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MWC: Nokia goes wearable

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At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia announced that the Withings range of connected health products will be launched under the Nokia brand, with the company announcing a redesigned Health Mate app.

The Withings range of connected health products, including connected scales, trackers, blood pressure monitors, thermometers and home cameras, is about to launch globally under the Nokia brand. At the same time, Nokia will also unveil a redesigned Health Mate application.

Formerly Nokia Networks, it reverted to the Nokia brand following its acquisition of Alcatel Lucent. Its medical-grade connected health products will now extend further into the healthcare system through the launch of the company’s Patient Care Platform, enabling physicians and patients to manage chronic conditions such as hypertension.

“Nokia is a powerful global brand that is synonymous with innovation, connectivity and great design,” said Cedric Hutchings, VP of Digital Health, Nokia. “Withings joined Nokia because we share a vision to inspire individuals to take control of their own health. With the full power of a brand recognized for trust, reliability and quality, we will reach more people and impact more lives to help the human family be healthier together.”

Health Mate is at the centre of the digital health ecosystem and collects data from scales, trackers and other connected devices in one place to provide a 360-degree view of health. Coinciding with the product rebrand, the Health Mate application will undergo a redesign for an improved user experience. The redesigned app will make it easier to add devices, share progress with family members, and will introduce new in-depth coaching programs. The coaching programs will take users on an eight-week journey to achieve a health goal along with personalised experiences to better manage their health and wellbeing.

Nokia will also roll out the company’s Patient Care Platform designed to transform the relationship between patients and healthcare professionals. The new platform will give doctors and care teams the power to remotely monitor patients with their smart devices to help prevent and manage chronic conditions and drive timely and targeted patient care to avoid unnecessary office visits and hospitalizations. The platform is being used by the NHS in the UK in a 69,000-person study to better understand hypertension and the role of remote monitoring in lowering hypertension rates.

The new Nokia branded connected health devices will be available later in the year via Nokia’s website and retail channels including Amazon, John Lewis, Argos and Currys PC World. The redesigned Health Mate application will coincide with the rebrand.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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Samsung unveils the quad-cam smartphone

Samsung recently unveiled its Galaxy A9, the world’s first smartphone with a rear quad camera.

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“As a global leader in smartphone innovation, we understand the demand for meaningful innovation in a fast-paced world driven by visual communication,” said Justin Hume, Director: Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa. “Building on our legacy in smartphone camera development we’re introducing next-generation technology across our entire Galaxy portfolio to give more consumers the opportunity to experience cutting-edge innovation. We’re excited to deliver on this promise and debut world leading smartphone camera technology with the Galaxy A9.”

Samsung provided the following information (including the adjectives):

The Galaxy A9 allows you to capture dynamic and beautiful photos effortlessly. With four lenses, experience even more ways to unleash your creativity and capture, create and share stunning images.

·         Get close without compromise with 2x Optical Zoom for incredible and detailed close-up shots even from far away.

·         Capture the world in its fullest and without limit, with the Ultra Wide Lens, and shoot like a pro with the Scene Optimizer. Thanks to AI Scene Recognition, your camera is now smarter, and able to identify the subject and adjust settings accordingly for the best photo, in an instant.

·         Express your creativity with the Depth Lens, giving you the freedom to manually manage the photos’ depth of field and focus on the subject for stunning, professional looking images.

·         Capture clear and bright images in both bright and low light conditions with Galaxy A9’s 24MP Main Lens, for gorgeous photos at any time of the day.

The reliable 3,800mAh battery life on the Galaxy A9 lets you live without limits and enjoy outstanding long-lasting performance. You can now capture everything, without restriction, store more and delete less with the Galaxy A9’s 128GB storage and up to 512GB of expandable memory.

Designed to make life more convenient, the Galaxy A9 features Bixby, Samsung Pay and Samsung Health and you can take advantage of the many multi-tasking benefits the Galaxy A9 offers, including App Pair.

First Class Design

Building on Samsung’s heritage in first-class design, the Galaxy A9 is styled in three unique colors; Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink with a sleek and ergonomic design, that fits in one hand with a 3D Glass curved back for a high-quality comfortable feel. The Galaxy A9 will be available in South Africa from December.

Check out the specs on the next page.

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