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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

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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