Sunday, 30 October 2016

Cronzy: The Pen That Would Let You Draw In Over 16 million Colours

How hard is it to express yourself with colours? I mean, how well do you know your colours? How many colour pens do you carry around as an illustrator, a writer or as a regular guy or girl who just like to draw stuff when it's convenient? Lots I guess. Especially if you are an art-on-paper type person.

Quite frankly, I'm not very good with my colours, despite the fact that I am into a bit of fashion (and if you didn't know that about me, you're welcome), but beyond that, how hard can it be to get the right colours for your illustrations, charts, and drawings as a designer or illustrator? 

I can remember countless times in the past (way back in junior high school) when I'd try to get a particular colour to make a drawing. It used to be really difficult and even when I'm trying to make fashion designs with coloured pens, it first of all is an "ish" picking out the right pens and colours to help me with my work. 

Well, Cronzy is a pen that would give you the ability to draw anything on paper in any colour you find attractive. Just find a colour you like and would want to use in your drawing or illustration, and scan it with the back of your Cronzy pen, and write and make your drawings. I think. Ok, just like that? Well let's try and see if we can learn a little more about this "Wonder" pen and also, just how this thing should work again. 

Cronzy is a pen that enables you make notes and colourful sketches in over 16 million different colours. It works with a smartphone application and all you have to do is scan any object with a certain colour or click on the application on your smartphone, pick a colour you like and start drawing or writing. Amazing! 

With Cronzy, all the colours of the world are in your pocket. Literally. Why buy a pack of coloured pens of different colours, when you can just buy one in place of millions? My thought exactly. Imagine carrying around the different colours of coloured pens you can find, in your backpack just to be able to create sketches and drawings any time and on the go. WEIRD! That isn't going to be necessary, coz with just one pen - Cronzy - you can easily have all of those options readily available to you.

There is a "colour scanner" built into the body of the pen which helps you scan any colour you like and recreate it wherever you want. You sketchpad, canvas, notepad, or even on your skin if you so desire. It's just fascinating that I have to really say it again. Point your pen at any coloured object, like your bag or your shoes or something else, scan it and the ink colour becomes the same as that of the object you scanned.

It comes in black and silver colours, has a charging case which has a port for power supply, comes in 5 interchangeable tips of different diameters, 2 sets of cartridges with ink, and instructions. Now that is a whole lot of features right there. The Cronzy pen is loaded with a capacitive Li-Po battery that would make it possible to use Cronzy for a few days in between charging. Cronzy pen's main mechanism is based on solenoid valves that are used in various devices.

"For the production of Cronzy pen, we are planning to use materials of the very highest quality,"... the Cronzy team says "At this stage, we already have a working prototype, so we are expecting to start production and delivery very soon." 

The Cronzy team has raised over $150,000 USD worth of funds on Indiegogo site, and hopes to start mass production and shipping by May 2017, next year.

Well that's one pen I would love to own, for $300, I say bring it on! Hey, owning it for me would kinda like be an achievement as well as a plus for my fashion and art side. 

A luxury worthy of ownership, I must say. Gotta love the tech age. 
Live it! Own it! Shalom!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Microsoft Surface Studio Release:Talk To Me.

Microsoft has rolled out its New desktop for artists and designers, called Surface Studio. This it did at an event in New York on Wednesday this week. The 28-inch all-in-one desktop flattens out into a digital drafting table, giving brands like Apple, a run for their money. Last year Microsoft gave us the Surface Book and now the Surface Studio, which I think is simply an indication of how much serious hardware chops Microsoft has up its sleeves, as well as their commitment to make things that are not just new, but FRESH.

Microsoft named it "Studio" because it is aimed at giving "Creatives" like designers, architects, engineers, and illustrators all the tools and power they need to practice their craft as well as perform everyday computing tasks such as email and web browsing, all in one place. Microsoft took many of the features design themes, and materials from the Surface tablets and the Surface Book laptop and applied them to a machine for the desktop. This is the first one it has ever designed and marketed.

Like other Surfaces the Studio uses the pressure-sensitive Surface Pen as an input device. The Studio's version is similar to the one that shipped with the Surfsce Pro 4, but this one has some upgraded electronics.
The Studio's other input device is an optional rotary dial that sits directly on the touchscreen and calls up contextual menus, which the display situates around its bas. The Dial as it is called, is a prime example of Microsoft's effort to blend real-world experiences with digital ones in the interest of helping creative types stay in the zone.

According to Microsoft's Corporate VP of devices, Brian Hall, "One goal is to have a set of products that we know categorically people can pull out of their bag and feel proud to have, in a way that still runs Windows. Frankly, that has been a bit of a gap,"

Some outstanding features of the Surface Studio, besides its flexibility, which would definitely endear you to it are its ability to adjust colour settings based on particular use cases, its unique 3:2 aspect ratio, and its foldability that turns your Surface Studio device into a desktop drafting table, to mention but a few. Amazing!

"I'm seeing my five-year-old go to touch every screen, and being surprised when the screens aren't touch. We know that generation growing up is going to only expect it... I touch my work display all day, but then I've got to wipe the fingerprints off. It's only to point to things," says Cronan.
This indeed goes to show the were technology is moving towards in and would be in the near future. Surfaces would be mostly "Touch" even kitchen cabinets. Sounds nice eey?

 The Surface Studio lets you sketch directly on your display. An amazing about it is that it doesn't just look like a better all-in-one PC, but it's more like a whole new category of device.
Surface itself is a big business, bringing in billions of dollars of revenue. The Surface just takes PC desirability to a whole new level. The Surface Book did that for engineers and now the Surface Studio is doing it for artists and designers. Now how cool is that?

Ezra Gotthiel of Technology Business Research had this to say "By generating interest in high end Windows capabilities, Microsoft builds the market for high end Windows devices from all vendors."
Now this baby sits at a gorgeous $3000 and then goes up to about $4200 for a fully loaded version, which is about 1.35 to 1.89million Naira. That's a sum alright, but worth it.

Panos Panay, Microsoft's hardware chief says, "What we wanted to do with this product is take you from being the most productive person to the most creative person, and bring them as close together as you possibly could be... that when you went to your desk, your desk was transformed to a studio."

Well said I must say. Well done Microsoft! Can't wait to get me one of these to help me be more productive with my art. A part of my life I have left fallow for a really long time now.
Who knows, this might just be what I need to help re-ignite that fire once again. It's Life in a tech age baby. Live It! To the full too.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Self-Driving Trucks Too?

With self-driving cars in the horizon today, one can't not think of what next to expect. What would we have to make use of our hands for besides occasionally clicking on stuff, seeing that voice commands are also a major part of operating systems and gadgets nowadays.
With autonomous cars and voice command systems that let you summon your car, the use of one's hands in the operation of these gadgets would pretty much be old school. Kind of. Lol!
I guess that's how and what we get to live with in a tech age. Awesome!

Speaking of self-driving, have you heard about driverless trucks? Not until now. Just recently, and by recently I mean last month, a group of self-driving trucks drove across Europe arriving at the Port of Rotterdam.

Wow! You're looking to take our cabbies from behind the wheels and now our truckers too? Way to go!
I'm not a truck driver or anything like that, but I'm concerned for those who would probably be out of job because of this. No offense. Then yet again, I think this technology is awesome for a lot of reasons.
OK tell us what we want to hear already and stop being such a technophobic technophile all at the same time.

Anyways, think of what this would mean for us here in Nigeria If trucks had to drive themselves. OK maybe I'm taking us way into the future but it's necessary cos someone dreamt of it first and others helped out or went on to work at it. It all begins somewhere.
We would start thinking about autonomous cars someday in the future. Or would we? 😗 *whistling*

The trucks can drive nearly 24 hours per day which is very good as that can double the output of the transportation chain by doing the job for less and with less human labour. How economically cool is that?

Looking at our country today, how many young people would be interested in taking a truck driving job? Uhm! Sincerely not me. So who? Hence the usefulness of this technology. Now there's nothing wrong in truck driving and I think it's a noble job. But thank God for technology.

Also look at the safety factor. We know how some truck drivers behave on the road here in Nigeria. Reckless and also cause a lot of accidents and deaths on our highways. And most annoying is that they just don't know the right spot to break down.
Surely you've noticed that they tend to break down in the middle of the road or at some turn or bend.

Also annoying is the fact that they move sometimes at such high speeds and don't let other vehicles overtake them. Literal vehicle-to-vehicle intimidation. Again, I say annoying.

