Apr 23 - Rival telecommunication companies are working together to crack down on international phone scams plaguing the industry. The NZ Telecommunications Forum (TCF) has today released a draft code of practice for cellphone and landline providers, including Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees, …
Mar 28, 2018 - New Zealand’s government may not have evicted any Russian spies this week but its Privacy Commissioner today joined international allies blasting Facebook for a lax attitude to data privacy
The first real-world tests of 5G mobile technology in New Zealand have begun on the streets of Wellington. However, there are still a number of hurdles, both technological and bureaucratic, to overcome before consumer access becomes a reality.
Mar 12, 2018 - On Thursday, March 15th, 2degrees will turn off its 2G mobile network. Devices that only connect via 2G will cease to operate. They will no longer be able to make or receive calls or texts, or call emergency services (111). Phones and devices that use 3G or 4G are not affected and will continue to operate as they do today.
Nov 30, 2017 - Would you like to listen to what amount to verbal tweets while you are driving: short 42 second messages from friends, musicians, news reporters, thought leaders, comedians and others? Well, technology from ASX-listed Israeli company HearMeOut will interest you. The company has developed a platform and smartphone apps to do just that, and has now made its service accessible while driving.
HearMeOut says its platform “enables users to share and listen to 42‐second audio posts through the platform’s native feeder on other social networks, such as Twitter or Facebook,” and that through its app, “people can express their authentic voice and put their unique signature on social media interactions.”
The company has now announced it has developed a working prototype of a device, which it calls Hoop, that will enable drivers to have full access to all the features of the HearMeOut platform direct from the steering wheel of their car, without linking to any other platform.
It says Hoop is compatible with any car steering wheel, and will let drivers safely use the HearMeOut platform with both hands on the wheel. It is being developed in conjunction with DSP Group, a global provider of wireless chipsets for converged communications.
HearMeOut describes Hoop as a natural extension of its existing connected car strategy. It has a distribution agreement with Ford for the implementation of its technology with Ford’s Applink Sync platform in the US, UK and Ireland.
The company has joined Spotify and Waze in a program overseen by the SmartDeviceLink consortium that includes a number of car manufacturers and brands including Toyota, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki, Peugeot, Citroen and Daihatsu.
SmartDeviceLink is a system to standardise the connection between in-vehicle infotainment systems and smartphone applications
While having short messages being whispered into their ear while they drive might not excite many drivers. HearMeOut CTO and co- founder, Lior Menashe, claims the development of Hoop to be “globally significant,” because “for the first time ever a user can seamlessly engage with the HearMeOut platform regardless of the technology in the car.”
Hoop’s development, he says, “positions HearMeOut as a global leader in the ‘connected car’ space.”
HearMeOut has a market valuation of $11.8 million and in Q3 2017 was rated sixth in the social platform category on Apple’s US App Store, below Facebook and WhatsApp.
The company claims its popularity is being driven by the increasing use of voice for interaction with online systems. It cites figures estimating that 20 percent of mobile queries are now voice searches, and says this number is expected to reach 40 percent by 2018. Also, the company says 40 percent of millennials use voice activated intelligent assistants.
On some estimates, quoted by Microsoft at a presentation in Sydney, within a few years people will spend more time talking to machines than talking to their spouse.
Against this background HearMeOut says it has a vision to become the leading social network. The means to achieve this, it says, will be to establish sustainable growth by expanding its assets in three main areas: automotive, entertainment and technology.
In the field of entertainment the company plans to work with media companies, broadcasters and celebrities to gain content and reach. It also plans to recruit influencers from various categories.
On the technology front the company says its application programming interface (API) is in constant development to fit various wearable devices and voice assistance hardware.
It has also foreshadowed Hoop 2 “an upgraded device that features an entire closed ecosystem based on HearMeOut’s services and platform.”
The company is also doing OEM development for car companies to enables one-to-one, one-to-group and one-to-many communication via third parties and social networks.
Nov 24, 2017 - Artificial intelligence, machine learning and smart data are major themes at next year’s MobileTECH 2018. This is one of New Zealand’s largest agritech events and will see technology leaders from throughout the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors gather in Rotorua in late March. The pace of change within the primary sector is continuing to be driven by advances in new digital technologies. While New Zealand has been a world leader in traditional farming systems, it is critical for the sector to maintain and grow productivity through the smart adoption of these new innovations.
“MobileTECH 2018 will continue to be a platform for change and showcase where the industry is headed,” said Ken Wilson, MobileTECH’s programme manager.
