Bucking the Trend: South Africa’s Top Emerging Technologies

Now, a new and revitalised age looks to be dawning, as many South African technological breakthroughs look to have significant importance both at home and abroad.

Online Poker. Aysezgicmeli / Shutterstock.com
Online Poker. Aysezgicmeli / Shutterstock.com

Unfortunately, the continent of Africa has been slightly behind the rest of the world when it comes to scientific and technological breakthroughs in recent years. That’s not to say that the continent hasn’t made any breakthroughs, it’s just that they’ve been rather few and far between.

Nevertheless, nations like South Africa continue to strive to put the country and the continent back on the map as a place of technological and scientific breakthroughs. One of the biggest to emerge from South Africa since the turn of the millennium is Ubuntu – the operating system invented by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth which runs Linux.

Now, a new and revitalised age looks to be dawning, as many South African technological breakthroughs look to have significant importance both at home and abroad. From innovative health care to streamlining entertainment websites like online casinos, all the way to laser technology, there are a lot of budding technological advances happening in South Africa.

A different approach to insurance

Source: Team Vitality | Discovery, via Twitter
Source: Team Vitality | Discovery, via Twitter

Most recently, in the BCG Global Challengers list of Digital Leapfrogs, South African company Discovery landed in the top 100. Incredible growth and its technological innovations have forced the industry to pay attention. Discovery is building ecosystems, filling voids in the market with digital technology, directing technology at customer solutions, and using their consumer-centric focus to innovate to no end.

One of the focal points of Discovery is Vitality, which is an incentive-based wellness solution company. The South African company pioneers share-value health insurance and emphasises healthy lifestyles in the doing so. The emphasis and encouragement come in the form of discounts on gym memberships and healthy foods, incentives to use their online platform to track diet, exercise, and update personal health records, and reward points for attending preventative check-ups.

They continue to innovate, utilising advanced analytics and big data and are currently working with the likes of Garmin and Fitbit to utilise their tracking capabilities and integrate them into their incentives.

Customising online entertainment

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

Across the world, one of the most popular forms of online gaming is that of online casino gaming. Online casinos fill their virtual walls with hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of innovative and high-quality games for players to enjoy.

When online casinos began to become available to South Africa, one of the major sticking points was the lack of options to use the nation’s currency, Rand, as well as a lack of South Africa-based support systems. But now, thanks to the huge market in South Africa, some South African online casinos transformed themselves into being Rand online casinos. Through technology, the online casinos can convert from their local currency to present offers and prices in Rand.

These online casinos also boast strong South Africa-based customer support despite the online casino perhaps not being based in the country. Nowadays, online entertainment is customised and streamlined in many nations. Doing so in South Africa has allowed for thousands of gamers to indulge in their favourite games.

The widespread implications of laser beam manipulation

Source: SPIE, via Twitter
Source: SPIE, via Twitter

The South African research centre CSIR was the world’s driving force behind lithium batteries and the Chevy Volt. Now, they’re honing in on a major technological breakthrough that could have major implications in many industries.

CSIR is currently refining the world’s first digital laser. The digital laser beam can be manipulated into many shapes, while a traditional laser beam can only appear as a small point. The multifunctional technology could very well simplify many applications.

While on the grand scale of things, the continent of Africa is a little behind other continents regarding scientific and technological breakthroughs, there are still many great technological innovations in the works in South Africa which have global implications.


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