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Touch screen comes to Jaguar

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The new Jaguar F-PACE, which goes on sale in July 2016, will be the first Jaguar to offer the company’s premium infotainment system: InControl Touch Pro.

This touchscreen system will usher in a new era of connected functionality for Jaguar vehicles, which includes live traffic updates for the satellite navigation and the ability to remotely control certain functions of the F-PACE on a supported smartphone1. The F-PACE will also be available with Jaguar’s Activity Key – a robust, waterproof key.

“The F-PACE will offer the latest technologies and features available in the Jaguar Land Rover stable,” says Lisa Mallett, Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. “Drivers will be able to benefit from the best infotainment and connectivity on offer, to emergency and roadside assistance services that make travelling more convenient.”

F-PACE will be available with a choice of two infotainment systems, namely InControl Touch and InControl Touch Pro. When specified as part of the optional InControl Touch Pro pack, F-PACE will gain a 10.2-inch touchscreen that plays a central role in the user experience for drivers of Jaguar’s first-ever SUV. This system boasts a powerful quad-core processor and gigabit Ethernet connectivity, promising lag-free responses to input. The ultra-responsible interface is intuitive, with sharp graphics in its user interface. InControl Touch Pro is also equipped with a solid-state drive. This robust storage technology allows instant access to information stored on it, which can include album covers, media information and user files.

Forming part of the InControl Touch Pro pack is a 12.3-inch HD virtual instrument cluster, which replaces the conventional analogue dials and offers drivers a next-generation display that can be customised – including a full-screen satellite navigation view. This pack also features Jaguar’s unique DualView technology will allow passengers to watch video content on the 10.2-inch central display without distracting drivers. A 380 watt Meridian Digital audio system is standard equipment when InControl Touch Pro is specified, and this can also be upgraded to a 825 watt Meridian Digital Surround audio system.

All F-PACE models will be fitted with InControl Touch as standard2 – the same system that is currently fitted to the Jaguar XE, XF and F-TYPE. With its eight-inch touchscreen and intuitive interface, InControl Touch offers drivers easy access to the vehicle’s infotainment functions. InControl Touch is also available with a 380 watt Meridian audio system.

InControl Protect and InControl Remote will also be fitted to all F-PACE derivatives. Drivers can rely on the ultimate in customer care with InControl Protect, which offers both an SOS button for emergencies and accidents, as well as a roadside assistance button. InControl Protect lets drivers connect to Jaguar Assist without the use of their own phone. When a call is connected these services can also transmit vehicle position and diagnostic data to better assist response services. InControl Remote offers drivers the ability to use their smartphones to monitor their vehicle. This includes monitoring its current location, security status, fuel level and recent trips. Both of these features complement both variants of the InControl Touch infotainment system.

InControl Touch is available with the InControl Connect pack, which gives drivers a comprehensive connectivity suite. With support for Android and Apple devices, through a dedicated USB port, InControl Apps offers support for popular applications that enrich the driving experience. This allows drivers to control supported applications using the vehicle’s touchscreen.

Along with app support, the InControl Connect pack lets the F-PACE function as a Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling up to eight mobile devices to connect to the internet. Data services are made possible through an on-board SIM card slot and drivers can choose to make use of data services offered by the network provider of their choice, while the integrated vehicle antenna allows for the best possible mobile signal.

Vehicles fitted with InControl Touch Pro also have the option of InControl Connect Pro. This includes smartphone integration and a mobile hotspot, as well as an in-car web browser and more advanced functionality. With InControl Connect Pro the satellite navigation system can save drivers time by learning their commute as well as downloading traffic information and calculating more efficient routes. The system also has more advanced remote functionality through InControl Remote Premium. In addition to monitoring vehicle status drivers will also have the ability to lock and unlock their F-PACE, or even start up the climate control system – the perfect way to pre-cool the car on a hot summer afternoon. This feature can also be programmed to operate on a schedule.

