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IFA: Lenovo gets smarter

At Lenovo’s annual Tech Life event at Berlin’s IFA, the company unveiled a series of new smart home, laptop and AR devices as part of its “Intelligent Transformation” strategy of engineering with purpose.

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Lenovo provided the following information:

Bringing the Smart Home Vision to Life

Lenovo Smart Home Essentials is a new family of connected devices that offer a simple, one-stop shop for a smarter, more intelligent home. Addressing today’s fragmented smart device landscape, Lenovo’s family of connected home essentials – and the recently launched Lenovo Smart Display – signal the company’s growing and multi-platform AI ecosystem and ambitions in the smart home category.

The Lenovo Link app serves as a centralized control center to set up and manage all applicable devices, as opposed to an individual app for each device. Users can control specific groups of devices at once or automate them to make certain actions at specific times during the day. Not only do the Lenovo Smart Home Essentials work with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but customers will be able to easily set up, automate and control various aspects of the home with just their voice using the Lenovo Smart Display as a control hub.

Lenovo Smart Essentials includes:

●     Lenovo Smart Plug – a small, simple-to-use device that can be plugged into any open outlet, letting users control any compatible device that’s plugged into it

●     Lenovo Smart Camera – a smart surveillance camera that lets you monitor live video footage inside the home—even at night—through infrared night vision. Its built-in mic and speaker allow for two-way audio capability

●     Lenovo Smart Bulb – a smart light bulb that lets users remotely schedule and customize lighting—adjusting coloru temperature and dim brightness, or turning it on and off from anywhere and at any time through the Lenovo Link app.

The Lenovo Smart Essentials range of products will be available starting in the US in November and is expected to expand to other markets including EMEA and Australia later. Lenovo Smart Display is expected to be available in Australia and the UK starting October.

The Best of Innovation and Design Come Together with the New Yoga PC Range

Lenovo’s premium Yoga consumer PC portfolio offers top quality craftsmanship, meaningful innovation and immersive entertainment for on-the-go users who expect powerful and agile performance. Powered by 8th Gen Intel Core processors, the Yoga C930 is Lenovo’s flagship Windows 10 consumer 2-in-1 laptop, debuting a never-before-seen Rotating Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos Speaker System, speakers custom-designed to deliver breakthrough moving audio. It supports Dolby Vision HDR, which transforms your entertainment with ultra-vivid imaging. The Yoga C930 also features a Garaged Pen that charges in its compartment, providing more intuitive productivity. Far-range mics enable Cortana and Alexa on the Yoga C930 to recognize voice command from up to four meters away, even in standby mode.

The new Yoga Book C930 is the world’s first dual display laptop with E Ink, rewriting the rules of portable productivity. The versatile E Ink screen turns into a dynamic, customizable keyboard with multi-language support, digital paper for notes or sketching, and even an eReader at the touch of a button. All this combined with Windows 10 and Intel Core processor performance in an ultra-thin and ultra-light form factor with great battery life.  As the industry’s first device to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform, the thin and light Yoga C630 WOS combines the power and productivity of a Windows 10 laptop with the always-connected mobility of a smartphone. Made for today’s mobile generation, it has integrated LTE Advanced Pro with up to 25+ hours of local video playback. The Yoga C930 and Yoga Book C930 will be available in EMEA from end of September with a starting price of €1,499 (inc VAT) and €999 (inc VAT) respectively. Availability for the Yoga C630 WOS is November with a starting price of €999 (inc VAT).

Turbo Charged Productivity with the New ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Lenovo’s new slim and stylish ThinkPad X1 Extreme will enable users to power through intensive tasks thanks to its discrete NVIDIA GeForce graphics and the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processors featuring integrated Gigabit Wi-Fi, which includes Core i9. The multi-monitor support enables multitasking and RapidCharge technology charges the battery up to 80 percent in just 60 minutes. Its 4K, 100 percent Adobe RGB color gamut display with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos immersive audio set the bar high for content creation or consumption activities on this device. Innovative security features include ThinkShutter camera cover, Windows Hello facial recognition, and touch fingerprint reader. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme will be available in EMEA from September with a starting price of €1,695 (exc VAT).

“We are excited to see new devices that harness the incredible performance, connectivity, intuitive voice experiences and battery efficiency enabled by the latest 8th Gen Intel Core processors,” said Chris Walker, Vice President of the Client Computing Group at Intel. “Intel and Lenovo have a long history of collaboration that has resulted in amazing mobile computing innovations, and that is on full display with this new lineup.”

