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IFA: Moto expands Mods

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Lenovo, through its Subsidiary, Motorola Mobility, introduced two new and mobile devices at IFA in Berlin – the moto x4 and the moto z2 Force Edition along with the latest in Moto Mod, the new 360 Camera Moto Mod, for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The fourth generation moto x offers a great user experience, with smarter software, the latest camera technology, and a beautiful design. And the moto z family and compatible Moto Mods continues to grow with the introduction of the moto z2 Force Edition and 360 Camera Moto Mod – offering consumers even more possibilities.

moto x4: Bringing Style into Sharp Focus

The moto x has always incorporated the best software experiences, providing users with a uniquely intuitive, smarter, and easier to use device. The latest addition, the moto x4, features all the latest Moto Experiences, coupled with all-new software features.

A smarter camera 

moto x4 features a smarter camera that does more than just capture photos. The new Landmark Detection1 feature on moto x4 lets the camera serve as an eye to the world, from scanning a business card to animating selfies with Face Filters.

The combined capabilities of dual 12MP and 8MP rear cameras, and advanced software with dual Autofocus Pixel technology, creates professional quality images, whilst the 16MP front-facing camera, with an adaptive low light mode3 and new Panoramic Selfie feature, provides a wider background that take selfies to the next level.

Powerful, protected, performance

Powered by a 3,000 mAh battery and equipped with powerful performance capabilities, the moto x4‘s is protected by IP68-rated water resistant design4 – offering protection from accidental spills, splashes, and even puddles – and a 3D rear contoured design, anodized aluminum frame and Corning® Gorilla® Glass that protects the front and back from scratches, making for a strong and beautiful device.

New and intuitive experiences 

Even at the busiest moments, moto x4 is a genuinely smart smartphone. Amazon Alexa is integrated into moto x4 device – so there’s no need to unlock to get started9 – and the wireless sound system, allows users to connect up to four Bluetooth® audio devices at the same time7.

For even greater accessibility, the moto x4 is also equipped with Moto Key – allowing you to access your favorite password-secured websites on your phone or laptop with a simple touch of your finger, while strong encryption ensures data stays protected8.

moto z2 Force Edition: Protected, Polished and Powerful 

The new moto z2 Force Edition shatters limitations with a screen that’s guaranteed not to crack or shatter, and a slim, all-metal design, dual 12MP cameras and the fastest possible data speeds.

Strength and performance 

With a 5.5” Quad HD AMOLED display that’s guaranteed not to crack or shatter, the new moto z’s thin, polished design is reinforced with the strength of 7,000 series aluminium.

The all-day battery allows users to keep going without searching for a power outlet – and when it is time for a boost, add 8 hours of power in just minutes with TurboPower charging. The powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform features unbeatable performance, instant responsiveness, and the fastest possible data speeds that allow users to download large files and apps in no time, or stream music and videos effortlessly.

Professional shots made easy 

Two cameras mean twice the focus. The dual 12MP cameras, one monochrome and one colour, work together to capture brilliant, top-quality photos which also allow users to add a blur effect to the background or foreground and capture true depth of field.

Just like moto z2 Play, the moto z2 Force Edition features the latest Moto Experiences including night display and instant queries in Moto Voice and the front fingerprint reader.

And because this new moto z is also compatible with Moto Mods, users can control their mobile experience – instantly transforming into a 360° camera, gaming console, powerful stereo speaker, video projector, battery powerhouse and more.

Moto 360 Camera: Capture Everything

Simply snap the new 360 Camera Moto Mod onto any moto z device and turn it into a 360-degree camera that captures everything. With the click of a button, users can record interactive 360-degree 4k video featuring immersive 3D audio that will follow the direction you’re viewing.

Advanced editing software allows users to adjust content to fit their unique needs, and once they’re ready to be viewed, photos and videos can be easily shared with friends and on social media right from the Google Photos app.

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Data gives coaches new eyes in sports

Collecting and analysing data is entering a new era as it transforms both coaching and strategy across sports ranging from rugby to Formula 1, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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Coaches and managers have always been among the stars of any sports. They become household names as much as the sports heroes that populate their teams. Now, thanks to the power of data collection and analysis, they are about to raise their game to unprecedented levels.

The evolution of data for fine-tuning sports performance has already been experienced in Formula 1 racing, baseball and American football. All are known for the massive amount of statistic they produce. Typically, however, these were jealously guarded by coaches trying to get an edge over their rivals. Thanks to the science of “big data”, that has changed dramatically.

“American baseball has the most sophisticated data science analytics of any sports in the world because baseball has this long history of stats,” said Ariel Kelman, vice president of worldwide marketing at Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing giant that is working closely with sports teams and leagues around the world. “It’s an incredibly opaque world. I’ve tried for many years to try and get the teams to talk about it, but it’s their secret sauce and some of these teams have eight, nine or ten data scientist.”

In an interview during the AWS Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas last week, Kelman said that this statistical advantage was not lost on other sports, where forward-thinking coaches fully understood the benefits. In particular, American football, through the National Football League there, was coming on board in a big way.

“The reason they were behind is they didn’t have the player tracking data until recently in in the NFL. They only had the player tracking data three years ago. Now the teams are really investing in it. We did an announcement with the Seattle Seahawks earlier this week; they chose us as their machine learning, data science and cloud provider to do this kind of analysis to help figure out their game strategy. 

