• We’re proud to share that our very own Operations Manager: Toby has done his part in helping to connect Stoneraise Primary School to the world of superfast broadband with the aid of BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships.

    Operations Manager of Gemini and School Governor, Toby Clements said, “An ever-increasing amount of learning is now being done online but this school has always been frustrated by slow connectivity because we're a long way from the local exchange and we've not been part of any fibre rollout plans. We did a survey asking teachers and pupils 'what one thing would improve our school?' Nine out of ten responded with 'faster broadband' – mainly because of the increasing importance of online learning. We tried all sorts of different solutions. For example, we explored getting a leased line put in but it wasn't economically sustainable.”

    After many attempts at trying to find a solution to the slow internet speeds, Toby got in touch with BT to evaluate the possibilities. The option of installing fibre and connecting the school to a different exchange was discussed and a solution was drawn up…

    The plans have now been put in place for the school to be connected thanks to the help of Toby and the Community Fibre Partnerships, so Stoneraise Primary can look forward to receiving download speeds of up to 330Mbps! Better yet - they are eligible for a match-funded grant of up to £20,000 from BT.

    We understand the pressure on schools to integrate technology into the curriculum. For more information on what we can offer your school, whether you need expert advice or a full support package, click here.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) received a huge amount of attention last year as we watched the new tech emerge as the latest form of entertainment straight out of a sci-fi film. It’s safe to say that there is a real future ahead for this technology and its practical application to the office space…

    The potential for VR is incredible, with the its most promising application being telepresence. With the use of Virtual Reality, we can potentially see an end to the limitations of location, allowing us to host entire conferences virtually online, much like something you’d expect out of a Star Wars film.

    Another application of VR would be the introduction of a virtual space in the workplace, removing the limits of space and resources. Designers and engineers could use this space to test their own products and prototypes.

    Virtual Reality offers an entirely original look into communication and for it to be successfully adopted into the workplace, it is crucial for businesses to notice the real benefits it could have, reducing travel costs to allowing for the recruitment of employees around the world.

    If you are interested in finding out more about the latest office technology, you can join our mailing list here. Or if you want to find out how we can do to help boost your business now, contact us here.

  • A new app could be a groundbreaking development when it comes to pregnant commuters struggling to find a seat.

    Babee on Board was launched in the UK on Monday and consists of two companion apps communicating via Bluetooth. Once an alert is triggered, people nearby with the app receive a message saying there is someone who needs to sit down.

    The app containing the alert button costs £3.99, which will be donated to a children's charity. It works underground and doesn't require commuters to have signal on their phones. The partner app, which notifies passengers that somebody requires a seat, can be downloaded for free and will activate automatically if a seat request is sent.

    Mr Leith said: "We should be using our eyes, but if you look around you, everyone whips out their phone as soon as they sit down. When we did user testing quite a few women said that early on in pregnancy, when they are not showing, is when they feel most ill and need a seat the most. But visibly you can't see the bump and you can't always see the badge because the trains get so busy."

    Analyst Marina Koytcheva from CCS Insight said the firm had recognised a business opportunity. She said: "Travelling on public transport at rush hour is an arduous task at the best of times. When you are pregnant it is even more challenging. It is amazing what technology can do today, but it is also hard to tell how many pregnant women will be willing to pay for the convenience of finding a seat."

    The app is currently being trialled in London, with a view to expanding across the country.

  • Have you heard of PewDiePie?

    He’s worth $15.5million - but he isn’t a Hollywood actor, or a world-famous a singer. In fact, he’s a 27-year-old gamer, who has amassed a fortune making videos and posting them on the web.

    And PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg) isn’t the only one earning pay cheques that many of us can only dream of. This week, the top 10 highest paid YouTube stars have been revealed by Forbes. From comedians to gamers, LGBT youth activists to pranksters – we’re taking a look at the five highest earners from the list of savvy entrepreneurs who made a collective $70.5million in 2016 alone.

    A candid reminder of the power of Gen C (The YouTube generation), these new stars are a powerful force in culture and commerce. Many on the list went to college and earned degrees in subjects such as psychology or engineering, only to pursue a career behind the camera. Let’s take a look at who the top five from the list are…

    Content: Gaming
    Earned: $15million
    Subscribers: 49million+
    Fact: This is the second time Felix has earned the title for highest paid YouTube star, this year he earned $3million more than last year. He is also the first person ever to reach 10 billion YouTube views.

    Roman Atwood
    Content: Pranks
    Earned: $8million
    Subscribers: 10million+
    Fact: The prankster took his ideas to the big screen this year, when he teamed up with fellow YouTubers Vitaly Z and Dennis Roady for the feature film Natural Born Pranksters.

