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MWC: Panasonic wants your connection

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Panasonic has used Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to introduce a suite of connected products for the first time in Europe.

The company’s IoT includes new connected technology for cars, public spaces and security, including the formal availability launch of the Panasonic Nubo, the industry’s first mobile connected 4G monitoring camera.

“Mobile World Congress brings together Panasonic’s consumer, automotive, business technology, industrial and eco solutions divisions,” said Tony O’Brien, Deputy Managing Director of Panasonic System Solutions Europe. “While we continue to have a very strong consumer electronics presence, increasingly revenue and growth is coming from our B2B sectors. Mobile World Congress gives us a chance to demonstrate how connected products are helping on that journey.”

In automotive, Ficosa, in which Panasonic took a 49% stake in 2015, introduced its Smart Connectivity Module. It integrates antennas, tuners and a local server to create a new generation of connected car, which allows multiple users to simultaneously browse the web, watch movies, listen to music, play online games and access GPS, from different mobile devices.

In addition, the company showcased the V2X Unit, a compact, cost effective module supporting car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications.

Panasonic Automotive also debuted OneConnect, the platform on which Panasonic’s Personal Radio by AUPEO! content service is built upon. It now features a preferred brand loyalty actions service that allows car companies and other brands to directly communicate with drivers and provide them with relevant content and contextual information. For example, notifications on software updates, service reminders and other messages can be seamlessly integrated into vehicle audio at convenient and unobtrusive times for the driver.

For public spaces, Panasonic Light ID links smartphones with digital signage, providing detailed information through blinking LEDs at a speed unrecognisable to the human eye. The system uses a dedicated mobile app to instantly share content between Light ID transmitters, such as displays and LED signboards, to smartphones.

In personal security, Panasonic announced the availability of Nubo, The world’s first 3G/4G Mobile Video Camera which allows users to monitor and treasure their valuables without the need for Wi-Fi.
Designed for both indoor and outdoor usage, Nubo is rain and wind resistant and offers sensor connectivity through an integrated wireless radio. Nubo also offers two-way audio which allows the user to communicate through the camera when an alert is triggered. It is now open for pre-order Europe-wide and will start shipping in Spring 2016.

Panasonic also introduced the world’s lightest fully rugged handheld tablets for business. Its smallest Toughpad device to date, the 4.7 inch FZ-F1 (Windows) and FZ-N1 (Android) handhelds are designed for postal and courier workers, warehouse, retail, manufacturing, field services and the emergency services.

The device has both voice and data capabilities and an HD capacitive multi-touch daylight readable display designed for use in bright sunlight, the rain and by those wearing gloves. The devices can also be used with the optional passive or active pen and are equipped with both 4G LTE / 3G data and voice communications.
To close the event, Panasonic showcased Green Tower, a comprehensive energy infrastructure management solution for increasing network reliability at reduced costs. Green Tower integrates Panasonic’s powerful Lithium-Ion battery and solar technology expertise with PowerOasis’ industry-leading management platform to provide network resiliency beyond grid availability with smart energy generation and storage, responsive control assets, and satellite connectivity for cellular communications and Wi-Fi cell sites.

Provided as a managed Energy as a Service, Green Tower allows mobile operators to avoid capital expenditure, reduce operational costs, increase energy efficiency, and enhance reliability through a paradigm shift from traditional static power to intelligent real-time, remotely managed systems.

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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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