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MyLifeline Wearable Panic Button

Developers are Stellenbosch University’s LaunchLab have created a wearable panic button for those who want more function out of a panic button technology than a device on a lanyard.

Click through to read more about the wearable.

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South African startup MyLifeline has developed a wearable product that they claim change the panic button as we know it. MyLifeline is making it possible for one to walk around with a panic button in the form of a wearable watch that one can press and call for help, instead of wearing a remote on a lanyard.
MyLifeline’s wearable watch is made possible by a combination of three entities working together: the Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, Santam and MyLifeline. This collaboration produced opportunities for MyLifeline that would have been very difficult for the startup to find on its own – and created new business opportunities for Santam as well.

According to the CEO of MyLifeline, Herman Bester, the company had limited experience with building a tech product. Herman said: “When we joined LaunchLab we had no testing support, validation support, marketing capability and no form of legal support”. He said LaunchLab was instrumental in the growth of MyLifeline. Before joining LaunchLab they had no sales but, through Launch Lab connections, their first sales were achieved, and they have sold hundreds of devices since.

One of these connections was with Santam, through the Santam Innovation Challenge. Herman said it would have been impossible for MyLifeline to have access to Santam without facilitation by LaunchLab. According to Herman, through interaction with Santam, MyLifeline was able to build a product that is well aligned with the market need. Santam was also great for market accessibility.

“This programme accentuates Santam’s commitment to keeping South Africans safe while providing insurance good and proper,” said Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Chief Marketing Officer at Santam. “We are not only there for our clients when something goes wrong, we are also committed to help prevent things from going wrong in the first place.”

Herman cites a life-saving experience of one girl who had an asthma attack but was saved by using the MyLifeline watch.

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Volvo unveils new XC40 plug-in hybrid

Volvo’s new T5 Twin Engine petrol-electric hybrid powertrain debuts in the XC40.

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Volvo reaches an important milestone in its industry-leading powertrain electrification programme with the debut of the new T5 Twin Engine hybrid system in the multi-award-winning XC40 SUV. The introduction makes Volvo the only manufacturer to offer plug-in hybrid versions across its entire product range.

Power and efficiency

The T5 Twin Engine combines Volvo’s new 1.5-litre three-cylinder 180hp petrol engine with an 82hp electric motor in a hybrid system that delivers 262hp. This makes it the most powerful powertrain in the XC40 range. This power is balanced with strong environmental credentials: preliminary WLTP figures for CO2 emissions are from just 38g/km (where 19-inch wheels are specified), while combined cycle fuel consumption is expected to be up to 141.1mpg.

The compact, energy-dense lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 10.7kWh, enabling exhaust emissions-free electric-only driving of up to 28.6 miles (provisional data), according to driving conditions and battery charge levels.

The new T5 Twin Engine joins two diesel and three petrol powertrains in the XC40 range, with an all-electric model joining the line-up next year.

A first for the CMA platform

The T5 Twin Engine is also the first to be engineered for use in Volvo’s CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform. It is front-wheel drive, in contrast to the established T8 Twin Engine (390hp) powertrain deployed in larger models built on the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, which has all-wheel-drive capability.

XC40 T5 Twin Engine models come with a recharging outlet on the nearside front wing. A 4.5m cable with a three-pin plug is provided as standard.

The powertrain’s efficiency and performance are supported by a new seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission, featured for the first time in a new-generation Volvo model.

Improved charging

Charging via the fast-charge cable will completely recharge the car’s high-voltage battery in as little as 2.5 hours. Fully charging via the three-pin plug cable takes between 3.5 and 6 hours.

Every inch the modern Volvo

Displaying cool, clean, contemporary lines, the XC40 blends Scandinavian style with desirability and dynamism customers seek from a compact SUV.

According to Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa, South African motorists are definitely “going green”.

“We are seeing this with the Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-in hybrid; interest in this vehicle is at an all-time high. There is currently no plan for the new XC40 plug in hybrid version to come to South Africa but if it did, we would anticipate a high level of interest.”

