and getting them to share your content as much as possible. With a bit of luck, these “likers” might just end up being your Facebook brand ambassadors.

#3: The Deal Seeker

Everyone loves free stuff, but this fan takes deals to the next level. Access to exclusive deals, coupons, incentives and events draw this fan to your page. Weekly or monthly deals work fabulously with these fans, as it gives them an interest in actively following your brand. This will increase the engagement from fans on your page and increase your following drastically.

#4: The Unhappy Customer

More and more people are using Facebook to communicate complaints about a brand and share it with others. They are often looking for a timely response and better customer service. The key is to get a reputation management process in place to track down these complaints and respond quickly. This shows that you are listening to your fans and you care, as well as put them first.

#5: The Ranter

Chances are, this fan only likes your page to have an opinion on a controversial topic from a status update. Most of the time, the ranting has nothing to do with your brand. Political, ideological, culture or personal issues are what trigger threads that can cast your business in a negative light. To help protect your brand from critics, avoid making controversial public statements unless you’re prepared for the backlash.

#6: The Cheerleader

This is possibly the ultimate fan to have. They love engaging with your brand, from liking posts to commenting and sharing them, they spread the word about your business to their networks, and add personality to your page. So, the idea is to do the same for them. Add campaigns like “Fan of the Week” to your page, and share their user-generated content. Ask them to participate in promotions and campaigns for your business.

#7: The Loyal Fan

If this fan had to walk into your business today, you would know them by name. They have been a loyal fan way before Facebook and have generated word-of-mouth marketing and sent referrals to your business. Include them in your Facebook engagement by asking them to be in a video testimonial. Share your appreciation for their long-term business through a loyalty program.

Image Reference:

Entrepreneur, Business Article, viewed 28 June 2013 <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224146>

How Google Will Use High-Flying Balloons to Deliver Internet to the Hinterlands

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Google has launched Project Loon, an innovation that is said to, if it works, set hundreds, even thousands of high pressure balloons circling the earth to provide Internet to the world’s 5 billion unconnected souls.

This is said to give the population an enriched life with vital news, educational materials, lifesaving health information and fantastic global visuals on the world-wide-web.

As Google holds a press conference in Christchurch, New Zealand, they will also stage Project Loon’s biggest trial yet – 50 testers in Christchurch within the 12 mile range of the balloons will see if they can get connected from the sky.

Project Loon began 2 years ago, with the goal being to provide reliable Internet access using balloons. This idea was said to be crazy at first, with a number of obvious problems, many of them involving the limitations of ballooning itself.

googleballoonThe idea of “variable buoyancy” had come to pass by Rich DeVaul, an expert in wearable technology, with altitude allowed to be tweaked to find wind currents travelling in the right direction. This would accurately simulate wind currents in the stratosphere.

Finally, the project was pitched. DeVaul began a series of trial runs in California, and setup of a team of experts in energy, technology and engineering to name a few. With the help of Raven Aerostar, the company that makes weather balloons for NASA, Project Loon started to take shape.

When the balloon is launched, it is not fully inflated. As it rises, the air pressure difference expands the balloon at its float altitude is around 20km, twice the altitude of commercial airlines. At this height, the balloon will soar over the weather.

“Two years ago, this idea was just scribbles on a whiteboard,” DeVaul says. “The next part is seeing how the world reacts to this.”

Project Loon still has plenty hurdles to overcome. But for now, DeVaul is out of reasons to kill his project.

 

Image Reference:

Wired, Business Article, viewed 14 June 2013, <http://www.wired.com/business/2013/06/google_internet_balloons/all/>

Facebook launches photo comments

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Don’t have the words? You don’t need them. Facebook is now offering its 1.1 billion users the chance to comment on a friend’s photo using an image.

FB PhotoComments_610x1305This feature was released yesterday, and allows users to add photos to comment threads using a new “Attach a Photo” button.

Facebook has announced that to start off, uploads of photo comments will be restricted to the Facebook website and mobile site, but viewing photo comments will be available via Facebook’s mobile applications.

Photo comments are a feature that was released because “sometimes showing a photo helps [users] tell a story much better than words alone”, said Bob Baldwin, one of the developers behind the release of this feature. Photo comments are a product of one of Facebook’s famous hackathons as users respond better to images than text on this massively successful social media platform.

This new addition to the Facebook platform could well transform the social network into a more meme and teen-friendly zone, adding a more playful side to comments. It’s important to note that there is also potential for spam, abuse and ugly comment threads – but Baldwin is wishing for the best. “I hope this will make threads with friends more expressive and engaging,” he said.

Image Reference:

Source: CNet, viewed 19 June 2013, <http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57590094-93/facebook-launches-photo-comments/>

Apple unveils music streaming service

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

itunes

Apple unveiled its music streaming service, iTunes Radio, at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, this week.

Apple says iTunes Radio will personalise users’ music based on what they’ve listened to and what they have purchased on iTunes.

Built directly into both iTunes on OS X and into the music app on iOS 7, the service will be ad-supported and allow users to buy songs directly from the app.

iTunes Radio features more than 200 radio stations, and subscribers to Apple’s iTunes Match, which costs $25 per year, will be able to use the service ad-free.

Like other streaming services, iTunes Radio will offer users a personalised listening experience, with recommendations based on the music you have listened to in the past. Users will be able to create their own radio stations based on songs, genres and artists.

The app will allow you to see which songs are trending on Twitter. It will also be used to provide live-streaming of Apple’s live events, like the iTunes festival in London. iTunes Radio is also built into Apple TV.

The service enters a competitive field with Google All Access, Spotify, Rhapsody and others. This new Apple addition will arrive in the next few months for US users initially. The release is said to coincide with iOS 7.

Mercedes Benz to stick QR codes to cars to help save car crash victims

Monday, June 10th, 2013

benzdialqrcode

Luxury car maker Daimler has found a valuable use for QR codes. The black and white square barcodes are seen as yesterday’s technology to many, however they are being used effectively by Mercedes Benz.

This code is linked to a rescue sheet, giving emergency services responding to an accident, access to detailed maps to show the layout of the vehicle, allowing for trapped victims to be found quickly and safely.

“[It] informs about the location of the airbags, the battery, the tanks, electric cables, high-pressure cylinders and other components – in the case of hybrid models the location of the additional batteries and high-voltage cables, too,” a press release said.

“This information can save lives, because in an emergency every action counts and every second is precious,” the German car maker said.

Mercedes is said to stick one QR code onto the inside of each vehicle’s petrol tank flap and another on the B-pillar on the opposite side. This is due to these areas being rarely damaged in the event of an accident.

Daimler has waived the right to a patent registration on the system, allowing all car manufacturers to make use of it.

Another innovative safety feature is introduced by the European Commission – eCall. This is an initiative where the car carried a device which calls an emergency number with details of the car including accident location, design and driver information.

It is said that testing of this innovative safety feature will commence in 2015.