The All-New F-PACE will also be available with the Jaguar Activity Key, a first in the SUV segment. This waterproof, shockproof wristband with an integrated transponder is a wearable technology that supports active lifestyles. It allows the key fob to be securely locked inside the vehicle – invaluable if you’re going surfing, for example, or kayaking.

Locking the All-New F-PACE using the Activity Key will disable any key fobs left inside. Activity Key works on the same RF frequencies as the other keys and is used to lock and unlock the vehicle when it is held in close proximity to the J of the Jaguar lettering on the tailgate. Activity Key has no battery, so drivers never have to worry about changing it.

“With this new set of technologies, the F-PACE will offer customers the functionality they’ve come to expect in a Jaguar,” says Mallett. “Not only is F-PACE the world’s most practical sports car, it also offers the most seamless integration with the digital devices that have become central to our lives.”

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ConceptD: Creatives get a tech brand of their own

The unveiling of a new brand by Acer recognises the massive computing power needed in creative professions, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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It’s a crisp Spring morning in Brooklyn. The regular water taxi from Manhattan pulls up at Duggal Greenhouse on the edge of the East River. It’s a building that symbolises the rejuvenation of Brooklyn as a hub of artistic and creative expression.

Inside the vast structure, global computer brand Acer is about to unveil its own tribute to creativity. Company CEO Jason Chen takes to the stage in faded blue jeans and brown t-shirt, underlining the connection of the event to the informality of the area.

“Brooklyn is become more and more diverse,” he tells a gathering of press from around the world, attending the Next@Acer media event. “It’s an area that is up and coming. It represents new lifestyles. And our theme today is turning a new chapter for creativity.”

Every year, Next@Acer is a parade of the cutting edge in gaming and educational laptops and computers. New devices from sub-brands like Predator, Helios and Nitro have gamers salivating. This year is no different, but there is a surprise in store, hinted in Chen’s introduction.

As a grand finale, he calls on stage Angelica Davila, whose day job is senior marketing manager for Acer Latin America. But she also happens to have a Masters degree in computer and electric engineering. A stint at Intel, where she joined a sales and marketing programme for engineers, set her on a new path.

Angelica Davila, marketing manager for Acer Latin America

For the last few months, she has been helping write Acer’s next chapter. She has shepherded into being nothing less than a new brand: ConceptD.

Click here to read more about ConceptD.

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Which voice assistant wins battle of translators?

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Take the most famous phrase from the Godfather – “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” – or “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” from the inaugural address of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and see just how the virtual assistants do in translating them using their newly introduced Neural Machine Translation (NMT) capabilities. One Hour Translation (OHT), the world’s largest online translation service, conducted a study to find out just how accurate these new services are.

OHT used 60 sentences from movies and famous people ranging from the Godfather and Wizard of Oz to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, US presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy and historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Aesop. The sentences were translated by Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri from English to French, Spanish, Chinese and German and then given to five professional translators for their assessment on a scale of 1-6. 

Google Assistant scored highest in three of the four languages surveyed – English to French, English to German and English to Spanish and second in English to Chinese.  Amazon’s Alexa, whose translation engine is powered by Microsoft Translator, was tops in the English to Chinese category. Apple’s Siri was second place in English to French and English to Spanish and third place in English to German and English to Chinese.  (See chart). All three virtual assistants are compatible with mobile phones.

“The automated assistants’ translation quality was relatively high, which means that assistants are useful for handling simple translations automatically,” says Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He predicts that “there is no doubt that the use of assistants is growing rapidly, is becoming a part of our lives and will make a huge contribution to the business world.” 

A lot will depend on further improvements in NMT technology, which has revolutionized the field of translation over the past two years.  All the companies active in the field are investing large sums as part of this effort. “OHT is working with several of the leading NMT providers to improve their engines through the use of its hybrid online translation service that combines NMT and human post-editing,” notes Kaufman. He adds that this will no doubt have a huge impact on the use of assistants for translation purposes.

OHT has made a name for itself in assessing the level of translations by NMT engines.  Its ONEs Evaluation Score is a unique human-based assessment of the leading NMT engines conducted on a quarterly basis and used as an industry standard. 

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