Mastercard makes DSTV on-demand

While Samsung Pay seems like it will only reach sunny South Africa in the Spring of 2017 and Apple Py some time after that, this new announcement from Mastercard South Africa is a game-changer. The press release says that you can now settle your DSTV account through the MasterPass app and processing happens within a few minutes, but the real gem is that you can essentially use DSTV whenever you need it without using the phone or visiting the notoriously difficult website. Let me explain: I’m not sure of the cost (around R50), but there is a hack one of my friends uses that lets you activate your DSTV subscription for a limited time. The catch is that you need to pre-authorise it, call on the Friday to have it the weekend. With the time limit not being clear, DSTV can choose to cut it before the main rugby game. Now customers can use the MasterPass app to reconnect. This news isn’t something of my own deduction, but something explained to me by Gabriel Swanepoel,VP of Product Development and Innovation at Mastercard South Africa, in an interview at MWC. Full story on Mastercards plans for modernising our local payment systems in the May issue of Popular Mechanics magazine (out middle of April).

Bottom line: Mastercard are working hard to reduce friction for consumers and merchants. The company wants you to spend money in a secure and convenient way.

Mercedes-Benz takes pole in the F1 data race

Formula 1 cars generate a lot of data when going around a racetrack. Apparently one lap of the Barcelona circuit weighs in at around 600 GB of data – that’s outside of the telemetry we can see. Now with Qualcomm technology enabling 60Ghz 802.11ad Wi-Fi, the car can dump its data wirelessly as it enters the pits. Reigning Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg last night equated that data transfer to an up to 5-minute advantage in data analysis and physical settings adjustment in a practice lap at the MercedesAMG/Qualcomm event last night. Engineers can start working on the data sooner and quickly find solutions. Add that to the up to 70 km/h in-corner speed increases for the car over last year’s championship-winning model and the extra, more consistent over the life of the tyre grip from the new compounds and its a recipe for sustained success.

Bottom line: More data enables more granular insight into the behaviour of the car on track and that enables better decision making. Mercedes now have world-leading data transfer technology in the paddocks.

Elsewhere at MWC

I’m starting to love the LG G6 and Huawei P10. Seeing it around the show floor in the hands of the big players in international tech media, the amazing screen and compact form  factor of the LG G6 is eye-catching. Consumers are really being spoilt this year. I’m also regretting not wanting to deal with the queues at the Huawei event for a review sample because the camera is absolutely incredible.

Roborace had its big unveiling last night, where the company admitted that the car hasn’t actually driven yet. The plan is to do track testing in the coming months.