[Review] Make lights fun again with Yeelight

Even I am a bit skeptical about that title…How can you make lights fun?

Also, again? Was it ever fun?

I digress…

 

Chinese company Yeelight has managed to create an LED light bulb.

Good for them right?

Nope, good for you!

The LED light is 100% controllable from your iPhone through Low-energy Bluetooth and an app.

 

Why exactly would you want to control your light/s with your smartphone? Let’s take a look shall we…

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After physically installing the light bulb, which is like installing any other light bulb by the way, go ahead a download the app from the app store.

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Digicape launches Beamo

There are few times in our busy lives that we get to witness a major change in business and technology.

A shake-up if you will.Beamo Logo

A few examples come to mind, the likes of AirBnB, Foursquare, Facebook, Google+ (just kidding) and Uber. Changing the way that we do business, while using tech, and more specifically, our iPhones.

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This last Thursday, the 23rd of April 2015, Mac Myriad was fortunate enough to be part of the launch of not one, but TWO apps coming from Digicape, and here, witnessed such a change.

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The 1st was the expected Digicape app.

The app that features the awesome power of low-energy Bluetooth, or iBeacon for us Apple-folk, that can send and show all sorts of data to your iPhone once inside the store.

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The app features 4 main sections; Products, Floor Map, Deals/Offers and Feedback.

The sections are fairly self-explanatory and work incredibly well!Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 22.08.15

Walking in the door at DC for instance plays a Youtube video welcoming you.

Moving up close to a certain display promoting a certain item, would play another promo video of the related device.

Finding a general listing of stock items, pricing, availability and descriptions is a snap thanks to the Products sections.

 

While the app is pretty AMAZING, and far beyond what any other retailer is doing in South Africa, yet, this was not the highlight of the night.

 

After a short introduction from Digicape’s Business Development Manager, Gerhard de Kock, there came a slide in the keynote presso that dwarfed all previous slides until now. One to rule them all if you like.

“Introducing Beamo”

 

This was not part of the agenda, and this caught everyone by surprise.

After show-casing their app to a few select folk during the build up and betas, Digicape realised the potential of what they had created with the Digicape App.

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So what is this second app, Beamo, all about then?

Beamo is going to be the new way that retail business, advertising and marketing is done. It is also going to become a new buzz-word in the industry.

 

Here’s how it works for the business…

You apply and list yourself inside of the Beamo CMS (Content Management System), which will list all kinds of things like which beacons and how many you have, what content each beacon should be pushing out, and what/where the actual content is.

 

Then here’s how it goes for the users…

You download the Beamo app from the App Store, for free, ONCE!

The next time you come within range of ANY retailer that is listed with Beamo, the app will wake up and push content to your phone. IT’S THAT EASY!

 

Picture the next time you are in line for your favourite pizza (probably at Butlers) and you get sent a quick overview of the weekend’s specials and promos.

The next time a delivery truck drives past you, a promo message from the vendor can pop up on your phone.

The next time you are at a movie theatre, you’ll be able to not only be sent a live schedule of the next shows that are playing, but also previews, trailers and reviews of those same shows.

 

The uses are quite literally limitless!

 

So what could go wrong?

Well, sometimes you just want to go into a store, pop in your headphones and just “look around”.

That’s fine, because all of the push notifications require approval, which means that a video for instance may not play until you approve it.

 

What if I just don’t want any notifications from the store? Not even to approve or not?

Well, then just turn off your bluetooth. Done.

 

And here’s the big one. Who says that I want to use up a quick 100MB to play YOUR promo video from Youtube? 

Well, nobody. Which is why Digicape has created the concept of the “Beamo Buddy“.

 

The Beamo Buddy (BB) is basically a 4G hotspot that the retailer has installed, from DC directly, and this then creates an open wireless hotspot, so that you don’t have to use your precious megabytes that are already so expensive.

Did I say “Open Wifi”?

