Mates to Help Mates Make it into Work after Australia Day

Thursday, January 26, 2017

 Australia Day preparations are in full-swing. But with the celebrations falling on a Thursday this year, there is one thing looming in the back of many Aussies’ minds – getting to work the next morning.

A national survey of more than 800 GoCatch passengers reveals that while 8 out of 10 will ‘most likely’ or ‘definitely’ be drinking alcohol on Thursday, 61 per cent say they have to be at work the next day. Only 5 per cent of those surveyed say they’ll definitely ‘chuck a sickie’ in the morning.

More than half say it is ‘unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely’ (56 per cent) that they will call in sick on Friday, even though they admit it might be a struggle to make it in.


That’s where GoCatch, Australia’s ridesharing and taxi-booking app, is stepping in. It will offer ‘Post-Party’ voucher codes for Aussies to share with the friends who have partied like there’s no tomorrow, only to face the harsh buzz of the alarm a few hours later.

 “Every year, millions of people celebrate Australia Day with BBQs, parties and sometimes, a little too much exuberance. Our ridesharing and taxi drivers will be out on the roads, helping people get to and from their Australia Day celebrations safely. But we also know that getting into work on Friday will be a battle for some,” said Gen Liston, Head of Marketing and Partnerships, GoCatch. 

“We were pleasantly surprised to see that so many plan on making it into work on Friday – that’s some Aussie resilience! The voucher codes will be sent to all GoCatch users on Australia Day, so we hope users will give their code to whichever friend is in for the toughest morning – a true Aussie ‘pay it forward’,” added Liston. 

Nine out of 10 of those surveyed say they plan to celebrate Australia Day this year (90 per cent) and not surprisingly, more than half say they prefer celebrating with a BBQ (56 per cent).  Others prefer heading to the beach or out on the water (19 per cent), while a smaller group typically heads to the pub (7 per cent) or takes in an Australia Day parade or ceremony (5 per cent). 

The GoCatch app can be downloaded via the Apple Store or Google Play.

OPPO Launches Snap Happy R9s in Australia

Sunday, January 22, 2017

OPPO has today announced the launch of the new R9s in Australia. The latest addition to OPPO’s R series, the R9s, offers greater camera features and improved technologies to provide consumers with an exceptional all-around photography experience.

The R9s comes with 16MP front and rear facing cameras. The front facing camera has been paired with a large f/2.0 aperture and OPPO’s Screen Flash technology, to capture crystal clear selfies even in low light conditions.

At the centre of the rear-facing camera is the all new Sony IMX398 sensor. This has been coupled with an extra wide f/1.7 aperture, improving low-light performance and noise reduction. Additionally, the camera uses lightning fast Dual PDAF (phase detection autofocus), allowing users to snap clear and beautiful images at a moment’s notice.

“Camera technology is becoming increasingly important for Aussie consumers when choosing a smartphone, especially since we no longer carry around digital cameras wherever we go. Instead, we want to capture high quality images and videos on our smartphones at a moment’s notice. The upgrades we have made to the R9s allows users to do just that,” said Michael Tran, Executive Director at OPPO Australia.

“We have intentionally focused on our camera technology to ensure we provide premium features and functionality at a price that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. Only OPPO can deliver these flagship camera innovations at a compelling price and we expect the R9s will be snapped up by Aussie consumers.”

In addition to its camera features, OPPO has further enhanced the performance of the R9s. The device features a Qualcomm octa-core processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. It also has 64GB of on-board storage, which can be expanded by an additional 256GB, providing plenty of storage and power for photos, videos and multitasking. The R9s runs on ColorOS 3.0 (based on Android 6.0).

Further enhancing the performance is a stylish new take on the rear antenna design. The R9s sports a “six-string” antenna design, which operates on six frequency ranges, dynamically choosing the best one for 4G and Wi-Fi signals.

To keep you powered throughout the day, the R9s has a massive 3,010 mAh battery, as well as OPPO’s industry leading VOOC Flash Charge technology. Users will never have to be worried about running out of battery in those critical moments and can quickly charge the device in a matter of minutes for two-hours talk time.

OPPO’s ultra-fast Touch Access has also been given an upgrade. The fingerprint recognition system evolves over time, gradually refining its image of the user’s fingerprint. OPPO has seen an increase in the recognition rate, even when users have wet fingers, by up to 40 percent.

