With the launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus yesterday, Apple sent a message that it is comfortable with becoming predictable.
Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus was, above all, predictable. Most predictably, they were called “the most advanced iPhones ever”. The phrasing is characteristic of the Tim Cook era at Apple, with each new handset couched in similar terms. Of course, no one would have expected the new iPhones to be less advanced than previous models.
The new devices introduce 3D Touch, which senses force to enable new ways to access features and interact with content. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus feature Retina HD displays and 7000 series aluminium, the alloy used in the aerospace industry, in metallic finishes that now include rose gold.
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus also introduce what Apple says is a new approach to photography called Live Photos, bringing still images to life by capturing a moment in motion. It is not very different, however, from features introduced by Samsung, Sony, LG and Huawei in recent years.
Apple does claim line honours for its own A9 chip, though, which it calls “the most advanced chip ever in a smartphone, delivering faster performance and great battery life”.
“The only thing that has changed with iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is everything — 3D Touch lets users interact with iPhone in entirely new and fun ways, and the innovative Live Photos brings your pictures to life,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “These are the most advanced iPhones ever, with 7000 series aluminium, ion-strengthened glass, the new 64-bit A9 chip, 12-megapixel iSight and 5-megapixel FaceTime HD cameras, faster Touch ID, LTE and Wi-Fi. Customers are going to love them.”
Despite all these improvements, it is clear that Apple has become comfortable with being predictable, and is in fact marking time between it’s two-yearly release of redesigned phones.
Apple provided the following information on the new phones:
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus introduce new ways to navigate and experience iPhone by sensing pressure to enable new gestures — Peek and Pop — so you can dip in and out of content without losing your place. Press lightly to Peek at a photo, email, web page or other content, and press a little deeper to Pop into the content itself. With Quick Actions, 3D Touch provides shortcuts to the things you do most, so you can send a message or take a selfie with just a simple press from the Home screen.
The world’s most popular camera is even better in the new iPhones with new ways to capture and relive unforgettable moments. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus introduce Live Photos, which go beyond snapshots to capture moments in motion. Live Photos are beautiful 12-megapixel photos that, with just a press, reveal the moments immediately before and after the shot was taken, so you can enjoy a living memory rather than an instant frozen in time.
High-definition video improves with support for 4K — with a resolution of 3840 x 2160, delivering over 8 million pixels — and the expansion of optical image stabilisation to video on iPhone 6s Plus, for taking beautiful videos in lower light. After capturing 4K video, you can edit on your Mac, PC, iPad and with the latest version of iMovie on iPhone, you can even edit two simultaneous streams.
Additional camera advancements include:
• a new state-of-the-art 12-megapixel sensor with advanced pixel technology and Apple-designed image signal processor, for truer colours and sharper, more detailed photos; and
• a new 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera and Retina Flash, which momentarily makes the display three times brighter with True Tone lighting, for wonderfully bright selfies in low light.
A9, Apple’s third-generation 64-bit chip powers these innovations with 70 percent faster CPU and 90 percent faster GPU performance than the A8, all with gains in energy efficiency for great battery life. The A9 chip and iOS 9 are architected together for optimal performance where it matters most, in real world usage. M9, Apple’s next-generation motion coprocessor, is embedded into A9, allowing more features to run all the time at lower power, including “Hey Siri,” without iPhone needing to be plugged in.
With advanced wireless technologies including faster Wi-Fi and LTE Advanced, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus users can browse, download and stream content even faster.¹ The new iPhones also support up to 23 LTE bands — the most in any smartphone — for better worldwide roaming.
iOS 9, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, brings more intelligence to iPhone with proactive assistance, powerful search and improved Siri features, all while protecting users’ privacy. Built-in apps become more powerful with a redesigned Notes app, detailed transit information in Maps, and an all-new News app for the best news reading experience on any mobile device.² The foundation of iOS is even stronger with software updates that require less space to install and advanced security features to further protect your devices.
Pricing & Availability
• iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in gold, silver, space grey and the new rose gold metallic finishes. iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB models. The new iPhones will be available with a range of financing plans and payment options from Apple.com, through select carriers and Apple Authorised Resellers.
• Both models will be available in the UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the US beginning Friday, September 25, with pre-orders beginning Saturday, September 12.
3D printed room-service? Visit the hotel of tomorrow
To mark its 100th birthday, Hilton predicts the trends that will change travel and hospitality in the next 100 years.
Intergalactic getaways, fast-food nutrient pills, 2-3 hour working days and adaptable, personalised rooms that can transport guests everywhere from jungles to mountain ranges. These are some of the predictions for the next 100 years that the Hilton hotel group has put together in celebration of its 100th anniversary.
In a report supported by expert insight from the fields of sustainability, innovation, design, human relations and nutrition, findings reveal the impact of the growing sophistication of technology and climate change on the hotel industry in the future.
