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  • 28 Apr 2020 9:59 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    StretchSense expands, acquiring renowned animation studio MocapNow to
    bring Hollywood the cutting edge hand motion capture it’s been desperately
    seeking.

    StretchSense, creators of the world’s first stretch sensor motion capture glove, today announced the acquisition of Seattle animation heavyweight MocapNow via a share swap completing several months of negotiation.

    The acquisition cements the position of the company’s product, the MoCap Pro Glove, as the leading finger tracking device in North America.

    The MoCap Pro Glove is used by studios developing AAA rated games, feature films and new VR experiences to capture detailed finger movements that convey the fine nuance of an actor’s performance. While various hand mocap solutions have been around for a long time, there has not been a satisfactory solution to the problem of capturing a high level of accuracy without threatening
    the pipeline or increasing the complexity of a busy shoot.

    A massive spike in demand for in-home entertainment is placing pressure on studios to create more and better content. There is a strong need for expert motion capture support packaged with a production-ready hand capture product for studios navigating the post-COVID-19 world.

    Just as the combination of peanut butter and chocolate puts all other food pairings to shame, MocapNow’s hands-on game and film animation expertise combined with the MoCap Pro Glove’s unique, cutting-edge technology is a match made in heaven.

    Relationship Manager Ander Bergstrom: “ The challenge of digital performance is capturing and expressing the gesture and essence of the performer. StretchSense has met that challenge head on with their incredibly expressive and sensitive glove solution and I am proud to be part of this amazing team.”

    With a portfolio that includes some of the best and most important video games of the past decade along with several BAFTAs and Academy Awards, MocapNow’s Ander Bergstrom and CJ Markham have worked with every hand motion capture solution available and both are excited to be teaming up with the best in the market.

    Solutions Architect CJ Markham says “T he hand capture solution I’ve dreamt about for years is finally here. I’m excited to join the team that is bringing it to the world.”

    With the acquisition complete, the focus for StretchSense now is to expand its reach in North America, and provide its customers with close technical support with the help from its newly established team in Seattle.

    StretchSense CEO Ben O’Brien says “ I am super excited to have the MocapNow team on board. CJ and Ander are legends in the industry and as well as being great to work with, their decades of experience will directly improve our products and help our customers to create some truly amazing content.”

    https://stretchsense.com/



  • 22 Apr 2020 2:42 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    IRVINE, Calif., April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Protempo US Limited, a global consumer electronics distributor announced the completed acquisition of Outdoor Tech, a leading ruggedized consumer electronic and helmet audio company.  The Outdoor Tech brand will contribute tremendous value to the Protempo product offering, providing for high-margin quality goods to be offered through Protempo's expansive sales and distribution network. 

    Gerry Fay, Protempo US CEO stated, "I have long been an admirer of the Outdoor Tech Brand.  Their product design skills and unique brand has allowed them to quickly grow within both the consumer electronic and outdoor industry.  There is much opportunity ahead for Outdoor Tech, particularly when combined with Protempo's vast resources and omnichannel network.  We believe we are well positioned to develop Outdoor Tech into one of the largest action electronic brands globally."

    Both US corporate headquarters, which are conveniently located in Southern California, have already begun to diligently work on a seamless transition and integration of their operations.  In addition to added sales support, Protempo offers customer service, fulfillment and reverse logistic services.  Protempo's additional resources will help the Outdoor Tech brand continue to flourish and gain market share.

    "We are so excited to be part of the Protempo Family.  Outdoor Tech has been searching for the right partner to expand their sales and distribution reach for their high-quality helmet audio kits, earbuds, headphones, speakers, power banks, chargers and cables.  We have been successful at designing and producing unique consumer electronics in support of a healthy and active lifestyle.  The acquisition by Protempo will allow the Outdoor Tech brand to flourish within Protempo's global network," said Charlie Gugliuzza, Outdoor Tech's CEO.

    About Protempo
    Founded in 2004, Protempo works with leading brands worldwide combining a single, integrated technology platform with global logistics infrastructure and an international sales force based in every major market to offer complete management of reverse logistics, refurbishment, remarketing and distribution of consumer electronics.  Protempo delivers tailored customer solutions through a broad product and services portfolio.  For more information, visit www.protempo.com .

