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Name change to help Adelaide tech company walk the talk

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An Adelaide company that initially made its mark by pioneering school messaging systems has changed its name to help it ramp up a global push into the smartwatch market.

MGM Wireless co-founder and executive chair Mark Fortunatow says the name change to Spacetalk Ltd reflects the company’s change in focus.

MGM Wireless co-founder and executive chair Mark Fortunatow says the name change to Spacetalk Ltd reflects the company’s change in focus.

MGM Wireless shareholders last week voted to change the company’s name to Spacetalk Ltd to reflect its move into the market for smartphone watches designed to keep families safe and connected.

The publicly-listed company was founded in Adelaide in 2001 and began developing applications for SMS communication in schools in 2002. It went on to create the world’s first SMS based Automated Student Absence Notification Solution and is now recognised as a global leader and pioneer in socially responsible and technology-enabled school communication.

More than 1200 schools and 1.7 million parents use its school communication products.

However, co-founder and executive chair Mark Fortunatow said the new company name was in line with the sharp growth in its wearables business, which now accounted for the majority of its revenue.

“Our Spacetalk devices business is already over three times bigger than our schools business,” he said.

“We’re now the leader in this fast-growing and huge new family wearables category.”

The South Australian company’s Spacetalk Kids smartwatch designed for children aged 5-12 launched in 2017 and has enjoyed success in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

It also launched the Spacetalk Life wearable smartphone for the seniors market this year.

The companion AllMyTribe App has contributed more than $1.5 million of revenue so far this year.

The watch and app revenue was up 65 per cent in 2019-20 to $7.6 million with devices now sold in major retailers JB HiFi, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Spark (NZ), Sky (UK), Curry’s (UK), Harvey Norman (NZ) and most recently Vodafone.

Since the move into the wearables market, the company has grown from 15 to 44 employees with total revenue up 47 per cent to $10.5 million in the 2019-20 financial year. It also has offices in London, Glasgow, Shenzhen, Melbourne, Sydney and headquarters in Adelaide.

Fortunatow said new, related hardware and software apps for the families market were in the pipeline, with the Spacetalk App and Spacetalk Kids 2 launch set for later this year in time for Christmas.

He said the company had pursued a strategy of continuous innovation since its foundation in 2001 as one of the first developers of mobile SMS services for business markets.

“In the tech industry, you need to keep moving just to keep pace with the market, and our mission has always been to stay ahead, to own any market we enter,” he said.

“That’s led to many new product launches and expanding our customer base throughout Australia, New Zealand, India, the US and now the UK.”

The company developed messageyou, the first SMS student absence notification system, nearly 20 years ago, a school communication platform that it claims went on to save the lives of at least seven children.

As the team discovered new products, such as electronic rollmarking and cloud messaging, its customer base grew to encompass whole-of-government Education Departments as well as Independent and Catholic schools.

“As more and more schools adopted messageyou, parents would receive a personalised text from their school to say their child was absent without an explanation,” Fortunatow said.

“The parent’s next question was ‘where are they?’ This led to the development of a GPS tracking app, which had limited use as not all children carried mobile phones. But we knew from the demand that we were on to something.”

“We needed an ultra-secure device, one that children could safely carry, without the ability to access social media or internet.

“The idea of a mobile phone built into a wristwatch began to emerge and that’s how Spacetalk started.”

Spacetalk has a market capitalisation of $23.12 million with its share price rising to $0.14 from $0.12 a week ago.

MGM Wireless listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2005 with the ASX code MWR, and formally changed its name to Spacetalk Ltd – ASX: SPA – at its AGM on November 12.

The company’s original name was taken from the first initials of its three founders Mark Hurd, Greg Sincock and Mark Fortunatow.

The Good and Bad of Giving Your Child a Smartphone

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For as long as smartphones have been around, and even just standard mobile phones before them, there’s been a running conversation with parents about when it’s okay to give one of these devices to their child (for the sake of this article, we’re going to define “child” as being primary school age, or lower). Is it a matter of them reaching the right age or is it a case of them having developed the right level of maturity?