Indeed, but don’t get too excited. The Beamo Buddy comes with full shaping, throttling and blocking features. This will allow staff and customers to get all their content from the store streamed through the BB, but perhaps no emails and Whatsapp. (Or they can enable it, allowing their customers to do their business in the store, if they want that.) Also, the BB has input available for USB, allowing the store to locally store the rich content offline, and stream if directly to their customers, thus using ZERO DATA.

 

What if my business already has an app?

Beamo can work in 2 ways.

Most commonly as a stand alone app, allowing retailers without an app to benefit in a big way.

And secondly, Beamo can act as an API, hooking into your existing app. In this way, you get to keep your hard-earned app that probably took ages and a lot of tom to create, and still get all the benefits that Beamo offers. Best of both worlds!

 

What if like a particular item that shows up on my phone, but I want t go and check it out further at home. Perhaps to chat to the bank manager, or just a buddy. Will the message or product item disappear when I leave the store?

Thank goodness, Digicape has create a “save to favourites” button for every push notification. This will cache the item into the favourites section, and can be viewed at anytime. Think about the next window-shopping exercise you do after-hours…

 

Okay, enough chit chat, lets talk numbers!

So if you were to have an app built for your company, you may know that it’s not a cheap/fun exercise.

The time, the money, the frustration, the end product, the updates, the developers, the money (yes, I meant to say it twice). These are just some of the reasons why we don’t want to have, or can’t have, an app built.

 

So here’s what Digicape will offer you:

Package 1:

5 Beacons | R2000 Setup cost | R1650 per month

Package 2:

12 Beacons | R5000 Setup cost | R3000 per month

Package 3:

25 Beacons | R10000 Setup cost | R5900 per month

Package 4:

More than 25 Beacons? –> Digicape will tailor-make a solution to meet your needs.

 

So, let’s just take in how cost-effective these amounts are.

For normal retail stores, more than 5 beacons will be complete over-kill.

This means that for R1650 per month, you will get 5 beacons, all pushing out different content, at different proximities (immediate, near, far). This also INCLUDES the Beamo Buddy, with the associated 4G data, with a battery backup and setup costs.

So for less than R20k a year (NOT A MONTH), you will have the effectiveness of 15 different people in your store, approaching every single customer, up-selling ALL THE TIME.

And the ability to change the content, on the fly, in real-time, is pretty mind-blowing.

Who can you hire for less than R1650 per month, with that kind of effectiveness?

I didn’t think so…

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 22.08.32So now that you are interested, and informed, chat to amazing guys at Digicape and get in there!

The beamo app is planning to go live on the app store within the next few days.

Your point of contact is a the charismatic Gerhard De Kock, Business development manager at Digicape.

Drop him a mail, or go old-school, and give him a buzz (0860 105 155)

Gerhard can organise a demo for you, and give you even more intricate details on how awesome it is, and how much you need it.

You can thank me later 🙂

 

My best,

Lee

[Review] “Flower Power” adds tech to gardening

Flower-logoI’m not going to lie, I was a bit skeptical about this one.

 

“It monitors your plants and tells you what you need to do” I was told.

 

I had to try it to believe it.

 

And I am glad to say that I am most definitely now a believer!

 

The Flower Power from gadget-experts, Parrot, is the perfect addition to your garden if you love using tech to help improve life.

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After a quick unboxing, and a skim through the ridiculously big instruction leaflet/encyclopaedia, I realised there was just 4 simple steps to get going…. Continue reading

[Review] Stay charged with the Sailing 2 Bank

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 21.31.10If you are reading this from within the borders of our beautiful country, South Africa, you no doubt know, and plan your life around, the phenomenon that is Load Shedding.

Lucky for you, this won’t be a rant about how bad it sucks, because it really does. But there are few things in our modern, tech-driven lives that blow as hard as hearing the power click off in your home, and you realise you haven’t yet plugged in your laptop, haven’t charged your phone, and now the wifi is out. And if you haven’t charged your MIFI, then it’s back to the stone age for you 🙂

 

But I think I have found the solution, or at least one of many…

 

Enter the Romoss Sailing 2 Bank.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 21.30.49 Continue reading