Something old, something new

The telecommunications industry, specifically mobile communications, is converging in Barcelona this week. Even before Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks off today, two companies have fired the first salvo with something old, something new.

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Singapore creates drone zone

R&D centres will be able to test drones such as the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum at one north.
R&D centres will be able to test drones such as the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum at one north.

With concerns over privacy, security and safety, drone flying has been limited to only certain areas and heights. However, recognising the need to test unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), the Singapore government has established the nation’s first drone estate.

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Chery to pop NVIDIA-powered ZP ProAI system into autonomous vehicles

China carmaker Chery has adopted the new ZP ProAI system, powered by NVIDIA Drive AI self-driving technology, for its autonomous vehicles. The move will bring Level 3 autonomous driving to the world’s biggest auto market.

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Global IT spending to rise to US$3.7t in 2018

Global IT spending is expected to grow to US$3.7 trillion in 2018, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2017, according to Gartner.

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Learn robotics at Udacity

Robotics is no longer just a hobby but serious stuff.  NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Institute is now working with online learning provider Udacity to develop a programme that will immerse students in the field of robotics, giving them career-ready skills.

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Sweet quarter for Apple in China

iPhone 8
The iPhone 8 helped spur Apple’s growth in Q3.

The launch of the iPhone 8 and drop of prices of older models have helped Apple turn in a sterling quarter in China, with shipment rising 40 percent to 11 million units this Q3.

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Enter the gaming smartphone

Razer Phone
Play Final Fantasy XV on the new smartphone.

Finally, a smartphone that’s made for gamers. Razer has launched in London the latest high-end smartphone with a focus on mobile gaming.

But what makes this phone different from others in the market? And how does it enhance the mobile gaming experience?

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Samsung Pay extended to smartwatches

Samsung Gear 3Guess it was only a matter of time as Samsung Pay has been extended to the Gear 3 and Gear Sport. This will let consumers use their smartwatches, on top of their smartphones, to make purchases.

Samsung Pay on Gear is protected by Samsung Knox for enhanced security. It functions independently so users need not bring their phone along to make payment with their smartwatches. They can view their transaction record on Samsung Pay Plugin, an associated application for Samsung Gear.

In another development in Hong Kong, HSBC and Hang Seng Bank have become Samsung Pay partners. Both banks’ customers can start using Samsung Pay for their credit cards from November 2.



Smartphone makers in a rush?

Google Pixel 2 XLIn 2016, Samsung had battery overheating issues with its Note 7. Recently, Apple is constantly pushing out iOS 11 fixes to improve battery life for the iPhone 8. And now, Google is working on a solution to address the screen burn-in issues of the Pixel 2.

What’s happening? Are smartphone makers in such a rush to launch new phones that they are cutting short quality tests? Admittedly, this is the probably the hottest segment of the consumer technology market and every player is trying its best to outdo each other.

According to IDC, the worldwide smartphone market will reach a total of 1.53 billion units shipped in 2017, up 4.2 percent from the 1.47 billion units shipped in 2016. That’s a lot of phones and perhaps the reason why makers are hurrying to snare a share.

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GeForce GTX 1070 Ti arrives on November 2

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 TiNo matter how hard NVIDIA tries to keep things quiet, it always seems that some sites out there know something about unannounced products. Case in point is the much touted GeForce GTX 1070 Ti.

Media frenzy was already high in the weeks running up to the announcement, thanks to drips of information that were permeating the Web.

NVIDIA finally announced it hours ago in a blog post. Truth be told, it sounds like a good product with its award-winning Pascal GPU architecture, 2,432 cores and 8GB of memory running at 8Gbps for a total bandwidth of 256 GB/s. And it performs twice as fast as the immensely popular GeForce GTX 970.


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5 reasons why I like Google Home

By Edward Lim

Perhaps it’s something like a forbidden fruit. The harder it it to get, the more we want it. Google tempted us with the Google Home smart speaker but it was not available in Singapore or anywhere in the region. It was only in July that the device was finally available in Australia.

