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Storage blues for smartphones

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A recent survey has revealed that storage is a problem for many smartphone users in SA, with 22 percent running out of space at least once a week and 56 percent running out of space every three months.

Storage appears to be a real problem for many smartphone users in South Africa, with 22 percent running out of space at least once a week and 56 percent running out of space at least every three months. This is according to a countrywide independent consumer research from SanDisk.

68 percent have also regretted deleting a precious photo or video to free up storage space. If they do have to delete files, 29 percent of South Africans would delete a photo of themselves before that of friends, pets or family.

The research, which looked at people’s experiences with storage on smartphones, also found that 38 per cent of people have to delete files or data from their main handsets in order to free up space at least once a week, while two thirds (66 percent) do this at least once a month.

Ghassan Azzi, Senior Sales Manager for Africa at Western Digital Corporation, said: “Our research really highlights the pressure that people are under to choose what they want to keep on mobile handsets. With the average person in South Africa taking 26 photos and eight videos a week on their smartphone, and the size of digital images and video increasing rapidly, devices soon fill up.”

In addition to the challenges around storage, the research also looked at security, with 56 percent of respondents being fairly worried or very worried that the files and data on their smartphone are at risk of theft or loss through product malfunction, and 68 percent said they had lost a precious photo or video from their smartphone as a result of files not being backed up.

Despite this, only 39 percent of South Africans manually back up their data and files from the main handset once a week, and nine percent never back up files at all, excluding automatic backups and data synchs.

Azzi added: “What many people don’t realise is that there are numerous ways to quickly and easily transfer and store data from phones – either by connecting a device to the handset or using Wi-Fi – so you don’t have to choose what you delete. In addition, backing up your smartphone remotely means that you keep precious files safe, should anything happen to the handset.”

SanDisk offers a range of mobile memory products that allow users to easily expand the space on their phones or offload files so they don’t have to worry about storage limits of the device. Options include:

·         SanDisk iXpand Base – designed to automatically back up your iPhone’s photos, videos, and contacts every time you charge.

·         SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive– offers an easy way to free up space on your iPhone, automatically backs up your camera roll, and even lets you watch popular-format videos straight from the drive.

·         SanDisk Dual Drive Type-C – lets you quickly and easily transfer files between smartphones, tablets and computers.

·         SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick – allows you to wirelessly access your media or transfer large files, stream HD videos and music, and save and share photos and videos to and from your mobile device.

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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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