If you’re a parent who is currently sitting on the fence about whether or not it’s the “right” time to give your child a smartphone, we’ve broken down some of the pros and cons of giving them one.


Pros

Safety

This is probably the most obvious benefit of giving your child a smartphone. You’ll be providing them with a tool that they can use to contact you (their parent or guardian) or other trusted adults if they’re in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation. You’re also able to keep them updated about your own whereabouts, and/or if there are any changes to your pre-planned schedules. For example, you can let them know if you’re running a few minutes late to pick them up from school, or if they need to get a lift home with another parent.

It helps them stay connected

Giving your child a smartphone gives them the ability to connect and converse with their friends outside of school, while also giving them access to whatever piece of media is currently “in” at the moment. Having access to digital content, like Youtube, helps to keep them in the wider conversation with their schoolmates, which also helps to foster stronger bonds.

It can be used to teach them responsibility

Can your kid be trusted with a smartphone? At some point during our childhood, we all learn that we need to take proper care of our things – be it toys or clothing – and if we don’t take care of them, they can break. Smartphones can be fragile things, if treated carelessly, so teaching your child to value their possessions is an important life lesson for them.

Teaching your kid to respect and take responsibility for their possessions, along with the possessions of others, is a good way to teach them right from wrong, while also building a better sense of empathy for others. If your child is also on a pre-paid plan or a plan with a strict data cap, it also teaches them the value of self-control by being smarter with their usage.

Cons

The dangers of unfiltered access

As adults who have spent a fair portion of our lives online, we know how easy it is to take a wrong turn online and end up on a website that is either questionable in content, wildly inappropriate or both. This is knowledge that comes from experience – experience that your kid won’t necessarily have.

They can be an unfortunate distraction

In a study run by Microsoft Corp., they found that the average attention span of a person is now eight-seconds, one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. While another study, which measured the way alert and notification interruptions affect user’s attention, found that, “Participants reported higher levels of inattention and hyperactivity when alerts were on than when alerts were off. Higher levels of inattention in turn predicted lower productivity and psychological well-being.”

Setting boundaries for your child is an important step when it comes to ensuring smartphone use doesn’t lead to negative behavioural effects. Making rules about their usage is a good way to avoid them developing unfortunate habits during their formative years. Rules can also help them to avoid growing dependent on the dopamine hit that comes with getting Likes on their posts.

The risk of cyberbullying and online harassment

While owning a smartphone will allow your child to connect with their friends, it also opens up another route of connection to schoolmates they may have toxic relationships with. In a 2017 report published by the Australian eSafety commission, one in five Australian young people (under the age of 18) reported being socially excluded, threatened or abused online. There’s also the possibility that your child could be the one instigating the cyberbullying.

Can you get the good without the bad?

Over the last few years, we’ve seen smart devices that are designed to be used by younger children come onto the market. These devices aim to give your child the perks of owning something like a smartphone, without the negatives.

Take Spacetalk’s latest smartwatch, for example. It’s designed to be used by children as young as five-years-old, giving them the ability to make calls and send messages, but only to contacts authorised by their parents or other caregivers (via the associated app). There’s also no open internet access, which means no social media.

This smartwatch also allows parents to set a “School Mode”, which, when activated by a parent, helps minimise classroom distraction by turning off chosen features. The smartwatch also features advanced GPS capabilities, enabling parents to maintain oversight of where their kids are.

Spacetalk’s smartwatch is a device that your kid can safely use, while also ensuring you can stay connected to them at all times. It’s like smartphone with training wheels – a great first step towards them graduating to a regular smartphone when they’re old enough.

Vodafone Australia to resell smartwatches for kids

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ASX-listed software technology communications vendor MGM Wireless has tapped Vodafone Australia to resell its Spacetalk mobile phone smartwatch for children.

Spacetalk is a full mobile phone in the form of a smartwatch featuring child safety features like call screening, a customisable “school mode” to reduce distractions and real-time GPS tracking through MGM’s AllMyTribe app.