I'm guessing they would require lanes dedicated to these driverless trucks as they move at certain speed range and could obstruct other vehicles and possibly pose a threat to other drivers. Most highway accidents in Nigeria are truck-related or generated and as for the most vehicles that run off course into the bush or cause others to do so? You guessed right. *Trucks*

Then again, truck driving in Nigeria is one job that has been saving lives since the 60's and still is, and I say we don't need this particular technology in this country, at least for the now.
Besides we've got more dire needs to meet and other things to do with what technology we have available to us.

Major supplies of all kinds across the country are made via trucks as cargo trains - which would have been quite efficient in doing this - are not really in use for this purpose over here.

This technology would put more families at risk than it would those on the road with the human driven trucks. Well, I guess we will be happy for yet another wonderful technology for the good of humanity, but let's just save it for the near future hopefully, until certain things are put in right places over here. Awesome technology keep at it but we'd hold on to our manually-driven trucks for now. Auf wiedersehen!

Monday, 6 June 2016

What Auto Makers Are Working On

Automobiles in the tech age are just getting started on features, and different auto manufacturers are bringing something new to us every passing year. With improved braking systems, electrification, motion sensor and auto pilot systems.

Autos in the tech age are getting us to that point where we can say driving a car today is an experience somewhat straight out of a futuristic movie from the 90's or there about. And it's techage-alicious!

Just think about it, a car system that detects the possibility of a collision with another car ahead and applies the brakes, in a situation where the driver doesn't do so quick enough. It's amazing!

Well, this and more is what auto manufacturers are doing or should I say, working on.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system as the name implies, is a system that engages the brakes of a car at any slight detection of a possible collision with another car, in case the driver isn't really quick to do so.

Toyota is among the companies doing so and both Toyota and Lexus have said that they are working on getting nearly every Toyota and Lexus model, a standard AEB system by 2017.

Many models of both brands have the AEB system offered to customers but only on extra payment packages.
The company says that by the end of next year, majority of its models will have the AEB installed at no extra cost, except for the Lexus GS, Toyota 4Runner and Toyota 86.

This move by Toyota, is one that is ahead of Honda which is making Honda sensing system that includes AEB technology which comes as an opt-in feature. Cool!

And speaking of Honda, the company has announced that it is going to expand its "Honda Clarity" line to include an all-electric version as well as a plug-in hybrid next year. It says that the latest Honda Clarity version would be available later this year and yes, it's a fuel-cell automobile. Other versions will be ready next year.

The company's goal is that by the year 2030, it would have sold about two-thirds of its electrified autos, including plug-in hybrids and fuel cells. Interesting!

Volvo also announced that it will have two hybrid versions of every vehicle in its fleet. The company said it intends to do this and also release its first fully electric vehicle by the year 2019. The company's President Hakan Samuelsson, in a press release last month said that the company looks to be at the forefront of the shift to electrification as many other manufacturers already have some hybrid model or the other.

Volvo says that the first vehicle to get electrification will be the XC90 T8 Twin Engine SUV, which will be available soon. The company's goal is to have a million electrified vehicles on the road by the year 2025. Good work Volvo. keep it up!

Now unto the Tesla Model X. Hmmm! You know the Tesla brand right? And you should know about the Tesla Model X with falcon-wing doors, a 200-plus-mile battery range and proximity sensors necessary for safety by prevention of contact with other cars and other features.

Well, owners of the $138,000 sport utility auto, have been complaining about some unexpected malfunctions in the car's system. Owners have been saying that the car's falcon-wing doors wouldn't open, and in some cases, wouldn't shut, the huge infotainment screen in the car repeatedly, had frozen and even windows that wouldn't shut.

It's disturbing! Not like it can't be fixed but imagine having to drive your car with one hand holding the door of your car that wouldn't latch, or you having taking a Uber cab while you have a Tesla X parked in your garage. Hell no! Not exactly a pleasant scenario.

But Tesla Motors says it's working on it and will rectify the issues for every one customer.
And yes, we know they'll come through because, hello, it's Tesla we're talking about here. Like "The Tesla"? Uh uhn! It's a Sure Fix!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Keeping Fit Is Work In A Tech Age. Whew!

Keeping fit in a tech age is easy and yet very challenging, as their are gadgets and equipments and info and apps that help you stay fit, as well as work and bills and TV and other gadgets that don't let us use our energy as much any more. Nice! But how many do take advantage of these technologies available to stay fit?
And talking about staying fit, I don't mean just working out to show off those chiseled six packs. That's nice too but beyond that, staying healthy, eating right, working out at the gym, practicing healthy habits like good rest and posture, setting fitness goals for one's self and all that.

Of course with life in this fast age, there's barely any time to do all that. Or at least that's what I like to tell myself. I mean I set a certain time in the mornings when I'm supposed to have my morning exercise routine, which usually is cycling and push-ups (used to be jogging but gave myself a flimsy excuse to stop), or even a combination of a series of aerobic activities. But it's not that easy to keep up with it all the time.

To be honest, sometimes I only exercise like thrice a week and not very consistently, whereas exercise requires consistency. Although that's the least number of times I exercise per week with each session being about 10 to 15 minutes in length, mostly cycling.

Like there are lots of apps in stores that help one stay fit, but making out time is usually the issue. Though there are those who don't see any reason to work out and keep fit, especially in these parts where some people believe pot-bellies to be a "sign of good living." Not that flat tummies and six packs are an evidence of being healthy and fit, but it's necessary for people to stay fit.
No offense, pot-bellied guys 😁

It's important to note that being slim doesn't mean one is healthy. In fact, it often times is not the case particularly for persons with eating disorders.

By the way, eating disorders are not really applicable to the Nigerian environment, "according to me" because I do not know, nor have I heard of someone with such disorders around, or at least not as chronic as we see on TV. Naija have you? I mean come on, eating disorder na wia na? For dis naija, and in these times? Abegi! Story!

You know I don't mean any disrespect for those out there who believe they have such, so not to be insensitive, I'll just close that topic.

Back to what I was saying, a person could be on the big side and still be the perfect weight and health. Sometimes due to big bones. It has to do with body proportions.

Speaking of body proportions, do you know your BMI?
Last month I was opportuned to know my Body Mass Index (BMI) and it was interesting to know that it was well within the healthy range. This spurred me to keep working out for at least what little time I could make out, to do so.

It's challenging but it's also worth it. The benefits are really awesome. Living a healthy lifestyle is cool and all, but it's also important to add "Joy" that wells up from within.
Make yourself joyful as you are the only one responsible for doing that. Even the Bible says, "a merry heart does good like medicine." So it's important to be fit Spiritually, Physically and mentally.

One way to do so is to is by spending time in God's Word, meditating and and also spending time with family and friends.
Just a little more is all it takes.

Living healthy and fit in a tech age takes discipline and commitment and with activities in such a fast age that occupy us, we can only do so much with our time. And yes it's "ours" and we all have it in equal quantity to do with it as we please.

You would agree with me that a little extra work, discipline and commitment is what it takes. Despite all the work from 6 to 9, or 9 to 5, or whatever your case maybe, even 3 to 9, we need to make out time for exercise.

So go ahead and make time, set your fitness goals, work at them, keep a merry heart, love God and live life in a tech age to the full.
*Live Your Best Life*😀.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Tick Tock: Time Seems Faster In A Tech Age

Tick Tock, Tick Tock! The clock keeps on ticking. Everyone must do for himself/herself what they must and fast too. Time is our friend but never waits for us. We must keep up with it no matter what. Everyone's got 24 hours and keeping up with it doesn't make it smile at you and wait for you. At least not in the natural, if you know what I mean.

Life is of times and seasons and seasons come and go, but what we do with every passing minute is what makes the difference. We could choose to use our time well, or not so well. The choice is ours.

In Greek terminology, two words are used to refer to time but have different applications. The words "Kairos" and "Chronos", kairos having to do with a qualitative, permanent nature, while chronos is quantitative.
Kairos refers to a "period" or "season," a moment of time within which an event of significance happens, according to 'Wiki.'

Bringing it to the Bible and New testament, the word kairos means the appointed time in God's purpose. It refers to the opportune time or appointed time when God acts. Chronos on the other hand refers to a specific amount of time, such as a day or an hour.
Ok Greek scholar wanna-be, that's enough lecture for one day, thank you very much. 🙏

Now where was I? Oh right. Ever get the feeling that time is just passing by you? Time is just cruel to you? Yes, been there. Time just runs so fast that there's barely enough time for anything.
With work, bills to pay, kids to raise (who by the way, grow up so fast) and everything else, why can't time just take it slow?

Well, time isn't running. It's actually walking. More like strolling. Ha!
We just aren't doing the right things. Or rather, we just get ourselves caught up with running around something else that isn't really meant for us. Myself inclusive.