“OPPO saw significant growth in 2016 and we expect this to continue in 2017, with the launch of the R9s. We are quickly becoming the favourite affordable premium device amongst consumers, thanks to the high-end features, performance and functionality usually found on flagship devices. This has seen us add two new carriers to our ranks in Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, enabling us to get more of our devices into the hands of consumers,” said Tran.

The new device will be available for pre-order from select OPPO retailers from the 19th January and generally available from all partners from 30th January, including JB Hi-Fi, Optus, Woolworths Mobile, as well as new partners Vodafone and Virgin Mobile.

EMBARGOED: Affinity Photo goes on sale for Windows – and gets amazing new features

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Bestselling professional picture editing app Affinity Photo is now available to buy for Windows - and boasts a huge update for Mac, too.
Today’s Windows launch coincides with developer Serif releasing Affinity Photo 1.5, which represents the biggest single update to the app since it was launched over a year ago.
Chosen as Apple’s ‘App of the Year’ 2015, and ‘Best Imaging Software’ 2016 by the Technical Image Press Association, Affinity Photo on Mac has received thousands of 5-star reviews from professional photographers, editors, artists and retouchers around the world.
Speed, power and accuracy are at the heart of Affinity Photo’s peerless workflow, with non-destructive editing, RAW processing and end-to-end colour management as standard. Tools work in real time, so there’s no waiting to see results.
Now Affinity Photo 1.5’s enormous update takes its renowned power to another level with an array of new features that users will love, including:
  • Macros to record and replay a set of commands
  • Advanced HDR merge producing deep unbounded 32-bit images
  • A full tone mapping workspace for both HDR and LDR images
  • Focus stacking to achieve large depth of field from multiple images
  • Full batch processing to process large folders of images in one go
  • An all-new way to edit 360 degree images
  • Direct PSD write-back
  • 32-bit editing including OpenEXR import & export
  • Automatic lens corrections based on profiles of thousands of lens & body combinations
The Windows version matches the Mac version feature-for-feature and goes on sale for all platforms at a discount $39.99 / £29.99 / €39.99 until 22 December, with no subscription. Existing owners of the Mac version can download the 1.5 update free of charge.

Ashley Hewson, Managing Director of Affinity developer Serif, says: “There are two genuine reasons to celebrate today for professionals who want a powerful, high-end image editor.
“The launch of Affinity Photo for Windows means we’ve fulfilled our ambition to become a truly cross-platform presence, which was one of the core targets for us when we started developing Affinity apps over seven years ago.
“Almost all our back-end code was designed to work regardless of the operating system, which delivers 100% perfect file compatibility between the two platforms.
“And with the release of version 1.5, we’ve given Affinity Photo its biggest update yet, guaranteed to have enormous appeal to professional users on Mac or Windows.”
Affinity Photo is the second in a new trio of applications from Serif. Affinity Designer, a high-end vector graphics tool, is already available for both Mac and Windows. A layout tool, Affinity Publisher, is due to complete the suite in 2017.
Affinity apps share the same file format on all platforms, allowing users to switch seamlessly between them both as individuals and in a professional environment, where colleagues work on different systems.
The update also introduces support for the Touch Bar on the new Apple MacBook Pro.
The usual price will be $49.99 / £39.99 / €49.99 for the software with updates included – there’s no ongoing subscription. 

Affinity Photo for Windows now in free public beta

Monday, November 14, 2016

Windows users can now download the long-awaited Affinity Photo, with the launch of a free public beta.
It’s the first opportunity for PC users to experience the speed, power and precision of the award-winning professional image editor.
Chosen as Apple’s ‘App of the Year’ 2015, and ‘Best Imaging Software’ 2016 by the Technical Image Press Association, Affinity Photo for Mac has received thousands of 5-star reviews from professional photographers, editors, artists and retouchers around the world.
The Windows version matches it feature-for-feature and the public beta offers users the chance to try it free of charge before the full version goes on sale.
Ashley Hewson, Managing Director of Affinity developer Serif, says: “When we started developing our Affinity apps nearly seven years ago one of the key aims was to be cross-platform, so this is a huge milestone for us. Because we did plan this from the beginning we made nearly all of our back-end code – the core engine of Affinity, if you like – completely operating system independent.
“This not only means that file compatibility between the two platforms is 100% perfect, but all the power, performance, tools and accuracy which have really set us apart on Mac are there for Windows users to enjoy now too.”
Affinity Photo’s awe-inspiring range of tools work in real time, so there’s no waiting to see results. Non-destructive editing, RAW processing and end-to-end colour management are standard, so Affinity Photo has all the accuracy and quality necessary to make beautiful images spring to life.
Participants will be excited to know that the beta version includes a host of powerful new features to be made available in Affinity Photo’s next major update, v1.5.
They include:
  • Advanced HDR merge producing full 32-bit linear colour space images
  • Focus stacking to bring depth to multiple combined images
  • Batch processing for smoother, faster workflow
  • An all-new way to edit 360 degree images
The beta period also offers Affinity’s developers the chance to perfect the product before its full launch, and users are encouraged to share their feedback.
Naturally, Affinity Photo works perfectly with Serif’s stunning graphics editor Affinity Designer, sharing a common file type and shared save history. Affinity Designer for Windows is on the verge of full release.
Windows prices will match Affinity’s subscription-free Mac pricing ethos, with a one-off payment of $49.99 / £39.99 / €49.99 covering future updates.

