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Welle hits Kickstarter target on Day 1

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Welle (pronounced vell-uh), a smart device that instantly turns any surface into a smart interface using Sonar Technology through hand gestures, has announced that it surpassed its
Kickstarter goal in the first day on the crowdfunding site.

The campaign is running at:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1781885077/1423513448?token=74255447.

Welle http://getwelle.com/ gives users the ability to use unlimited simple gestures to control devices, appliances, and apps – it even tracks finger movements and recognises handwriting. With Welle, the entire surface becomes connected to Sonar, allowing hand gestures to control smart devices, such as lights, TVs, speakers, doors, thermostats, cameras, curtain/blinds, fans; and even PowerPoint presentations, apps, and IFTTT (If this, then that) conditional task applets.

Welle - cooking close-up

Welle works in the home, office, or anywhere with a Bluetooth connection. Users place the tiny Welle on any convenient surface or location, or mount Welle on a wall with included 3M stickers. Working as a universal remote for all kinds of IoT devices and appliances, Welle uses the most advanced Sonar-based gesture control, replacing the multiple traditional household remote controls for a convenient connected home and office experience. Welle recognises standardised gestures and also lets you assign your own gestures or handwriting short-cuts to interact with devices.

Welle means “wave” in German and Welle’s logo shows two fingers tracking human gestures with ultrasonic waves. Welle uses Sonar Technology, advanced ultrasonic signals used in the military, automotive and drone markets, that can accurately track human movements. Welle’s Sonar Technology transmits signal pulses and collects the reflected energy back from targets, identifying motions, gestures, and finger movements from the echoed signals. These echoes are translated into different instructions and words to IoT devices using an advanced hardware design and software algorithms.

Welle - control coffee machine

Devices controlled by Welle include:

•       Thermostats

•       Coffee makers

•       Lights

•       Windows shades/curtains

•       TVs

•       Doors

•       Speakers

•       Locks

•       Humidifiers

•       Fans/air conditioners

•       Outlets

•       Garage doors

•       Robot arms

•       PowerPoint presentations

•       Creates custom gestures

•       Assigns short-cuts throughout handwriting recognition or gestures (i.e. “C” for “make coffee”)

•       Changes volume and tracks when listening to music

•       Connects with IFTTT

•       Tiny size, weighing just 3.5 ounces, with measurements of 2.97” x 1.38” x 0.64”

Welle provides an open API (Application Programming Interface) for software and hardware developers to redefine gestures, creating new possibilities for controlling devices and apps. Welle features a well-designed API, readable documents, example codes, and a developer community with full support.

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Samsung unfolds the future

At the #Unpacked launch, Samsung delivered the world’s first foldable phone from a major brand. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK tried it out.

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Everything that could be known about the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range, launched on Wednesday in San Francisco, seems to have been known before the event.

Most predictions were spot-on, including those in Gadget (see our preview here), thanks to a series of leaks so large, they competed with the hole an iceberg made in the Titanic.

The big surprise was that there was a big surprise. While it was widely expected that Samsung would announce a foldable phone, few predicted what would emerge from that announcement. About the only thing that was guessed right was the name: Galaxy Fold.

The real surprise was the versatility of the foldable phone, and the fact that units were available at the launch. During the Johannesburg event, at which the San Francisco launch was streamed live, small groups of media took turns to enter a private Fold viewing area where photos were banned, personal phones had to be handed in, and the Fold could be tried out under close supervision.

The first impression is of a compact smartphone with a relatively small screen on the front – it measures 4.6-inches – and a second layer of phone at the back. With a click of a button, the phone folds out to reveal a 7.3-inch inside screen – the equivalent of a mini tablet.

The fold itself is based on a sophisticated hinge design that probably took more engineering than the foldable display. The result is a large screen with no visible seam.

The device introduces the concept of “app continuity”, which means an app can be opened on the front and, in mid-use, if the handset is folded open, continue on the inside from where the user left off on the front. The difference is that the app will the have far more space for viewing or other activity.

Click here to read about the app experience on the inside of the Fold.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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