Vodafone will sell Spacetalk in its retail stores by August this year, bundled with a Vodafone mobile plan.

MGM Wireless chief executive Mark Fortunatow said, “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Vodafone. For the first time, Australian parents will be able to purchase Spacetalk with a mobile plan for one affordable monthly fee. It’s a simple, one-stop solution to keep kids safe and families connected.”

Spacetalk was launched on a single online portal in 2017, later expanding into retail chains across Australia, UK and New Zealand, including JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Officeworks, Kogan, Harvey Norman, as well as telcos Spark in NZ and Sky Mobile in the UK.

Vodafone head of devices Ian Wallis said the Spacetalk Watch “is a natural fit” for Australian families.

“We are proud to be the first Australian telco to partner with MGM Wireless to bring this innovative device to the market,” he said.

Fortunatow added that the deal recognises “the rapid emergence” of a responsible and practical solution for parents to stay connected with their children.

“Spacetalk delivers the security of instant connectivity without the risk of their youngsters being bullied or accessing inappropriate internet sites, social media or YouTube,” he said. “It is an age-responsible device that also keeps the whole family connected.”

Originally posted: https://www.crn.com.au/news/vodafone-australia-to-resell-smartwatches-for-kids-549882

The new Spacetalk Life wearable smartphone is designed just for seniors

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First there was a wearable smartphone for kids but now Spacetalk has launched a model for seniors with the Spacetalk Life  – a wearable 4G smartphone watch and GPS device.

The device, created by Australian company MGM Wireless, is designed to keep seniors connected to their loved ones but with the addition of features like an SOS alert button, GPS, Safety Callback, Location by Request, voice calls, SMS, step counter and Bluetooth pairing to assistive hearing devices.

The Spacetalk Life can also provide medical reminders and has an IP67 rating which means it is water and dust resistant.

The product has been designed to reduce pressure on aged care services while still providing seniors with sense of safety and independence and so that loved ones can keep track of them and stay in touch.

The Australian government send 19.9 billion dollars in 2018/2019 providing aged care to more than 1.3 million people.

Spacetalk Life is a 4G device that takes a nano SIM card for calls, texts and data.

Users are also requires to create an AllMyTribe subscription starting at $9.99 a month.

AllMyTribe allows users to establish safe zones, view location history and manage contacts.

The SOS alert button can be programmed to dial trusted contact as well as emergency services.

And if the user is unable to answer the Safety Callback feature swings into action to initiate the return call automatically.

Location by Request provides the users location while maintaining their privacy.

“The launch of Spacetalk Life is a significant company advancement and opportunity for MGM and the Company’s shareholders,” MGM Wireless CEO Mark Fortunatow said.

“It provides access to a large, new and rapidly growing market which is also complementary to our phenomenally successful Spacetalk children’s smartwatch business.”

The Spacetalk Life is available for the special pre-order price of $499. It is usually priced at $549.

Originally posted: https://www.techguide.com.au/news/gadgets-news/new-spacetalk-life-wearable-smartphone-designed-just-seniors/

Launch of Spacetalk Life Seniors Wearable Smartphone

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Leading Australian software technology company MGM Wireless Limited (ASX:MWR) (“MGM” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce the launch of SPACETALK Life, a wearable smartphone, watch and GPS device for the seniors market. The device features an SOS alert button, GPS, Safety Callback, Location by Request, voice calls, SMS, Step Counter, Weather, Bluetooth pairing to assistive hearing devices, ear buds and car audio, Medical Reminders, IP67 waterproofing and advanced battery performance.