CURING CANCER? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

Sunday, October 30, 2016


Imagine being able to press fast-forward on efforts to cure cancer while you sleep. Seem impossible? Well it’s not.

This ground-breaking idea has earned the creators of DreamLab a nomination for Research Australia’s newest award, the Data Innovation Award.

Vodafone Foundation’s DreamLab app uses the collective processing capacity of smartphones to crunch numbers and compare genetic profiles of tumours.

The DreamLab app operates only when a phone is fully charged and charging, and analyses data for breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic cancers.

The app then sends the information back to the Garvan Institute – one of Australia’s foremost genome mapping organisations.

CEO of Research Australia, Nadia Levin, said the DreamLab project was a great example of how technology experts in diverse fields are helping advance health and medical research.

“Data is a key pillar of all health and medical research, and our Data Innovation Award is about recognising the potential of outstanding contributions in the health and medical research sector,” Levin said.

“DreamLab is an example of a simple and ingenious new solution to utilise an everyday device and turn it into a supercomputer of sorts - assisting researchers and enhancing research outcomes.

“The calibre of nominees in the award’s first year has been incredible. Each has made an immense contribution to health and medical research, and we are proud to recognise their work.”

After reaching more than 70,000 downloads, the ordinary people who use DreamLab have helped collectively process data at speeds of up to 1,500 faster than Garvan’s in-house computer and has so far slashed nine months off the time needed to complete this vital research.

Professor David Thomas, Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Head of the Garvan Centre’s Research Division says the impact of the app on their research has been highly significant.

“There are finite supercomputing resources available at Garvan, and the processing power from DreamLab has already alleviated a bottleneck of research and sped up the process of genetic information analyses,” he said.

“If we can reach 100,000 users, this project could be completed three years faster than originally anticipated, which in turn will deliver tangible benefits to patients sooner.

“With one in two Australians affected by cancer by the age of 85, research breakthroughs are urgently needed.”

“This remarkable collaboration combined Vodafone’s network power and technical know-how with the Garvan Institute’s research and algorithms to not only fast track cancer research, but open the minds of Australians as to how they can show support for medical research by doing what they do every day – charging their phones,” said Leonie Walton of the Garvan Research Foundation.

Vodafone Foundation’s Alyssa Jones said she is proud to see the positive contribution mobile technology is having on cancer research.

“Almost every Australian has a heartbreaking story to tell about cancer and we all want to play a part in the fight against this disease and now, with more smartphones than people in this country, we have an opportunity to make a tangible difference,” said Ms Jones.

“Australians are inherently generous and it’s fantastic to see so many people embrace this new way of giving back, which is essentially putting the smartphones we carry in our pockets to good use, when they’re not in use.”

The Research Australia Health and Medical Research Awards will be held on Wednesday 16 November. Tickets available at:http://researchaustralia.org/events/hmr-awards/

LazyAz Founder Ditches Harvard Acceptance, Launches Crowdfunding Campaign Instead

Saturday, October 22, 2016


New Zealand company, LazyAz is looking to revolutionise retail with its application based on-demand delivery service that connects with brick and mortar shops. They are seeking to raise between $75,000 and $200,000 from the sale of sharesThe offer is being made through AlphaCrowd's equity crowd funding platform which can be found here

Founder Aryaman Taore was just 17 years old when he developed the first version of the LazyAz mobile app.  Aryaman, now 18, who recently finished Botany Downs Secondary College, came up with the idea when he was craving a fast-food burger but neither he nor the restaurant had transport. This craving launched a sequence of events that resulted in him developing his first mobile app with $1000 in savings and a $750 contribution from his parents.