Now don't get me wrong, anyone can succeed at almost any field with hardwork and persistence, but truth is, one thing would be missing. It's "Fulfilment."
Not that you couldn't achieve a certain success in such an area, and not like everyone is created and given a stamp on their forehead of what they're meant to do. Well, it's possible.
My point is, sometimes we can loose "Focus" and derail or slow down a lot more than we ought to whether we approach speed bumps in life or not. It just happens sometimes and the only one responsible for that is that person you see in the "Mirror." Yeah! Take a real good look at that person. Time just strolls, as it has always done. Everything is faster, but time has never been faster than it is today. We humans just tend to run fast in a direction, sometimes, that is in the opposite, which of course seems to us like time is faster, but in actual sense we are often times, slowed down by our very own selves because no matter how you run on a treadmill, you never really get anywhere. We're just on the same spot.

Big "Ish" is we are the ones who slow ourselves down while time strolls by, waving us goodbye. Take a good look at the Mirror again. Oh my! It's me!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we were created for a purpose and until you find that purpose, "Time" will zoom pass you like a Supersonic jet. Period!

Every great leader of our age and beyond found or has found something that made them great. The very thing that they could die for. A "Cause" you may call it. And at the end of their life time (chronos) most of them would say they have found great fulfilment in doing what they did.

The great Apostle Paul of the Bible, "I have finished the race and I have kept the faith."

In the end, time (kairos and chronos) is in "His" Hands and we will stand and tell of what, with it we did. God. Father, Spirit, Son. All in one. Jehovah! Now this is what you've probably heard before so I'll let you think on it.

Well, Tick Tock! Time is still running right now. Oh sorry, it's walking and Every man has equal share.
Walk and "Work" with it.
So No, time isn't faster.

Time itself doesn't change. We do. It doesn't have to, We should. 📆⌚

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Africa Lately: On KongaPay, M-KOPA And

E-commerce is one thing that is spreading across Nigeria and Africa as a whole, and companies and businesses are taking advantage of it. Recently Konga launched its payment service, KongaPay which has actually existed for some time now. We could call it a 'relaunch' if we want, but it has been on the Konga platform since August last year. But now is adding new features and extending KongaPay as a payment method to consumers outside the platform.

Konga which is founded by Harvard MBA holder, Sim Shagaya, just last month launched KongaPay which is considered Konga's PayPal to Ebay.
KongaPay's "Me-Commerce" option will allow any business in Nigeria to create their own QR payment code from a mobile phone image. Social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp will now have a new payment option in Africa, which is the KongaPay. Awesome right?

This move is in line with Shagaya's vision to create a 21st century operating system that will better connect buyers and sellers across Africa. Way to go! Ah! KONGA!

Now, M-KOPA Solar is a power startup that is lighting homes of low income across East Africa via mobile money leasing.
M-KOPA is presently in 330,000 homes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and just recently, Ghana and plans to enter new African countries in the near future.

The company was co-founded by Jesse Moore, Nick Hughes at Vodafone, and Chad Larson.
The M-KOPA baseline box-kit comes stocked with a solar panel, lights, radio, multi-device charger and a pay-as-you-go SIM card.

The company, which launched in 2012, has Safaricom and M-Pesa as its finance partners in Kenya and Tanzania while customers in Uganda make payments via MTN Money or Airtel Money.

Coming to Nigeria, M-KOPA's Jesse Moore noted that there is "huge potential" but said that due to kerosene subsidies and the "not-so-patronized" mobile money scenario, the model is restricted for now.
M-KOPA is looking to better its services with new financing options and powerful solar charging capacity as well as additional product packages like its flat screen TV which it first offered in February. Good thinking.

Back to Nigeria, is Nigeria's latest online supermarket which is assuring Nigerians of the best prices and services. It intends to cater to the needs of busy Nigerians in terms of grocery shopping and purchase of household items.
"We want to ensure that Nigerians enjoy beautiful shopping experience while enjoying a premium customer service at the cheapest prices," says Umeike Ernest, Chief Operations Officer.

According to Ernest, the company has a team of experienced persons with over 15 years experience in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market segment, banking and e-commerce.

"This gives us a good understanding of customer needs in terms of price sensitivity, robust supply chain and dynamic customer care. We have chosen the supermarket part of e-commerce because we know that we can assure customers of the best prices, widest range of options and effective supply system to make this a wonderful shopping experience" says Ernest.

Concerning making its quality of service, it announced that it has secured a number of partnerships.
"We have gone into partnerships to ensure that our customers are assured of cheapest prices in e-commerce in Nigeria. The partnerships grow by the day and can only serve to reinforce the quality and variety of products and prices customers pay."

It's looking at being the fastest in terms of delivery with a same day delivery option for orders made before 11am within Lagos, and the next day for orders made after 11am. Pretty cool!

Low prices! Good quality! Quick delivery! Works for me. Wants You To Buy Nigeria To Strengthen The Naira

Shopping online is an interesting subject matter to me and I don't really know why, but I guess it's just the craze that comes along with it. And no, I'm not a shopaholic.

With the turn of the economies recently, all sorts of campaigns have hit the Nigerian commerce space, all preaching one thing and one thing only which is, "Buy Nigeria to strengthen the Naira."
Yes indeed, buy Nigeria and strengthen the Naira because the markets are not exactly smiling.

With the Naira's recent plummet and even fluctuation if you would say, Nigerians have been advised to buy our "Made in Nigeria" goods in order to give the Naira some value, and yes we need to do that. We cannot keep on patronizing other products from outside the country, while we have to an extent, some good Nigerian products that we can make use of and derive same, or close, or even better satisfaction from.

It is as only normal for stores to take advantage of the situation and try to offer buyers, made in Nigeria goods as a way of strengthening the purchasing power of the Naira. That is what is doing. is an online supermarket and grocery delivery service that is encouraging the purchase of locally made products.
This it is doing as it launched its proudly Nigerian campaign early last month. It's labelling all locally produced goods with a "Proudly Nigerian" stamp, thereby making it easier for customers to identify and buy products made in Nigeria, which I think is really good.

Co-CEO, Raphael Afaedor speaking during the launch last month, said they did a test-run in the months of February and March. "What we have seen is that when customers know what is produced in Nigeria versus what is imported, they are likely to choose local equivalents in a significant number of cases; today's customer wants to make an impact through what they buy" he says. "We have seen a 32% increase in the purchase of local products since we started promoting locally made goods." He's right for the most part because some Nigerians are really looking to patronize proudly Nigerian products lately. I am one of them. Let's do ourselves a favor please.

Gbolahan Fagbure, Co-CEO also said, "We’re not one to jump on a band wagon but for the last couple of months, we've been promoting homegrown goods." He said that all made in Nigeria goods on their site, has a tag on them which reads "Proudly Nigerian".
"If you're thinking of substituting more foreign imports for locally produced items, there is no better place than" says Fagbure.

This is just great as it is beneficial to local farmers and companies and to the Nigerian economy. I really do hope a lot of Nigerians would wake up to this and embrace it.
Celebrate our own. Make use of our own. Patronize it. Promote it. Be Proud of it. Encourage it. Tell someone about it... I think that's it.

I've got love for Naija. Naija na we own o! Make we join hands together build am. Cause at the end of the day, it's what we've got. It's our homeland, and nothing can change that. It's a beautiful place, where money is all around us but we are not really opening our eyes to see it. There's more to us than meets the eye(especially more than our "oil"). Open up your mind. This land is blessed. So blessed by God. Don't let anyone deceive you. Support the sale and purchase of locally made goods.

Well, I guess this is my own campaign right now.
A Vote for Locally Made Products(LMP), is a Vote for the Naira. Vote LMP, vote Proudly Nigerian.

LMP! Power To The Naira! Lol!

God bless the Naira . God bless Nigeria. The most awesome nation in the world. Carry go jor!

Friday, 6 May 2016

Curb Energy Usage With "Curb" Household Energy Monitoring System

First of all, before we get to know what "Curb" is really about and what it does, I need to say that Nigerians, especially those using PHCN bill-reading metres, need this device thingy. Although not available in Nigeria(I think), we just need this technology to help out.

*off the record* I think some metres over here in Nigeria, bill you for the very air you breathe cause I don't understand how you wouldn't have power for about say 1 week, and your monthly bill would remain the same or even exceed the previous months. I really don't get it. No offense but no one doesn't know that already. Just saying. *On Air* It's getting better though, I think. Oops! Did I say that on air? Never mind.

