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IFA 2015: Samsung gears up with S2 smartwatch

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At this year’s IFA conference, Samsung showcased two versions of the S2 smartwatch which are designed to offer smartwatch features in devices that look like a standard wrist-watches.

At the IFA trade show in Berlin this weekend, Samsung Electronics  announced the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch, the company’s latest offering from what it calls “progressive innovation in the wearables category”.

The company provided the following information on the device:

The Samsung Gear S2 comes in a circular design with a custom UX and advanced features that enable users to enhance, personalise and bring more fun to their mobile experience.

The Gear S2’s rotating bezel, along with the Home and Back buttons, ensures users will have a quicker, more precise method to access notifications and applications.

Introduced in two different options – the Gear S2 and the Gear S2 classic – Samsung designed the Gear S2 to appeal to two distinct consumer preferences. The Gear S2 classic is made for users who prefer a more timeless watch design, offering a black finish with a matching leather band. The Gear S2 is ideal for those who are on-the-go and have an admiration for a minimal and modern design.

“For the past several years, Samsung has pioneered and advanced the wearables category, bringing brave new concepts to the smart wearables market,” said JK Shin, CEO and Head of Samsung’s IT & Mobile Business. “The Samsung Gear S2 reflects Samsung’s most progressive innovation. It is a great complement for any occasion, easily taking you from day to night, from work to workout—and ensuring that you get more out of every moment in your day, by making it smarter and ultimately more personal and fun.”

A mere 11.4-millimeter thin, the Samsung Gear S2 brings a light and compact design to your wrist. It offers a vibrant viewing experience for a smartwatch, thanks to its 1.2” circular screen and its 360 x 360 resolution (302 ppi). With the latest Tizen OS and an optimised 1-GHz dual core processor, the Samsung Gear S2 can perform tasks easily and efficiently.

Users can stay connected with at-a-glance notifications to check calendars, e-mails, news and can even send important texts directly from their wrist. Users can choose the Gear S2 with 3G connectivity which incorporates the first-ever e-SIM with voice capability, to perform quick functions without being closely tethered to their phone.

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New fitness functions on the Samsung Gear S2 will encourage consumers to stay healthy and active. The 24-hour activity log lets users view daily activity progress and patterns at a glance. It will also send reminder updates to motivate users to stay on track with their fitness goals.

For the ultimate convenience, the Samsung Gear S2 comes with NFC technology which will enable mobile payments without the need for a wallet. Samsung is working with a wide selection of partners across different industries to expand the usability of wearables and streamline consumers’ mobile lives in a variety of ways, including smart car keys, residential room keys, and remote controls to manage a connected home.

All of these connected features will be supported by a battery that can last up to 2-3 days, allowing consumers to stay connected without the hassle of constantly having to recharge. To charge, simply place the Samsung Gear S2 on the wireless charging dock right out of the box.

The Samsung Gear S2 reflects Samsung’s commitment to openly collaborate with developers and partners to bring increased customization and applications to its devices. Samsung is working closely with partners to offer a range of watch faces and watch bands so that users can have a variety of ways to express their personal style and mood. Users can easily change the band with one click, and change the watch face for a more personalized and sophisticated Gear experience depending on the time, place or occasion.

A variety of apps optimized for the Gear S2’s circular user interface will be available at launch. Through open collaboration with developers and partners, Samsung is continuing to enrich its wearable ecosystem and provide users with a more optimized and unique smart wearable experience.

The Samsung Gear S2 will be available in a Dark Gray case with a Dark Gray band and Silver case with a White band. The Samsung Gear S2 classic will be available in a Black case with a Leather band.

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Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 classic Product Specifications:
Display :1.2”, Circular Super AMOLED, 360×360, 302ppi

AP :Dual core 1.0 GHz

OS :Tizen based wearable platform

Audio :Codec: MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+
Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG

Memory :Storage: 4GB Internal Memory / RAM: 512MB

Features :Communications:
– Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Email, – Preset text, Voice Input, Emoticons, Keypads

Features :Health & Fitness:
– S Health, Nike+ Running

Features :Information:
– Schedule, News, Maps & Navigation, Weather

Features :Media:
– Music Player, Gallery

Features :Others:
– Voice, Voice Memo, Find My Device, Power Saving Mode, Safety assistance, Privacy lock

Features :IP68 Certified Dust and Water Resistant

Samsung Services :Samsung Gear Apps

Connectivity :Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
NFC

Sensor :Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, Barometer

Dimension :Gear S2 : 42.3×49.8×11.4mm (47g)
Gear S2 classic : 39.9×43.6×11.4mm (42g)

Battery :Wireless Charging
250mAh Li-ion
Typical Usage 2~3days

Samsung Gear S2 3G Version Product Specifications:
Display :1.2”, Circular Super AMOLED, 360×360, 302ppi

AP :Dual core 1.0 GHz

OS :Tizen based wearable platform

Audio :Codec: MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+
Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG

Memory :Storage: 4GB Internal Memory / RAM: 512MB

Features :Communications:
– Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Email, – Preset text, Voice Input, Emoticons, Keypads

Features :Health & Fitness:
– S Health, Nike+ Running

Features :Information:
– Schedule, News, Maps & Navigation, Weather

Features :Media:
– Music Player, Gallery

Features :Others:
– S Voice, Voice Memo, Find My Device, Power Saving Mode, Safety assistance, Privacy lock

Features :IP68 Certified Dust and Water Resistant

Samsung Services :Samsung Gear Apps

Connectivity :Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
NFC

Sensor :Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, Barometer

Dimension :44.0 x 51.8 x 13.4mm (51g)

Battery :Wireless Charging
300mAh Li-ion
Typical Usage 2 days

Cars

Auto rivals team up for connected car demo

Rivals BMW, Ford and Groupe PSA, maker of Peugeot and Opel cars, have teamed up with the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), Qualcomm Technologies and Savari for Europe’s first live demonstration of C-V2X direct communication technology operating across vehicles from multiple auto manufacturers.

