Tech Information 11

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Apple expected to unveil the next iPhone on Sept. 9
Apple has issued an invitation to journalists for a Sept. 9 event where it is expected to unveil the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus models. The external designs should remain the same as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, according to sources who report the focus of the next-generation models will be internal with a possible doubling of RAM to 2 gigabytes for the S phones. The phones will reportedly feature an improved, 12-megapixel camera with 4K video capability, 9to5 Mac reports. Reuters (8/27), India Today (8/28), 9to5Mac (8/27)

CEA sets guidelines for HDR-compatible displays
The Consumer Electronics Association has released a "voluntary compatibility guideline" outlining minimum standards for high dynamic range compatible displays. The group aims to "provide greater consistency and clarity while ensuring compatibility and interoperability across the full content development to display ecosystem," said Brian Markwalter of CEA. Multichannel News (8/27)

WiSilica launches platform to tie together IoT environments
Metering.com (8/27)

Device adds new brains, functions to old cars
A new product from Verizon allows car owners to smarten up their rides with the latest technology. Part of the Hum device plugs into a car's OBDII diagnostic port and a Bluetooth part clips to a sun visor to provide diagnostics, roadside assistance and a smartphone interface. Mashable (8/26), Wired.com (8/26), Reuters (8/25)

Fitbit, Apple lead wearables market
Apple sold 3.6 million Apple Watches last quarter, IDC reports, ranking the company second in the market behind Fitbit, which shipped 4.4 million devices. "Consumers expect their wearables to do more than simply count steps, just as they expect to do more than just make phone calls with their handsets," Argus Insights CEO John Feland said. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (8/27), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/27)

Canon's EOS M3 touts entry-level DSLR specs
Canon is bringing its EOS M3 mirrorless camera to the US this October starting at $680. The point-and-shoot will share some specs with Canon's basic DSLR cameras and a touch-screen display that can rotate 180 degrees. Gizmag (8/27)

Intel makes investment in global drone market
Intel announced an investment of more than $60 million in Chinese drone manufacturer Yuneec. "At Intel, we believe in a smart and connected world. And one of the best ways to bring that smart and connected world to everyone and everywhere has been drones," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said. eWeek (8/27)

Sources: Amazon puts some hardware projects on hold
Amazon has curtailed or ended development of some digital hardware projects and cut dozens of engineering jobs at its Lab126 development center in Silicon Valley, sources said. The company restructured the 11-year-old lab, which developed the Kindle e-reader and Fire tablet, as well as the Fire smartphone. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/26)

"It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else."
-- Erma Bombeck,
humorist

 

LG's full-size mobile keyboard rolls into a stick
LG will introduce a portable full-size QWERTY keyboard for mobile devices in the U.S. in September. The rubbery "Rolly" -- made of polycarbonate and ABS plastic-- differs from similar products in that it can be rolled up into a stick. The South Korean company will also launch its 10.1-inch G Pad II Android tablet. TechCrunch (8/27), PCWorld/IDG News Service (8/27), International Business Times (8/26)

Report: Connected TVs land in 46M U.S. homes
Internet-connected TVs were in 46 million homes across the U.S. -- about half of all homes with an Internet connection -- at the end of the second quarter, NPD Group reports. NPD Executive Director John Buffone attributed the 4 million year-over-year device boost to more sales of smart TVs and a "surge" of streaming services and content. Multichannel News (8/26), VentureBeat (8/26)

Sony's portable speaker doubles as a TV remote
Sony has created a portable speaker that doubles as a remote control, allowing users to listen to a TV show from anywhere in the house. The device goes on sale in Japan on Sept. 12 for around $167. The Verge (8/26)

Windows 10 reaches 75M devices in less than a month
Windows 10, which Microsoft aims to have installed on a billion devices by 2018, has been installed on 75 million PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices. Microsoft has offered the new operating system as a free upgrade for existing Windows computers since launching less than a month ago. San Francisco Chronicle (free content)/The Associated Press (8/26)

