Samsung Electronics today unveiled its product line-up for 2016 at its annual Samsung Africa Forum event.
The company underlined the importance of “innovation that makes a meaningful difference in people’s everyday lives”, showcasing its new bezel-less curved SUHD TVs with Quantum dot display, the industry-first Front Load Washer with AddWash, and a range of refrigerators and freezers with Twin Cooling technology.
“Samsung has continuously worked to help people live smarter lives, and this year we have taken a huge step forward with our diverse products and services,” said Mr. Yoo Young Kim, CEO and President of Samsung Electronics, Africa Office. “We will continue to enhance consumers’ quality of life by listening to their needs and strengthening our ecosystem.”
The Next Generation of Home Entertainment
Samsung unveiled its new line-up of SUHD TVs that feature good picture quality with Quantum dot display; the world’s first bezel-less curved design.
Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs feature the world’s only cadmium-free, 10-bit Quantum dot display. The future of display technology, Quantum dot display converts light into nearly any colour in the visible spectrum without distortion or compromising the brightness level, delivering the optimum viewing experience for consumers, regardless of the lighting environment.
This year, all of the Samsung SUHD TVs will feature the ability to provide a premium high dynamic range (HDR) experience, with 1,000 nit HDR minimum for a higher level of contrast between light and dark images. New Ultra Black technology also significantly reduces light reflection, further enhancing picture quality with minimal glare.
Built on the Tizen operating system (OS), Samsung’s 2016 Smart TVs make it easier for consumers to discover and access all their favourite content and services, from TV shows and movies, to games and programme information, all in one place. The new Samsung Smart TV eliminates the need to juggle multiple remote controls. The Samsung Smart TV will automatically recognise the type of set-top box, game console, OTT box or home theatre system that is connected to the TV. This allows users to control all of the external devices with the Smart Control remote — with no setup required.
Samsung also unveiled the latest additions to its audio product line-up, including the HW-K950 Soundbar, the company’s first to feature Dolby Atmos, and the industry’s first soundbar package to include two Dolby Atmos-enabled wireless rear speakers. The complete HW-K950 package delivers an incredible 5.1.4-channel sound.
Intelligent Digital Appliances Transform the Kitchen
Many consumers have dreamed of owning a spacious refrigerator that keeps food fresher longer so their weekly grocery shop goes further. It is a common disappointment to reach into the refrigerator to find that the fruits or vegetables have lost their natural moisture, even when kept in the vegetable drawer.
“The R&D team at Samsung worked hard to overcome this problem. Now consumers can keep food fresher, longer, with Samsung’s innovative Twin Cooling Plus technology,” says Sunil Gupta, Africa Regional Product Manager, Digital Appliances.
Samsung’s Twin Cooling Plus technology is a truly independent cooling system, preventing unpleasant smells from food moving between the fridge and freezer, ensuring the original flavour of ingredients stored in the freezer is perfectly preserved and odourless.
No air movement between the compartments also means the freezer stays completely frost-free, prolonging the shelf life and the flavour of its contents. It also prevents the build-up of ice, removing the need to defrost the freezer.
Thanks to the Twin Cooling Plus™ technology, consumers can enjoy flexibility with cooling storage depending on their needs. The true independent cooling system allows for turning the freezer into a fridge when required, or just turn off the fridge compartment when leaving home for a long vacation. The five modes are Freezer-Fridge, Energy Saving, Vacation, Fridge Max, and Mini mode.
Samsung today also launches an affordable range of refrigerators and freezers, designed especially for African consumers. These include the vertical freezer, the 180-litre top-mounted freezer, the 1-Door 110-litre fridge, and a chest freezer in the small size capacity of 150 litres.
Making the Washing Machine Work For You
Samsung recognises that in the rush to get laundry done on a frenzied weeknight or during a crazy weekend, a stray sock may simply get overlooked, so Samsung’s simple, practical response to that is to add the industry’s first “AddWash” door to its front load washer.
The Samsung Front Load Washer with AddWash has a distinctive access door that makes it convenient to add any item, such as a piece of forgotten laundry or extra detergent, in mid-cycle without needing to drain the washer and open the main washer door.
AddWash utilises a SuperSpeed feature, which finishes a load in less than an hour. It also features our EcoBubble technology, which premixes detergent with air and water, penetrating clothes 40 times faster than a normal mix of water and soap. It comes with an array of smart functions, making it easier for users to monitor and control wash cycles.
From gently caring for delicate fabrics, to advanced technologies that make detergent work harder, to a full load washed in as little as 30 minutes, Samsung’s Front Load Washer with AddWash can easily keep up with your family’s toughest laundry tasks.
Corporate Citizenship at the heart of business strategy
For the first time at Samsung Forum, Samsung will be showcasing its Corporate Citizenship initiatives in Africa.
Samsung will bolster its efforts in Africa in a bid to help the continent achieve its Sustainable Development Goals.
“As a global citizen, we felt it was important to use our technology to give back to society. We do this in four ways: by creating new learning opportunities so that young people can enjoy access to better education; by using our technical expertise to develop and provide access to new healthcare solutions; by supporting youth employment through vocational training and skills development; and by reducing our impact on the environment,” says Abey Tau, Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs Manager.
Cisco gives pre-owned tech a Refresh
In a market of constant upgrades, Cisco Refresh aims to keep quality product away from landfills, writes BRYAN TURNER.
When one gets a new smartphone upgrade, the old device may be used as a backup or can be used by someone else. In business environments, equipment upgrades may not be conducive to keeping old equipment around, which may send older, working equipment to landfills.
