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CES: Harley-Davidson
goes electric

The iconic motorcycle brand, with a little help from Panasonic, brings “e” to bikes.

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How Panasonic connects Harley
Panasonic Automotive, a leading supplier of automotive infotainment and connectivity systems solutions, announced at CES this week that it is expanding work with two-wheel mobility manufacturers by providing connectivity solutions on the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle.

The collaboration makes Harley-Davidson the first mass-market manufacturer in North America with a cellular-connected electric motorcycle.

Panasonic Automotive connects riders to their motorcycle through a cellular connection to the telematics control unit (TCU), using Panasonic’s OneConnect service, which complements the latest version of the Harley-Davidson App and the new Harley-Davidson Connect service. Together, these systems link LiveWire riders with their motorcycle through their smartphone

It provides the following features:

Motorcycle status: Information available through H-D Connect includes battery charge level and available range, and charging status including time to completion. This allows the rider to remotely check the motorcycle status from any location where sufficient cellular signal is available. A charge station location finder is integrated into the H-D App.

Tamper alerts and vehicle location: Through the H-D App, H-D Connect indicates the location of the parked LiveWire and alerts can be sent to the rider’s smartphone if the bike is bumped, tampered with or moved. GPS-enabled stolen-vehicle tracking provides peace of mind that the motorcycle’s location can be tracked (Requires law enforcement assistance. Available in select markets).

Service reminders and notifications: Reminders about upcoming vehicle service requirements and other vehicle care notifications will be provided to the rider through the H-D App.

“Our technology will help provide a new level of convenience and peace of mind to motorcycle riders,” said David Taylor, executive director product strategy and business development, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America. “From battery charge status to vehicle tracking, riders will have a better understanding of their vehicle and can focus on enjoying the ride.”

“Harley-Davidson is taking the lead in the electrification of motorcycles, and we’re excited to be working with Panasonic Automotive to make that a reality,” said Marc McAllister, vice president product planning and portfolio, Harley-Davidson. “Their team has the knowledge and drive to create an incredible product to help us connect consumers to their riding information.”

Panasonic Automotive also included FICOSA and Cubic Telecom in the development of the LiveWire motorcycle. FICOSA, together with Panasonic, designs and manufactures the TCU to be installed on LiveWire and other motorcycles. Cubic Telecom, based in Dublin, will provide the 3G, 4G & LTE cellular data connectivity in more than 50 countries. This includes the platform required to manage the lifecycle of the eSIM installed in the TCU and operate the service.

Launching this August, the LiveWire is designed to lead in a new category Harley-Davidson plans to populate by 2022 with a full portfolio of lighter, smaller and even more-accessible electric vehicles.

It is on display at the Panasonic booth, #12908, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Click here to read more about the features of the the LiveWire motorcycle.

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CES: Most useless gadgets

The worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Language tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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