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LOCAL NEWS: DEIRDRE ROELANTS

VOUCHERMOB CAN SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY Telephones are one of those inventions we can’t imagine living without and they’ve come a long way since Alexander Bell’s day. Now we have smart phones that connect to the internet as opposed to, in recent parlance, dumb phones that don’t. Presently only about seven percent of New Zealanders use smartphones but according to Herne Bay resident, Scott Bradley that’s about to change. Scott recently returned from a ten year stint in the UK where he co-founded one of the largest online energy trading companies Utilyx. He has a wealth of similar experience within the digital and communications corporate sector and he brings all that expertise to his new venture, VoucherMob. Voucher websites are the latest cool thing and to take advantage of them you need a smartphone. Scott says the smartphone market is about to explode with a number of telecommunication companies providing cheaper hardware than Apple’s iphone. He has watched what happened in the UK, Germany and the US and predicts by 2013 about 65% of people here will have some kind of smartphone. After all, with low cost phones on the market, why not have one? And he believes now is the right time for VoucherMob to drive home the value that digital technology can deliver.

DAVID HARTNELL Mc’d the launch of ANNA HOFFMANN’S latest book ‘Tales of Anna Hoffmann Volume Two’ at Shanghai Lil’s last month. Long time friend CARMEN flew in from Sydney to be the guest of honour.

In the current economic climate retailers are looking for more custom and consumers want good deals. VoucherMob provides a gateway between them. For instance a store can publish specials on www.vouchermob.co.nz and send out an e-voucher to consumers who are looking for a deal. The consumer can get the discount just by presenting the phone that received the voucher. The application is free for customers – they are only asked for basic registration information. The savings made by taking advantage of the best deals around far outweighs the cost of the smartphone and retailers can track the effectiveness of their campaigns. Ponsonby retailers would be hugely advantaged with this system in place. Customers can list their favourite stores on their phones which allow retailers to send information to the appropriate consumers. A customer can even email the store to see if his or her size is available, or any other information that’s required. Most importantly, customers have control of what products they want to be informed about and the cost to the retailer is minimal. Right now Scott is running free trials through to Christmas and maybe a bit longer to get everything up and running. He launched on13 October and already has about fifty retailers on the system broadcasting various good offers. So how does VoucherMob differ from similar digital voucher publishers? Well it’s the only one that offers a location based service. The smartphone knows exactly where its owner is so if you are out and about and decide you need to buy some beer just type in the word under the subject category and up will come the nearest outlet’s address. Because of its low bandwidth the component cost of using the service is very low, probably lower than sending a text. If similar systems are going more than well overseas it would be surprising if the concept doesn’t take off here as well. Smartphones on the Christmas list? I bet they are! After all is said and done, who’d want a dumb phone anymore? (DEIRDRE ROELANTS) PN

A RENEGADE BUNCH COMES TO PONSONBY Clinton Cardazo is the creative director of a group of entrepreneurs who are set on going places. On board with him is a photographer, music editor, writer, fashion editor and graphic designer. They all met at AUT and got together with an innovative concept that is bound to catch on. They have built a website on which they publish the creative endeavours of others as well as their own. It’s only a couple of months since they became active but already they have scored some interesting projects; the 2011 New Zealand Firefighters Calendar and work for Waikato National Contemporary Art. The collaborative have named themselves Renegade House and meet three times a week, at a space they have just leased next to Radio FM, to discuss the promotions and stories they are interested in. Any one of them may have six projects to consider at a given time and call on the others in the team to make their ideas a reality. There’s never one person who creates the whole concept – there’s input from them all. They are not like an advertising agency because there is no middleman and they are not keen on promoting people who are too protective of their work and not open to advice or suggestions. Their website www.renegadehouse.co.nz is very well designed and photographed. Already it has a wealth of stories from, and images of various artistes. They will launch an iPad version very soon and their singular vision is to put Auckland on the map internationally. Ponsonby News wishes them success in their endeavours because that’s something we’d all like to see happen. (DEIRDRE ROELANTS) PN

22 PONSONBY NEWS+ December 2010

PUBLISHED FIRST FRIDAY EACH MONTH (except January)

DECEMBER/JANUARY '10/ '11 Ponsonby News  
DECEMBER/JANUARY '10/ '11 Ponsonby News  

Christmas issue - covering December and January - news/views and all that is happening in and around Ponsonby