A recent trend has been taking the market by storm and that is “Transportation Network Companies”. Actually, these companies have been around for more than 8 to 9 years ago but have made more impact in the recent years, this is because recently people have come to know who they are and how affordable their services are compared to the normal way of means of transportation. Transportation Network Companies are organisations who simply use mobile apps to enable customers to secure individual rides from drivers who use their own or companies vehicles, both the driver and customer use GPS capability in their smartphones in which the driver can see the pick-up location of the customer and the customer can also be informed in real time where the driver is and show the estimated time the driver will arrive. In our country, we know these companies as Uber, Bolt, Ping, Quitax, Rova Rides and many more. In the past, if you want to go out, you either had to call a taxi driver you are familiar with an hour or 30 minutes in advance because they may be far or stand on the side of the road to catch one and once you get a taxi the prices to where your destination your going is higher compared to what we pay now when we book a ride. Prices were higher because taxi drivers in the past knew they had no competition and they were your only option to take to reach your destination. Companies like Uber have simplified how we move around from one place to another by just booking a ride on our smartphones. Customers can see who will be their driver, the estimated price from where they are to where they are going, call or text the driver to get more info or give info about the destination and even the type of vehicle coming to pick you up, these types of features where not there in the past and made it difficult for customers who used traditional taxi. But with good features, affordable prices and many more, we should remember nothing is perfect, with positive reviews, negative reviews must be there as well. Recently there have been so many complaints from customers and drivers about the services they are receiving. Customers complain most drivers are rude, the type of vehicle that was displayed to them is not the one that comes to pick them up, the fare they pay triples to the estimated price they saw before booking, drivers being unavailable when called by them and others even cancelling trips without giving them a heads up and many more. Drivers also voiced out their complaints like customers taking too long after they arrive at the pick-up location, some customers being rude, customers changing destinations while on route, the price estimated to be low compared to how far the destination there going is and many more. Traditional taxi’s are still in use but are fewer compared to how they were in the past, some drivers have started using apps that enable them to be drivers of these companies. Transportation Network Companies have brought so much impact to our way of living despite some backlash they are getting, we can all agree that they have made transportation services cheaper, affordable and convenient.
Digital technology has transformed nearly every aspect of modern life from travelling, working, shopping, entertainment, and how we communicate with one another, these are some few areas which have been revolutionized in the recent years. We still have the old ways of living like letters as a way of communication, but all this have been replaced by emails and SMS. Digital technology simply means any device that is faster, lighter and more multipurpose in use. These devices can handle and store huge amount information remotely and this type of information can be moved around virtually and instantly Digital technology has made it easier to stay in touch with friends, family and work with ease even when you’re in another part of the world, you can now easily communicate with them by words, video and audios. All this easy way contacting communication has been easier by applications (WhatsApp, Skype). Anybody with access to the internet now has access to a huge proportion of the world's knowledge over the web. Lessons and courses can now be delivered virtually online. One can simply get access to of journal articles ( Emerald Insight) and undertake different learning courses from LinkedIn Learning and many more web learning portals, even now we can enrol in online classes from different university and acquire a diploma or bachelor’s degree after completion through the internet is mind-blowing. Internet speeds have increased exponentially. With the launch of 5g this year continues to increase the transfer of large amounts of information across the web almost instantaneously, making it possible to stream video and audio in real time, send large data files, and access data from practically anywhere in the world. Most of the people now including myself get their news online but mostly on social media apps and on the website. Now traditional news media like TV and radio, have been digitized by creating apps that people can receive instant news update and recent information regarding anything. People have more options for news sources than ever, and most of it is available 24 hours per day. But the biggest impact that digital technology has mostly been in the financial sector. We see now lesser people are storing money at home, they are now applications that allow a person to acquire a simple loan thus eliminating the hustle of queuing in line in banks or micro finance companies. With the rise of mobile money providers on almost every mobile network, now we can easily transfer money to people from our phones to them, transfer money from our banks account to our phones, make billing payments and many more this is because digital technology has eliminated the hustle people had decades ago. One overall effect of digital technology that is almost taken for granted is that devices can be made much smaller. The phones that we carry around are more than mini-computers, these small devices does everything for us, reminds us on recent events or meetings, helps us with financial budgeting with our money, pay easily without hustle of using ATM cards, connect us with the outside world in providing us with recent news and helps us communicate with others whether it’s through social media platform or normal messaging. As years go by and technology continues to advance, more simplified digital technology like Intelligent Apps, Machine Learning, Internet of Things and more, will continue to simplify our way of living even more.
