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Touch screen comes to Jaguar

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The new Jaguar F-PACE, which goes on sale in July 2016, will be the first Jaguar to offer the company’s premium infotainment system: InControl Touch Pro.

This touchscreen system will usher in a new era of connected functionality for Jaguar vehicles, which includes live traffic updates for the satellite navigation and the ability to remotely control certain functions of the F-PACE on a supported smartphone1. The F-PACE will also be available with Jaguar’s Activity Key – a robust, waterproof key.

“The F-PACE will offer the latest technologies and features available in the Jaguar Land Rover stable,” says Lisa Mallett, Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. “Drivers will be able to benefit from the best infotainment and connectivity on offer, to emergency and roadside assistance services that make travelling more convenient.”

F-PACE will be available with a choice of two infotainment systems, namely InControl Touch and InControl Touch Pro. When specified as part of the optional InControl Touch Pro pack, F-PACE will gain a 10.2-inch touchscreen that plays a central role in the user experience for drivers of Jaguar’s first-ever SUV. This system boasts a powerful quad-core processor and gigabit Ethernet connectivity, promising lag-free responses to input. The ultra-responsible interface is intuitive, with sharp graphics in its user interface. InControl Touch Pro is also equipped with a solid-state drive. This robust storage technology allows instant access to information stored on it, which can include album covers, media information and user files.

Forming part of the InControl Touch Pro pack is a 12.3-inch HD virtual instrument cluster, which replaces the conventional analogue dials and offers drivers a next-generation display that can be customised – including a full-screen satellite navigation view. This pack also features Jaguar’s unique DualView technology will allow passengers to watch video content on the 10.2-inch central display without distracting drivers. A 380 watt Meridian Digital audio system is standard equipment when InControl Touch Pro is specified, and this can also be upgraded to a 825 watt Meridian Digital Surround audio system.

All F-PACE models will be fitted with InControl Touch as standard2 – the same system that is currently fitted to the Jaguar XE, XF and F-TYPE. With its eight-inch touchscreen and intuitive interface, InControl Touch offers drivers easy access to the vehicle’s infotainment functions. InControl Touch is also available with a 380 watt Meridian audio system.

InControl Protect and InControl Remote will also be fitted to all F-PACE derivatives. Drivers can rely on the ultimate in customer care with InControl Protect, which offers both an SOS button for emergencies and accidents, as well as a roadside assistance button. InControl Protect lets drivers connect to Jaguar Assist without the use of their own phone. When a call is connected these services can also transmit vehicle position and diagnostic data to better assist response services. InControl Remote offers drivers the ability to use their smartphones to monitor their vehicle. This includes monitoring its current location, security status, fuel level and recent trips. Both of these features complement both variants of the InControl Touch infotainment system.

InControl Touch is available with the InControl Connect pack, which gives drivers a comprehensive connectivity suite. With support for Android and Apple devices, through a dedicated USB port, InControl Apps offers support for popular applications that enrich the driving experience. This allows drivers to control supported applications using the vehicle’s touchscreen.

Along with app support, the InControl Connect pack lets the F-PACE function as a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling up to eight mobile devices to connect to the internet. Data services are made possible through an on-board SIM card slot and drivers can choose to make use of data services offered by the network provider of their choice, while the integrated vehicle antenna allows for the best possible mobile signal.

Vehicles fitted with InControl Touch Pro also have the option of InControl Connect Pro. This includes smartphone integration and a mobile hotspot, as well as an in-car web browser and more advanced functionality. With InControl Connect Pro the satellite navigation system can save drivers time by learning their commute as well as downloading traffic information and calculating more efficient routes. The system also has more advanced remote functionality through InControl Remote Premium. In addition to monitoring vehicle status drivers will also have the ability to lock and unlock their F-PACE, or even start up the climate control system – the perfect way to pre-cool the car on a hot summer afternoon. This feature can also be programmed to operate on a schedule.

The All-New F-PACE will also be available with the Jaguar Activity Key, a first in the SUV segment. This waterproof, shockproof wristband with an integrated transponder is a wearable technology that supports active lifestyles. It allows the key fob to be securely locked inside the vehicle – invaluable if you’re going surfing, for example, or kayaking.