Anyway, as with most gadget lovers, there’s always a way to get our hands on the desired device. In my case, I managed to snare one in Walmart in San Jose while attending a conference there in April. Actually, I bought two — one as a gift to a friend.

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E-commerce to account for a quarter of retail sales by 2025

Greater internet and mobile device accessibility are driving e-commerce growth in Southeast Asia.

According to ABI Research, Smart Retail has gone through revolutionary changes in the past 10 years and will exponentially continue to do so going forward.  Brick and mortar stores are no longer the only option for consumers across the globe to make their everyday purchases, due to significant advancements in technology, both in-store and online.

Key players include Senion, who implements some of the world’s largest Indoor Positioning System (IPS) solutions to enhance in-store experiences, and AisleLabs who provides shopper traffic behavior analytics to help retailers optimise store layouts.  Leading POS software vendors, Shopkeep and Square are allowing retailers to sell across multi-channels from a single platform. These and other key vendors are paving paths to making the offline and online worlds seamless experiences.

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Robotaxis on the way

No steering wheels, pedals or mirrors. Sounds like science fiction but the fully autonomous robotaxi is on its way with the launch of a new system that NVIDIA has codenamed Pegasus.

Pegasus extends the NVIDIA Drive PX AI computing platform to handle Level 5 driverless vehicles. NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus delivers over 320 trillion operations per second — more than 10 times the performance of its predecessor, NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2, announced Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of NVIDIA at his keynote address at GTC Europe in Munich.

Robotaxis powered by NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus will have interiors that feel like a living room and arrive on demand to safely whisk passengers to their destinations, bringing mobility to everyone, including the elderly and disabled.

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Google sets up online Singapore store

Hurray, Google has finally set up an online store for Singapore! Amid the flurry of announcements made yesterday, this is probably the most significant for those in Singapore. After all, what’s the point of reading and hearing about all the launches in recent years without being able to buy the products anywhere in the country.

The bad news, however, is that only three products were listed on the Google Wifi, Google Chromecast and the newly-launched Google Pixel 2 XL.

Google’s latest smartphone sports front-facing stereo speakers, and front and rear cameras capable of producing amazing shots using fused image stabilisation of optical and digital zoom. Though the headphone jack is gone, Google has introduced Pixel Buds that can translate up to 40 languages on the fly. Continue reading “Google sets up online Singapore store”

Nokia 3310 makes comeback at under S$100

Nokia’s announcement at Mobile World Congress in February that it was resurrecting the iconic Nokia 3310 was met with enthusiasm, which was quickly dampened when the phone was said to run on 2.5G.

However, Nokia has responded remarkably by upgrading the 3310 to 3G and making it available at “below S$100”.

“Our fans around the world have been asking for this iconic phone to support 3G. Fans asked, we listened, and today welcome the Nokia 3310 3G,” said Mr Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of HMD Global, maker of the Nokia phone.

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Enterprise wearables to hit 118m units in 2022

Royole flexible display.
Royole flexible display.

Enterprise wearable shipment will reach over 118 million in 2022, increasing from just over 38 million in 2017, a CAGR of 25 percent, according to ABI Research.

The enterprise wearables market is continuing to see stronger growth than the consumer market, which has shipment numbers increasing at a lower CAGR of 13 percent.

Healthcare devices, wearable cameras, and wearable scanners will account for 73 percent of enterprise wearable shipments in 2022. Innovative companies are leading the charge, such as Royole with flexible components, Waverly with real-time translation, and Axon (previously Taser) with wearable cameras.

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Google snares HTC hardware talents

Google is flexing its muscles in the hardware business with the acquisition of a team of hardware talents from HTC.

The move marks another milestone in a decade-long relationship between the two companies.

“These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property,” blogged Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Hardware at Google.