Thursday, July 12, 2018

AUT10TIX offers new tools to capture and verify identity

We've all become accustomed to using passwords, PINs and challenge questions to secure our identity, but the hackers and fraudsters are getting smarter and raising the stakes for identity protection.

So be ready for a new generation of identity-verification procedures. For example, I currently do some work for a company that routinely asks me to snap and submit a selfie with my mobile phone before it grants access to its online platform.

AU10TIX Limited is one of the leading companies that is developing and deploying many those second-generation tools to automate the capture, authentication, validation and creation of identifying documents such as passports, identity cards, and driving licenses.

AU10TIX uses applications that were initially designed for secure environments such as airports, power plants or government facilities. Those applications are now being expanded for use commercial and public service areas.

Identity verification is particularly important in the financial services sector where fraudsters create phony identities to open accounts and transfer money around the world. The booming online payments market is also being targeted by cyber criminals.

Its specialty areas include capturing, authenticating and digitizing documents; ID forgery detection;  biometric inputs; and image authentication and conversion to digital records. For more details, visit the AU10TIX website.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Where to get fast and cheap logo designs

Anyone who has seen the ubiquitous Nike swoop knows the power of a great logo. But not every business has the resources of a Nike or a Starbucks.

And good logos don't have to be expensive. For example, London Logo Designs offers affordable and cheap logo design for as little as £37.

That package includes six logo concepts from two dedicated designers with unlimited revisions and 48-hour delivery.

Other packages offer 12 concepts with color options and vector files for £57 or unlimited concepts with a website, domain name and hosting for £347.

The company also provides other services including web design, animation, email signature designs and art for letterheads and stationery.

For a closer look at their pricing and services, visit the London Logo Design website.

Bobine Flex cable puts a phone where you want it

For the past six months, we’ve had a family member deployed to a faraway military base.That means we’ve done a lot of video conferencing.

Apps like Facetime and Duo work just fine. The challenge has been getting my phone in into a stable position that works for both sides of the conversation. The tripods and selfie sticks that I tried were pretty disappointing but my Bobine Flex nailed it. 

The Bobine is a combination mobile phone dock and charging cable. It’s made using a 24-inch length of bendable metal tubing, the kind you ,might see on a gooseneck reading lamp. At one end is a USB plug, at the other is a cradle for an iPhone or Android mobile phone.

With a few twists and turns, you can fashion the cable into a rigid snake that keeps your phone in view while it charges. In a car, it’s a good alternative to those clunky windshield suction cups or vent clips. I keep mine on my desk connected to my computer so it’s always charging and ready for the next video call.

The cable comes with a standard USB plug at one end and your choice of mobile phone plugs at the other. A Bobine Flex with Apple's Lightning plug costs $34.95 and one with a USB Type-C is $29.95. Both are available at the Fuse Chicken website.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

RetroCube streamlines mobile app development

When I was tasked to build my employer's first mobile app some years ago, I was faced with a blizzard of questions: What platforms would it run on? What database and programming language would we use to code it? Where would it be hosted?

Today, there are one-stop shops like RetroCube, a mobile app development company that handles those questions and at least a dozen more that clients like me haven't even thought of.

RetroCube says its staff has technical expertise that covers the full range of elements involved in developing applications for the web and handheld devices such as mobile phones and tablets. 

For web-based apps, the company works with Java,, XML and all the permutations of HTML. Its apps can be targeted at iOS or Android devices as well as Windows Phone and even Xamarin. Their database coders wrk with MySQL, Oracle, SQL Azure, BizTalk Server and others and they know how to base apps on cloud servers such as AWS, Azure and SharePony Online.

In addition to creating apps for iOS and Android, RetroCube can also do game development. For all products, the development process moves from the original concept through design and coding to prototype test before reaching the final release stage.

For a closer look at the company's services or for a project price estimate, visit the RetroCube website.

