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IFA 2015: Withings gets Spotify’s wake-up call

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Withings has announced a partnership with Spotify to offer its Aura users a wake up and sleep experience. Aura is the first connected alarm clock compatible with Spotify Connect, that  allows  access  to  its  catalogue  of  over  30 million songs.

For  an  even  more  personalised experience,  Withings  is developing  a  system  of recommendation  to  their users based  on playlists  effectiveness  on  waking  and  falling asleep. Also,  Aura will  now  be  available  on  two devices:  the  new Aura Connected  Alarm Clock  and  the  Aura  Total  Sleep System,  adding  a sleep sensor to the bedside device to analyse one’s sleep cycles.

According to a sleep study conducted by Withings, 73% of UK respondents say a bad wake up can have a very negative effect on their day. To help start the day, energised users are gradually woken up with the blue melatonin light and Spotify music. The light helps to make users more alert and the music can be chosen and selected from any of the Spotify playlists.

Users with the sleep sensor, which focuses on understanding personal patterns such as body movements, breathing cycles and heart rate, can choose to trust the Aura to wake them up at the most beneficial time of their sleep cycle.

The Withing Aura is the perfect bedside companion when it comes to sleep, mixing the benefits of light therapy and sleep‐dedicated playlists from Spotify. To fall asleep in the best conditions, Aura combines the benefits of light therapy and music specifically designed for sleep. The red light scattered by the Aura is the only light not inhibiting melatonin secretion, and thus helps the user to fall asleep gradually. Colourful noises, nature sounds or relaxing music, as many playlists as Spotify adds to its library available from Aura to sleep on a progressive program of 20 minutes. Some coloured noises are known to have a real impact on sleep, such as pink noise regulating the brain waves and optimising sleep.

Spotify  provides  users  with  the  best  music  for  every  moment  and  to  compliment this, Withings  has  created  a dedicated Spotify account (available  here:  Withings),  which suggests the best music to wake up and to fall asleep to. This  is  only  a  first step,  Withings will eventually provide  a  recommendation  system  directly  available  in  the  Health Mate application.  Suggestions will combine  the  user’s  musical  tastes  and  the  efficiency  of given  music  in  helping similar users fall asleep or get out of bed, based on aggregated data from Aura Sleep Sensors worldwide.

Cedric  Hutchings  from  Withings  says:  “By  combining  environmental  sensors,  light therapy and our partnership with Spotify we can help  people  get  the  better  start  they deserve  and  attack  the  day  energised  after a  sound night’s sleep.”

A new range of Smart Alarm Clocks. 

The Aura range now has two products: Aura Connected Alarm Clock and Total Sleep System.

Aura Connected Alarm Clock 

‐ Aura Alarm clock

‐ Wake up and sleep Programs

‐ Environmental parameters of the room

‐ Spotify Service and web radios

‐ RRP: £149.95

‐ Available on Amazon and www.withings.com

Aura Total Sleep System

‐ Aura alarm clock + sensor

‐ Wake up and sleep Programs

‐ Environmental parameters of the room

‐ Sleep Sensor analysing nights

‐ Spotify Service and web radios

‐ RRP: £249.95

‐ Available on www.withings.com and partners

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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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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