Locking the All-New F-PACE using the Activity Key will disable any key fobs left inside. Activity Key works on the same RF frequencies as the other keys and is used to lock and unlock the vehicle when it is held in close proximity to the J of the Jaguar lettering on the tailgate. Activity Key has no battery, so drivers never have to worry about changing it.

“With this new set of technologies, the F-PACE will offer customers the functionality they’ve come to expect in a Jaguar,” says Mallett. “Not only is F-PACE the world’s most practical sports car, it also offers the most seamless integration with the digital devices that have become central to our lives.”

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Samsung S10 in lock-step with its rivals?

Tonight Samsung will kick off the next round in the smartphone wars with the S10 range, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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When Samsung unveils the new S10 smartphone at an event in San Francisco today, it will mark the beginning of the 2019 round of World War S. That stands for smartphone wars, although Samsung would like it to be all about the S.

Ever since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 in 2013, Samsung has held both technology and thought leadership in the handset world. Back then, Apple’s iPhone 5 was the last device from the American manufacturer that could lay claim to being the best smartphone in the world. With the 2013 launch of the iPhone 5s, Apple entered an era of incremental improvement, playing catch-up, and succumbing to market trends driven by its competitors.

Six years later, Samsung is fighting off the same threat. Its Chinese rival, Huawei, suddenly wrested away leadership in the past year, with the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro regarded as at last equal to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and Galaxy Note 9 – if not superior. Certainly, from a cost perspective, Huawei took the lead with its more competitive prices, and therefore more value for money.

Huawei also succeeded where Apple failed: introducing more economical versions of its flagship phones. The iPhone 5c, SE and XR have all been disappointments in the sales department, mainly because the price difference was not massive enough to attract lower-income users. In contrast, the Lite editions of the Huawei P9, P10 and P20 have been huge successes, especially in South Africa.

Today, for the first time in half a decade, Samsung goes into battle on a field laid out by its competitors. It is expected to launch the Galaxy S10 Plus, S10 and S10 e, with the latter being the Samsung answer to the strategy of the iPhone XR and Huawei P20 Lite.

Does this mean Samsung is now in lock-step with its rivals, focused on matching their strategies rather than running ahead of them?

It may seem that way, but Samsung has a few tricks up its electronic sleeve. For example, it is possible it will use the S10 launch to announce its coming range of foldable phones, expected to be called the Galaxy X, Galaxy F, Galaxy Fold or Galaxy Flex. It previewed the technology at a developer conference in San Francisco last November, and this will be the ideal moment to reclaim technology leadership by going into production with foldables – even if the S10 range itself does not shoot out the lights.

However, the S10 handsets will look very different to their predecessors. First, before switching on the phone, they will be notable by the introduction of what is being called the punch-hole display, which breaks away from the current trend of having a notch at the top of the phone to house front-facing cameras and speakers. Instead, the punch-hole is a single round cut-out that will contain the front camera. It is the key element of Samsung’s “Infinity O” display – the O represents the punchhole – which will be the first truly edge-to-edge display, on the sides and top.

The S10 range will use the new Samsung user interface, One UI, also unveiled at the developer conference. It replaces the previous “skin”, unimaginatively called the Samsung Experience, to introduce a strong new interface brand.

One UI went live on the Note 8 last month, giving us a foretaste, and giving Samsung a chance to iron out the bugs in the field. It is a less cluttered interface, addressing one of the biggest complaints about most manufacturer skins. Only Nokia and Google Pixel handsets offer pure Android in the local market, but One UI is Samsung’s best compromise yet.

It introduces a new interaction area, in the bottom half, reachable with the thumb, with a viewing area at the top, allowing the user to work one-handed on the bottom area while still having apps or related content visible above. One UI also improves gesture navigation – the phone picks up hand movements without being touched – and notification management.

The S10 range will be the first phones to feature the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip, at least for the South African and American markets. That makes it 5G compatible, for when this next generation of mobile broadband becomes available in these markets.

