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Start-ups challenged to transform the smartphone

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Motorola Mobility is giving startups, developers, and creators the opportunity to break the limitations of smartphones and present their ideas at Viva Technology 2017 conference in Paris later this week.

Billed as the world’s ‘rendezvous’ for game-changers, Viva Technology, also known as VivaTech, is an international innovation showcase taking place in Paris on June 15-17, 2017. Bringing together thousands of the brightest entrepreneurs and most imaginative start-ups, alongside top investors, developers and opinion leaders, VivaTech provides a platform for participants from over 200 countries to find inspiration, generate new contacts and accelerate their business growth. Attendance at this year’s event is expected to surpass last year’s 50,000 visitors.

As part of VivaTech 2017, Motorola has extended its ‘Transform the Smartphone’ challenge, to encourage developers, startups, and other creators to break the limitations of what a smartphone can be. The challenge provides an opportunity for participants to demonstrate their creative skills, while adding their expertise and vision to the Moto Mod universe.

Participants will also get the opportunity to present their Moto Mod campaign on the IndieGogo Crowdfunding platform. This gives Moto Z customers the chance to fund participants’ projects, while also providing early access to new Moto Mods when they become available.

Moto Mods snap easily onto any Moto Z phone. They fit perfectly and securely to transform your smartphone and provide users with unlimited possibilities! The concept of the Moto Mods is simple: They can be just about anything you can dream up.  Whether it’s a film projector, a top-of-the-line speaker or even a blood pressure monitor – the possibilities are endless.

The ‘Transform the Smartphone’ challenge gives developers, creators, and startups the chance to contribute to the creation of the next generation of Moto Mods. Motorola wants to harness their creativity to imagine smartphone features that have never been possible, and add these to the ever-growing list of Moto Mods.

To participate in the Transform the Smartphone Challenge, submissions must be completed online by May 25, 2017. Pitch candidates will be selected by June 5, and a jury at VivaTech will choose the top five pitches. Each of the five top teams will receive the Moto Z and Moto Mods Development Kit, to create their prototype and mount a crowdfunding campaign with IndieGogo. The final winner will be invited to present their Moto Mod to a group of executives and developer teams at Motorola Mobility’s Chicago headquarters, and they will be considered for the worldwide accelerator program.

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CES: And thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for making and enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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