Highlights:

  • MGM Wireless today announces the launch of SPACETALK Life, a stylish 4G wearable smartphone, watch and GPS device for the seniors market.
  • The device features an SOS button, GPS, voice calls, SMS, Step Counter, Bluetooth pairing to hearing assistive devices and car audio, Medication Reminders and IP67 waterproofing.
  • In a world first, the watch incorporates two innovationsthat work in tandem: Safety Callback to initiate calls when a senior is unable to answer; and Location by Request which provides the user’s location while protecting their privacy.
  • SPACETALK Life is controlled by an enhanced version of the Company’s AllMyTribe App ecosystem, which is currently generating over $1.5 million annualised recurring monthly revenue.
  • The device provides seniors with safety and independence, enabling families to directly care for their loved ones with peace of mind, while reducing pressure on aged care services.
  • The Australian government spent $19.9 billion in 2018-19 providing aged care to over 1.3 million people, the great majority of whom received home-based care and support 1 .
  • The rapidly aging global population 60 years and older is forecast to increase from 900 million in 2015 to 1.14 billion people in 2030, providing a large global opportunity for the Company.
  • SPACETALK Life will sell for $549 plus a $9.99 AllMyTribe App monthly subscription fee, and is now available for pre-order at spacetalkwatch.com for shipping in late July.
  • SPACETALK Life builds on MGM’s phenomenal success with the SPACETALK smartphone, watch and GPS device for children aged 5-12, which was launched in October 2017.

MGM Wireless CEO Mark Fortunatow commented: “The launch of SPACETALK Life is a significant Company advancement and opportunity for MGM and the Company’s shareholders. It provides access to a large, new and rapidly growing market which is also complementary to our phenomenally successful SPACETALK children’s smartwatch business.”

Original posted: https://www.medianet.com.au/releases/188608/

MGM Wireless (ASX:MWR) to sell SPACETALK in Vodafone stores

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MGM Wireless (MWR) has entered a sales agreement with leading mobile network operator, Vodafone Australia to sell the SPACETALK smartwatch in Vodafone’s stores.

SPACETALK is a mobile phone built into a smartwatch and is designed for primary school aged children.
It’s described as a safe-to-use device that allows two-way phone calls and messaging for children and their parents and guardians. It doesn’t, however, give children access to social media, apps or internet browsers.

“For the first time, Australian parents will be able to purchase SPACETALK with a mobile plan for one affordable monthly fee. It’s a simple, one-stop solution to keep kids safe and families connected,” MGM Wireless CEO Mark Fortunatow said.

Since it was launched in 2017, SPACETALK has proven successful. Major chains such as JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Officeworks, Kogan, Harvey Norman, and more, have boosted online sales significantly.

Not only have retail chains sold SPACETALK, but mobile network operators such as Sky Mobile and Spark New Zealand, have sold the device on monthly plans.

“This landmark agreement recognises the rapid emergence of a responsible and practical solution for parents to stay connected with their children,” Vodafone Head of Devices Ian Walls said.

Significantly, Vodafone will be the first Aussie telco to sell SPACETALK through its retail stores. Vodafone will offer SPACETALK with its Red Wearable plan for one affordable monthly plan fee.

Customers will also need to download MGM’s AllMyTribe app which can be found on the Apple App Store or Google Play. They’ll pay a monthly subscription fee of $5.99.

All device testing and certification with Vodafone has been completed to ensure SPACETALK has no technological issues.

SPACETALK is expected to be launched across Vodafone stores in early August.
Company shares have soared 20.8 per cent after today’s news and are trading for 14.5 cents each at 10:27 am AEST.

Originally posted: https://themarketherald.com.au/mgm-wireless-asxmwr-to-sell-spacetalk-in-vodafone-stores-2020-06-30/

MGM Wireless (ASX:MWR) taps investors for $1.5M, gears up to launch senior smartwatch

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Education tech specialist MGM Wireless (MWR) has launched a $1.5 million share purchase plan to grow its SPACETALK business.

Under the capital raising plan, eligible shareholders will be able to apply for up to $30,000 worth of MGM shares at 10.75 cents each — representing a 23.2 per cent discount to the company’s last closing price and a 10 per cent discount to MGM’s five-day volume-weighted average price.

MGM said its SPACETALK children’s mobile phone watch has seen “phenomenal” success since it was launched in 2017.

The product is a two-in-one watch and smartphone that allows parents to stay connected to their children at all times but without the risks associated with a conventional smartphone.

While the watch allows a child to make and receive calls and text messages just as an ordinary phone would, SPACETALK has no social media, no apps, no camera, and contacts can be monitored by parents.