We were sitting having a conversation with one of the most well-known photographer’s in the country and came into a heated discussion on what draws more attention “A picture or A content message”, obviously as a researcher and a person who spends more time writing I was on the content side. Up until a few years ago, photography used to be limited to a select few professionals or people willing to own and keep a camera, snap then progress them into photographs. It won’t be unbelievable to say that digital photography has revolutionized photography and brought it mainstream into the hands of people. Words used to provide so much meaning to a picture but as the world keeps evolving we leave the picture to speak for itself. Before digital photography, photos were printed and kept in photo albums or boxes. Now, many people choose to not print photos, they just have digital files on their smartphone. Photo celebration packages are now more pricy compared to a hall reception. How many times have we been in our Instagram or Facebook pages and just click the like button or tap an image without even caring what the person wrote about the picture? Digital Photography has changed our consciously growing technology so much that big companies are investing more on picture advisement than anything else, why? Because it draws in more money. Over the years, photography was used to document history and to capture the beauty of the changing world, in came social media which has now turned photography into a popularity contest. Many social media platform owners have even created business accounts in their platform so as to enable companies to promote their products if you get a change and check these business accounts you will be introduced to very compelling, attractive and eye-catching products that they advise. Many individuals even buy products just because of how compelling the image was to them. If you take your time and visit different food company accounts on social media accounts like jamieoliver, food52, beautifulcuisines and many more will make your mouth water as to how they attract you, they can make you want to either cook, order or walk straight to a restaurant and buy the food that compelled you the most. In the past it was all about how long your battery lasts longer when you use it, now big smartphone companies like Samsung or Apple battle to who has the best camera features like pixels, night sight, editing, flaw detection etc and not which phone has the most compatibility. Lack of sympathy or respect of privacy due to the evolution of photography has risen, as people would now rather take out their phones and snap photo’s of an accident or an incident instead of calling for help, people now get bad news through photos and videos either through WhatsApp or Facebook instead of a face to face conversation. Advertising and digital photography have long been linked with each other. The new rising digital age has presented effective solutions that can inspire the essential power of photo advertising to penetrate through and create impactful advertising that is engaging and even inspiring. An ad needs to capture a consumers eye and attention, our minds when seeing the image will interpret the visual of the image, initially absorbing the entirety of that image and forming a perspective of what the image says just from a simple and quick glance. That is why many large companies invest a lot in providing bright and compelling ad images so as to attract and bring in more buyers through it.
FASTHUB VOTING SYSTEM It was a typical hot tropical summer day, very common for the locals of Babati. But on this particular Saturday of December 29th, 2018 -the town ambiance was far from normal. A number of A-list local hip-hop artists were scheduled to grace a stage; there was a barbeque competition & lottery underway; beer sold at a big discount -all for the cause of celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Kibo Gold Lager through the NDAFU FESTIVAL. Ndafu is a local term meaning a wholly smoked goat -a cuisine famous in the northern regions of Tanzania. The venue was called Kwaraa Grounds, located one block away from the main Dodoma -Arusha highway somewhat behind the main bus stop. For the occasion, used graffiti painted iron sheets had been set up around to secure the area. A grand 5-meter-high stage was erected with a massive sound system. Tents set up to host local bars serving drinks and restaurants competing to smoke goats (Ndafu). Upon arrival, after paying the entrance fee, partygoers were given complimentary drinks of Kibo Gold. Portions of ndafu were being sold and distributed by the competing chefs. Every time a person buys a bottle of Kibo Gold, they were given a unique 4-digit code to vote for the restaurant which made the best ndafu. To vote, they sent the unique code, leave a space, then the reference number of the contestant they wish to vote for to a designated short code. FASTHUB supported KIBO GOLD by providing a Sms Platform that enabled the Public to vote for their favorite contestant and receive weekly SMS invitations to Events. The main role of FASTHUB was to send Sms Invitations to invite the respective customers to their weekly events titled USIKU WA DHAHABU, at rotating venues whereby attendants with invitation messages were able to buy Kibo Gold Lager buckets at special prices. FASTHUB enabled the participants to vote for their favorite contestant through our Sms Voting Service and Kibo Gold were able to see the real-time vote counts.
