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Gear 3 to land in Q4

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Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced that the Gear S3, a smartwatch it believes will further solidify leadership in the Android wearables category, will be available in this country in the last quarter of 2016.

Craige Fleischer, Director of Integrated Mobility at Samsung Electronics South Africa, says the new Gear S3 combines timeless traditional design with the latest in mobile technology, including IP68 water resistance as well as built-in speaker and GPS.

“Gear S3 marks a significant addition to our smartwatch portfolio and is not only a great smartwatch, but a sophisticated, elegant watch featuring a range of smart capabilities,” he says.

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Samsung provided the following information:

Samsung Gear S3 is available in two options to suit different users’ lifestyles: frontier and classic. Inspired by the active explorer, the Gear S3 frontier blends form and function with a rugged outdoor look and feel. The Gear S3 classic pays homage to the minimalist, elegant style found in the most iconic luxury timepieces.

In a quest to uncover what truly defines a watch, Samsung drew inspiration from manufacturers around the globe, paying particular attention to the craftsmanship of traditional watches. Every part, from the circular bezel to the premium finishing and buckles, has been reimagined to elicit a classic timepiece. The Gear S3 is compatible with 22mm bands so consumers can easily personalise their Gear S3. 

In addition to its sleek look, it offers military-level durability and for the first time on the Gear series, the Gear S3 features Corning® Gorilla® Glass SR+, which is specifically intended for wearable devices to provide a tougher, more scratch resistant and crisp display.

The 16-megapixel full-color Always On Display (AOD) and Super AMOLED screen technology further differentiates the Gear S3 from other smartwatches. The AOD always shows the time rather than automatically fading to black, mimicking a luxury analogue watch.

The Samsung KNOX Tizen Wearable Software Development Kit (SDK) will be available to third-parties, enabling management capabilities and the development of customised applications for Samsung’s wearable ecosystem. With the Samsung KNOX security platform, the Gear S3 will empower broader enterprise business opportunities.

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“Samsung continues to build on its wearables heritage of offering diverse choices to enhance consumers’ unique lifestyles. The Gear S3 puts a timeless spin on the smartwatch category by integrating advanced features and technologies with a refined design that offers convenience at the flick of the wrist. Samsung has taken smartwatches into a whole new league,” says Fleischer.

Gear S3 Product Specification

  Samsung Gear S3
Gear S3 frontier Gear S3 classic
Model Bluetooth, LTE Bluetooth
Display 1.3” Circular Super AMOLED

360 x 360, 278ppi

Full Color Always On Display

Corning® Gorilla® Glass SR+

AP Dual core 1.0 GHz
OS Tizen Based Wearable Platform 2.3.2
Size 46 x 49 x 12.9

62g (without band)

46 x 49 x 12.9

57g (without band)

Strap 22mm 22mm
Memory 4GB Internal memory, 768MB RAM
Connectivity 3G/LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC, MST, GPS/Glonass Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n,

NFC, MST, GPS/Glonass

Sensor Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, HRM, Ambient light
Battery 380mAh
Charge Wireless charging (WPC Inductive)
Durability IP68 water & dust resistance

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Smart home arrives in SA

The smart home is no longer a distant vision confined to advanced economies, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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The smart home is a wonderful vision for controlling every aspect of one’s living environment via remote control, apps and sensors. But, because it is both complex and expensive, there has been little appetite for it in South Africa.

The two main routes for smart home installation are both fraught with peril – financial and technical.

The first is to call on a specialist installation company. Surprisingly, there are many in South Africa. Google “smart home” +”South Africa”, and thousands of results appear. The problem is that, because the industry is so new, few have built up solid track records and reputations. Costs vary wildly, few standards exist, and the cost of after-sales service will turn out to be more important than the upfront price.

The second route is to assemble the components of a smart home, and attempt self-installation. For the non-technical, this is often a non-starter. Not only does one need a fairly good knowledge of Wi-Fi configuration, but also a broad understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) – the ability for devices to sense their environment, connect to each other, and share information.