Okay. Now, you know the feeling you get when your bills are on the rise and then your electricity bill is always topping the chart simply because someone always leaves the light on, or annoying still, someone always forgets to turn off the lights. 😬  Slap! Well, there isn't much you can really do about it. But with Curb, you can at least know just how much energy you're making use of.

Curb is a comprehensive household energy monitoring system which monitors the entire home by using sensors installed in the circuit breaker. Just imagine what this technology could do, with it you will be able to monitor the energy consumed by appliances in your home, even when you're not at home. How? Well, it works with an app that lets you view, live, the use of energy in your home whether you are in the office, supermarket, or church. Talk about drastic reduction of use of appliances. Those heavy appliances like electric kettle, dryer and air conditioners, can be checked. Although it's used as an energy monitor, for some reason it cannot easily monitor and report how much energy is consumed by a computer or espresso machine. Why? Don't know.
But for lights and other appliances, thank you Curb.

Now an electrician(licensed) has to work on this and closely too. A sensor has to be installed on each breaker and then the system configured through an iPad app. This is not something an average person can just install all by themselves so please don't go hero on us, thank you very much.
Curb looks to serve you and your home with data not previously available. Other energy monitoring services either monitor the entire home or individual outlets. Curb sits in the middle of the two at the circuit break box. Every breaker is connected to a sensor and an app can display live consumption information. An approximation of how much the energy is costing you is also shown to you.

You can see what time appliances were being made use of on a chart, and even what appliances were used. On the chart, you can view the circuits that power a particular room or space.

The company is working towards implementing new features.
The team is trying to give weekly emails that gives the consumer a breakdown of their energy usage and if anything odd happened like an appliance consuming way to much electricity. Good work. Although, there's a lot more we can expect like you being able to switch off which ever appliances you want, maybe one that you forgot to turn off, even when there's no one at home. Probably from your app or something like that.

Curb was built by a small team in Austin, Texas. The company acquired $117,000 in preorders and pledges through an Indiegogo campaign and got seed fundings of up to $1.25 million from angels, strategic partners and Austin’s Capital Factory. Currently Curb is available through Indiegogo and Amazon. The company has sold just less than a thousand units and are working with electricians to get these systems installed in homes in the US.

Curb is also talking with solar power providers to use the Curb system to monitor the energy output of panels while also providing the deep energy usage data. Curb can change how consumers use their electricity output. And might I just add quickly, especially here in Nigeria.
Now that's a 'smarthome.'

Well that would be in time to come. For now we've got other things to worry about. But hey, nice technology!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

What The Diavelo Zeitgeist Electric Bike Will Do For You

How easy is it, riding a bike? Maybe really easy. But not as easy going up a hill on a bike, or even coming down, especially very steep areas. For professional bikers, it really isn't as much of an issue as it is for others. The Diavelo Zeitgeist Electric Bike was designed to solve this problem of getting uphill on a bike. It has a battery that only has to be charged every two weeks and it is hidden within the structure of the bike. "We want to be the Warby Parker of bikes" so says Kartik Ram, the CEO of the Zeitgeist company.

The carbon-fiber electric bike was designed by Brian Hoehl of Denmark and has already won several awards. The battery slides seamlessly into the bottom tube and was designed in-house and patented. The entire bike, including the and patented. The entire bike, including the 500-watt battery, weighs only 20kg(about 44 pounds). Super light yeah? Despite its battery pack and all. "You can carry it up three flights of stairs,” says Ram. The battery only assists the rider as he pedals; there’s no throttle. But that assistance only gets you up to 28mph which is about 45km/h, the legal limit for electricpowered bicycles in the United States.

The company's co-founder Gregg Stewart noted that you can ride up a steeper hill on an electric bike than you might be able to using only your own leg power. "Brakes become crucial on the downhill,” he says, and this is the reason why the Zeitgeist has ventilated disc brakes.

The Zeitgeist is aimed at casual riders, people who don’t want to take the car to run errands. They’ll use this bike a couple of times a week, not as a daily commuting vehicle. The company has already established a relationship with Thule to create a basket and panniers that fit the bike. According to Stewart, the first batch of the bikes go for $3,999, and notes that for this reason, the Zeitgeist is going to be treated differently than just a commuter bike. Ram added that the bike’s buyers are “round trippers,” people who take it to get coffee then ride back home. The Zeitgeist can be locked up at the coffee shop like any other bike, but the battery can also be unlocked and popped out, making it less likely for the bike to be stolen. Amazing!

Because the Zeitgeist was designed from the ground up not by modding an existing bike model -it's going to be sold differently, too. Ram and Stewart found that neither traditional bike shops nor big-box stores were a good fit. Stewart said that they were going to showcase the bike in pop-up shops and online to sell it through direct channels.

Now hold on, I've just been quiet since. Did you say $3,999? That's more than 800,000 Naira. Na motor? You can get a good fairly used Camry for that price (I think). No offense. Just saying. I feel much lighter now that I've got that off my chest. Anyway, never mind me I guess in the future I would understand. 😉

In order to get the company off the ground, the founders approached Tesla for a partnership, you know, the Tesla brand, auto company, but things didn't work out well. So they ended up working with Crowd Supply, a funding platform based in Portland, Oregon, which found the project interesting and outstanding. in Portland, Oregon, which found the project unique. “We were able to test it,” said Crowd Supply’s Josh Lifton in an interview, "so we were able to back Zeitgeist up with confidence.”

At Crowd Supply, delivery rate matters most. When you order your bike, the ship date depends on how many people ordered before you. Ram said the company is going to sell the bike in small lots. "That’s key,” he said, "We don’t like to tease. We want to give people the future now." The first few backers on Crowd Supply will get their bikes shipped within about a month. The company wants to work with those early patronizers to get feedback on how to improve the design while working on it for a second time.

The future is here and now. All the tech movies of the future we see on TV, they're all coming to play gradually and Zeitgeist is keen on making it a reality now than in a distant future.

Ram and Stewart hope that people realize how easy it is to explore their surroundings with an electric-assisted bike. And, as Ram said, "People want to buy cool stuff. Well, I'm not much of a biker so maybe that's why I don't really appreciate the price. But I know You will and so will lots of other persons. At the end of the day, it's one more Awesome technology of the Tech Age. *Loving it*

Facebook Messenger’s Newest Call Feature

Don't you just love to talk to loved ones and keep those connections. The laughter? The vibe? The feeling? The kindness? The love? It's just a beauty. But sometimes, it can be time and money consuming and you may not be able to reach out to them due to this.
At other times, you would like to talk to those at work or school.

Now, Facebook has been doing a lot of recent and with its F8 event last month, a lot has been talked about. From chatbots and all to other interesting features still to come. And just recently, Facebook hit 1.65billion users. Wow! Mark sure isn't showing down, even after his baby mama, Chan gave him his little girl, Maxima, he's even more fired up than ever.
WhatsApp users in Brazil were recently blocked in Brazil for a whole day by a Brazilian judge but was allowed operation again. The ban which was meant to last for 72 hours, was lifted after an appeal.

Well, Facebook Messenger's newest call feature helps you achieve this feat. It lets you hear the voices of your entire family, literally. All you need to do is to tap the Phone icon, and then you select which of the group chat members that you want included in your call and they’ll all receive a Messenger call. Cool! This way I can call my family and colleagues all at once. Whew! That's a relief. And if you miss the initial call and find that the call is still in progress, you simply tap the Phone icon in the group chat to join the call. At any time you can see who’s on the call and send another ping to anyone who hasn't joined. Amazing!

Users can start a group VoIP(Voice over Internet Protocol) audio call from any group chat. The number of participants per call, Facebook says is 50. This feature is free on Android and iOS platforms. A Messenger spokesperson said, "There are situations where typing isn't enough and when people prefer talking to one another." Facebook began offering VolP in 2013 and right now there is no feature that allows for group video calling, but I'm sure we see that in the near future you.

Last year, Messenger started allowing all Facebook users to chat with each other even if they are not friends. Sometimes, strangers pings can be hidden in the Filtered Message Requests section under 'Settings', under 'People', under 'Message Requests', in 'Filtered Requests' segment. Messenger looks to replace your phone number by giving you options to help you keep check on your contacts. Unlike phone numbers where you have little control once someone knows your number, Messenger allows you to easily block people. I know right. Those meddling callers who just can't let you be. Hmmm! You're not alone. The ability to message you can’t be sold. Thanks to Facebook’s spam detection systems, it’s not easy for someone to create a new Facebook account with which to you. Messenger could serve as a better replacement for Skype, and even let you set up easy conference calls with people whose numbers you don’t have. Interesting!