New Star Wars: Jedi Challenges Dark Side Content Expansion and Limited Edition Kylo Ren Lightsaber

Fan-favorite Star Wars: Jedi Challenges will receive a Dark Side Expansion, a new, free content update that allows fans to play through new challenges as Kylo Ren – dueling Yoda, Rey and more in AR. The Dark Side Expansion update will be available as a free update this winter.

In celebration of the new dark side content, a limited-edition Lightsaber Controller modeled after Kylo Ren’s iconic weapon from the films will be coming to select markets this winter. In the U.S., availability is $99.99 on Lenovo online and select online retailers. The controller is fully compatible with all content in the Jedi Challenges app.

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New iPhone pricing for SA

The iStore has announced that the latest iPhones, the Xs and Xs Max, can now be pre-ordered at www.myistore.co.za , and will be available in stores starting 28 September 2018.

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iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max feature 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina displays that offer remarkable brightness and true blacks while showing 60 percent greater dynamic range in HDR photos. iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have an improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, longer battery life, splash and water resistance,

Pre-orders will be open for cash purchases and on iStore’s revised payment plan in partnership with FNB Credit Card, allowing customers to pay off their iPhone at a reduced interest rate. However, the contract period is 37 months rather than the usual 24 months.
*FNB Credit Card Payment Plan, price per month over 37 months, a 40% trade-in value after 24 months

How to pre-order – Pre-ordering online for either cash or the FNB payment plan gives customers the benefit of reserving their purchase without having to queue and the added convenience of having purchases delivered directly to their door. Pre-orders of iPhone Xs and Xs Max are completed online by visiting www.myistore.co.za.
FREE iCare Plus – Exclusive to iStore, all customers can get its 2-year extended warranty, which includes one Apple Certified screen repair, that normally sells for R1 999, for FREE. To qualify, customers should secure a voucher online now at www.myistore.co.za , and subsequently redeem it when they upgrade their contract or purchase any new iPhone at iStore (iPhone 8 and newer) between now and 31 December 2018. Offer is limited, secure your voucher now.

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Accenture opens Fjord design centre in Johannesburg

Accenture has launched its first design and innovation studio on African soil, Fjord Johannesburg.

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The company says the move significantly expands its design capabilities and demonstrates its commitment to unlocking Africa’s innovation potential through the creation of experiences that redefine industries in our constantly evolving digital era.

The new studio, opening in November, will be located at Accenture’s new 3875m² offices in Waterfall. It will be led by Marcel Rossouw, design director and studio lead for Fjord Johannesburg.

Said Rossouw, “Brands are constantly asking, ’how does one take a business need or problem, build that out into a definition of a service experience, and then bring it to market?’ It’s about re-engineering existing service experiences, identifying customer needs, prototyping rapidly, iterating often and proving or disproving assumptions. But it’s also about getting feedback from customers. The combination of these factors helps companies advance towards the ultimate service experience.”

Fjord is the design and innovation consultancy of Accenture Interactive. The Johannesburg location marks its 28th design studio globally, solidifying its position as the world’s leading design powerhouse.

Working in the same location as Accenture Interactive will allow Fjord to fuse its core design strategy DNA with the digital agency’s expertise in marketing, content and commerce to create and deliver the best customer experiences for the world’s leading brands. Accenture Interactive Africa‘s blend of intelligent design and creative use of technology has already been used by some of South Africa’s largest and most prominent brands, including Alexander Forbes, Discovery, MultiChoice and Nedbank. The digital agency has also earned industry accolades for its innovative and compelling business results, most notably two gold awards in the Service Design category at the 2017 and 2018 Loeries awards.

“Great design tells great stories,” says Wayne Hull, managing director of Accenture Digital and Accenture Interactive lead in Africa. “It unifies a brand, drives innovation and makes the brand or service distinctive and hyper-relevant in both the digital and physical worlds. This is critical to achieving results. Having Fjord Johannesburg as part of Accenture Interactive, and collaborating with all of Accenture Africa, will provide unique experiences and forward-thinking capabilities for our clients.”

“Businesses in South Africa are becoming more design-aware and are looking to take greater advantage of design skills to compete with the rest of the world,” said Thomas Müller, head of Europe, Africa and Latin America at Fjord. “We’re excited to open our first design studio on the continent and to be part of an emerging market that is ripe for design and innovation, and open for business. Developing markets like South Africa are challenging assumptions and norms about what digital services and products are meant to be, and we’ll strive to put design at the heart of the innovation being produced there.”

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