    About Outdoor Tech
    Founded in 2010, Outdoor Tech® is an outdoor designer brand creating accessories for an action-filled lifestyle.  Packing the world's most complete line of Bluetooth audio and power built for reveling in the open air and on the road, Outdoor Tech proves there is a way to stay connected but not tethered.  For more on Outdoor Tech and the rest of its line including rugged portable power and the iconic Yowie® Logo apparel collection, visit www.outdoortech.com .

    SOURCE Protempo US Limited

    Related Links

    https://www.protempo.com/

  • 14 Apr 2020 5:12 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    International flights are still landing and taking off at Auckland Airport, but it’s cargo space in the belly of planes rather than passengers that’s providing a vital economic connection.

    In the next four weeks, around 80 new flights of freight-only passenger planes are scheduled to land at Auckland Airport, in addition to the 20 dedicated freighters each week.

    Flying with limited crew, the belly hold is filled with priority cargo, including medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and parcels coming into New Zealand and respiratory equipment and fresh produce heading back out overseas.

    Air has been the transport of choice for high value, time-critical goods. From gifts, airmail and online shopping orders, through to precious metals and gems, artworks and horses. Before the widespread outbreak of COVID-19, 86% of New Zealand’s airfreight came through Auckland Airport.

    This isn’t just about businesses in Auckland benefiting, said Scott Tasker, General Manager Aeronautical Commercial.

    “The impact of well-functioning cargo connections flows right out into heartland New Zealand. Keeping our air cargo connections going to key international markets is really important and crucial for New Zealand’s economic fortunes – now and as the country works to rebuild from the impact of COVID-19.”

    With the drastic fall in passenger numbers, airlines scrambled to reduce flights in order to preserve cashflow, he said.

    “Those reductions have resulted in a massive cut in cargo capacity, from 25,000 tonnes in April 2019 to 15,500 tonnes in April 2020. If you take an average widebody plane, there’d generally have been around 320 passengers and 15 tonnes of cargo on board.

    “There’s been a demand and supply issue, which has seen airfreight rates increase, but airlines have been quick at adapting to the changing market. What we’re seeing is our key airline partners converting to cargo-only flights using passenger aircraft or flights with limited numbers of passengers,” he said.

    Currently Air New Zealand, Air China, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Fiji Airways, Hainan Airlines and Korean Air are operating passenger aircraft with cargo-only loads to and from Auckland Airport.

    Mr Tasker said maintaining bilateral airfreight connections to New Zealand would be an important part of our economic recovery.

    “If we look back at figures from a couple of years ago, air freight accounted for $1 in every $5 of trade for New Zealand. At that time the average value of goods transported by sea was around $1,200 per metric tonne. In comparison, the value of air freighted exports was $87,000 per metric tonne.”

    He said New Zealand’s airfreight exports are weighted towards primary products – seafood, fruit and prepared foods – products still being produced by an industry considered essential under the Level 4 alert.

    “Air cargo connections mean high value products can be delivered into markets where they can attract premium prices and enable producers to capture demand opportunities.

    “A great example of this would be the export of fresh crayfish into the Chinese market. It’s a consumer group who values fresh, natural products and are prepared to pay a premium meaning seafood companies can potentially make better margins without lifting their quota.

    “And it’s something you’ll see repeated across a range of products. Fresh milk can be worth four times as much as the same volume of whole milk powder and twice as much as UHT. Only 1% of New Zealand’s beef and lamb exports travels by air, despite earning $10 per kilogram more than sea freighted product. Shifting a further 1% more onto airfreight would add $90 million to export earnings.

    “If you go back to the example of the average widebody plane, annually it would deliver $200m in tourism value but $260m in export cargo. As a country, we’ve talked for a long time about moving from a commodity-based economy to one that delivers high-value or value-added products and airfreight is a critical part of that shift.”

    Key cargo statistics:

    • 80% of airfreight to and from New Zealand is carried in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft, with the remaining 20% being carried by cargo-only air freighters
    • 20% of airfreight capacity provided by four air cargo-only operators
    • 86% of airfreight operates from Auckland International Airport.

    • Source: https://corporate.aucklandairport.co.nz/

  • 01 Apr 2020 11:17 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The world's second-largest retailer has New Zealand clearance from an arm of the state to make its debut in this country with its first giant store.

    The Overseas Investment Office has just announced it has given consent for Costco Wholesale New Zealand to buy land at Massey's Westgate in Auckland where the retailer will open its first store.

    Costco, second only to Walmart globally, needed state consent here because the land it is buying is classified as sensitive. It applied to buy a freehold interest in 2.7ha of land at the corner of Maki St and Gunton Dr at Westgate near the Harvey Norman store.