“They are building models predicting the other teams and looking at players and also evaluating all their practices. They are setting up computer vision systems so that they can track the performance of the players during their practices and have that inform some of the game strategies. The teams then even talk about using it for player evaluation, for example trying to figure out how much should we pay this player.”

Illustrating the trend, during Re:Invent, Kelman hosted a panel discussion featuring Rob Smedley, a technicalconsultant to Formula 1, Cris Collinsworth, a former professional footballer in the NFL and now a renowned broadcaster, and Jason Healy, performance analytics managerat New Zealand Rugby.

Healey in particular represents the extent to which data analysis has crosses sporting codes. He has spent four yearswith All Blacks, after 10 years with the New Zealand Olympic Committee, helping athletes prepare for the OlympicGames. 

“The game of rugby is chaos,” he told the audience. “There’s a lot of a lot of things going on. There’s a lot of trauma and violence and it can be difficult to work out the load management of each player. So data collection is a big piece of the technical understanding of the game.

“A problem for us in rugby is the ability to recall what happened. We have to identify what’s situational and what’s systemic. The situational thing that happens, which is very unlikely to be replicated, gets a lot of attention in rugby. That’s the sensational big moment in the game that gets talked about. But it’s the systemic plays and the systemic actions of players that lies underneath the performance. That’s where the big data starts to really provide some powerful answers. 

“Coaches have to move away from those sensational andsituational moments. We’re trying to get them to learn what is happening at that systemic level, what is actually happening in the game. How do we adjust? How do we make our decisions? What technical and defensive strategies need to change according to the data?”

Healey said AWS was providing platforms for tracking players and analysing patterns, but the challenge was to bring people on this technology journey.

“We’re asking our coaching staff to change the way they have traditionally worked, by realising that this data does give insights into how they make their decisions.”

Kelman agreed this was an obstacle, not just in sport, but in all sectors.

“Across all of our customers, in all industries, one of the things that’s often underestimated the most is that getting the technology working is only the first step. You have to figure out how to integrate it with the processes that us humans, who dislike change, work with. The vast majority of it is about building knowledge. There’s ways to transfer that learning to performance.”

Of course, data analytics does not assure any side of victory, as the All Blacks discovered during the recent Rugby World Cup, when they were knocked out in the semi-finals, and South Africa went on to win. We asked Healey how the data-poor South Africans succeeded where the data-rich All Blacks couldn’t.

“You have to look at how analytics and insights and all thesetechnologies are available to all the coaches these days,” he said. The piece that often gets missed is the people piece. It’s the transformation of learning that goes into the player’sactual performance on the field. We’re providing them with a platform and the information, but the players have to make the decisions.. We can’t say that this particular piece of technology played a role in winning or losing. It’s simply just a tool.”

The same challenge faces motor racing, which generates massive amounts of data through numerous sensors and cameras mounted in vehicles. Rob Smedley, who spent 25 years working in engineering roles for Formula 1 teams, quipped that his sport had a  “big data” problem before the phrase was invented. 

“We’ve always been very obsessive about data. Take car telemetry, where we’ve got something like 200 to 300 sensors on the car itself. And that goes into something like two to three thousand data channels. So we’re taking about around 600 Gigabytes of data generated every single lap, per car. 

“On top of that, where we’ve also got all the time data and GPS data. The teams are using it for performance advantage. We’re into such marginal gains now because there are no bad teams in Formula 1 anymore. Data analytics provide those marginal gains.”

• Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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IoT faces 5-year gap

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In five years, the world will have more than 40 billion devices. Locally, IoT specialist,Eseye, says that South African CIOs are recognising IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) technologies as strategic imperatives, but the journey is still in its infancy.

“As legacy systems start to reach end of life, digital shifts will become inevitable. This, coupled with an increasing demand for improved bottom line results from existing and new markets, makes IoT a more viable option over the next five years. This is particularly prevalent in manufacturing, especially where time to market and product diversification has become necessary for business survival,” says Jeremy Potgieter, Regional Director – Africa, Eseye.

He says that within this sector one thing matters – output: “Fulfilling the product to market lifecycle is what makes a manufacturer successful. Addressing this functionality and production optimisation through technology is becoming more critical as they focus on increasing output and reducing downtime. By monitoring machinery and components in the production line, any concerns that arise, which impacts both the manufacturer and consumers alike, will be more efficiently dealt with by using an IoT approach.”

Potgieter says that there is also the growing strategic approach to increase the bottom line through new markets. As manufacturers seek new revenue streams, Eseye is encouraging the use of rapid IoT enabled device product development : “By addressing the connectivity aspects required at deployment, manufacturers are immediately diversifying their portfolios. Eseye, as an enabler, assists by providing market ready SIMs, which can be embedded into IoT connected devices at OEM level, connecting them to a plethora of services (as designed for) upon entry to market, anywhere in the world.”

In addition, Potgieter says that organisations are increasingly looking towards IoT connectivity managed services to capitalise on specialist expertise and ensure the devices are proactively monitored and managed to ensure maximum uptime, while reducing data costs.

Impacting IoT adoption though, is undoubtedly the network infrastructure required. Potgieter says that this varies significantly and will depend on criteria such as sensor types and corresponding measurements, the overall communication protocols, data volume, response time, and analytics required: “While the majority of IoT implementations can be enabled using cloud-based IoT platform solutions, the infrastructure required still remains important. A cloud platform will simplify infrastructure design and enable easy scaling capability, while also reducing security and data analytics implementation issues.”

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