VAI offers a variety of video animation services

Back when GE was a multi-product powerhouse, it ran a series of TV ads that touted its expertise in multiple arenas. I still remember how it ended with a flashing circular images of GE products -- a light bulb, the door on a washing machine, the front of a jet engine -- resolving into the circular GE logo.

These days the company is facing tough times. It got out of the light bulb and appliance businesses and I no longer see that TV ad. But that animation built around the GE logo sure stuck with me.

Video Animation Inc. is a company that also recognizes the power of animation to tell a story and reinforce a brand image.

The company designs and produces a wide variety of animation-based products. Its menu of video animation services includes the whiteboard animation videos that are often used to explain a complicated process or concept. Video Animation Inc. uses a client's script and adds voice-over audio to bring a story to life.

Other projects include 2D "explainer" video, motion graphics, stylized typography and logo animation. The company said it has produced over 5,000 videos for more than 1,100 clients based in over 100 countries.

To see samples of the company's work, visit the Video Animation Inc. website.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

LogoVerge has a free logo design tool

A few years ago, I worked with an entrepreneur to help him create and launch a series of websites that were devoted to several different topics. Right after we acquired domain names we needed logos. Lots of logos.

To get them, we hired a professional graphic artist. That cost us much more than we had expected for work that was satisfactory but not spectacular.

If we were doing that project again, I would start with a visit to LogoVerge. It's a web-based logo design tool that lets users create their own customized logos. 

At LogoVerge, users start by selecting a template from website's library of graphics. Then users customize the graphic by changing colors, sizes and fonts. Once the you're satisfied, you can download the graphic file and you're ready to put it to work.

LogoVerge offers a free logo to users who register with their name and email address. The logo is delivered in JPEG format after 72 hours. For users who want more than a single logo, the company offers a variety of packages that range from $9 for two logos to $199 for unlimited logos.

The step-up packs include help from a dedicated designer, multiple revisions, vector files and other file formats and faster delivery. To try your hand a logo design and to see the menu of services, visit the LogoVerge website.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

SelectMedia aims digital advertising at a global audience

When I managed digital advertising in the early years of the World Wide Web, our production staff had a pretty simple task. Our designers took the artwork from print ads and reformatted it to fit standard banner sizes.

Today, successful Internet marketers focus on video as the key element for reaching customers on the Web, on mobile devices and on social media. And because Internet-based commerce covers the entire globe, those customers are not always located in the US.

SelectMedia is among the higher-level global media delivery services that recognized the value of video messaging on a global scale.

The company offers full-stack technology solutions for both video and display-based advertising. Here's how the SelectMedia website describes when it delivers:

Major publishers use our comprehensive suite of video, display and mobile advertising programmatic tools to eliminate cost, maximize yield and create exposure to new demand sources.  

SelectMedia's client list includes major publishers in the US such as USA TODAY and the Denver Post; Mail Online and The Mirror in the UK; along with publishers in Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Brazil and other countries.

Select Media has offices in Israel, Singapore, India, Thailand and Indonesia. For more details, check the SelectMedia website.

Powermat expands wireless charging

I was quick to applaud Starbucks when the company announced a deal with Powermat that would put wireless charging stations in its stores.

That's how life with a mobile phone should be - just place your phone on a designated hotspot and it gets refueled while you get refreshed.

Powermat also teamed with General Motors to bring wireless charging to many GM vehicles. And earlier this year, Powermat said it would begin supporting the Qi standard for wireless charging devices, which would make them compatible with the technology adopted by Apple for it's newest phones.

Don't be surprised to see Powermat's chargers turning up in other vehicles, appliances and devices. Powermat's inductive wireless charging has also been adopted by Duracell and AT&T.

The company is focusing on partnerships with other manufacturers and retailers that cater to mobile phone users - and that covers just about everybody. Powermat's charging disks can be found in airports, sports arenas, malls and restaurants. Earlier this year, the company said it had 12,000 charging spots in the US and Europe and it's technology is being embedded in millions of cars and smartphones.     

For more details on how Powermat's wireless system is expanding, check out the Business Solutions section on the Powermat website.

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