We have come a long way, from using button phones, going to internet cafés to chat with people across the world, buying airtime to make international calls, those were the days where we send letters that get delivered after 7 to even 2 weeks. Technology has been advancing daily, with new inventions that simplify our way of living, now we have apps (WhatsApp, Viber, Skype) that can make international calls, video calls, messages that get delivered in an instant. We can make payment transactions by simply using our mobile phones. Technology has revolutionized our world. Technology has and still is creating amazing tools and resources, putting useful information at our fingertips. The future of technology is even more fascinating than what is happening currently. In a few years, we will be talking about driver-less cars and robots working in factories. Here are a few technology trends you should watch for in 2019 and the years to come; 1. 5G Mobile Network I know in our part of Africa we still getting the hang of 4G network, but there have been speculations on introducing the 5G mobile network since last year. The 5G mobile network will be faster than other networks behind it. 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment, your 4G connection. With 5G, you’ll see exponentially faster download and upload speeds, the time it takes devices to communicate with each other wireless networks, will also drastically decrease. 5G for us consumers means not just faster mobile internet, but mainly internet connectivity in many more objects than what you see today in 2019. 2. Internet of Things The “Internet of things” (IoT) is turning into an undeniably developing point of discussion both in the work environment and outside of it. It’s an idea that not just can possibly affect how additionally function as well. So, what precisely is the “Internet of things” and what effect is it going to have on you. There are a ton of complexities around the “Internet of things” So let explain the basics of it Basically, this is the idea of essentially connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet. This incorporates everything from mobile phones, coffee makers, washing machines, earphones, lights, wearable gadgets and nearly whatever else you can consider. The IoT is a huge system of associated things to it. So how about we put a straightforward case of how IoT functions and how it is advancing “What if your alarm clock wakes you up at 7 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start preparing coffee for you, that will make life easy won’t it? Or you are on your way to meet a friend, your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take, if there is heavy traffic your vehicle might send a text to your friend informing them that you will be running late, that will be how IoT work. 3. Chatbot Let’s start by defining what a bot is because most of us know the meaning of chat, so basically, a bot is an artificial intelligence software designed to perform a number of tasks by itself and without Human intervention. So a chatbot is basically an artificial intelligence that you interact with via chat interface. Let me provide a simple example of how chatbots will work “If you wanted to buy pizza from Pizza Hut online, you would go to their website, look around until you find the type of pizza you wanted, and then you would purchase it. If Pizza Hut makes a bot, you would simply be able to message Pizza Hut on Facebook. The bot would ask you what you’re looking for and you would simply tell it, so instead of browsing a website, you will have a conversation with the Pizza Hut bot, providing you with the same customer experience you would get when you go into the Pizza Hut restaurant but via chat. 4. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality In the past, when we went to movie cinemas we watched normal 2D movies but now we have 3D movies that give you an experience of you being in the movie, some movie cinemas have gone far more than 3D glasses, they have designed movie theatres that when you sit and watch a movie you have a virtual experience of actually being in the movie this upgrade hasn’t only being implemented in the movie sector but other sectors as well as things like AR, VR and MR are becoming more advanced. So how will it be more advanced in 2019, It allows you to preview modelled products in real-world environments through your smartphone. Say you want to buy a couch for your living room, you can simply search for a couch you like and you can actually use your phone and you can actually visualize how the couch will look like in your living room by simply pointing your phone to where the couch should be, this won’t only work on products but also on social media interactions, work engagements, and other activities.
E-commerce is perving its way in Tanzania despite being a new concept for many people in the country. This concept as it makes its way into society yet faces a number of challenges-ranging from delivery and payment logistics. However, e-commerce popularity and profitability continue to increase in Tanzania due to a number of online shopping benefits that buyers have discovered in recent days. Thinking about it where is e-commerce today in Tanzania? It is clear to say, developed countries have truly harnessed the adoption of E-commerce. While as for developing countries we are still grasping the full adoption of e-commerce. But first, let’s understand the concept of e-commerce. Information and communication technology (ICT) has drastically changed the way people, companies, governments, and even organizations work. Whereas in this century internet has become an essential channel which is used for dissemination of services, products and even information. There are many factors impacting e-commerce, facts such as Trust ( Giving a literal meaning is simply firm belief in reliability.), security, fraud, hacking ( it is safe to say they’re a major obstacle to the growth of e-commerce. For developing countries, it’s clear that the risk of the above is higher compered to a developed country. We still lack the resources to tackle such a situation should one occur). Role of government (government plays an essential role in the development of e-commerce especially to the developing countries role such as providing secure means of online payment, build up awareness through media and educational institutions). Implications for E-commerce in developing countries, developing countries that want to develop its e-commerce may consider the following key things (Developing strategy by defining its goals, Assessing readiness before taking any complexities, Integrating solution by fussing e-commerce with business and lastly measuring effectiveness. Has this article shed some light on your knowledge about e-commerce? if yes, please share it with everyone.