That would be really nice as Skype requires a person's number but if it works out as Facebook plans, Messenger would not require any number to make a live video call to anyone you know. All that would be needed would be for such a person to be among your friends list.
Really nice! Keep keeping it real.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Here Comes Jongla, A Light Messaging App

Just how light are messaging apps? Well Jongla, an instant messaging app in January of 2015, claimed to have the lightest Android instant messaging app in the world. With features that enable users send text messages, images, videos, push-to-talk messages, location info and stickers, one would swear that using it would be expensive due to the features. Not just that, users can create group chats with up to 100 members, and send a message to many users with a broadcast feature just like the WhatsApp. And after all of these features, it's just a 2.5MB in download size. Pretty light indeed.

Jongla is a Finland-based company founded by Arto Boman, located in Helsinki, with other offices in Jakarta, Indonesia. The service makes use of users mobile data plan, Wi-Fi networks, as well as 4G, 3G, GPRS, and EDGE.

Jongla announced last month, during the Mobile West Africa conference held in Lagos Nigeria, on the 20th and 21st of April, that it is launching its fast, open and lite instant messaging app in Africa. This it said, noting that cellular and data services in Africa are often unreliable and expensive, and this app would open up the world of free instant messaging to people in these parts.

Jongla uses innovative technology to reduce bandwidth usage, thereby helping people save their data plan, as well as their money. This makes it easy to use, more often, and in more places.

With Jongla, voice messaging is more fun as you can add fun filters to your voice messages to make them sound like you're someone else, and even like an animal. This is due to a unique embedded voice effects studio.
Push-to-talk voice messages of up to one minute in length can be recorded and shared with friends. Also, chatting with other Jongla users, as well as non-Jongla users, is possible. Jongla lets you chat with all your phone book contacts and if a contact does not have the app installed, they can chat via a web app for Jongla without downloading or registering. And it's absolutely free. Awesome stuff!
You can set a personal passcode lock, keeping your chats private.

Riku Salminen, the CEO of Jongla said that the company has made instant messaging possible for people who don't have high-end smartphones and live and work in areas where access to mobile broadband is limited.
In his words, he says, "We chose Nigeria to launch Jongla in Africa because we know that many people are frustrated with the present user experience that most of the IM apps offer. We have been able to solve various technical challenges without needing to compromise on functionality."
Yes indeed, we are frustrated with user experiences in these parts. 'Data Exhausting'. That's the word.

"Users want something more fun and personal than just basic messaging to connect with friends and family," Riku says. "We believe in a world where everyone can communicate instantly, freely and securely from anywhere and with anyone regardless of where they live, which phone they have and which network they can access," Riku said.

The Jongla team is working on the addition of new social and collaborative features to Jongla that will exceed conventional messaging. It intends to launch these features in a few months from now.

Am I not downloading my version right now already? You bet I am. Right away. Jongla On! Hmmm! This music is really good. Wait, what? Never mind. Shopping on the store. The way we roll in the Tech Age. 😜

Monday, 2 May 2016

Isono Health Is Getting You A Breast Cancer Scanner At Home

Breast cancer is a seeming menace to lots of women around the globe today and has attracted quite a lot of attention with several support programs for ex-breast cancer patients and awareness campaigns about the existence, symptoms, extent of damage, check, prevention.
Breast cancer can be controlled by regular checks which help women in knowing if they have it or not.

That is what iSono Health, a new startup wants to help you with. Isono Health wants to make it easier for women to screen their breasts for cancer, from the comfort of their own home.
Now we know that breast cancer can be checked by the conventional method which is pressing on the breasts, observing, checking for lumps and bumps and pains, and if any then if any, they have to pay a visit to the doctor, who then screens their breast for any cancer. 

Well, iSono Health wants to do just that, but intends to skip the part where you have to go for scans or see the doctor to observe or screen your "girls". It will do this by creating a 3D ultrasound that attaches to a wearable (bra-like) for automatic and repeatable imaging at home. And guess what? It takes only 2 minutes to do it. It's also radiation-free and women can do it monthly to detect and track any changes. This is a safe and convenient method. It allows for regular and convenient breast health monitoring at home. It would make things a whole lot easier for the ladies. 

The wearable is like a bra accessory. There's the iSono app which works with something called "CoCo scanner. The CoCo scanner is kind of like a cone shape with its tip removed, like what is known as a" frustum" in geometry. The bra (which is what I refer to as the wearable) has two circular openings or rings, just about the size of the circular-patched, nipple area on the breast (ladies you know better). The CoCo device fits into the ring with the smaller end pressing gently on the breast. 

First of all, you comfortably wear the accessory, then gently attach the CoCo scanner to any of the rings. Open the iSono app and press "scan". The app works with the CoCo device to scan the breast for any changes or abnormalities. The scan is completed in about one minute. Then you repeat the same process for the other breast. The scan completes and the software will process the results and tag any changes. Now this is where your doctor comes in. You send the images from your scan to your doctor who analyzes and sends you a feedback via the app. And just like that, you've done your monthly breast cancer check with ease, from the comfort of your home. 

Now I know you're wondering, what's the CoCo device made of that makes it a scanner? Beats me. But the CoCo device has a base which is used in charging it, so at least we know it works with a charge and electricity. The app notifies you to schedule your next scan in one month, so as to keep you constantly on check. I think this technology is helpful and though I may not understand what you ladies go through, I think this is a welcome technology. It's cool. Good for you. Okay that's enough hype and bonding, thank you very much. 

Just so you know, Maryam Ziaei, is the CEO and co-founder of iSono Health, while Shadi Saberi is the CTO and co-founder as well. All ladies. Typical indeed. That's why they're so passionate about this. Maryam is passionate about connected medical devices and digital health platforms, and has a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. Shadi loves solving problems in health care and has a Ph.D in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon. 

Wooo! Rock On Ladies! ✌

Health Tech: At-Home Blood Test Startup By Former Apple Exec

Have you heard of Bob Messerschmidt? Probably. Probably not. I hadn't until now. But you certainly have heard about Apple Inc. Yeah? Well, Bob happens to be a former Apple executive who spent three years of his time there, helping to design the Apple Watch platform after Apple acquired his spectroscopy company, Rare Light. The acquisition was in 2010.
Bob knew when he left Apple that the new company he was founding would again involve smartphones, considering the fact that smartphones are beginning to help us put a check on our general wellness and responses to medicine and other treatments.

Cor is the startup that helps you measure heart health, all with just a tiny drop of blood. You could have heard of Theranos and what the company does, but don't think Cor is like it. Cor allows people to test themselves in their own homes, using an appliance that is the size of an electric toothbrush and disposable cartridges.

The blood chemistry of the individual is then sent into the cloud, analyzed and then the results sent back to users within few minutes, about five, along with useful tips on how to make it better. Note that Cor is not trying to tell its users anything definitive. Theranos on the other hand, tries to provide diagnostic numbers.

"We're not a medical device company. We're providing lifestyle guidance. Theranos is trying to provide diagnostic numbers" says Bob.
The company is trying to be as transparent as possible. Cor's product has validated the model and methods in a clinical trial run by a third-party clinical research organization. Cor is now publishing those results in order to allow peer review and promote understanding of its approach. Interesting!

The device goes for $299, plus another $10 per month for cartridges. Now, the question is, how often would I check, or want to check my state of wellness and how willing would I be to draw blood on a weekly or monthly basis? It requires a certain level of commitment.
Cor's product features a very fine needle that gets poked in one's arm, and Bob says it's similar to what is used for glucose testing. It doesn't hurt at all.

Bob admits that there's an issue of uncertainty of some persons about their health, but for those who wish to keep at it and want to know their health status, the company provides support. That support includes feedback of Cor's customers who will be asked to answer occasional survey questions about their results and ways they are improving on them. Such insights provided, would then be used to help inform the lifestyle choices of its other users.

Customers would make use of this device for purposes ranging from, those who would want to keep track of signs of heart disease, especially for those who may have early signs of such, to those must-stay-fit kinda people who want to derive as much performance from themselves as possible.

Cor gives users a fibrinogen number. A fibrinogen is a protein produced by the liver, which helps stop bleeding by means of formation of blood clots. Fibrinogen only helps in blood clots but is not what causes the blood to clot. A blood test therefore, can be done in order to inform an individual on the amount of fibrinogen available in his or her blood. The normal range of fibrinogen presence in the blood is about 200 to 400 mg/dL.
Cor, however does not reveal this number to users but gives them insight based on its analysis, so as to enable them make better choices in terms of diet and exercise.

Cor also processes the HDL and LDL (good and bad) cholesterol levels.
Works for me. This way one can have an idea of how much our health is affected by our lifestyle choices, and what changes to make in order to lead healthier lifestyles.
Life In A Jet Age is easier. *loving this age*.