Moreover, it comes equipped with GPS tracking so a parent can always know where their child is. MGM says SPACETALK is the ideal first phone for kids between five and 12 years of age.

Along with online sales, the product is now sold in retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, and Officeworks. According to MGM, SPACETALK revenue increased by 87 per cent over the first half of the 2020 financial year compared to the previous corresponding period.

Today’s capital raise will help expand the SPACETALK product more, with a new version of the device being created specifically for seniors. The new product, combined with a new model of the current children’s product, has the potential to double MGM’s overall revenue, according to the company.

MGM CEO Mark Fortunatow said today’s share purchase plan is an “attractive” opportunity for existing shareholders to top up as the company enters into its next stage of scale-up and growth.

“With strong distribution of SPACETALK across Australia, New Zealand and the UK and the impending release of a new seniors watch, the capital raised will be used to further grow the SPACETALK business, as we near finalization of additional distribution opportunities with major telcos,” Mark said.

“I strongly encourage shareholders to participate.”

MGM Wireless shares have been in a trading halt since May 22 as the company works out a new customer agreement and navigates COVID-19-related issues. The company said on June 1 it expects to lift the trading halt by this week, but with three hours left of the trading day, shares are still locked up tight.

Shares in MGM last traded for 14 cents each.

Originally posted: https://themarketherald.com.au/mgm-wireless-asxmwr-taps-investors-for-1-5m-gears-up-to-launch-senior-smartwatch-2020-06-05/

MGM completes oversubscribed $5.5 million share placement

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MGM Wireless, the makers of the SPACETALK all-in-one children’s smartphone, watch and GPS device, have raised $5.5 million in an oversubscribed share placement with Australian investors.

Funds from the placement are earmarked to support MGM’s future growth initiatives including purchase of stock and working capital required to ramp up sales of SPACETALK and the accompanying AllMyTribe app.

The share offer was cornerstoned by a number of institutional and sophisticated investors including Thorney Investment Group, Perennial Value, Eight Investment Partners and James Spenceley.

The Australian-listed MGM Wireless (ASX:MWR) will issue approximately 1.62 million new fully paid ordinary shares at $3.40, a 9.7% discount to the 10-day volume weighted average price and a 9.8% discount to MGM Wireless’ last traded share price.

Canaccord Genuity (Australia) was sole bookrunner and joint lead manager of the placement with Gleneagle Securities.MGM expects settlement of the placement to take place on 26 September and new shares allotted on 27 September.

New shares under the placement will rank equally with existing ordinary shares, with 369,397 new shares to be issued within the company’s current placement capacity under listing rule 7.1 and 1,248,250 new shares under listing rule 7.1A.

In August, MGM announced it had secured a “watershed agreement” with UK-based Sky, Europe’s leading media, entertainment and telecommunications company, which has commenced selling SPACETALK through Sky Mobile on a £10 per month plan.

MGM sold 18,270 SPACETALK units in FY19, up 1,023% compared with 1,785 units in its first nine months of availability, and the company anticipates sales of approximately 90,000 SPACETALK watches in FY20 as Sky accelerates its roll out and further agreements with distributors in Europe and Australia are finalised.

Once settlement of the placement is completed, the company will have approximately 14,132,147 shares on issue and MGM’ board has resolved that at the upcoming annual general meeting, it will ask shareholders to approve a share split which it believes will increase the general trading liquidity of the stock.

While the ratio of the split is still to be finalised, it is expected to be 10 new shares for every current share.

MGM Wireless CEO Mark Fortunatow said: “The success of the placement demonstrates strong support for the company from institutional and sophisticated investors who recognise the significant market opportunity for SPACETALK and its clear competitive advantage in the children’s wearables market,” said MGM Wireless CEO Mark Fortunatow.

“We are delighted to welcome new shareholders and thank existing shareholders who participated in the placement.”

Originally posted: https://www.itwire.com/listed-tech/mgm-completes-oversubscribed-$5-5-million-share-placement.html