The good news, though, is that it is getting easier and more cost effective all the time.

My first efforts in this direction started a few years ago with finding smart plugs on Amazon.com. These are power adaptors that turn regular sockets into “smart sockets” by adding Wi-Fi and an on-off switch, among other. A smart lightbulb was sourced from Gearbest in China. At the time, these were the cheapest and most basic elements for a starter smart home environment.

Via a smartphone app, the light could be switched on from the other side of the world. It sounds trivial and silly, but on such basic functions the future is slowly built.

Fast forward a year or two, and these components are available from hundreds of outlets, they have plummeted in cost, and the range of options is bewildering. That, of course, makes the quest even more bewildering. Who can be trusted for quality, fulfilment and after-sales support? Which products will be obsolete in the next year or two as technology advances even more rapidly?

These are some of the challenges that a leading South African technology distributor, Syntech, decided to address in adding smart home products to its portfolio. It selected LifeSmart, a global brand with proven expertise in both IoT and smart home products.

Equally significantly, LifeSmart combines IoT with artificial intelligence and machine learning, meaning that the devices “learn” the best ways of connecting, sharing and integrating new elements. Because they all fall under the same brand, they are designed to integrate with the LifeSmart app, which is available for Android and iOS phones, as well as Android TV.

Click here to read about how LifeSmart makes installing smart home devices easier.

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Matrics must prepare for AI

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students writing a test

By Vian Chinner, CEO and founder of Xineoh.

Many in the matric class of 2018 are currently weighing up their options for the future. With the country’s high unemployment rate casting a shadow on their opportunities, these future jobseekers have been encouraged to look into which skills are required by the market, tailoring their occupational training to align with demand and thereby improving their chances of finding a job, writes Vian Chinner – a South African innovator, data scientist and CEO of the machine learning company specialising in consumer behaviour prediction, Xineoh.

With rapid innovation and development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), all careers – including high-demand professions like engineers, teachers and electricians – will look significantly different in the years to come.

Notably, the third wave of internet connectivity, whereby our physical world begins to merge with that of the internet, is upon us. This is evident in how widespread AI is being implemented across industries as well as in our homes with the use of automation solutions and bots like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. So much data is collected from the physical world every day and AI makes sense of it all.

Not only do new industries related to technology like AI open new career paths, such as those specialising in data science, but it will also modify those which already exist. 

So, what should matriculants be considering when deciding what route to take?

For highly academic individuals, who are exceptionally strong in mathematics, data science is definitely the way to go. There is, and will continue to be, massive demand internationally as well as locally, with Element-AI noting that there are only between 0 and 100 data scientists in South Africa, with the true number being closer to 0.

In terms of getting a foot in the door to become a successful data scientist, practical experience, working with an AI-focused business, is essential. Students should consider getting an internship while they are studying or going straight into an internship, learning on the job and taking specialist online courses from institutions like Stanford University and MIT as they go.

This career path is, however, limited to the highly academic and mathematically gifted, but the technology is inevitably going to overlap with all other professions and so, those who are looking to begin their careers should take note of which skills will be in demand in future, versus which will be made redundant by AI.

In the next few years, technicians who are able to install and maintain new technology will be highly sought after. On the other hand, many entry level jobs will likely be taken care of by AI – from the slicing and dicing currently done by assistant chefs, to the laying of bricks by labourers in the building sector.

As a rule, students should be looking at the skills required for the job one step up from an entry level position and working towards developing these. Those training to be journalists, for instance, should work towards the skill level of an editor and a bookkeeping trainee, the role of financial consultant.

This also means that new workforce entrants should be prepared to walk into a more demanding role, with more responsibility, than perhaps previously anticipated and that the country’s education and training system should adapt to the shift in required skills.

The matric classes of 2018 have completed their schooling in the information age and we should be equipping them, and future generations, for the future market – AI is central to this.

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