    Lily Singh
    Content: Comedy
    Earned: $7.5million
    Subscribers: 10million+
    Fact: Lily’s video-making initially started out as a method to help her deal with depression, and her initial plan was to gain a Masters in psychology and become a counsellor.

    Content: Comedy
    Earned: $7million
    Subscribers: 22million+
    Fact: SMOSH is made up of two friends called Ian Andrew Hecox and Daniel Anthony Padilla, and they were the first YouTubers to have their own wax figures at Madame Tussauds.

    Tyler Oakley
    Content: Lifestyle
    Earned: $6million
    Subscribers: 8million+
    Fact: The 27-year-old uploaded his first video in 2007 uses his platform to be a prominent advocate for LGBT youth and has raised more than $1million for The Trevor Project.

    We can’t help but think how incredible the YouTube story is, and how much the platform has grown since its launch. It makes us wonder what ‘the next big thing’ will be. Our bets are on virtual reality – but we’d love to know what you think. Let us know!

  • We’ve been making our festive plans for months now and have been wondering how we can help local businesses to do the same, so with the inspiration of the 12 days of Christmas, we’ve decided to bring a festive feel to this month's corporate proceedings; A 12 step guide for getting your office ready for the Christmas period:

    1: Make sure Secret Santa is organised.
    Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone and the prospect of having to find small tokens of thanks for the office (no matter how small the office or the token of thanks) can soon be a costly business! By pairing off for Secret Santa you can make the gift giving that bit easier while making sure everyone gets into the spirit of things.

    2: Give Back to the Community.
    Have a collection either among staff or out in the customer facing areas of your office. Christmas is a lovely time of year to engage with local charities and not for profits in your local area.

    3: Make sure your CCTV is functioning.
    Configuring an IP CCTV camera is ideal for the festive period. Save yourself a trip down to the office to check on things over the festive period by logging in to check the live feed from your sofa at home... Better yet share the live feed with a chosen few and have them check in periodically too.

    4: Make sure decorations are up and firmly secured.
    Yes that massive gaudy tinselly monstrosity of a decoration that lives in the store cupboard 11 months of the year looks great now - but trust us - the flimsy positioning between the ceiling tiles won’t be so funny when you’re called in over the festive period to turn off the burglar alarm it set off when it came cascading to the ground! Make sure any decorations are going nowhere before you lock up.

    5: Consider setting up call forwarding.
    Got a call scheduled that you really can’t afford to miss but have somewhere better to be than the office? Whether it’s the kids’ Christmas play or a chance to get the sofa to yourself, using phone system technology from Gemini you can forward calls to your mobile to take calls anywhere you like.

    6: Confirm opening hours with your customers.
    Don’t lose out on business just because people don’t know when you’ll be back from your Christmas holidays. A simple note stuck to the door may suffice but updating your website, social media and out of office email responses are best practice.

    7: Check the office fridge.
    Obviously you need to make sure that there’s no half bottles of milk tucked in the back of the fridge that’ll turn to cheese while you’re away. You can also use this one time of the year when the fridge isn’t in constant use to do a deep clean - thoroughly empty the fridge, switch it off and give it a thorough clean before you start the new year.

    8: Print out custom Christmas cards for your clients. 
    Show your customers you value their custom by sending them a Christmas card. Be sure to include your contact details to make it easier to communicate in the new year. Print your own in house cards using a Gemini installed printer and you could save yourself some time and money too!

    9: Appoint Christmas contact(s).
    Unforeseen circumstances wouldn’t be unforeseen if we could plan for all of them. One thing you must do is make sure everyone knows who the official problem solver on each given day of the holidays is. Include mobile numbers, emails and all the contact details you can so that if something were to go wrong while you are out of the office- it is clear to everyone who the appointed rapid response for that day is.

    10: Prepare for the end of 2016/start of 2017.
    2016 has been a long crazy year, but making sure the office is 100% ready to set off in 2017 is crucial. Utilise the energy and optimism of the new year to really get your business off to a flying start. Begin 2017 with a call to Gemini to see how they can help streamline and support your business throughout the year.

    11: Check your recorded voicemail message.
    Letting the phone go to voicemail over Christmas is not just fine- it’s expected. If you’ve got a mouthful of mince pie and advent calendar chocolates it’s best for everyone if you wait until a more convenient time. It is however important to re-record your out of office voicemail to let people know when you’ll be back in the office and able to return calls. While you’re at it why not plan your message for 2017 so you can update it upon your return in the New Year?

    12: Have a good one from Gemini!
    With all of the prep out of the way there’s nothing left to do but crack open your favourite tipple and have a fantastic Christmas! Best wishes to you and your family from everyone here at Gemini. Have an amazing Christmas time and we look forward to hearing from you and your business in 2017.

    For more information on how we can help you and your business, contact us here.


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