Archive for Gadgets from South Africa

A vision of 2019: Interface eye candy

by on May 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm

It’s a vision of the future from Microsoft Office Labs. If you’re into interfaces and devices — and how they may look in the future, you’ll love the video below:

(You can watch a crisper version too)

tags: future interfaces, interfaces, Microsoft, Microsoft Office Labs

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Will Facebook eventually replace the Windows & Mac desktop?…

Click on headline link to visit matthewbuckland.com for full article

South African Innovation to be Seen by Top Bloggers

by on November 20, 2008 at 11:24 am

South African innovation to be seen through the eyes of top bloggers on an upcoming blogger tour staring on November 29th. Some bloggers leave in less than a week, and are heading to Cape Town and Johannesburg to prepare for a nine day tour north to south and then back again. I announced the tour about a week ago and will be posting updates until the tour officially starts.

All South African blog posts on Down the Avenue will be automatically pushed to newly launched blog We Blog the World. Posts from eight other American bloggers, one French blogger and four South African bloggers will also be sharing content on-the-ground, posting directly to their own blogs as well as We Blog the World, including Ndumiso Ngcobo, author of “Some of My Best Friends are White,” and Nicholas Haralambous of SARocks.co.za.

The tour is being sponsored by Brand South Africa/IMC who with the help of Graeme Addison is putting together a top notch agenda that will wow even the savviest of travelers. Simon Barber of IMC also announced the tour on the Brand South African blog.

We’ll be armed with mobile devices, camcorders, laptops, cameras, 3G wireless modems donated by Vodacom, and digital recorders so we can be connected around the clock, even in remote rural areas she hopes with a geeky yet coy smile. While the schedule hasn’t been finalized, it will include:

A helicopter ride out to De Beers’ state of the art mining ship, Peace in Africa, off the west coast

A glimpse of South Africa’s sustainable energy and green technology projects, including the Joule electric car and the Darling wind farm

A close to 4 kilometer trip down to the ore face at the world’s deepest mine: Anglogold Ashanti’s Tau Tona

A hike in the Magaliesberg with an innovative programme to rescue troubled youth

An overnight in Soweto to get a feel for its history and transformation

A visit to Soccer City to get the latest on World Cup 2010

A sampling of South African wine at Stormhoek Winery, one of the early pioneers of using web-based social networks to become an internationally-respected brand (go Web 2.0 🙂

I have been helping organize this upcoming wild ride. Thanks to Michael Gray once again for his technical expertise and patience in getting We Blog the World off the ground, not to mention various other sites and social networks that will present our journey visually.

We have set up We Blog the World accounts on YouTube, Twitter and flickr and bloggers may also be posting to Zoopy, a South African social network that includes photos, podcasts, video and more. Please join our feeds, follow along on Twitter, YouTube and flickr and tune into our individual blogs, the Brand South African blog, and We Blog the World (South Africa page).

Data shows US mobile data usage ready to pass the UK

by on August 26, 2008 at 6:43 am

Before long, the United States may become the world’s top user of the web on mobile devices, according to analytics and billing firm Bango. The company is releasing figures this morning showing the US at almost 19 percent of the world total, just short of the top country, the United Kingdom, which has about 19.4 percent.

In terms of absolute growth in each country, the US is growing much more quickly than the UK, so it should be surpassing its old colonial master in yet one more area soon. Bango estimates that might happen within several weeks, as the trend picks up pace in the States.

Mobile data is difficult to gather, and the numbers often aren’t dead-on. The indicators seem clear, though: Customers in the US are finally getting good options for using the web, from handsets like the iPhone, to better unlimited data plans, to the roll-out of better third generation networks.

Bango’s numbers also corroborate data released earlier this year, including Google’s report that mobile web usage of its sites is increasing.

The question left unanswered is where the usage ceiling lies for the US. While the UK has long been considered a fairly mature market, having had options for browsing available for years, the US has been behind in the race. Now that the technology is catching up, its larger population should make it easy for it to draw ahead, but it’s difficult to tell from this point how far mobile usage will penetrate into non-premium markets.

It seems reasonable to assume, however, that devices will continue to innovate (or copycat, as with the Instinct, Samsung’s version of the iPhone), and prices for both devices and data will edge down as carriers compete. Applications and services also tie in; for more on how they’re helping expand mobile web usage, check out our article on five trends driving the mobile web.

In case it’s of interest, here are the runners-up that Bango listed: India had almost 11 percent of total usage, South Africa was approaching 9 percent, and Indonesia had 4 percent.

 

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