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CES 2016: Next generation tech comes to fore

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CES 2016 opened its doors earlier this week spanning the largest exhibit floor in the show’s 49-year history, with 2.4 million square feet of exhibit space and featuring more than 3 600 companies, including a record 500 startups.

Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), CES 2016 runs through to Saturday, 9 January, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“CES kicks off earlier this week as the global platform where emerging technology meets the marketplace. I’m like a kid in a candy store this week, surrounded by mind-blowing innovation that is truly improving the human experience,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association. “From robotics, 3D printing and unmanned systems to automotive tech, wearables and beyond, our world is changing as technology connects us all and works to solve the impossible. It is incredible we get to bring together so many industry visionaries, influencers and entrepreneurs this week at CES to showcase how tech is changing the world. The energy in Las Vegas right now is palpable.”

Intel kicked off Tuesday’s keynotes with art and a concert followed by the company’s CEO Brian Krzanich asking the audience to fist pump the lit bracelets that were on each chair. Intel had it all, including next-generation drones, robots and more. Krzanich announced a number of new innovations that incorporate Intel’s technology, including the Oakley Radar Pace smart eyewear, featuring a real-time, voice-activated coaching system designed to improve and enhance athletes’ training and performance and the Typhoon H Drone, powered by Intel’s RealSense technology to avoid collisions in real time.

Later Tuesday evening, Dr. Herbert Diess, chairman, board of management, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, took the keynote stage and addressed the company’s recent diesel issue, stating that “we are doing everything possible to make it right,” and discussed the company’s focus on creating a “New Volkswagen” and redefining and re-engineering every aspect of VW. Dr. Diess then announced the new e-Golf Touch, a zero emissions, all-electric car, as “a smartphone on wheels” that will be available before CES 2017. Additionally, the electric BUDD-e, a unique concept for a long-distance electric vehicle, was unveiled as the “first car in the Internet of Things.” Users will be able to connect the smart home with the smart car through partnership announcements with LG and startup company Door Bird.

Preshow press events kicked off Monday with the largest CES Unveiled in show history. The official media event of CES 2016, CES Unveiled featured more than 160 exhibiting companies, including a record-breaking 52 startups from Eureka Park – the dedicated CES exhibit area for early-stage companies. Exhibitors offered a sneak preview of products launching at the show to more than 2,000 media, covering the latest in sensors, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, wearables, virtual reality and robotics all captured in the official highlight reel.

Companies big and small use CES to introduce the latest innovation to the global market. Major product announcements continued during Tuesday’s CES Press Day, which featured 28 exhibitor press conferences kicking off and setting the tone for a week that will see some 20,000 products launched. Major product debuts included:

  • Bosch – In-Vehicle Audio/Video System with Personalized Haptic Touchscreen, including haptic control so drivers can feel the buttons on the screen and receive touch feedback
  • Casio – Smart Outdoor Watch WSD-F10 powered by Android Wear, the first watch with a built-in microphone that is water resistance up to 50 meters and features a dual layer display structure that meets U.S. military standards
  • DISH – Hopper 3, powering up to seven home TVs at once, and comes with 16 tuners and a “Sports Bar Mode” that lets owners watch four regular HD channels at once on their Ultra HD TV
  • FitBit – FitBit Blaze, a new smart fitness watch designed to balance fitness and style
  • GoSun – The E-Grill fries, roasts and bakes, powered by an electric heater or a solar panel that captures solar energy to cook after the sun goes down
  • Hisense – 2016 line of TVs with ULED technology, which is three times brighter than OLED and has quantum dot technology
  • HS Innovation GmbH – RUN ROCKETS™ & DIGITAL SKI™, high-end precision sensors attached to skis or running shoes that measure the exact movements of the skis or user’s feet
  • Kia – The Drive Wise combines the current advanced driving assistance system (ADAS) with telematics, bringing faster and more accurate assistance for drivers
  • LG – LG Signature OLED TV, featuring picture-on-glass design, a 2.57 mm panel, Dolby Vision technology, and an integrated speaker system with a built-in woofer
  • Marathon Laundry – Smart laundry machine that customizes wash cycles and allows users to switch from washer to dryer without removing clothes
  • MobileHelp – Next-generation remote health medical alarm that pairs with smartphones
  • Monster – The Blaster boombox, which produces bi-directional sound with full and deep bass
  • Morpx Inc. – Mu smart toy, a sensor add-on that acts as a smart eye and brain for your existing remote controlled toys
  • Nobo – B60 health and fitness app, which monitors hydration in real-time during exercise
  • Panasonic – DX900 4K LED TV and UB900 UHD Blu-ray Player, as well as the Technics SL-1200 high-fi turntable
  • Qualcomm – Snapdragon 602A automotive processor, which will be used in 2017 Audi cars, allowing for high bandwidth in-vehicle Internet connectivity
  • Samsung – KS9500 SUHD TV, highlighting quantum dot technology, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 4K Ultra HD resolution capabilities with the world’s first bezel-less design
  • Sony – 4K HDR TV (X930D series) features new slim backlight drive technology, voice recognition in 40 languages, Sony’s exclusive Content Bar and ultra-thin design
  • StreamTV – Unveiled Ultra-D 4K Glasses-Free technology
  • TCL – QUHD TV with quantum dot, local dimming, IDP engine and HDR technology offering a wider color gamut
  • Valeo – Les Lunettes by Valeo are connected, technology-packed glasses that improve driver visibility day and night by reducing glare from different sources
  • ZTE – GrandX3, carried by Cricket, features 5.5″ HD infinity edge display, Qualcomm 1.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor, 16 GB ROM (expandable to 64 GB) and LTE speeds

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Huawei goes ultra-premium

Porsche Design and Huawei have launched the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS in South Africa exclusive to MTN and retailing for R 26 459.