“The 2018 programme will feature over 35 speakers covering disruptive topics like the integration of machine learning in health and safety systems, blockchain for secure agricultural transactions and key learnings from the successful rollout of the Internet of Things (IoT) to farms throughout New Zealand.”
Thundermaps uses machine learning algorithms and big data to redefine health and safety in rural locations. OSPRI now use Thundermaps to protect their contractors working on farms. The system tracks millions of data points to ensure, via a mobile app, that the contractor receives relevant real-time hazard warnings no matter how remote the location. Both companies will be presenting at MobileTECH.
Blockchain is set to become the future for payment and supply-chain systems. Australian-based company, AgriDigital, will be on-hand to discuss what this means for the primary industry. AgriDigital delivered the world’s first live settlement of a physical commodity using blockchain technology. The pilot project saw the sale and successful delivery of 23 metric tonnes of wheat to a beef farm in NSW using the blockchain system.
The Internet of Things has moved from being an exciting upcoming technology to one that is delivering real benefits to early adopters throughout the industry. A number of speakers, including network provider Spark Ventures, agritech company ReGen and King Country farmer Lachlan Chapman, will focus on the real-world application of IoTs.
“The MobileTECH 2018 programme will open with the big technology trends and discuss how we can improve investment and collaboration within the agritech community,” said Mr Wilson. “Day two gets hands-on, highlighting practical case studies on the adoption and use of these innovations by primary sector businesses up and down the country.”
MobileTECH 2018 will be running on 27-28 March 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand. Further details can be found on the event website, www.mobiletech.events..
13 Nov 2017 - New Zealanders are set to start receiving emergency alerts to their mobile phones, warning them that their life, property or health is in serious danger. Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi said implementation would start with a live nationwide test of Emergency Mobile Alerts on 26 November. “By running this test and asking people to be aware of the alerts, we are able to test our systems, the cell towers and your phones ability to receive an Emergency Mobile Alert,” Mr Faafoi says.
“This is a test for now but when emergencies happen this is another tool we can use to keep everyone in our community safe. Not all phones are currently capable of receiving the alerts, so we need people to look after others: if you receive an alert, tell your neighbours, your whanau, your colleagues.”
The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) is leading the implementation of the new emergency alert channel. A nationwide multi-media campaign starts today (Sunday), online, on radio and on street posters, letting people know about the alerts and how to check whether their phones will receive them.
The alerts are sent using cell broadcast technology, so there is no need to sign up or download an app. They can be targeted to affected areas, so you will only get them if the emergency is in your area. It is expected that around one third of phones will immediately be able to receive alerts but this will rise over time. You can check whether your phone can receive the alert and find out more at civildefence.govt.nz.
Minister Faafoi says Emergency Mobile Alert is an additional channel to help keep New Zealand safe in an emergency and does not replace other alerting systems and information channels, or the need to take action after natural warnings.
“If you feel your life may be in danger, don’t wait for an official warning. Take immediate action. For example in local source tsunami, there may not be time to send an alert. Please recognise the natural warnings and get safe – ‘Long or Strong, Get Gone’”.
Emergency Mobile Alert messages can only be sent by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups, NZ Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
6 Nov - The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has approved Teletrac Navman as an Electronic System Provider (ESP) and appointed it as an agent for the collection of Road User Charges (RUC) using its new RUC Manager platform and Electronic Distance Recorder. Teletrac Navman RUC Manager along with the Electronic Distance Recorder will allow users to manage, purchase, display and update road user licences in real-time. RUC Manager automatically tracks vehicle distance and calculates off-road activity, enabling accurate, NZTA-approved RUC rebates.
“The work Teletrac Navman undertook to develop RUC Manager to meet specific New Zealand regulatory requirements and gain ESP approval is a mark of our commitment to our long-standing customers and to the transport industry as a whole,” says Ian Daniel, vice president and managing director Asia Pacific, Teletrac Navman.
In July 2017, Teletrac Navman reached the milestone of tracking 100,000 vehicles across Australia and New Zealand.
“Globally the transport market is highly competitive. Businesses must perform under pressure, so solutions which help them to better manage costs, improve service, address safety, capture and analyse data, and address compliance requirements are extremely important.”
To receive NZTA approval Electronic System Providers must go through a rigorous development and testing process to prove the quality and reliability of the system.
“Teletrac Navman has completed the NZTA testing process and meets the standards for recognition as an ESP. The standards are designed to ensure that the technologies and systems tested are robust, reliable, and make compliance easier across many industries including transport, agriculture, forestry, trade and civil services,” says John Freeman, manager revenue assessments, NZTA.