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MWC: Asus unveils AI ZenFone

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Asus CEO Jerry Shen unveiled the all-new ZenFone 5 Series at a special event in the Italian Pavilion at MWC 2018 in Barcelona.

The lineup includes the ZenFone 5Z and the ZenFone 5, exciting high-performance 6.2-inch dual-camera smartphones that are the first ever ZenFone models to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI), and which feature all-screen displays with a 90% screen-to-body ratio in a remarkably compact size that’s comparable to a standard 5.5-inch smartphone. The ZenFone 5Z — which starts at just $499 — is a high-performance version of the ZenFone 5 powered by the latest flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE), featuring 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for breathtaking performance and accelerated AI experiences. The ZenFone 5 is the first smartphone available worldwide to be powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform.

The ZenFone 5Q (introduced onstage at MWC as the ZenFone 5 Lite, but available in the North America as the ZenFone 5Q) is a stylish 6-inch smartphone featuring a premium true four-camera system, with a high-resolution camera and a 120° wide-angle camera at both front and rear.

“We embarked on the ZenFone project four years ago with the idea to create empowering luxury for everyone to enjoy,” said Mr. Shen. “Today, the ZenFone 5 Series is the most intelligent ZenFone series ever, utilizing advanced AI algorithms and big-data analytics to provide users with a unique slate of intelligent camera, communication and convenience features.”

Joining Mr. Shen on-stage for the announcement, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon commented, “We are excited to continue to work with ASUS to bring the latest advancements in mobile to consumers with the ZenFone 5 Series. Powered by powerful Snapdragon Mobile Platforms, ZenFone 5Z (Snapdragon 845 with the AIE) and ZenFone 5 (Snapdragon 636) will support superior user experiences that include dual cameras and artificial intelligence.”

Following the press event, OK Go — a multi-award-winning rock band from the US, whose honors include a GRAMMY — performed live at the after party. OK Go has joined in partnership with ASUS to work on the ZenFone 5 marketing campaign.

In addition to the products unveiled on stage, the brand-new ZenFone Max M1 smartphone and the ASUS NovaGo always-connected laptop were also showcased in the demo area.

ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5

The ZenFone 5Z is an exciting next-generation 6.2-inch, dual-camera smartphone that comes with a beautiful all-screen display featuring a 90% screen-to-body ratio, packed in a 5.5-inch body size. It’s the first-ever ZenFone model to harness the power of the latest Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with AIE, featuring a 3rd Generation AI platform that includes the Hexagon 685 Vector DSP, Adreno 630 Graphics, and Kryo 385 CPU. The ZenFone 5Z also benefits from the Snapdragon X20 Gigabit LTE modem, delivering speeds that surpass the gigabit barrier for a ‘wireless fiber’ experience, as well as integrated 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® 5 for ultra-low-power wireless earbuds. The high-performance ZenFone 5Z comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, offering breathtaking performance combined with outstanding energy efficiency for long-lasting battery life.

The ZenFone 5 features an exquisitely crafted design, an amazing dual-camera system, and is powered by the latest Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform. Both the ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 5Z feature intelligent dual-camera systems that adapt and learn, delivering perfect photos every time. Equipped with the latest flagship Sony® IMX363 sensor with large 1.4µm pixels, an f/1.8 wide-aperture lens, a 120° wide-angle secondary camera, four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and AI-enhanced camera features — including AI Scene Detection for 16 different scenes and objects, AI Photo Learning, Real-time Portrait and Real-time Beautification — the ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 encourage creativity and free the user to concentrate on the subject rather than the camera.

ZenFone 5Q

The ZenFone 5Q is a stylish 6-inch smartphone featuring a premium true four-camera system with high-resolution and wide-angle cameras at both front and rear. The ZenFone 5Q removes the limits on photographic creativity, with a high-resolution main camera — 20MP Sony at the front, 16MP at the rear — and, uniquely, a secondary 120° wide-angle camera at both front and rear. Unlike rival systems, each camera works independently every time for perfect selfies, group selfies (wefies), landscapes, portraits or groups shots. The 6-inch Full HD+ IPS display has a Full View 18:9 aspect ratio and an ultraslim bezel, making the pocket-friendly ZenFone 5Q as compact as a standard-aspect-ratio 5.5-inch phone. Powered by the Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the ZenFone 5Q combines incredible performance, optimized power efficiency and a 3300mAh battery with advanced security and convenience features — including NFC, triple-slot SIM/microSD card holder, rapid face unlock and fingerprint recognition — for a complete smartphone experience.

ZenFone Max M1

The ZenFone Max M1 is the latest model in the new ZenFone Max Series — renowned for its high battery capacities. The ZenFone Max M1 has a 5.5-inch full-view display in an amazingly compact body that’s no larger than many standard 5-inch smartphones, yet comes packed with a high-capacity 4000mAh battery.

With its expanded viewing area, compact size, dual rear cameras (one wide-angle), and convenient fingerprint-based unlocking, the ZenFone Max M1 offers a class-leading combination of features designed to encompass all life’s adventures. The ZenFone Max M1 has the stamina to go the distance, and lets photo-lovers see the bigger picture with a wider range of creative options — all in a stylish metallic-finished design that’s ergonomic and comfortable to hold.

ASUS NovaGo

The ASUS NovaGo is the world’s first Gigabit LTE-capable laptop designed for truly connected mobility, providing users with an always-on, always-connected experience. This ultrathin and light convertible laptop is powered by the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform, and features a Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem for download speeds up to 3-7 times faster than average broadband speeds, and has integrated 2×2 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 support. It has up to a 22-hour battery life with over 30 days of modern standby. Quick-charge functionality gives the NovaGo up to five hours of battery life from a 15-minute charge.

The NovaGo is a new breed of laptop designed for the tech-savvy user who is aware of the new and exciting always on, always connected possibilities. It provides familiar Windows experiences plus new features such as Windows Ink, Windows Hello and Cortana with blazing-fast connectivity and exceptional on-the-go power efficiency.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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Pizoelectrics: Healthcare’s new gymnasts of gadgetry

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Healthcare electronics is rapidly deploying for wellness, electroceuticals, and intrusive medical procedures, among other, powered by new technologies. Much of it is trending to diagnostics and treatment on the move, and removing the need for the patient to perform procedures on time. 

Instruments become wearables, including electronic skin patches and implants. The IDTechEx Research report, “Piezoelectric Harvesting and Sensing for Healthcare 2019-2029”, notes that sensors should preferably be self-powered, non-poisonous even on disposal, and many need to be biocompatible and even biodegradable. 

We need to detect biology, vibration, force, acceleration, stress and linear movement and do imaging. Devices must reject bacteria and be useful in wearables and Internet of Things nodes. Preferably we must move to one device performing multiple tasks. 

So is there a gymnast material category that has that awesome versatility? 

Piezoelectrics has a good claim. It measures all those parameters. That even includes biosensors where the piezo senses the swelling of a biomolecule recognizing a target analyte. The most important form of self-powered (one material, two functions) piezo sensing is ultrasound imaging, a market growing at 5.1% yearly. 

The IDTechEx Research report looks at what comes next, based on global travel and interviewing by its PhD level analysts in 2018 with continuous updates.  

Click here to read how Piezo has been reinvented.

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