Panasonic to shutter Beijing battery factory, announces layoffs
Panasonic will cease production of lithium-ion batteries at a factory in Beijing as smartphones overtake demand for lower-end cellphones and digital cameras, Chang-Ran Kim and Ritsuko Ando write. The company also said it will lay off 1,300 employees. Reuters (8/27)

Device offers hands-free navigation for cyclists
CycleLabs has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of its SmartHalo device, which allows users to connect their smartphones to their bicycles for fitness tracking, GPS location and hands-free navigation. The navigation system works by illuminating lights attached to the bike's handlebars to let cyclists know when a turn is approaching or if they've gone the wrong way. The Christian Science Monitor (8/26)

Report: On-the-go purchases to power 60% e-commerce jump
Mobile-equipped consumers are projected to drive a 60% surge in the volume of global digital commerce within three years, with 125 billion digital purchases projected in 2018, according to Juniper Research. China is expected to pass the U.S. in that time to become the largest market for digital transactions. Mobile Marketing Magazine (8/24)

"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be."
-- Rosalynn Carter,
US first lady

 

LG announces flat OLED TVs with HDR coming in September
LG will release two more 4K OLED TVs this September, but instead of having curved displays, the new screens will be flat. The 55- and 65-inch displays will be HDR-enabled and retail for $5,499 and $6,999, respectively. HD Guru (8/25), Digital Trends (8/25)

Epson wants to replace TVs with projectors
Epson is aiming to take a chunk out of the traditional TV market with the release of its two brightest Home Cinema projectors yet. The company says the devices are bright enough to be used in living rooms. TWICE (8/25)

Google's Android Wear expected to launch new attack on Apple Watch
A handful of vendors will offer new Android Wear-powered smartwatches at an overseas electronics show next week, a report states, adding that Asus, Huawei Technologies, LG and Motorola Mobility will look to challenge the Apple Watch. The initial line of Android Wear failed to gain much traction in the market. CNET (8/25)

Best Buy to expand Apple Watch sales
The Apple Watch has proved so popular in Best Buy's limited rollout that the electronics chain said Tuesday it would expand distribution to all of its stores by the end of September. Best Buy started selling the smartwatch on its website and at 100 outlets this month. Bloomberg (8/25)

Microsoft opens Cortana app to Android phone users in public beta
Network World/IDG News Service (8/24)

YouTube's live gaming hub makes its debut
YouTube is rolling out its centralized hub for gaming today, giving fans one place to find live and recorded video content about popular games. The service available on mobile and the Web will offer more than 25,000 dedicated gaming pages and will compete with Google's Twitch.TV. VentureBeat (8/25), Wired.co.uk (U.K.) (8/26), Silicon Republic (Ireland) (8/26)

Intel shows off smaller 5x5 motherboard
The Intel Developer Forum saw the chipmaker introduce its 5x5 motherboard standard, an ultra-compact form factor that will be used in its Next Unit of Computing line. The board measures 140 millimeters by 147mm. Bit-Tech.net (8/24)

Best Buy boosts bottom line with top brand focus
Best Buy posted a 3.8% increase in same-store sales for its second quarter, with a 17% rise in online sales. The electronics retailer's successful in-store showcases of top brands, such as Apple and Microsoft, will expand even more by the holiday season, Ashley Rodriguez writes. MediaPost Communications (8/25), Advertising Age (free access for SmartBrief readers) (8/25)

"Any organization, in order to survive and achieve success, must have a sound set of beliefs on which it premises all its policies and actions."
-- Thomas Watson Jr.,
businessman and philanthropist

 

Report: VR will be part of the shopping experience in 3 years
Virtual and augmented-reality headsets in use at the retail level could be the norm in as little as three years, data from CCS Insight indicate. Retailers should begin planning ways to incorporate the technology into the shopping experience so they'll be ready when the trend takes off, Adrian Slobin writes. Advertising Age (free access for SmartBrief readers) (8/24)