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The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS boasts features like the world’s first dual fingerprint design, including an in-screen fingerprint sensor, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) processor and Leica triple camera with 40MP image capture.

“After the overwhelming success of the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Pro in South Africa, we now bring you our latest offering, a perfect blend of innovation in a smartphone and luxury design,” said Likun Zhao, Vice President of Huawei Consumer Business Group Southern Africa. “From three-point security feature including facial recognition, rear fingerprint scanner and the new innovative in-screen fingerprint to the Leica triple camera system. it culminates in an unprecedented experience for our customers.”

The device incorporates Porsche Design’s signature design language and Huawei’s breakthrough technology.  The phone has a 6” 2K curved OLED screen and symmetrical look, minimalist feel and 8-edged 3D curved glass body.

High performance is symbolised by the naming of the smartphone: the term “RS” in the world of Porsche motorsport stands for outstanding racing performance.

Huawei provided the following information on The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS benefits and features :

·         The world’s first dual fingerprint scanner for enhanced convenience, allowing users to wake and unlock the device simply, thanks to an in-screen fingerprint sensor. Hover to wake the device, touch to unlock it

·         The winning combination of Leica triple camera with 40MP RGB sensor technology and exceptional photography powered by Master AI. This combination puts effortless, eye-catching photography at the fingertips of those looking to immortalise their favourite moments. Combined with 5 x hybrid zoom, and the world’s first AI image stabilisation on a smartphone camera ensures photography lovers can capture the best shots with exceptional clarity in almost any situation

·         The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS is the first Huawei handset to allow quick wireless charging, making it even easier to keep the phone topped up and ready to go and, thanks to its long lasting battery, users will easily be powered through the busiest of days

·         An ‘intelligent’ smartphone, the powerful AI processor automatically tailors the performance of the phone according to how it is used – constantly learning, understanding and anticipating needs, it is the perfect personal assistant for the pocket

·         256GB of internal storage means those constantly on the go and constantly on their phone can be worry free

·         Dual SLS (super linear system) speakers with DOLBY ATMOS enable users to have a superior experience, with the best immersive surround sound and entertainment on the go

·         Splash, water and dust resistant, which means there is no need to worry about damaging the device in the rain or accidentally dropping it in water

Jan Becker, CEO Porsche Design Group, said: “Both Porsche Design and Huawei seek to imagine and develop products that stand for precision and perfection, intelligent functionality and highly sophisticated design. Our aim was to create an outstanding device that goes one step further. We believe we have reached this goal by taking our partnership to the next level.”

Porsche Design and Huawei have worked in tandem to develop a smartphone that fuses together the two brands’ DNA, wealth of experience in design and technology, industry-leading expertise and exceptional performance. Through the use of colour in the device’s body, software themes and accessories, the new handset is accentuated with Porsche Design’s distinguished aesthetic and purist, minimalist feel.

The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS will be available to purchase exclusively from MTN at R 26 459.

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Cross-channel chat launched

Clickatell has launched a cross-channel live chat service, Touch Go, that transforms omni-channel customer care.

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It enables live chat across a company’s website as well as social platforms (Twitter and Facebook) and mobile apps, bringing customer care and engagement into a single business platform.

“Today’s consumers expect to engage with your brand on the digital channel of their choosing,” says Deon van Heerden, Clickatell Engage CEO and Group CFO. “They want to message your business and instantly have queries resolved, find the information and services they are looking for, without the need for a voice call. Clickatell’s Touch Go makes that happen with the right level of capabilities for businesses of all sizes.”

Businesses can start using Touch Go immediately, with a free Starter option. Touch Go requires no credit card for sign-up and is fully featured with a simple setup process. It offers customisable branding, a unified chat desk business application as well as reports and analytics.

As the business scales up its digital customer care, it can opt-in for the Touch Enterprise offering. Touch Enterprise is designed for scaling up customer care efforts through advanced capabilities including AI driven virtual agents, sentiment analysis, automated workflows, enterprise integrations and in-channel mini-applications.

“Customer care has become a defining factor for sustained business success ” says Nirmal Nair, Clickatell Engage EVP Product & Marketing. “In an ever-increasing mobile native world, customers often choose to interact digitally, but they also expect to be able to reach a human immediately, should they need. Monitoring multiple channels and providing immediate action becomes challenging with siloed deployments. Touch’s unified solution allows businesses of all sizes to provide the customer delight in a simple modular approach.”

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