They will also be the first phones to feature Wi-Fi 6, the next generation of the Wi-Fi mobile wireless standard. It will perform better in congested areas, and data transfer will be up to 40% faster than the previous generation.

The phones will be the first to use ultrasound for fingerprint detection. If Samsung gets it right, this will make it the fastest in-screen fingerprint sensor on the market, and allows for a little leeway if one pushes the finger down slightly outside the fingerprint reader surface. It does mean, however, that screen protectors will have to be redesigned to avoid blocking the detection.

Not enough firsts? There are a few more.

Most notably, it will be the first phone range to feature 1 Terabyte (TB) storage – that’s a thousand Gigabytes (GB) – at least for the top-of-the-range devices. Samsung last month announced that it would be the first manufacturer to make 1TB built-in onboard flash storage. Today, it will deploy this massive advantage as it once again weaponises its technology in the fight for smartphone domination.

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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IoT set to improve authentication

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By Sherry Zameer, Senior Vice President, Internet of Things Solutions for CISMEA region at Gemalto

As it rapidly approaches maturity, the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to continue a transformational trajectory, introducing new efficiencies in multiple fields by allowing measurement and analysis on a scale that has never been possible before. From agriculture to logistics, from retail to hospitality, from traffic to health, from the home to the office, the applications for monitoring ”things” are limited only by the imagination.

And South African (and African) businesses are showing abundant imagination in their practical deployments of IoT solutions in multiple settings, creating a better tomorrow through almost universal measurement and the introduction of new levels of convenience – including how to access locations, devices and services securely.

Any company, whether South African or international, should bear in mind that understanding consumer expectations can be the key to unlocking the full potential of IoT devices and related smart services.

According to Gemalto’s latest Connected Living study, improving the way consumers authenticate themselves to services is one of the most anticipated benefits of IoT, highlighting a desire for a more seamless and secure IoT experience.

Consumers are interested in advanced ways of authenticating themselves through automatic (based on behavioral patterns) or biometric techniques, lessening the need to have to intervene manually, all in the name of a much more streamlined authentication process. Smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have already placed fingerprint and facial recognition high on the agenda. There is also a widespread positive sentiment towards IoT’s potential for improving the quality of home life through connected, smart appliances.

Personalised services is something else that wins consumers over. In fact, a fluid, personalised and unified experience with continuity of services, together with security and privacy, is critical for the successful implementation of any technology.

And those types of services are today quite possible. With everything being connected – from small gadgets to digital solutions for large enterprises – IoT is no longer just a buzzword. That much is clear in a piece from Vodacom IoT managing executive Deon Liebenberg. Writing for IOL Online, Liebenberg provides insight into the sheer range of applications for IoT: the 20 use cases he cites range from the obvious, like transport and logistics, to the connected home and wearables; he even suggests tagging pets with IoT transmitters, for those who always need to know the whereabouts of the family cat.

Low-cost tags fitted to cats, dogs, lamp posts, shipping containers or other items are just one part of the puzzle, however. There are other two pieces; arguably the most complex part is the availability of communication networks in areas where there aren’t any WiFi networks, or indeed, anything else.

And that’s where the bigger takeaway from Liebenberg’s piece and other IoT trends articles becomes apparent. The communication networks are there, as are those tags: dedicated IoT networks (like LoraWAN, SigFox and narrowband IoT) are all available in South Africa.

So, too, is the third and final essential component. Software which is able to process the data generated by the tag and transmitted over the IoT network and into the internet. In this regard, there’s no shortage of solutions available from cloud providers like AWS and Azure; electronics giant Siemens, too, is in on the action, having recently launched a new cloud-based IoT operating system to develop applications and services for process industries, including oil and gas and water management.

This combination means it is quite possible right now to enable just about any use case. Business owners, who will know best how IoT can add value in their organisation, can now see their ideas becoming reality. Most crucial of all, IoT solutions delivering new levels of efficiency and convenience are not only possible, they are able to be offered with the simple and effective security that will drive consumer acceptance.

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