Netflix to launch in Japan on Sept. 2 with SoftBank boost
Netflix is teaming with Japanese telecom SoftBank ahead of Sept. 2, when Netflix will launch in Japan. SoftBank's 37 million customers will be able to pay their Netflix bills where they pay their cellphone bills, and Netflix will be available as a preloaded app on SoftBank phones by the end of September. Digital Trends (8/24)

Cook's reassurance on iPhone in China calms markets
Apple CEO Tim Cook's assertion on CNBC that the iPhone was performing strongly in the critical Chinese market helped turn his company's plummeting stock shares around Monday in a highly volatile day on Wall Street. Also in China, the government said the number of 4G subscribers there passed the 250-million mark in July. Reuters (8/24), VentureBeat (8/24), Reuters (8/24)

Sony drones to lift off in early 2016
Sony's Aerosense aims to have commercial drones in the air early next year, aimed at the logistics and construction industries, among others. The drones would take high-definition pictures and transfer them to the cloud. Bloomberg (8/24)

Intelligent Energy makes iPhone prototype with a 7-day charge
A group from Intelligent Energy claims it has found a way to put a fuel cell in an iPhone that will let it hold a charge for a week. Apple and Intelligent Energy have reportedly been in talks over fuel cell technology in the past, but neither commented on the possibility of a future tie-up. Digital Trends (8/24)

Report: Microsoft's HoloLens could take over PCs in enterprise
Microsoft's upcoming augmented reality device, HoloLens, could one day be a replacement for traditional PCs in the enterprise, Tractica predicts. Microsoft has streamlined the application development process for HoloLens by giving developers a single platform on which to create applications for all Windows 10 devices. Computerworld/IDG News Service (8/24)

Aliyun brings first AI platform to developers in China
Alibaba Group claims its upcoming artificial intelligence platform by its cloud computing business, Aliyun, will be the first of its kind in China. TechCrunch (8/25)

Visa: Shoppers more likely to seal online deals using Visa Checkout
Online shoppers using Visa Checkout are more likely to complete transactions than those using a similar PayPal service, Visa says. Sixty-six percent of Visa Checkout customers finish their purchases after adding items to their carts, compared with 49% of PayPal Express Checkout customers, according to data compiled by comScore.

"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
-- Thomas Paine,
political theorist and revolutionary

 

Tablet-laptop hybrids are leaping off shelves
Mobile devices that can morph between a laptop and a touch-screen tablet could become the fastest-growing electronics category, analysts say. Consumers like the foldable keyboards on 2-in-1 devices, such as Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 and the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, which are getting more powerful processors on par with those of midrange laptops. CNET

Sharp may restructure display business with Hon Hai help
Sharp Corp.'s LCD business may be restructured with investments from Taiwan-based Hon Hai and others, sources say. The Japanese company would likely first move to split its display unit off into a separate entity. Reuters (8/23)

Glyph secures financing, reportedly has VR headset on track for 2015 release
Avegant has landed $24 million in financing and is on track to release a virtual-reality headset, Glyph, this year, Lizette Chapman writes. The device has 2 million "micro-mirrors" that will reflect images "directly into a person's eyes," Chapman writes. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/21)

SkinVision lands $3.4M to expand cancer monitoring app
Startup SkinVision, which claims its mobile application is as accurate as the "average eye of a dermatologist" in detecting melanoma, has raised an additional $3.4 million to expand beyond tracking moles for skin cancer and to move into new markets. TechCrunch (8/23)

LG G Watch R is now Wi-Fi compatible with latest update
Dealerscope (8/21)

Apple is addressing Watch's limitations
Apple will soon enable applications to have native access to the Apple Watch, addressing one of early reviewers' chief complaints. Also, the watch will soon be able to remember Wi-Fi connections previously made through the iPhone, allowing it to retain certain abilities when the phone isn't close. Business Insider (8/23)

Demand for Samsung's "Test Drive" causes inventory shortage
Re/code (8/21)

"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."
-- Helen Keller,
author and political activist

  


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