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MWC: Alcatel takes Idol up a notch

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Alcatel has announced the new Idol 4 series of smartphones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Building on the success of its Idol 3, the Idol 4 and Idol 4S smartphones are claimed to “take everything up a notch” with a new Boom Key and an augmented multimedia experience.

“The Idol 4 series marks another milestone in Alcatel innovation,” said Dan Dery, Chief Marketing Officer at Alcatel. “The Boom Key boom-ifies everything, from the sound to photos to gaming. Something we’re really excited about, and something I’m eager to show my friends is that we’ve augmented Idol 4’s multimedia experience.  A screen that offers a stunning display from any angle, an all-in-one powerhouse audio ecosystem and a professional-caliber camera.”

Alcatel provided the following information:

Boom me up! The Boom Key Delivers Augmented Experience

Boom my camera: Instantly takes photos on standby mode pressing and holding the button puts the camera into burst mode to take photos in quick succession.

Boom my gallery: Artistically shuffles the photos in the gallery for instant sharing as a photo collage or a short slideshow.

Boom my videos: Generates immediate, surprising effects in existing videos, such as replaying the previous one second of the video three times, or changing the playback speed. When a user is recording a video, pressing the Boom Key will immediately broadcast the video live.

Boom my music: Conceived by Alcatel and creatively engineered by Waves, the audio experience is automatically optimized across all media with simply one touch. The bass, loudness and clarity of the sound is enhanced, enriching the whole user experience.

Boom my game: Asphalt fans will love how the Boom Key amps up their race by releasing the Nitro and boosting the car speed. It also boosts the audio experience by increasing the volume and adding spatial sound reproduction.

Boom my view: Creates a more intense 3D effect (parallax UI effect) for the launcher and a stunning, live weather display as part of the home-screen.

Augmented Multimedia: Amped-Up Display, Camera and Sound

The Idol 4, featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, and the Idol 4S, featuring the Snapdragon 652 processor, deliver advanced features and capabilities that allow consumers to experience console-quality 3D gaming, enhanced photography and videography, as well as home theater-quality audio.  These Qualcomm Technologies processors also features an X8 LTE modem and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity which supports very fast download speeds. Additionally users will be able to enjoy all-day battery life.  Both smartphones  sport displays that provide superb readability even in bright sunlight and clear viewing from any angle using Qualcomm Technologies’ Assertive Display technology. The larger, 5.5-inch Idol 4S offers a 2K AMOLED display, which is super-responsive and low in power consumption.

“Both Snapdragon 617 and 652 processors take processing and power efficiency to new heights and offer advanced features that will enable the great user experiences for Alcatel consumers,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies.  “We are pleased to have worked with Alcatel on the development of their new Idol 4 and Idol 4S series, which will deliver exceptional features.”

Idol 4 series comes with professional-quality cameras offering ultrafast auto-focus (0.1-0.3 seconds), as well as 360-degree photos and selfies. The smartphones also produce crystal-clear shots even in the dark.

For a superior and powerful audio experience, Alcatel teamed up with two well-known audio brands, JBL and Waves.

Other Idol 4 series audio features include two powerful 3.6 watt speakers, Hi-Fi surround-sound for the headset, and optimization of audio presets both automatically and manually, giving users a powerhouse sound. The J22 JBL headphones employ high-performance drivers and a high quality microphone is included to enable the end-user to enjoy on-the-go phone conversations.

The pre-loaded Onetouch Music app offers users an all-in-one music ecosystem, which lets them discover new music, mix online or local tracks, remix, as well as play and browse featured playlists.

Augumented Reversibility: Up, Down and All Around

IDOL 4 and IDOL 4S are reversible in three ways. The interface rights itself no matter if the users picks it up right side up or upside down. In addition, it is reversible left to right: stereo sound is always on the correct side, even when the phone is flipped. And the strategically placed speaker grille ensures that sound is unobstructed, whether the phone is facing up or turned over.

Augumented Reality: Part of the Idol 4 Experience

Last but not least: The Idol 4S’s innovative packaging design transforms into a pair of virtual reality goggles which, when combined with the smartphone, becomes the portal for users to enter the world of immersive 360-degree viewing and gaming. Virtual reality content such as videos and games can be downloaded onto the device from the Onetouch VR Store, a built-in app to easily access saved virtual reality content or streamed in realtime via LittlStar.

Finely Crafted Design

Idol 4 and Idol 4S will be offered with four different metal frames: Gold, Dark Gray, Rose Gold and Metal Silver. The front glass touch panel and glass back cover give the phones a premium look and feel. The Idol 4 series’ slimness (6.9 mm), metal frame and in-mold spin-effect texture add to its finely crafted, luxurious design.

 

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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