Off the back of some self-launched publicity and PR, Aryaman fielded multiple offers for first-round investors. He decided to join forces with Toss Grumley, Director of Wolf and Fox. Toss became the company’s first investor and provided seed investment for LazyAz as well as mentoring and resources to grow the business.

“I was intrigued by what I read about Aryaman,” said Toss.  “But after our first meeting I was blown away, his vision, passion and preparedness isn’t something you see in a 17 year old very often. Eleven months on Aryaman is every bit the definition of entrepreneur.”

Aryaman recently turned down entry into the prestigious Harvard University in favour of launching his start up while studying engineering full time at the University of Auckland.

Aryaman evolved his initial craving into a fully operational business with 1500 customers on the data base, 20 partner stores around the Auckland CBD, and others rapidly signing on.

“The company’s evolution hasn’t just been by growth, but also our direction and business model,” said Aryaman. “After starting operations, we moved quickly to get past delivery as a standalone service, it was only the starting point for our overall business plan.”

The growth of the company’s business model is driven through their mobile app and online platform currently in build. It fully catalogues all partner products and services, creating a mobile aggregator to bridge the gap between e-commerce and in store retail. It combines the reliability and familiarity of local stores with the convenience of online shopping and within-the-hour delivery. 

"We are so much more than a delivery service. We are creating a platform that local Kiwi stores can use to sell and consumers can use to buy. Our courier fleet simply acts as a medium to get products to the customer's door, our business case goes far beyond that. Our model allows us to assist with retail sales in just about any industry while delivering additional revenue though advertising, commissions and fees," added Aryaman.

“We recently ran a successful investor evening and were able to raise almost $40,000 in committed investments on the night,” added Toss. 

Investments begin at $200 for asset class, ordinary shares and the first closing date is 10 November 2016.

Travelling ICT and AV Show Finalises Impressive Seminar Lineup


The inaugural ICTech Roadshow, a unique and innovative touring trade event for the converged AV and ICT industries, has recently revealed two major additions to its seminar program.

Known as ‘The AV Roadshow’, ICTech Roadshow is the only trade show of its kind in Australia, with a unique and innovative format, showcasing keynote industry speakers and exhibitors to bolster knowledge of the ICT and AV industry.

Helping to deliver hands-on product, software and issue-based seminars from leading industry experts will be Lightware’s Technical Support Engineer, József Szvetnyik from Hungary, who will explore the detailed operations and theories of HDMI and HDBaseT technologies, exclusively to the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane events.

In another ICTech exclusive, Lightware and InfoComm have confirmed that InfoComm CTS, CTS-D and CTS-I qualification holders who attend their ICTech seminar ‘Behind the scenes of HDMI and HDBaseT’ will earn 2 Renewal Units, expiring 30 Sept 2018.

Also joining the line-up is an explosive seminar from Julius Grafton of CX Network, on the story of Total Concept Projects’ (TCP) collapse. In the comprehensive presentation, Grafton explores how TCP went wrong and what could have been done differently on a journey of hubris through the boardrooms and dark spaces of audio visual contracting.

Designed for ICT professionals looking to expand their knowledge and creativity in audio visual products and technologies, the ICTech Roadshow’s comprehensive seminar program will address the major information gaps ICT professionals are experiencing in the industry.

Jason Allen, Show Director, ICTech Roadshow says the touring roadshow format and educational focus is a fantastic opportunity for ICT professionals.

“Our AV Roadshow’s seminar program is the best way for ICT professionals to upskill in the demands of AV technology in a practical, interactive environment. It’s not only about learning, it’s also a great way for professionals to network and share their own opinions with the tradeshow floor open from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm. 
“Our industry is always in rapid change. By touring the show to major cities across Australia, delegates all over the country can learn and benefit from the convenient and unique format,” says Mr Allen.
Touring Australia, ICTech Roadshow will visit Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in October 2016. The dates and locations for the show are:
  • PERTH - Thursday 13 October at  Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth WA
  • ADELAIDE - Monday 17 October at Adelaide Convention Centre - North Terrace, Adelaide SA
  • MELBOURNE – Wednesday 19 October at Melbourne Par
    k Function Centre - Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne VIC
  • BRISBANE – Monday 24 October at Royal International Convention Centre - RNA Showground, Bowen Hills QLD
  • SYDNEY – Wednesday 26 October at Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh NSW
To register to attend or for more information on exhibiting at ICTech Roadshow, please visit: http://www.ictechroadshow.com.au 

