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SA Company Sponsors Innovative International Wearable Computing Competition

SA Company Sponsors Innovative International Wearable Computing Competition

Cape Town, WP (PRWEB) October 9, 2006

Britefire, a new local training and consulting company, run by recently returned South African veterans of the European and US e-commerce and e-learning industries, is the sponsor of a major international wearable computing competition.

The competition takes place every year, and is one of the features of the IEEE International Society for Wearable Computing (ISWC) conference. Teams of engineering students and their professors from leading universities around the world gather at the conference to share notes on bleeding edge developments in their field.

What is a wearable computer? To date it has been typically thought of as an expensive purpose-built device used, for example, by soldiers in battle to help them make the right decisions about how to move forward. Past competitions have been sponsored by the Ford Motor Corporation in the hope of finding better ways to provide just-in-time support for people on production lines or mechanics under a car. But earlier in the year Britefire decided to change that perception, and challenged ISWC members to, instead of inventing expensive new machines for niche purposes, find new applications for that already ubiquitous and inexpensive wearable computer, the mobile phone.

In kicking off the competition, Godfrey Parkin, Britefire’s President, said “Technology is one solution to the dire need for rapid growth in education, training, and entrepreneurial commerce in developing nations. But you cannot use typical modes of e-learning or e-commerce in places where computers and traditional internet access are hard to come by and impossibly expensive. The penetration of mobile phones in such places will always be orders of magnitude greater than the penetration of “gray box” computers. Even the most basic mobile phones have audio, text, keyboards, and connectivity. If we are willing to challenge our normal paradigms, there is no real reason why mobile phones cannot become the vehicle for truly democratizing literacy training, business skills development, and new modes of mobile commerce.”

This year’s conference takes place this week in Montreux, Switzerland. Godfrey Parkin will be there to join the judging panel and award the prize.

Contact details:

Godfrey Parkin, President, 076-970-1152

About Britefire:

Britefire (Pty) Ltd. ( is a consulting and training company based in Cape Town. Through intensive courses, inexpensive seminars, consulting and mentoring, Britefire helps individuals and companies exploit emerging opportunities in e-business, corporate learning, project management, and business development.


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