Boom Wants To Build Us Supersonic Planes

Boom is looking to transform the way air travels will be done in the near future by building airplanes that are literally 2.6 times faster than the usual airliners (at least that's what it's saying).
You can take trips to distant places and back, same day. For instance, it takes about 6hrs 45 minutes from Lagos to London, but with Boom's Supersonic airplanes you can get to London In a mere 3hrs or there about. Also, it takes about 7hrs to go from New York to London, but Boom makes the journey in about 3.4hrs, saving 3.6hrs in travel time. Now that's really fast.

It sounds like something out of a Sci-fi movie. But if and when it becomes a reality, it would revolutionize air travel. I must confess, I'm kinda skeptical about it. Like the planes we have today aren't fast enough already.
I do believe it's possible, cos I'm a believer, and anything is possible, especially with God. Who believed man would someday fly in the sky before the Wright brothers? The mere thought of it at that time was scary, stupid, insane,  and downright impossible. But Orville and Wilbur did it anyway. I guess it's okay when people call you crazy because of your dreams and goals you set to achieve. At the end of the day, a big dream, A God-given dream is one that doesn't make sense to the ordinary folk. 

The Supersonic passenger plane, MACH 2.2, it is said will move 2.2 times the speed of sound. Sounds crazy right? Boom is a new startup funded by some companies like Y-Combinator, Seraph Group, and other 'angels'. The startup is working on its first prototype, and hopes to fly it late in 2017. Working hard on the project is a team of very talented individuals, 11 in number, who have collectively contributed to over 30 aircrafts. They have worked on autopilot system on the 787, fighter plane engines, and flight dynamics on Spaceship Two. Some of them are ex-NASA, ex-Lockheed, or ex-Boeing. Talk about the big-NAUTICS! And one big name attached to this project is Virgin. You know, the Virgin Group? Richard Branson? Yeah? Yeah! That big name (nodding). 

The Virgin Group optioned 10 planes and an additional 15 planes to a European carrier, bringing total value of planes optioned to 5 billion dollars. Now what this means is not that Virgin has bought the planes (I mean that's probably too early), but that they have signed a letter of intent meaning that, they intend to buy 10 planes if everything comes together as planned, having viewed the companies plans on moving forward and achieving its goals. 

Boom founder, Blake Scholl says that Virgin Galactic's space division, The Spaceship Company, has committed to help in building and testing the plane, which includes the Supersonic testing. A spokeswoman for the Virgin Group confirmed their plans to assist Boom when the time comes. She said that the company confirmed that, The Spaceship Company will provide engineering, design and manufacturing services, flight tests and operations and that they have an option on the first 10 airframes. 

Building stuff is a lot of hard work, but then building a passenger plane that moves faster than any other today, is a whole new level. I mean we're talking about a plane that could get you home, literally a day earlier than usual. Again, crazy! But they doing it anyways. Combining jet engines and carbon fiber, advanced design software and wind tunnel tests, all at their Boom hangar in Denver. First test flights will occur at centennial airport, with supersonic testing near Edwards Air Force Base in California. 

It gives me the chills, but that's what this technology, like any other awesome technology does to you. Part of the "Thrills" of living Life In A Jet Age. #Awesome. 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Tech For Thought

Technology is in, virtually all we do and work  with today. It's interwoven, so to speak, into the lifestyle of people in our world today. From business and finance, to fashion, from health and fitness to transportation, and a whole lot more. Today, we can use smartphones to know how healthy we are, or what changes we need to make to lead healthier lifestyles. There are apps that help one organize and plan . There are Smart-Homes; Smart-wardrobes, Smart-Kitchens, 'Smart Everything.'

The use and relevance of technology in our world today cannot be overemphasized. Sometimes I wonder if one could live without some of these technologies available to us today (just saying).
The health sector today has had so many advancements in technology and is yet to have even a lot more in this regard. Simply put, it's just getting started. Knowing your health status is getting easier, more accessible and more affordable for the average individual than ever before.

Technology, which simply is a method of doing things dates back to the beginning of time and creation, and how that God created the world and everything there is in 7 days with His "spoken words." I say that is the first method of achieving creations, by spoken words and I know it may sound crazy to some persons but it's true. That, of course, is when you speak the right words and back it up with the right actions.

Today we have all kinds of technologies and improvements on those technologies as well, which have all grown and undergone changes over the centuries. The human mind can be used to create and recreate things and that's why we have subject matters like Telekinesis which is associated with movement of things with ones mind, thoughts. But besides that the mind powerful and can be used by anyone to recreate their world by harnessing the mind. Of course, there are cases of those who abuse it (abnormal use). The mind is indeed a powerful tool in creation.

In our world today, we have a myriad of technologies available to us and used in countless things. We have vehicles that move both on land and in water, and did we forget to mention the auto-pilot (self-driving) cars that are being developed today, with voice commands and motion-sensor features. Houses which run on software programs; voice recognition, and more, having different functionalities, apps that help you organize your wardrobe and others that help you keep an eye on your kitchen inventory.

Talking about apps, there are apps for literally any and everything you can possibly think of. They are an essential part of living life in our jet age today and still, there are lots of people especially in third-world countries that do not have access to a large sum of these technologies. Pitiful or Pretty cool? Just asking, considering the fact that some persons, especially in third-world nations, who see some technologies as intrusive and somewhat harmful. And who would blame them? After all there's really no hiding place for anyone on the Internet or social media. Now don't get me wrong, technology is beautiful but not all human minds are (just saying).

There are cases where we face technological ills like cyber crimes, identity theft and all that stuff. But the benefits outweigh the detriments. I guess it's more a question of 'who' is using the technology, than 'why' the technology. Most technologies and technological ideas, are inspirational and are intended for inspiration and good.

Use technology wisely to create and inspire and help others, just like we are doing now by reading and writing this post. 😁 Ciao!

Friday, 29 April 2016

Switch To Your IPad With Switcher Studio For Live Video Editing

Is it just me, or is virtually everything around us getting smaller and slimmer with every passing year? With slimmer, sleeker, TV sets, PCs, gadgets, more added features and totally new ways of achieving tasks. Today, one can learn anything about everything, just by going online. The classroom is now in your own palm. You can now bring your animated content to life with VR technology. Decades ago computers were 'housed' literally, and now you only need your palm to carry one. Even in the world of fashion, trousers back then could easily have been baggy, but today almost no guy wants to wear baggy trousers anymore. 

Mobile phones and tablets are used to do almost anything a PC can do. Speaking of phones and tablets, more of tablets, you can now use your iPad as a live video editing studio. How? With Switcher Studio, a mobile production suite that lets you use an iDevice for live video mixing and production. How did this not exist already? Well, it's one thing to cover your events, it's another to edit it, and totally yet another, to cover it live. Now, there are apps that enable you edit videos with incredible features, and even cover events, like the new Facebook Live and Twitter's Periscope. But what Switcher Studio does is that, with it you can stream live events directly on your iPad while editing at the same time. You can also stream events live, directly to sites like YouTube, Upstream, and Twitch. 

It's literally your own production studio. You don't need your desktops to do all that heavy editing and production, especially when you video live, you often require a full mixing board and studio. But with "Director Mode", what happens is that, you disable video recording on the main mixing device (your iPad), and connect wirelessly, up to 4 other iOS devices which can all be used as additional video sources. These extra cameras can all feed live video into the main device, turning your iPad into a multi-camera live production studio. How cool is that? I'm thinking right now about starting my very own production studio, or even TV station.... OK not so fast. Focus! 

Yeah, you can even add a  laptop as one of your video sources in case you want to add Web browsing or PowerPoint presentation into your production. The studio also includes editing features designed to make your video look like it came  out  of an actual  studio. Transitions, picture-in-picture, and TV-style graphics and overlays are part of the awesome editing  features that enable you turn your iPad into your very own production studio. You can edit in real time, or in post production after recording is done. With Switcher Studio, you are the "Director". The company is self-funded and charges $25 per month to use its platform. Not bad for such a service, which also includes access to the iOS and desktop apps. 

Like I said everything seems to be slimmer, and looking at this service, you don't need bulky single-purpose cameras. They're kinda boring and heavy and bulky. No offense. 

So "Go Slim, Go Switcher Studio" *winks*. 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Bae: A Dating App For Black Singles

How do you feel about online dating services or mobile dating apps? I don't think I'm exactly cool with the idea of looking for a relationship or love online or on a mobile device (Except you dey find another tin).
I mean don't get me wrong, but I just feel for a relationship to begin or even be given a chance, one should get to see and observe such a person quite closely, rather than just trying to meet someone for the first time, you met on your mobile. Hey! I'm just saying. I guess that makes me old fashioned. Haha!