Key predictions for the hotel of the future include:
Personalisation is King
- Technology will allow every space, fitting and furnishing to continuously update to respond to an individual’s real-time needs – the Lobby will conjure up anything from a tranquil spa to a buzzy bar, giving every guest the perfect, personal welcome
- From temperature and lighting, to entertainment and beyond, microchips under the skin will enable us to wirelessly control the setting around us based on what we need, whenever we need it
The Human Touch
- In a world filled with Artificial Intelligence, human contact and the personal touch will be more critical and sought after than ever
- Technology will free up time for hotel staff to focus on what matters most: helping guests to connect with one another and building memorable moments
‘Sustainable Everything’ – The Role of Responsibility
- Only businesses that are inherently responsible will survive the next century
- Sustainability will be baked into everything about a hotel’s design – from weather-proofed domes, to buildings made from ocean-dredged plastic
- Hotels will act as the Town Hall of any community, managing local resources and contributing to the areas they serve with community-tended insect farms and vertical hydroponic crop gardens
Menu Surprises and Personalisation
- Our diets will include more plant-based recipes and some surprising sources of protein – Beetle Bolognese, Plankton Pies and Seaweed Green Velvet Cake will be menu staples!
- Decadent 3D-printed dinners and room service will provide unrivalled plate personalisation
- Chefs will be provided with biometric data for each guest, automatically creating meals based on preferences and nutritional requirements
Futuristic Fitness and Digital Detoxes
- Outswim a virtual sea turtle in the pool, or challenge yourself to climb the digital face of Mount Everest, your exercise routine will be as unique as you are. What’s more, exercise energy generated from workouts will be used to power the hotel, providing a zero-impact, circular system. Guests could even earn rewards based on reaching workout targets
- Pick up where you left off with trackable workouts and holographic personal trainers
- Offline will be the new luxury as we seek to find moments of tech-free time
“Since its inception in 1919, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry, introducing first-to-market concepts such as air-conditioning and in-room televisions. Last year, Hilton also became the first hospitality company to set science-based targets to reduce its environmental impact,” said Simon Vincent, EVP & President, EMEA, Hilton. “We enter our second century with the same commitment to innovation, harnessing the power of our people and technology to respond to guest demands. Our research paints an exciting future for the hospitality industry, highlighting the growing importance of human interaction in an increasingly tech-centric world.”
Futurologist Gerd Leonhard said: “In 2119 we will still be searching for unique experiences, but they will be more personalised than ever. As technology shapes our lives we will seek out moments of offline connection with others, including hotel team members who will help us truly get what we need from our stays. 100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.”
Gadget ed to chair Digital Council
Specialist financial services provider Sasfin Bank has established a Digital Advisory Council to provide the market with industry-leading expertise and insights on trends shaping the use of technology in financial services.
Digitalisation is one of the most powerful forces for change shaping Finance today. This has turned Fintech into one of the most vibrant sectors in both information technology and among start-ups, generating billions of dollars in investment and development globally. The South African fintech space is dynamic, and Sasfin is playing a leading role in the transformation of local financial services and the resulting enhancement of customer experiences.
“We have been investing in fintech development in-house and acquiring or integrating fintech start-ups,” says Sasfin CEO Michael Sassoon. “Over the last year we have built further digital offerings, integrated via APIs into leading businesses and invested in fintechs. We built and launched B\\YOND, an innovative digital business banking platform and SWIP, a digital wealth and investing platform. We have invested in Payabill, an online SME lender and DMA, a digital trading platform. We recently announced our alliance banking relationship, leveraging open banking, with Hello Paisa to offer seamless banking to the unbanked. We feel that there is a huge opportunity to improve the experience of South African businesses and savers through using technology. We have therefore created an independent forum to assess how to even better improve financial services for South Africans by leveraging the digital economy.”
Arthur Goldstuck, founder of high-tech research consultancy World Wide Worx, editor-in-chief of Gadget, and a globally respected technology analyst has accepted Sasfin’s invitation to head up the Sasfin Digital Advisory Council, an independent think tank that will help Sasfin and its clients decipher the fintech present and future.
“The Sasfin Digital Advisory Council is broader than providing only the bank with a source of insight on how digital services are evolving and lessons from across the world,” said CEO Michael Sassoon. “Sasfin has been involved in fintech investing for many years and we are leveraging this experience as well as the experience of independent experts such as Arthur to provide insights and guidance to interested stakeholders in this space.”
The team appointed to the Digital Advisory Council is being selected for the breadth and range of knowledge they would bring to the table, with further appointments to the Council being announced soon. There will also be room for the Council to co-opt specialist expertise as it is required.
Goldstuck, who has been covering the fintech sector as an analyst, commentator and columnist for many years, says he sees the role as a welcome challenge.
“There has been a long-standing need for a clear understanding of the impact being made by fintech today, and the exponential change it will cause tomorrow,” said Goldstuck. “My role will be, partly, to curate the wide spectrum of fintech and digitalisation knowledge and insights that the members will bring to the Digital Advisory Council, and help create scenarios that businesses and policymakers may use to navigate the future – both inside and outside Sasfin.”