XC40 T5 Twin Engine technical specifications*

Transmission                             Seven-speed twin-clutch automatic, front-wheel drive

Engine configuration                 In-line, three cylinders

Engine capacity                        1,477cc

Max. engine output                    180hp/5,800rpm

Max. engine torque                    265Nm/1,500-3,000rpm

Max. electric motor output         82hp

Max. electric motor torque         160Nm

Battery type                              Lithium-ion

Battery capacity                        10.7kWh

Total system max. output          262hp

0-62mph acceleration                 7.3 seconds

Top speed                                127mph

WLTP CO2 emissions                 38g/km (19-inch wheels); 41g/km (20-inch wheels); 43g/km (21-inch wheels)

WLTP fuel consumption             112.8-141.1mpg

WLTP all-electric range              26.1-28.6 miles

First deliveries to UK customers from February 2020.

* All technical data is preliminary

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Huawei Watch GT 2 gets on-wrist calling

Huawei’s new Watch GT 2 features slimmer bezels and the ability at accept calls directly on the watch, thanks to a new integrated microphone.

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Huawei has unveiled its second generation smartwatches, the Watch GT 2 46mm and 42mm series, powered by the proprietary Kirin A1 chip. It is Huawei’s first smartwatch with an all-in-one 3D glass screen, creating a wider, borderless display. The new smartwatch delivers more sports modes with richer programmes, as well as adding Bluetooth calling and music playback functionalities, enhancing comprehensive health and fitness monitoring capabilities.

The previous generation Watch GT was loved by users because of its impressive battery life. Watch GT 2 goes in further, being equipped with Huawei’s proprietary Kirin A1 chipset to further improve on battery life. The Kirin A1 chipset integrates an advanced Bluetooth processing unit, a new audio processing unit, a low power consumption application processor and a separate power management unit. 

The application processor uses the Cortex-M7 processor to achieve ultra-low power consumption of 10uA/MHz, which is far below the industry average of 30uA/MHZ.

In daily use, the Watch GT 2 46mm series can operate continuously for up to two weeks, with both the intelligent heart rate monitor and call notification functions on and weekly usage of up to 30 minutes of Bluetooth calls; up to 30 minutes of music playback; up to 90 minutes of exercise and using the scientific sleep mode at night. 

In the classic mode, the smaller Watch GT 2 42mm series can operate continuously for up to one week. According to Huawei, the 46mm series achieves battery life of 30 hours under the GPS tracked sports mode, while the 42mm series reaches 15 hours.

The 46mm series is equipped with a 1.39-inch AMOLED HD precision touch screen with display resolution of 454 x 454 pixels, wider colour gamut, and ultra-thin design that is superior to LCD screens, achieving fuller screen colour and higher contrast. 

The 46mm series connects with Huawei mobile phones via Bluetooth and supports Bluetooth calls at up to 150 meters. The watch also supports phonebook functionality so users can save friends’ contact information on the watch to look them up. At the same time, the watch comes with large storage capacity, housing up to 500 MP3 songs. 

In the sports mode, it is compatible with 15 sports, including eight outdoor sports (running, walking, climbing, hiking, trail running, cycling, open water, triathlon) and seven indoor sports (walking, running, cycling, swimming pool, free training, elliptical machine, rowing machine). 

For these 15 sports modes, the watch provides full-scale monitoring of approximately 190 types of data. The watch provides targeted pre-exercise data analysis for different sports, and data recording analysis during the exercise. Huawei says the watch can also offer professional advice after a workout.

The watch can help monitor bradycardia, a type of very slow heart rhythm. Unless in the sports mode, the user will be notified if heart rate is above 100 bpm or below 50 bpm for more than 10 minutes. Users can also view the data in the Huawei Sports and Health App to keep an eye on their health in real time.

In addition to heart rate monitoring, TruSleep 2.0 monitors sleep quality, real-time heart rate, sleep breathing quality, and uses big data analysis to rate sleep quality. It combines Huawei AI technology to accurately analyze sleep problems and provides sleep improvement suggestions, as well as personalised sleep services and reports to help users improve sleep quality. 

The Watch GT 2 will be available later this year. 

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