    It also needed consent because it plans to establish a business in this country where the expenditure involved exceeded $100m - the land purchase and the development of the giant new store with its fuel station, food court, pharmacy, hearing aid sales centre, etc.

    READ  MORE

    Source: NZ Herald

  • 06 Mar 2020 5:00 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    The investment by major United States company Merck and Co in FarmIQ, is an endorsement of the technology that Pāmu has been championing since the inception of the agri-tech company, Pāmu Chief Executive Steven Carden says.

    “This latest investment from a global player in animal health and welfare confirms the vision we had when FarmIQ was started, which was to enable greater productivity by joining up the whole agriculture data ecosystem,” Mr Carden said.

    Pāmu holds a 30% shareholding in FarmIQ and is one of its original shareholders and biggest customers. The company has actively championed changes such as the Health and Safety module widely used by FarmIQ customers.

    “Merck’s investment in FarmIQ through their MSD Animal Health subsidiary company is an acknowledgement that the global ag sector is looking for innovative solutions for the challenges we face, and the fact they have realised the huge potential and uniqueness of the FarmIQ platform, and are prepared to invest in the company, is something all New Zealanders can be proud of.

    Read More

  • 03 Mar 2020 4:51 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    FarmIQ today announced MSD Animal Health, a division of NYSE listed Merck & Co., Inc. became a minority investor. MSD Animal Health joins FarmIQ’s existing shareholders Farmlands, Silver Fern Farms, Pamu Farms NZ, and Veterinary Enterprises Group who have also invested new capital into FarmIQ.

    FarmIQ Chief Executive Darryn Pegram said,

    “The new capital will be used to fuel FarmIQ’s domestic growth and to invest in its world-leading software. The investment is an exciting development for FarmIQ, and signals MSD Animal Health’s ongoing commitment to New Zealand agriculture and their focus on accelerating traceability in livestock to improve animal health.

    “We believe MSD Animal Health‘s investment confirms the considerable potential of the FarmIQ application and its world leading capability” said Mr Pegram. “We also believe it is a fantastic endorsement of the original FarmIQ Primary Growth Partnership “PGP” partners who foresaw the value of individual animal records for productivity and traceability as well as creating value from provenance. We hope the many supporters of FarmIQ over the years take justifiable pride in this endorsement. By connecting the power of FarmIQ’s open software platform and the range of MSD Animal Health’s products, including the Allflex Livestock Intelligence range of animal health monitoring solutions the companies are well placed to create new value for farmers the world over.”

    Read more

  • 02 Mar 2020 4:41 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Boutique Kiwi dairy company Lewis Road Creamery has hit the shelves in United States in a deal worth up to US$5 million (NZ$8m) in its first year.

    The company has been pursuing a slow push into the United Since for the last 18 months, first appearing in California's premium organic grocer chain Erewhon and specialty supermarket Central Markets in Texas. Sales took off, with the Lewis Road brand selling twice twice as fast as it did in New Zealand, founder Peter Cullinane said.

    As a result the company caught the attention of Whole Foods Markets, a large US supermarket chain specialising in natural and organic food. The butter is now in 271 Whole Foods stores across 37 states.

    Cullinane says the deal is proof of concept for an idea that he founded the creamery on: That New Zealand should be exporting finished branded products rather than commodities for the lowest possible price.

    Read more

  • 28 Feb 2020 2:42 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Customers Now Have Greater Access to International Markets to Connect their Business Around the Globe

     SYDNEY, Australia, Feb. 4, 2020 – FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, has enhanced its service in the Trans-Tasman lane to strengthen its customer offerings. FedEx customers will now have access to heavyweight cargo capacity and express, overnight delivery five times a week between Auckland and Sydney.

    With over 864[1]million parcels shipped from Australia in 2018 alone, there is increasing demand from customers shipping between New Zealand and Australia. This enhanced FedEx Trans-Tasman service will help cater to Australasia’s rapid growth.

    FedEx service enhancements will take place in two phases. From February, FedEx customers will benefit from transit time improvements and increased cargo capacity. Phase two will commence in April 2020 with availability of FedEx’s International Economy Distribution, delivery service of bulk shipments from one origin location to multiple addresses at competitive rates.

    “We are proud to be launching these service enhancements across New Zealand and Australia which provides local customers great service and global connectivity on this key trade lane,” said Peter Langley, vice president, FedEx Express Australasia. “We are looking forward to building on our existing operational strength to create more possibilities for customers, and deliver a seamless customer experience,” Langley said.