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The live demonstration also featured a live showcase of C-V2X direct communication technology operating between passenger cars, motorcycles, and roadside infrastructure. C-V2X is a global solution for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication in support of improved automotive safety, automated driving and traffic efficiency.

The demonstration exhibited the road safety and traffic efficiency benefits of using C-V2X for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) collision avoidance, as well as Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) connectivity to traffic signals and Traffic Management Centers (TMC). C-V2X was operated using real-time direct communications over ITS spectrum and demonstrated its ability to work without cellular network coverage, and underscores its commercial readiness for industry deployment as early as 2020. Superior performance and cost-effectiveness compared to other V2X technologies, along with forward-compatibility with 5G, make C-V2X direct communications a preferred solution for C-ITS applications.

Six demonstrations were shown including: Emergency Electronic Brake Light, Intersection Collision Warning, Across Traffic Turn Collision Risk Warning, Slow Vehicle Warning and Stationary Vehicle Warning, Signal Phase and Timing / Signal Violation Warning and Vulnerable Road User (pedestrian) Warning. The vehicles involved included two-wheel e-scooters provided by BMW Group, and automotive passenger vehicles provided by Ford, Groupe PSA, and BMW Group, all of which were equipped with C-V2X direct communication technology using the Qualcomm® 9150 C-V2X chipset solution.  V2X software stack and application software, along with roadside infrastructure, were provided by industry leader, Savari.

C-V2X is globally supported by a broad automotive ecosystem, which includes the fast growing 5GAA organization.  The 5GAA involves over 85 global members comprised of many leading automakers, Tier-1 suppliers, software developers, mobile operators, semiconductor companies, test equipment vendors, telecom suppliers, traffic signal suppliers and road operators.  

Cellular modems will be key to the C-V2X deployment in vehicles to support telematics, eCall, connected infotainment and delivering useful driving/traffic/parking information. As C-V2X direct communication functionality is integrated into the cellular modem, C-V2X solutions are expected to be more cost-efficient and economical over competing technologies, and benefit from accelerated attach rates.  C-V2X direct communication field validations are currently underway in Germany, France, Korea, China, Japan and the U.S.

C-V2X currently stands as the only V2X technology based on globally recognized 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications, with ongoing evolution designed to offer forward compatibility with 5G.  C-V2X also leverages and reuses the upper layer protocols defined by the automotive industry, including the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) organization. C-V2X includes two complementary transmission modes: 

  • Direct communication as shown in this demonstration for V2V and V2I use cases
  • V2N network communication, which leverages mobile operators for connectivity and delivers cloud-based services, including automated crash notification (ACN, as mandated by eCall), hazard warnings, weather conditions, green light optimal speed advisory (GLOSA), parking spot location, and remote tele-operation to support automated driving, to name a few.

“This demonstration builds on the successful C-V2X showcase we organised with our members Audi, Ford and Qualcomm in Washington DC in April, said Christoph Voigt, Chairman of 5GAA.

“We are excited to witness the growing momentum behind this life-saving technology and to see our members working together to deploy C-V2X, and to make it hit the road as soon as possible.”  

“The BMW Group introduced the first C-ITS use cases already in 2013 with the market introduction of the BMW i3. Today most of envisaged C-ITS use-cases are already institutionalized. With the implementation of C-V2X, the BMW Group accomplishes the last set of the puzzle with a practical path to C-ITS showing quick benefits,” said Christoph Grote, Senior Vice President Electronics, BMW Group. 

“With its ability to safely and securely connect vehicles, along with its evolution into 5G, C-V2X is integral to Ford’s vision for future transportation in which all cars and infrastructure talk to each other,” said Thomas Lukaszewicz, Manager Automated Driving, Ford of Europe. “We are very encouraged by preliminary test results in Europe and elsewhere which support our belief that C-V2X direct communications has superior V2X communication capabilities.”

“We’re moving forward with seamless communication between cars and their environment for enhancing road safety, as well as our customers’ safety,” said Carla Gohin, Group PSA’s Vice President for Research and Advanced Engineering. “Following the first European C-V2X direct communications demonstration we hosted with Qualcomm Technologies last March, we’re pleased to work with leading automotive and technology companies today to highlight that C-V2X interoperability is a reality.” 

“This demonstration of interoperability between multiple automakers is not only another milestone achieved towards C-V2X deployment, but also further validates the commercial viability and global compatibility of C-V2X direct communications for connected vehicles,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president & president, Qualcomm Europe and MEA. “We look forward in continuing to work alongside leaders in the automotive industry, like the 5GAA, BMW Group, Ford, Groupe PSA and Savari, to help advance the automotive industry’s shift towards a safer, connected and more autonomous future.” 

“As one of the V2X pioneers, our company is extremely pleased to continue to help enable the next step in the V2X revolution that we helped start back in 2008,” said Ravi Puvvala, CEO of Savari. “For the last year and a half, the Savari team has worked diligently alongside the dedicated C-V2X engineers in the 5GAA partnership. The resulting string of increasingly impressive demonstrations is continuing to convince the world that C-V2X will soon be deployed around the world.”

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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