Top 10 Executive Gadgets
What gadgets should you be trying out in 2015? Take a look at 10 of the coolest purchases on the market, from anti-gravity platforms to the latest iPhone, finishing off with a look into the rapidly popularising domain of wearable technology.
10. Anti-Gravity Platform
Floating hamsters anyone? The Anti-Gravity Platform from Firebox will mystify – and it's also good fun. The ultimate desktop toy, it will lift anything up to 85g into thin air. It is driven by electromagnets (so keep clear of laptops and computers). It comes with lights and a globe just to get you started. Cost: £85 (€107).
9. Soundsight Smart Headphones
Headphones, essential kit for music aficionados. Soundsight gives you that little bit extra. Record videos up to a spec of 720pHD, or take photos as you move around. This is contemporary interconnectedness writ large – hey Facebook/Twitter friends look what I saw today while out jogging. The headphones have an 8GB memory, a Bluetooth connection, and a range of 16 to 20k MHz. They come with standard app to download and edit your tunes. Cost: £290 (€371).
8. Ironkey Personal 8GB
How important is YOUR memory stick? The Ironkey is an encrypted, password protected memory stick developed for Homeland Security. It also comes in a case which passes military standards. Guaranteed to protect your data from terrorists, spies, or curious children. And, all for £70 (€89).
7. Satechi 10000 MaH Portable Energy Station Extended Battery Charger Pack.
In need of juice on the go, multiple devices to look after? Then this is for you. As a power source the Satechi will supply gas to a whole list of devices. It will happily service the iPhone Six, 5S, 5C, 4S, 4 and 3GS, iPad Air 1, 2, 3, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, S3, S2, Tab 10.1, Blackberry Playbook and HTC One. Impressive? A steal at around £45 (€57).
6. Panono Ball Camera
Invented by Jonas Pfeil, this little gizmo will take your image taking to new heights. It has an amazing 108 megapixel resolution and 36 in-built cameras designed to trigger simultaneously. This happens at the highest point when the Panono is thrown in the air (thanks to an on-board accelerometer). It can also be used on a pole or simply in your hand. Will set you back £450 (€576).
5. LG Lifeband Touch
This is a smartwatch that also tracks your activity on the go. Perfect, for the health conscious executive. Connects to your android or iOS smartphone, and displays alerts and messages. It also features an altimeter and accelerometer, can count the number of steps you take, measure the height of hills climbed, distance walked or ran. It also has a heart rate monitor. Will set you back £110 (€140).
4. Sony Playstation 4
This is the fastest selling console in UK history, shifting 250,000 units in two days, and comes with several free games including the popular Killzone Shadow Fall. PS4 is also a fully integrated entertainment package with Blu-ray and DVD facilitiy, as well as a Playstation app which allows gamers to use smartphones and tablets as a second screen to enhance play. Price: £349 (€447).
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Is it a laptop, is it a tablet? Well, actually, it's both. Quirky? Yes, but it does have a great 12 inch screen. The Pro 3 - leaner and lighter than the Pro 2 – is a tablet that runs Windows 8 with great screen resolution.
READ MORE: Top 10 Tablets
It also has a snap on, snap off keyboard which gives it that laptop feel. Its performance is impressively fast. Introduced on July 18, 2014, the Pro 3 has a price range of £492 (€629) to £1231 (€1575).
2. iPhone Six Plus
Apple's new iPhone Six Plus has a sizeable 5.5 inch screen. A departure for Apple and makes this new smartphone a phablet – clumsy word, but adequate. It also signals a challenge to the Samsung Galaxy Note and LG G3, as well as wooing the Asian market. The Six Plus comes with an 8 megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation. The size of the phone makes it difficult to use single-handedly, but there is a reachability button incorporated. The Apple buzzword for the Six Plus is 'productivity', and its sleekly designed and slender, business-like features make it an attractive device for busy people. Prices range from £619 (€792) for the 16GB model, £699 (€895) 64GB, and £789 (€1010) 128GB.
1. Google Glass
Google Glass is pure William Gibson cyberpunk! A pair of spectacles with a built-in computer, you can turn it on by simply stroking the frames, or by tilting your head (freaky). Operate GG by, get this, voice. Tell it to take a photo, google, send a message to... Very useful if you are on the move.
The battery, hidden behind the right ear, does have a short lifespan, while the 'box' which provides you with all the data and interconnectedness, hovers neatly just above your right eye. GG is only in the first stages of development, but with this gadget we are glimpsing the future, will these devices replace the smartphone? For a cool £1000 (€1279) you can check it out.
Mambu and the UAE’s digital banking journey
Miljan Stamenkovic enjoys the dynamic and constantly evolving world of fintech banking. In his current role as General Manager for MENA for Mambu, Stamenkovic sees opportunity in abundance.
“When I joined Mambu with my team in 2019, we came with the fintech, entrepreneurial mindset and DNA to build and grow Mambu’s business in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Before 2019, the region used to remind me of a desert, at least in terms of cloud service providers and cloud adoption. But this past year has been a wave of progress.” In November 2020, Mambu opened a new office in Abu Dhabi Global Market, as the region has quickly become a key market for Mambu.
He explains, “There are data protection laws. There are cybersecurity regulations and most importantly, a variety of major tier one cloud service providers that are available. But what particularly excites me here at Mambu is the opportunity to rethink business models together with our clients and really bring them to life. This is where I saw a great fit with Mambu and its composable philosophy.”
Creating a neobank and challenger bank ecosystem has been his ultimate goal. “In my opinion, this actually creates a unique opportunity to partner with some of the best fintechs in the region and build the region’s first and true challenger and neobanks.”
Stamenkovic credits Mambu’s partnership with Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) for the success that has driven the bank forward in the region. “When I think about all the challenger and neobanks that have grown massively over the past decade,there is one common denominator for all these new initiatives. I would say they really operate like a tech company rather than a bank. - BSF is leading this approach in Saudi Arabia.”
He continues, “This brings a competitive advantage for tech companies. These platforms are each managed individually but can be swapped in and out. And when put together, they actually form the backbone of a company's technology capability. This is why tech companies and banks like BSF actually can get products to the market a hundred times faster than their more incumbent peers.”
The implementation, he stresses, is an evolving process, where each component is trialled and checked and swapped in and out according to its effectiveness. But it’s down to the dynamism of the team on the project to initiate these changes. “As critical as technology is to digital transformation, the DNA of people working on these initiatives is the key to success. At BSF they have a true startup and entrepreneurial mentality.”
He explains that Mambu is helping BSF deliver an entire new banking experience while providing soft core banking services hosted, in this case in Saudi Arabia. “Mambu sits at the heart of BSF's new challenger bank and its technology stack. So, this actually enables BSF to take an entirely cloud native approach, having Mambu at the centre of its ‘Digital Engine’.”
Stamenkovic points out, “Mambu enables banking like a modern tech company. Banks used to be built to last, but today they need to be built to change. And that's what we're enabling here.”