Anyways, there's a new online mobile dating app, not so new per say, but it's targeted at Black folks. It's called 'Bae'. You know the popular acronym right? "Before Anyone Else". Yep! It is what it is.
Bae is a mobile dating app created by Jordan Kunzika, Brian Gerrard and Justin Gerrard. All black youngsters, who hope to make online dating better for Blacks. 

The app was launched in April of 2015 and has reached well over 150,000 downloads on the App Store. Incredible! Now here's the strategy that Bae's founders employed, in building their user base to up to 17000 downloads within the first few weeks of the  launch. They hosted an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) tour which consisted of parties and mixers where people who matched on Bae could meet in person. All attendees had to have Bae downloaded to participate. Awesome strategy if you ask me. First, the platform is targeted at Blacks all over the world. Then the app went on a University tour. That's New. Best strategy to get users, young and willing and searching. 

But more than just a strategy for a high user base, is the fact that the app is solving dating issues faced by Blacks in the United States and other countries. In the US, Black online users face apparent bias, as Black men and women are sometimes penalized when users rated their matches on dating apps. So this solves that issue. 

Kunzika, CTO of Bae and senior at Dartmouth College, a Google Generation Scholar who has internships with Microsoft and Intel, turned down Microsoft and Google to build the Bae app. Now that's epic! I mean come on it's Google and Microsoft we're talking about here. Who would pass up such an opportunity? Jordan Kunzika, That's Who. I must say this Angolan-American's got 'guts'. Or is it Vision? I say 'Both'. Often being the only Black person in his computer science classes, he says "I quickly realized that it was up to me to either let this negatively affect me, or let it motivate me to be successful, so that people who come after me will have role models who look like them". 

I'm inspired, I must say because he's looking at the future and how to make an impact positively in the lives of Blacks all around the world. That's both Daring  and Visionary. And he is just in his Twenties. "I was honored to get full-time offers from Google and Microsoft before even turning 21,but I knew that I could serve a higher calling to represent a paradigm shift in what a tech entrepreneur could look like" he says. 

Kunzika met his co-founders, Justin and Brian Gerrard in his junior year and joined the team after they pitched Bae to him. 

Bae has reached users all over the world and has even been listed as a Top 50 Life-style app in twenty African and Caribbean countries. Bae is different because of its proprietary algorithm which was built by Kunzika. What users like most about Bae is the quality of matches and the fact that it helps you find those you're interested in, matches from your secondary school, stuff like that. The founders' goal is for Bae to become the best Black dating app in the US and across the African diaspora. Now that's a Dream. I'm still not a fan of online dating, but I'm just prouda them. Reping Blacks and the African Continent. ✊ #Inspired. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Exclusive Launches!

Here are some recent launches by different companies in Nigeria and beyond,starting with Uber.
You know Uber yeah! Taxi hailing service? Right. You should know also that it has officially launched in Nigeria's Federal capital city, Abuja. Lagos in early January, hit over a billion trips since its inception in 2014, and one wondered when the capital city would get her fair share of the "launch pie."

Now it's finally here. The launch was officially announced on the 23rd of March, making Abuja the eleventh African city that Uber launched after Mombasa Kenya. This also made Abuja the 400th city (I think) in the world, Uber launched. The app offered users in Abuja 6 days of free rides.
Uber also partnered with some Abuja-based firms to attract users. As a way of celebrating their city, the first riders (talking about the partners) were out and about, and had special treats in store for all Abuja Uber riders.

Among these were Charles Okpaleke; CEO and co-founder of the Play Entertainment Network, Adama Ndimi; a passionate humanitarian and one of Northern Nigeria's most influential taste makers, Restaurateur and culture promoter, Sal Gbaja of Salamander Cape. There was also celebrity wedding and lifestyle photographer, George Okoro, and owner of women's fashion house, Dzyn, Ogwa Iweze and they all had some interesting discounts for Uber riders. All that was needed were Uber receipts or scan codes to get discounts.

Sliide launched officially in Nigeria last month and already has over 5000 downloads on the Google Play Store.
It's a new startup that wants to lower the cost of mobile broadband for Nigerians. With high cost of Internet access, and growing social network presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and the rest of them, it is only needful to find new and better ways to help Nigerians pay for Internet access.

Android users can earn NGN100 free airtime just by downloading the Sliide Airtime app from the Google Play Store, and more airtime every month for keeping Slide Airtime on the phone.
Also, users can earn an extra NGN100 for every friend they introduce to Sliide Airtime, and their friends will also earn NGN100 each. The service can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or

South African born Corbyn Munnik, is the CEO and co-founder, Sliide Airtime. Corbyn who had his childhood in Botswana, said the service is non-intrusive. People get free airtime and are also sent contest which will be interesting and useful. The company is focused on Nigeria for now but intends to expand into South Africa, Ghana and Kenya later.

And finally, Ford is going head-on with Uber, with its FordPass. FordPass, a mobile app, is available to both customers and non-customers of Ford. It provides live chat assistance and navigation, remote starting, locking and unlocking, vehicle health information, finding and paying for parking. It is also testing sharing and borrowing of cars via the app. This was during the keynote address by President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, Mark Fields. He suggested that FordPass could do for the car industry what the iTunes did for the music industry.

The app has been introduced in the UK and Germany and will formally launch this month. (Don't know if it has launched already).

Monday, 18 April 2016

Big Announcements: A 'HeartBerry' Attack, A Shocking Sale, And Two Applauds.

So here are some recent announcements made by different companies that caught my attention. Some were shocking, others were exciting and promising.
All the same, they were made and the deals signed off as well as preparations in full gear towards their plans and new status.

Let's start with my country home. You must know the major online stores we have in Nigeria. Yudala, Jumia, Konga, DealDey, etc. Well, here's the announcement that shocked me about a week ago, having to do with one of them online stores. DealDey! Awo!

Don't take it the wrong way, I'm not their manager or anything, but it came to me as a shock as I have always loved them and didn't expect that the company would be sold off.
I truly didn't expect this sale. What do I really know about these things? Not so much. I mean considering the fact that it was acquired by a foreign company at an undisclosed amount. Lots I guess.

The acquisition was made by an African subsidiary of Swiss media and e-commerce company called Ringier. Ringier Africa Deals Group is a joint venture between Swiss Ringier Africa AG and South African Silvertree Internet Holdings Ltd. Why? Is it about the money? *crying in my underwear*
Anyways, don't mind me. I guess I'm just taking it personal. After all, you still have and lots of money too @Sim Shagaya. Chop knuckle! 👊

Now onto the next big announcement. This one is a little shocking too although, I think we saw it coming.
Is Facebook dropping BlackBerry support?... Uhm! Was that a question to be answered or was it rhetoric?
The caption as it reads here says: "Facebook Joins WhatsApp In Dropping BlackBerry Support" *ding*.

WhatsApp, which made a hesitant and half-hearted debut on the BlackBerry platform three years ago announced towards the end of February 2016, its decision to rescind. And we know BlackBerry has been struggling lately. Now Facebook. Really?
You want a 'HeartBerry' Attack or what? E no good o!

I've never really been a BlackBerry fan, but I don't know if this is fair. All at once, from two major social networking platforms? That is just cruel.
This means that the latest BlackBerry 10 operating system will not support Facebook and WhatsApp features.
Well, phones like the BlackBerry Priv will be able to run Android apps, meaning that it will continue to run the Android version of Facebook. So I guess that's a good thing. All hope isn't lost. *take hearts*.

Moving on! It's BMW! (Applaudise). BMW was among the first auto manufacturers to introduce integration with iPhones in 2011. Now, the company has announced that BMW apps will integrate with Android devices. Awesome! ✊
It made the announcement at the New York International Auto Show held last month.
For starters, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Spotify, are the first three apps to work with the iDrive system in the 2016 BMW 7 Series, and as you know, they are all about music. Rock On!

Users would need to download the BMW Connected app to stream music from their phone through iDrive via Bluetooth.
You can still give a thumb up or down to a song in Pandora, access playlists and browse on Spotify, and your saved favorites in iHeartRadio are there, along with live radio stations across the country. Score!

Finally, Sony wants to make PlayStation games for iOS and Android. Yay! The company is also making a few changes to its board and status with its Sony Computer Entertainment evolving to Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Its mobile gaming arm - Forward Works, will now be led by its Atsushi Morita. Nice! Whoever you are.