    Global customers and small and medium businesses in Australasia will benefit from FedEx’s direct connectivity to its New Zealand and Australian domestic networks and the FedEx Express global network. At the same time, this enhanced service will better connect FedEx New Zealand customers with more global possibilities including greater access to markets in Europe with the inclusion of 20 additional markets[2] for FedEx’s International Economy (IE) and International Economy Freight (IEF) services. IE is a day-definite, customs-cleared, door-to-door economy service for shipments up to 68kg per package. The IEF service has similar features however it covers all heavyweight freight shipments from 68kg to 1,000kg per package.

    About FedEx Express

    FedEx Express is the world's largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date supported by a money-back guarantee[3].

    About FedEx Corp.

    FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $69 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 490,000 team members globally to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.

     1 https://www.pitneybowes.com/us/shipping-index.html

    [2] Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Israel and Turkey

    [3] Subject to relevant terms and conditions available on the applicable FedEx local website.

  • 25 Feb 2020 4:48 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    In a world first, Air New Zealand and NASA are working together to monitor climate change impacts, with the airline to collect unique environmental data during domestic flights.

    Air New Zealand is set to be the first passenger airline in the world to join a NASA earth science mission, with one of its Q300 aircraft to be fitted with next-generation satellite receivers later this year.

    Using GPS signals reflected from the earth’s surface, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver unit will act as a scientific “black box” during flights, gathering data to better predict severe storms, as well as enabling new climate change research in New Zealand.

    Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer Captain David Morgan says with flight paths across Aotearoa, the Q300 is the perfect aircraft to pilot the mission.

    “Our Q300s cruise around 16,000 feet – much closer to the land and sea than NASA’s satellites. Placing receivers on aircraft will enhance the resolution and quality of information, giving scientists an unprecedented view over our entire network, from Kerikeri to Invercargill.

    “As an airline, we’re already seeing the impact of climate change, with flights impacted by volatile weather and storms. Climate change is our biggest sustainability challenge so it’s incredible we can use our daily operations to enable this world-leading science.”

    Data collected inflight will feed into NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). Dr Gail Skofronick-Jackson, NASA’s CYGNSS Program Scientist in the agency’s Earth Science Division, says with Air New Zealand on board there’s an opportunity to extend the mission and monitor the environmental signs of climate change.

    “CYGNSS uses GPS signals, bounced off the ocean, to measure wind speeds and help scientists better predict cyclones and hurricanes. Over land, the technology can determine soil moisture levels, so it can also monitor climate change indicators such as drought, flooding and coastline erosion.

    “This is a new approach to climate science and exciting terrain. The next-generation receivers Air New Zealand will fly have advanced features, new to CYGNSS, so we’re excited to test their capabilities and explore their potential for future space-borne missions.”

    The project has been made possible through an agreement between NASA and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). MBIE’s General Manager of Science, Innovation and International Dr Peter Crabtree says the partnership aims to engage New Zealanders in a globally significant science mission.

    “Through this partnership Air New Zealand’s world-class engineers and researchers across New Zealand will have the opportunity to work with NASA on a mission that will advance global understanding of the impacts of climate change.”

    The University of Auckland will establish a Science Payload Operations Centre to receive and process data collected inflight. Project Lead, Professor Delwyn Moller, says the centre will manage what could ultimately be New Zealand’s largest source of environmental data.

    “Local scientists will work with the NASA CYGNSS team to process these unique measurements into environmental data, opening up a range of research opportunities and potential uses, from flood risk-management to agriculture and resource planning. Though this collaboration, Kiwi scientists will be at the forefront of this emerging field.”

    The receivers are being developed by the University of Michigan for NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office. Air New Zealand engineers will fit the first Q300 in late 2020 and if the approach is successful, the airline will explore introducing the technology more widely across the Q300 fleet.

    Air New Zealand has 23 of the 50-seat Q300 turboprop aircraft in its fleet. The Q300 fleet operates to 19 domestic ports, with each aircraft flying around 50 services a week.

  • 21 Feb 2020 3:28 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Charging ahead: Kiwi startup Invisible Urban takes $35m in US orders for its EV charging-as-a-service

    While car companies and other organisations build networks of charging stations to accelerate the move to electric vehicles, a Kiwi company has won backing for its alternative approach.

    Reported in New Zealand Herald Newspaper