Mobile Electronics show opens today with 2,600 booths showcasing latest mobile gadgets and accessories

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mobile Electronics show opens today with 2,600 booths. Running from Oct. 18 to 21 at Hong Kong's AsiaWorld-Expo, the show focuses on smartphones, tablets, wearable devices and mobile accessories.
The show features a wide selection of products from the hottest mobile categories including virtual and augmented reality, sports and health wearables, mobile speakers and headphones, wireless charging, cases and covers, smartphones and tablets. The Brand Zone showcases 400 booths of suppliers manufacturing their own designs and brands. 
President of Global Sources Electronics Group, Tommy Wong, said: "Our show is the world's largest mobile electronics sourcing event and draws strong attendance from the world's top buyers. This is because the show focuses on innovative products in emerging and high-growth categories from quality suppliers."
VR/AR/MR Ecosystem Summit to offer industry insights into fast growing market
The virtual reality market is expected to reach US$33.9 billion by 2022. To address increasing interest and consumer demand, the show hosts Hong Kong's first-ever VR/AR/MR Ecosystem Summit.
Topics at the full-day Summit range from technology to applications and from software to hardware in the VR/AR/MR industry. Speakers include industry experts from Intel, Microsoft, HTC Vive, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, EmdoorVR, Rock Chip, Invensense, Haier, LetinVR, Liason Interactive and Nibiru.
Other highlights at the show
Multiple experience zones give attendees a closer look at new and creative products across different categories:
  • Mobile VR Experience Zone allows attendees to see and try the latest and most immersive virtual reality and gaming products.
  • Sports & Health Wearables Zone features the latest fitness, outdoor and personal care wearable technology products.
  • Korea Pavilion showcases latest mobile gadgets and accessories from Korean manufacturers.
Startup Launchpad expands to showcase a broad range of innovative products
The Startup Launchpad is the largest collection of consumer electronics startups in Asia with 150 emerging hardware startups showcasing their latest products. It is integrated within both phases of the show to help electronics startups find effective distribution channels, and to help buyers identify the latest innovations and be first to market with shelf-ready products.
Attendees can also gain insights from 34 industry thought leaders who will share their knowledge of market trends and concepts. More information is available at http://www.launchpadhk.com/.
Asia's first Smart Living Pavilion 
Smart Living is a brand-new pavilion co-located with the Mobile Electronics show and covering smart home security, lighting and energy management, entertainment, and appliances and gadgets. The fast-growing smart home market sector is expected to reach US$121.73 billion by 2022.
In collaboration with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), the Smart Living Experience Showcase is a "live" on-site smart home that incorporates advanced automation systems to provide inhabitants with sophisticated monitoring and control over various home devices.
Value-added services to enhance buyer and supplier efficiency
  • Conferences on hot topics including virtual reality, smart home, as well as insights on the four stages of the startup life cycle: ideation, validation, manufacturing and distribution.
  • Global Sources Summit offers participants the chances to learn the best practices for selling on Amazon led by sourcing and Amazon experts.
  • Buyer app helps buyers maximize efficiency at the show with a range of pre-event and on-site benefits. The app enables buyers to locate exhibitors, create exhibitor profiles and take notes and product pictures. Users can also manage communications with exhibitors.
  • Supplier app enables exhibitors to obtain buyer information, sourcing history and to submit quotations efficiently.
  • VIP Buyer Offices provide selected buyers with fully-equipped offices.
The Global Sources Electronics show is expected to attract more than 60,000 buyers from 150 countries and territories, including purchasing decision makers from Acer, Amazon, Best Buy, Brookstone, Canon, Dolby, eBay, El Corte Ingles, Foxconn, Groupe Auchan, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Kesa Electricals, Logicom, Metro, NTT Docomo, Office Depot, Panasonic, Qualcomm, RadioShack, Samsung, Sony, Target, Tesco, Unilever, Woolworths and Yamaha.
The show is complemented by six electronics industry websites accessible from GlobalSources.com. Updated daily, each site delivers exclusive content, including Analyst's Choice, an unbiased selection of new and innovative products from exhibitors, advertisers, non-advertisers, startups and leading brands in the region.
Opening hours for the show are:
  • Oct. 18-20 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Oct. 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Buyers can find more information about the Global Sources Electronics show and pre-register to attend at http://www.globalsources.com/exhibitions.

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