Well, with these announcements, I believe I've been able to convince you that there was a 'HeartBerry' Attack, A Shocking Sale, And Two Applauds (Debaters Club). Thank You.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The iOS 9.3 Brings Apple School Manager, Night Shift Mode, And More.

I'm sure I'd you're an iOS device user,  you've already your version to the iOS 9.3 and are already exploring its new features and all. The iOS 9.3 is now available for download... Okay! Like that's any news right now. The update was made available for download on the 21st of March and is already being explored by users. As a matter of truth, updates are made automatically for old version, to the newly updated version. One feature however, that is interesting to me amongst others is, the "Night Shift" mode feature that makes your iOS device display easier on your eyes.

You know how it is with the eyes and blue light, especially at night, well, this feature enables the device adjust its display to soothe your eyes at night so as to not disturb your sleep at night.
Now, this is what happens: the Night Shift feature will slowly shift the iOS device's color palette at night time to eliminate the blue light and its ability to disrupt our sleep patterns.
Google Play Books recently did the same thing, though Apple users might be more familiar with this feature, all thanks to an app called F.lux for Mac devices and also its jailbreak version for iOS devices.

On Apple's Preview Site for the new software, it said "Night Shift" uses your iOS device's clock and geolocation to determine when it's sunset in your location. Then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum, making it easier on your eyes. In the morning it returns the display to its regular settings.
When it gets late in the day, the device automatically makes adjustments. Amazon and Apple are both offering this setting on their platforms, thereby creating competition. Loving it!

This feature has become a new standard feature for mobile devices, as more users read on their phones and tablets before going to bed and sometimes face sleep disturbances. Do I?
Well, it doesn't matter, at least you know about it, as do I, so we're good.
Anyways, Greg Joswiak of Apple, who also made the announcement of the release date for the iOS 9.3, also said that the free update was one of the biggest 'dot' releases yet. He said this during the company's "Let us loop you in" event held in Cupertino.

The Notes app has also been upgraded to include support for Touch ID, which means you can secure access to the app, where a number of people casually record things like medical details and password. Now you'll be able to make it so you have to enter a pass code or use your fingerprint to launch Notes, depending on your preference. You can also sort your notes by date created, date modified or alphabetically, says Apple. Cool!

The News app is now more personalized in iOS 9.3 as you have access to more suggestions for things like trending topics and Editor's pick.
It even plays video in your feed and supports landscape mode on your iPhone.
The Health app makes it easier for you to find third-party health apps.

'New' and 'For You' recommendations from Apple music are the latest features added to Carplay in 9.3.
Also, a "Nearby" feature from Maps that helps you find gas, parking, restaurants and more.

Now onto Education, the iOS 9.3 introduces more features that make for a better iOS-in-the-classroom experience like the addition of a single portal for school admins called "Apple School Manager," support for a new kind of ID for education called "Managed Apple IDs," a new classroom app for teachers, and support for a shared iPad for students.
The focus is to offer schools, admins and teachers more tools for using Apple devices in the classroom.
Really thoughtful indeed!

Go get yours now, if you haven't.
I'm getting mine now... On my Android phone. Lols! 😁

Friday, 25 March 2016

Uber's "Family Profiles" Feature Lets You Pay For The Rides Of Others

A quick history on the Uber company. I'm sure you know about Uber and what it does, or must have heard about it, or know someone that knows someone that uses the Uber service. Well, it's a multinational online transport network company based in San Francisco, CA, which develops markets and operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars.
(This is me quoting wiki-you-know-who) *winks *.

The company was founded in March of 2009 by Travis kalanick and Garrett Camp with Travis kalanick as the CEO and has since grown to be a worldwide brand offering consumers like you and I, car hiring and private taxi services through Uber drivers around you and offering interested car owners, an opportunity to run their own taxi or car hire services.
Basically, it works like a dispatch service and sends the nearest Uber driver to your location. Easy Peazy, Lemon Squeezy!

Uber recently released Instant Pay - a pilot program - that allows its drivers to immediately access cash earned, using a third-party mobile banking service called Gobank. It's only available in some cities for a start.
Now, onto its Family Profiles feature. The on-demand car service announced a few days ago, its new feature called Family Profiles which is designed to make it easier for its customers to pay for the rides of their friends and family. A really good idea as this was one of Uber's most frequently requested features by its users. This feature is made available for users in the Atlanta, Phoenix and Dallas markets before going to other areas.

This means that you can now pay for the rides of a loved one like your children going home from school while you're at work, a stranded friend, or a co-worker or employee running errands, from wherever you are, right from the comfort of your own phone.
Just like it's been said "Family always comes first" and "hey! What are friends for if not for inconveniences". You're Welcome! 😁

This option of course, isn't only for members of your family, but you can also choose to help someone in need who is added to your group in the app. This is nice, although there is a need for trust in this as you bill trips taken by others to your payment card, and so you need to add people who are part of a somewhat trusted circle.
You select contacts to join your family profile (name and mobile number) and then such persons will be able to request rides from their own phones using the Family Profile feature as the method of payment. All they have to do is to accept the email invitation sent to them to get started. You as the payer, whose payment card is on file and is associated with the profile, will receive ride receipts for the persons added to use the Family Profiles payment option.
It allows up to 10 riders to share the payment method.

There is no ETA for the Family Profiles feature to reach other Uber markets but they intend to make it a standard feature on the app.
Uber is available in 58 countries and in 400 cities, worldwide, of course including Abuja and Lagos in Nigeria with Abuja being the most recent launch city.

The Uber experience is one I haven't had an opportunity of having but will let you know when I do. I'll have you know however, that I know someone who has had the experience. So I guess that puts me in the category of those who have heard about it and know someone that knows someone who uses the service. Lol!
All the same, I'm getting me the Uber mobile app and I think that counts.
So, yes, I am a "Uberer" by association. Ha!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Nike's HyperAdapt 1.0: Would You Wear One Of These?

What's your take on this adaptive lacing (self-tying) technology thingy? *shaking my head* I don't really know sha, but for now let's focus on what it's all about. Have you met Nike? Then you must know that the brand has a number of products - athletic footwear, sports equipments - accrued to its name and much more, a myriad of sneaker brand editions.

Following last October's "Back to the Future" Day's event, where popular Canadian-American actor, author, producer, and advocate, Michael J. Fox, teamed up with Nike to hint us on what was to come with the self-lacing Nike Mags, Nike finally announced the mass production shoe that features real life power-laces. This announcement was made at the Nike Innovation Summit. Now, meet the HyperAdapt 1.0 with adaptive lacing (self-tying) technology.

Just to drift a little, you remember that 1989 movie, yeah? Well, I only got to see it much later though, but in the movie sequel, Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) went into the future precisely October 21 2015 and was amazed to find flying cars, self-tying sneakers and hovering skateboards. You remember yeah?

Well, that's the story behind the whole Back to the Future day thingy. Anyways, the shoe is scheduled for release during the coming holiday season (November to early January). The shoes, "they" say automatically tightens around your feet when you put them on and makes reassuring sounds as they adjust themselves to your feet. The company says it's making this technology a whole new platform for sneakers, which means that in the near future your Jordan or Air Max or FlyKnit shoes could all be built on Nike's adaptive lacing technology.

At this point, I must say I don't really know if I'm cool with my shoes lacing themselves... What if there's a malfunction while the shoes are on my feet? Is there a possibility, the shoes system can be hacked? Okay maybe I'm just taking this too far. Hacked?.. Shoe system??.. Really???.. Okay, do not listen to me. I guess this is just technophobia talking... or maybe not. So let's look again at how this really works. The shoes will automatically tighten as soon as you step into them. Your heel hits a sensor causing the system to automatically tighten. There are two buttons on the side to tighten or loosen it so you can adjust it until it's perfect. Okay I think I could do with that. I think I can. *me nodding in somewhat an approving manner*.

The pricing hasn't been announced yet, but the company says that it will only make the product available for sale to members of Nike+, which is their new all-in-one products and events app. This app gives members all-access pass to Nike's products and events and also offers a personal store stocked with performance product recommendations and reserved invitations to their favorite sneakers, information on latest Nike releases and more. Nice! I think I'm having a change of heart concerning this technology already.

Technology is just evolving so fast that you just think of something and it's already there or you don't even have to think of it, you just wake up one morning to find something out of the ordinary, something you never thought possible. Well, if you're skeptical about such technological advancements and more, just be rest assured, there's a whole lot more to come. And for those of you who are here in Africa and you're wondering, "Oh God, when are we going to get to such technological Heights in these parts? Just know that Nothing Is Impossible, not for the man who Believes, and certainly, most definitely, not for God.

So be Inspired. Believe! There's more to You than meets the eye.