This is where Cisco’s Refresh initiative comes in. At Cisco Connect in Sun City this week, Ehrika Gladden, VP and general manager of Cisco Refresh, lifted the lid on a little-known aspect of the company’s strategy.
“Refresh is Cisco’s global pre-owned equipment business unit,” said Gladden. “It is certified to meet the quality and engineering standards of Cisco. It is licensed for software and it’s also inclusive of a services warranty.
“Our responsibility in 80 countries around the world is tied to both the recovery of assets and the ability to leverage those assets at a lower price point. This ensures our sustainability and proper usage of the Earth’s resources while providing access to small and medium businesses. The products are typically in the range of 20-40% cheaper. The products represent the entire portfolio for Cisco in some part, the majority of that product set is 2+ years in terms of generation.”
Cisco’s Circular Economy initiative ensures a sustainable loop through businesses willing to pay a premium for the latest, cutting-edge solutions, while Cisco markets older, working equipment for resale to those who don’t require the latest solutions. This ensures far less new components need to be used in a product range.
“We are leveraging the model of remanufacturing, refurbishing, recycling, and reusing,” said Gladden. “Depending on the product set, there is a certain set of product yield that we expect. They vary from product to product, but we do have a percentage that doesn’t make it through.
“Those are always reused, meaning we will look at those products and decide to use them completely differently, leveraging the components, remanufacturing back into the overall build process. If that can’t be done, we will go into a recycle process where we melt those products down to reuse them.”
Repairing and refurbishing older products isn’t just that. Cisco is creating repair centres that are owned by third-parties to uplift local ownership.
“The repair centres, as a global manufacturer, is Cisco’s entree into local ownership,” said Gladden. “I want to be precise about what I mean by local ownership. It’s critical for us to have a localised presence, but doing that through ownership. When you look at inclusive economies, those that are participative, to be sustainable – not in the product set, but generationally.
“The ability as a global manufacturer through a local ownership model isto create a repair centre where a product can be returned, screened, tested, and repaired, leveraging the talent that the Networking Academy is creating.”
Cisco is working closely with local governments to understand where it operates and how to leverage the skills in the market.
Gladden said: “We are also super excited about the National Development Plan and African Union statements which with we align: eradication of poverty, job creation, ownership, healthcare, education, it all fits in the model. So we were very excited to have the opportunity to come to Africa first to announce this. Over the next twelve months, we want to establish our first repair centres, and in the next 3 to 5 years, build that vision into a reality.”
Why Data Privacy has become a Pipe Dream
If you’re active on WhatsApp, Facebook or any other social platform, you’re not as safe as you thought, writes
AARON THORNTON, MD of Dial a Nerd
As you begin to read this, let’s perform a quick experiment! How many active conversations are you engaged in – right now – on WhatsApp? When was the last time you shared a picture or video on Instagram? Is Facebook currently open and active on one of your devices? And how many internet- connected devices are you using at this moment? Chances are, you have multiple devices running multiple applications most of the time. So what’s the problem, you ask? Since when did checking in with a high school buddy in Australia via Facebook become a dangerous act?
In reply, we say, read on if you can stomach it!
Nation-State Hacking & You
It might seem like a laughably long shot to say that you are a key player in the increasingly sinister and sophisticated world of nation-state hacking. Well, you are. Given that individuals, businesses and governments are now constantly connected, round the clock, consumers and businesses have become fair game in cyber espionage. And as we create and share more and more data, both the value and accessibility of that data increases. According to a report by McAfee, IP theft now accounts for more than 25% of the estimated $600 billion cost of cybercrime to the world economy.
With data having become the ‘new gold’, nation states are naturally pouring investment and key resources into building advanced cyber warfare tools. Indeed, entire divisions of armed forces as well as the upper echelons of corporate leadership are devising ways to harness data to gain economic, political and social power. At the highest level, tools and platforms are being developed with the specific aim of perpetrating cyber espionage and data theft. No surprise then, that the consumer and business environments are rife with increasingly advanced malware, ransomware and many other malicious hacking tools and methods.
Still not convinced? Yes, we can smell the scepticism from here! So let’s take a moment to see how this has already played out, beneath our noses.
Remember the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal of early 2018? For many, this was a watershed moment in the emerging war for consumer data – and the ensuing tensions between privacy, power and profit. Need a refresh? Well, in 2018, Facebook exposed data on up to 87 million Facebook users to a researcher who worked at Cambridge Analytica, which worked for the Trump campaign. In essence, the data was harvested without user consent and used for political purposes.
Another chilling but less direct example can be found in Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections. According to Politico, Russia launched a massive social media campaign to ‘sow discord’ leading up to the elections. The website reported that as early as 2014, an infamous Russian “troll farm” known as the Internet Research Agency – a company linked to Russian president Putin – developed a strategy using fraudulent bank accounts and other fake identity documents to “spread distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”
When referring to the Russian hacks and their impact on election results, one U.S. Representative sagely noted: “They didn’t just steal data; they weaponized it.”
Ignorance is not bliss
Okay, so data is being ‘weaponized’, and ordinary people and businesses are being caught in the crosshairs of cyber warfare. A little bit frightening, but the good news is that savvy individuals like you can take steps to protect personal data and actively combat the creeping influence of juggernauts such as Facebook and Google.
Now that we’ve left you sufficiently spooked, you can get back to those demanding WhatsApp/Facebook/Instagram notifications (same company, by the way)…albeit, we hope, with a slightly altered [cyber] worldview!