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CES: Land Rover showcases world-first dual eSIM connectivity

At CES 2020 in Las Vegas this week, the Land Rover Defender family showcased dual eSIM connectivity for the first time in a vehicle.

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The 2020 Land Rover Defender is the first vehicle with two embedded LTE modems for enhanced connectivity, while the vehicle’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system shares electronic hardware with the latest smartphones. 

The Pivi Pro system allows drivers to make full use of the Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology in the New Defender without compromising the system’s ability to stream music and connect to apps. With its own designated LTE modem and eSIM, the SOTA technology can operate in the background without affecting the day-to-day connectivity provided by the separate modem and eSIM in the infotainment module. 

The always-on, connected Pivi Pro setup sits at the heart of the cabin in the New Defender. A 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen allows drivers to control numerous aspects of the vehicle using the same processing hardware as the latest smartphones. In addition, customers can connect two mobile devices at once using Bluetooth. 

Peter Virk, Director of Connected Car and Future Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, says: “With one LTE modem and eSIM dedicated to the Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology and the same set-up looking after music streaming and apps, New Defender has the digital capacity to keep customers connected, updated and entertained at all times anywhere in the world.

“You could liken the design to a brain, with each half enjoying its own connection for unrivalled and uninterrupted service. Like the brain, one side of the system looks after logical functions, like SOTA, while the other takes care of more creative tasks.”

Pivi Pro is equipped with its own battery, so the system is always on and able to respond immediately on startup. As a result, the navigation is ready to accept new destinations the moment the driver sits in the vehicle. The system allows drivers to access to the latest software updates remotely – including navigation mapping data – without the need to visit retailers for updates to be installed. 

The LTE connectivity behind the Jaguar Land Rover infotainment system also allows the New Defender to roam across multiple networks in different regions to help optimise connectivity. In addition, the cloud-based architecture provided by CloudCar is designed to make it easy to access and use content and services.

Land Rover has also confirmed the first New Defender SUVs will feature more SOTA capability than originally projected. At the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019, Land Rover announced that 14 individual electronic control modules would be able to receive remote updates, however, the first production vehicles will feature 16 control units capable of receiving SOTA updates. Land Rover engineers estimate that in-dealer software updates will be a thing of the past for Defender customers before the end of 2021 as additional SOTA modules come online, rising from the current 16 to more than 45. 

Land Rover showcased its advanced Pivi Pro technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, with the New Defender 110 and 90 taking pride of place on the Qualcomm and BlackBerry stands respectively. 

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Product of the Day

Leak reveals Huawei P40 Pro

A high-resolution render of the Huawei P40 Pro, released by Evan ‘Evleaks’ Blass, shows that it will probably include five rear lenses, two front lenses, and a ceramic build. BRYAN TURNER investigates

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The highly-anticipated Huawei P40 Pro is set to be unveiled in Paris in late-March. Many rumours surround its hardware build as well as its software capabilities since Huawei lost the rights to preload Google Apps on the phone.

From the leak, it seems the P40 Pro will feature a near-bezelless screen, like the Mate 30 Pro, which debuted late last year. The screen drops the notch, in favour of a dual-camera cut-out, similar to the Samsung Note 10+. The leak also shows there are small buttons on the side of the device for volume control and locking the device. This is an interesting step back from the buttonless Mate 30 Pro.

The most impressive aspect is the seven cameras which this device will house, five on the back and two on the front. The rear camera system seems to showcase a slight bump, and features a new type of periscope-style telephoto camera. This is expected to provide an 18-240mm equivalence between ultrawide and telephoto. The device is also expected to provide a whopping 13x optical zoom, thanks to the periscope camera.

The build is expected to be glass on the front and back, both of which are curved for ergonomics. From the render, it showcases classy design using ceramics. On the bottom, there’s a USB Type-C port with a speaker grill. And there’s no surprises about the absence of a headphone jack, which hasn’t featured for a while now.

The only real question-mark hanging over this device is: what about Google apps? Huawei is currently touring Europe, showing off the power its smartphones still have without having Google apps installed. Hopefully, they will fill that education gap before the release date of the P40 Pro, less than two months away.

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Canon announces Robotic Camera System

True remote control photography is now possible, thanks to a Canon Robotic Camera System called the CR-S700R.

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Canon has announced a remote control system for still image shooting, to be available in February 2020. Sports photography and news media use remote photography extensively to capture still images from various viewpoints or angles that cannot be achieved with conventional photography methods. The Robotic Camera System CR-S700R is a release driven by the needs of professional photographers to operate cameras remotely for still images.

The system revolves around a remote pan head that can be used to remotely control and shoot still images using an EOS camera. The system includes a small and lightweight gateway box, an IP camera controller called the CR-G100.

The Camera Remote Application CR-A100 (not included in the package) enables users to control multiple cameras from a PC, display live view images, and remotely trigger a camera or simultaneously shoot with multiple cameras.

The remote pan head uses a centre-type rotational axis that makes the optical axis of the camera perpendicular to the rotational axis of the remote pan head, enabling smooth remote operations like zooming, panning, tilting, and rolling. Ideally suited to follow subjects that move at high speed during sporting events, the remote pan head benefits from a compact design with a turning radius of approximately 260mm, and can be used upright or underslung.

The IP camera controller CR-G100 is a gateway device to connect the camera and the remote pan head. It connects to a PC for remote operation using a wired LAN (Ethernet) cable. The extremely compact and lightweight design has been developed specifically for still image shooting. Various terminals (digital terminal, Ethernet terminal, remote control terminal, among others) necessary for connecting to cameras and pan heads are grouped together to organise previously complicated and bulky wired connection.

The Camera Remote Application CR-A100 software controls the Robotic Camera System CR-S700R and cameras via a PC. It displays live view images from multiple cameras using the IP camera controller CR-G100 and can control a single camera or simultaneous shoot using multiple specified cameras, streamlining the workflow of still image shooting at the news site.

The Robotic Camera System CR-S700R and the Camera Remote Application CR-A100 will be available from mid-February 2020.

For more information and details on product specifications, visit: https://www.canon-europe.com/pro/remote_ptz/CR-S700R

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