South Africa’s first dedicated online photo uploading competition site, Teedu, has announced that it will be introducing exciting changes to its platform this month.
The site is based on a system of challenges known as “missions” used to connect customers with brands. For each challenge completed, users are given a certain amount of points, which enters them into a draw for a prize. The more point’s users accumulate, the better their chance of winning.
The first change will be a photograph filter, similar to Instagram, allowing users to make modifications to their photographs. The modification will automatically add the logo of the company involved in the challenge to the uploaded photograph.
“Many companies allow users to post pictures to their Facebook profile, or they have companies setting up photo booths at their events,” says Tyrone Middleton, director of Teedu.co.za. “But a new study by Harvard Business School shows that only 12% of photographs directly promote the business involved. We wanted to change that.”
Middleton believes that seeing users engaging with the product and seeing the logo on the image has a similar (if not more effective) effect as advertising. “Seeing your friends having a ball at a camp site is great…but when you look at the image and realise that they are camping out at Rocking the Daisies, you immediately form a positive connection with that brand.”
According to a report by Bloomberg, in addition to renting a DVD, Blockbuster customers will soon be able to buy a mobile phone from the long-standing movie rental chain stores around the U.S.
Blockbuster recently started selling mobile phones on its website under the name Blockbuster Mobile partnering with service providers Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Now, the company will be selling the devices in the 850 remaining stores, suggesting that online sales proved to be profitable.
The concept came about with Dish Network, primarily a provider of satellite TV services, that bought the struggling movie rental chain in April 2011 for $230 million and has since begun moving into the mobile phone business, having planned to sell mobile phones through Blockbuster since it was first acquired.
This is perhaps the first step in Dish Network’s plan to offer its own mobile network, having already acquired a number of wireless airwaves.
Dish chairman and co-founder Charlie Ergen told Bloomberg in October that “Wireless will complement all of our technologies and allow us to be in more places and offer more of our services on one bill.”
Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached almost 428 million units in the third quarter of 2012, a 3.1 per cent decline from the third quarter of 2011, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales accounted for 39.6 per cent of total mobile phone sales, as smartphone sales increased 46.9 per cent from the third quarter of 2011.
While the mobile phone market declined year-on-year, Gartner analysts said there were positive signs for the industry during the third quarter.
“After two consecutive quarter of decline in mobile phone sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In China, sales of mobile phones grew driven by sales of smartphones, while demand of feature phones remained weak. In mature markets, we finally saw replacement sales pick up with the launch of new devices in the quarter.”
NATIVE Inventions, the innovation and product development division of NATIVE, has launched 10 new Mxit applications onto the mobile social media platform in order to accelerate mobile experimentation, its first step in pioneering new mobile apps and platforms in the market.
NATIVE Inventions, that operates as a start-up within the agency, has a range of activities under the innovation umbrella including product development, prototyping new technologies, establishing and managing relationships with technology partners such as RSAWeb and Everlytic and expanding knowledge in the agency through TED-like Axe Sharpener Sessions.
Levon Rivers, Head of NATIVE Inventions says, “This division is our way of investing our creativity and technical skill in exploring additional revenue streams for NATIVE. It’s amazing work, and I’m proud to be heading it up.”
Local startup TravelGround.com recently won the “Best Design, Standards and Ease of Use” Award at the 7th annual SA e-Commerce Awards. The company, that makes booking hotels, guest houses and self-catered establishments across the country via EFT or credit card, easy and efficient, has clearly made an impact on the e-commerce space in South Africa.
Of the award Marcel Van de Ghinste, director and co-founder of TravelGround says “6 months ago we updated our company slogan to ‘With us its easier’” and rather than be a simple slogan change, “It was an announcement of our aim to make TravelGround the easiest way to find and book accommodation across South Africa. The award is recognition that we’re already excelling in this aim.”
Along with Van de Ghinste, TravelGround was founded by Captonians, David McLennan and brothers Justin and Jonathan Womersley in 2009. You may recognise them as the founders of LocalSort that we featured in January, an online concierge tool to help guesthouses and B&B’s make better recommendations to their guests having been granted funding by Google Umbono. “We actually leveraged TravelGround as a demonstration of our industry expertise when pitching LocalSort to Google,” explains Van de Ghinste.
Stellenbosch has recently become home to one of approximately 20 metabolic chambers globally – and the first of its kind to be based on open source technology. Enabling the tracking of human metabolism with an accuracy that far exceeds previous methods, this technology is set to revolutionise the way we think about exercise and nutrition. We attended the launch and walked away very impressed by this team’s ambition.
Metabolic chambers are highly specialised scientific research tools used to learn more about human metabolic activity. These chambers enable scientists to measure and characterise human metabolism under very specific controlled conditions over a broad range of activities, such as sleeping, eating, cycling, running, or the performance of various other forms of exercise. Data gathered from these chambers provide biological scientists with insights as to how human subjects react to different conditions at a metabolic level.
This type of information is of enormous value for the development of novel and increasingly accurate technologies for monitoring fitness, weight loss and general health and wellness. These are currently hot global investment topics experiencing explosive growth due, in part, to fast rising healthcare costs coupled with a global obsession with achieving optimal health.
Due to the complexity and high cost of construction, metabolic chambers are extremely rare. (more…)
We have received confirmation from Pixelated Consulting Studios that the Pixelated Gaming Xperience scheduled to take place this weekend at the Cape Town International Convention Centre has been cancelled.
The email reads as follows:
It is with great regret that we must inform you that the Expo scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled. As you can imagine this is most disappointing to ourselves and the various exhibitors, developers and other interested parties involved in the event. However, this is beyond our control.
As a result, Bandwidth Blog and Pixelated Gaming Studios are unable to award the free event tickets as offered in our competition.
We apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience this may have caused.
While reasons for the cancellation are still unknown, The CTICC has since removed the expo from the events calendar on its website.