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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Viewdle gives mobile phones the ability to ‘see’

    High-powered players are pumping US$10-million into Viewdle, a technology startup crafting ways that enable smartphones "see" things the same way people do and identify faces. The influx of cash announced this week is coming from Qualcomm, BlackBerry Partners Fund, US electronics retail chain Best Buy, and Anthem Venture Partners, an investment firm that has backed Viewdle from the outset. "We are giving smartphones human eyes," said Viewdle co-founder and chief executive Laurent Gil. "Letting them see the world the way people do... it is artificial intelligence," he said. "It is happening." Northern California-based Viewdle bills itself as the leading independent facial recognition company...

  • Is it a book? Is it a film? Is it a game? Or all three?

    Is it a book? Is it a film? Is it a game? Or all three? Publishers and authors at the world's biggest book fair are battling to entice a new generation of readers with the latest multimedia products. That the electronic book reader has turned the book industry on its head is well known. Younger readers are no longer content to thumb through a printed book. The 21st century iPad generation wants interaction...

  • iPhone 4 outranks Justin Bieber on SA internet searches

    Apple’s recently launched iPhone4 has received greater internet search interest than Justin Bieber, despite the fact that the teen pop sensation was actually in South Africa at the time. This revelation comes from Google Zeitgeist-- a tool that provides insight into internet search trends. SA’s fascination with the latest gadgets is clearly evident, with the iPhone 4 topping the list of fastest rising searches from the last seven days, while Bieber only claims the number five spot. The YouTube star got SA teenyboppers in a flat spin last week, when he breezed into the country for some ‘rest and relaxation’,...

  • Mesh Potato device could dramatically lower connectivity costs

    Steve Song has spent the past two years as a fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation, looking at ways to lower the costs of communications infrastructures. On Day 1 of the Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg, he introduced the fruits of his labour to a captive audience, the Mesh Potato, a low cost wireless mesh device that you can also plug into a normal phone to provide cheap and simple connectivity. During his presentation, Song made a passionate plea for lowering the costs of communication in Africa, arguing that innovation will never take place until, in the words of Clay Shirky, we...

  • Vuvuzela iPhone app now a world-wide top seller

    A Dutch mobile development company has shot to fame (or notoriety depending on your point of view) for building a Vuvuzela iPhone app that has quickly become the number one downloaded app in many parts of the world. Love them or hate them -- everyone will agree that the Vuvuzela has made the FIFA World Cup in South Africa the loudest in the tournament's history. Everyone has caught onto the Vuvu bandwagon, and sales around the world are skyrocketing. In the UK, Tesco’s recently reported sales of one Vuvuzela every 20 seconds during one of the recent England games. But...

  • E3 2013 Microsoft Press Conference [Live Blog]

    Microsoft’s time to reintroduce the Xbox One as a hardcore gaming machine is right now. After what we would consider a slow start to the next-gen console race, Microsoft will now hopefully present a game focused press conference that wipes away any misconceptions we may have about the Xbox One and its preference for TV. IGN.com has already confirmed the Xbox One games list, so now it’s just up to Microsoft to show off the fancy new graphics of the One, and to hopefully lay into us with a non-listed surprise or two.

  • Gazuma: A new option for mobile gamers

    SkillPod Media, a recent finalist in the Excellence in the Management of Systems category of the Technology Top 100 (TT100) awards, claims to have broken the standard mobile gaming mould by launching a new mobile games platform Gazuma. The new platform allows users to play their games directly from their handset’s browser, as opposed to the normal model where users first have to buy the game online and then download it to...

  • Swiss company develops innovative VOIP app based on local platform

    A Swiss-based telecommunications company, TelFree, has made ripples recently with the launch of an innovative Skype-like VOIP service developed right here in our very own back yard. The company has now released a new iPhone application of its offering, available for download in the iTunes App Store. The application's biggest innovation is that it features "push-call technology", making it possible for users to receive calls and messages even though the application isn't actively running...

  • iPhone 4.0 revealed by US tech blog – Pics

    US technology blog Gizmodo has got its hands on what it believes to be the next iPhone. According to the blog, the iPhone prototype was apparently found "lost in a bar" near Apple's headquarters, camouflaged to look like an iPhone 3GS. The authors of Gizmodo report they were initially sceptical, but after "playing with it for about a week—the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple phone". Disassembling the phone provided further evidence of its authenticity. The site's sources say that Apple is indeed reporting that it has "lost" a prototype and that "they want it back". However there...

  • Vodacom launches multiplayer social mobile game

    The Grid, Vodacom's location-based mobile social network, has launched Legends of Echo, a multi-player social game for mobile phones that allows players to battle each other across South Africa in real time and based on their actual physical location. In the game, the Echo is a parallel virtual universe based on the South African map, but instead of cities and skyscrapers, players will find rolling green fields, rocky outcrops and valleys to explore...