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Pokemon to go mobile in virtual-reality game
The Nintendo-affiliated Pokemon brand is set to debut on mobile next year. "Pokemon Go" will be a virtual-reality game that brings the creatures to life on real-world backdrops, with an accompanying wearable device available to enhance the experience. Niantic Labs is developing the game. Re/code (9/10), CNBC (9/10)

Sony Pictures to deliver HDR content with Dolby Vision
Select, yet-to-be named titles from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will get imaging enhancement from Dolby Laboratories' high-dynamic range technology, the companies confirmed. "Dolby Vision" will let the studio show off 4K Ultra HD content. "We continue to be enthusiastic about the growing consumer appetite for next-generation 4K Ultra HD content," Sony Pictures' Richard Berger said. HD Guru (9/10), Engadget (9/11)

AT&T to provide Jaguar Land Rover with mobile connectivity
AT&T said it will provide mobile wireless to Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, providing connectivity for the automaker's navigation and infotainment applications as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers. The company said the service will also include a Personal Security app, which can summon assistance during emergencies on the road. CNET (9/10)

Samsung begins mass-producing 12-gigabit chip for phones
Samsung Electronics will put a 12-gigabit DRAM chip into mass production, a step that opens the door for smartphones to house a 6-gigabyte memory chip that will enable handsets to run 30% faster while using 20% less power, the South Korean company announced Wednesday. Computerworld (9/9)

Google rolls out Amazon-like cloud supercomputing service
Google rolled out its cloud supercomputing service on Wednesday, letting companies and organizations rent computer-processing resources without heavy investments, Quentin Hardy writes. Google will be competing with Amazon Web Services' "Spot Instances" in this space. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (9/9)

Qualcomm, Korean carrier will fund IoT startups
Qualcomm is partnering with Korea's third-largest mobile carrier LG Uplus to provide venture funding of up to $100,000 for startups to concentrate on the Internet of Things. The plan calls for use of Long-Term Evolution wireless communications technology. The Korea Times (Seoul) (9/9)

Dell sets sights on China with $125B 5-year plan
International Business Times (9/11)

Android Pay takes its bow in US
Google's Android Pay debuted in the US on Thursday, going head-to-head with Apple Pay. The near-field communication-enabled service is available to Google Wallet users through an update and can also be downloaded free from Google Play. And it can be used initially at more than 1 million locations, including Aeropostale, Macy's and Staples. Australian Financial Review/Reuters (9/11), PCWorld/Greenbot (9/10), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/10)

If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped."
-- Melinda Gates,
philanthropist

 

Apple touts "3-D Touch" in new iPhones, large iPad with pencil
Apple on Wednesday introduced its annual array of new mobile devices, with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus taking the lead with a force-touch feature called "3-D Touch," which enables users to access different features depending on how hard they press the screen. The phones, which are the same sizes as the previous iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, also feature an improved camera. Apple also unveiled the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which for the first time supports a pencil stylus. Users can also buy a keyboard accessory. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/9), TechCrunch (9/9), The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (9/9), Forbes (9/9)

Apple TV updates include Siri-enabled remote, app store
Apple TV will feature a remote triggered by Siri, a more powerful operating system and an application store that will make the TV a hub for gaming, real estate shopping, travel planning and other activities. "Apple TV represents the future of television," Apple CEO Tim Cook said. Variety (9/9), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/9), USA Today (9/9)

LG designs space-efficient HD projector
LG Electronics has launched a full high-definition projector that needs a little more than a foot of space to light up a big screen on any surface. The projector retails for $1,334. The Korea Herald (Seoul) (9/10)

Sony's PlayStation celebrates 20 years in the US
On Wednesday, Sony celebrated 20 years since the PlayStation went on sale in the US. The console has continued to be a cornerstone product for the electronics company. "[T]he one dependable, bankable division providing both industry leadership and profitability [at Sony] has been the PlayStation division," said John Taylor, managing director and Arcadia Investment Corp. Fortune (9/9), TechSpot.com (9/9)

Gov. Brown vetoes restrictive drone bill in Calif.
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill requiring drone users to get permission to fly less than 350 feet over private property. "This bill, however, while well-intentioned, could expose the occasional hobbyist and the FAA-approved commercial user alike to burdensome litigation and new causes of action," Brown wrote. Tech groups opposed the bill. USA Today (9/10), Re/code (9/9)

Voice-activated assistants gain favor for PCs, TVs
Investor's Business Daily (9/8)

Amazon reportedly kills its Fire phone
Amazon is no longer selling its Fire phone online, suggesting that the device has been nixed just a year after its release. The company is reportedly turning its attention to developing tablets and smart-home devices. Mobile Marketing Magazine (9/10), Mashable (9/9)

Google launches a Wallet app
Google unveiled a new Wallet application with a new interface aimed at simplifying how users can send money to anyone in the US even if they do not have a Wallet account. 9to5Google (9/9)

"By leadership we mean the art of getting someone else to do something that you want done because he wants to do it."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower,
34th US president

 

Is Apple TV getting ready to make a run at gaming rivals?
The latest version of the Apple TV, which is slated to be unveiled Wednesday, will offer additional power, a redesigned remote and other features intended to make it a hub for games. "I think Apple's going to create a big new category in gaming, one that others have tried and failed to create before," said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. "What the Apple TV has the potential to do is to bring casual gaming to the living room and make it a much more social activity." The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (9/4)

LG demoes 111-inch, double-sided Ultra HD TV
At an event in Berlin, LG demonstrated a double-sided, 111-inch TV that is actually made up of three 65-inch Ultra HD OLED displays. LG also showcased a "wallpaper TV" with a 1mm-thick flexible display mounted via magnetic backing. Tech Times (9/7)

BlackBerry aims for scale with its Good Technology buy
BlackBerry is spending $425 million to purchase Good Technology, a rival provider of mobile-device management software for enterprises, in an effort to provide services across platforms. "This is good for BlackBerry in the sense that it gives them greater scale and therefore a greater ability to compete with larger rivals," Bloomberg Intelligence analyst John Butler said. Bloomberg (9/5), Re/code (9/4), Reuters (9/4)

Toshiba announces a $318M net loss for full year
Toshiba's stock dropped in April after it announced accounting problems, and after delays, the company has released its full-year financials, posting a $318 million net loss. The announcement, along with pledges to restructure the company's semiconductor, PC and TV divisions, boosted shares 1.8% Monday. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (9/7)

Disney Movies Anywhere service brings Amazon, Microsoft on board
Reuters (9/8)

Apple makes A.I. move, faces new iPhone challenge
Apple is looking to catch up to rival Google in the area of artificial intelligence by hiring dozens of experts, Bloomberg reports, adding that the company's privacy policy may impede progress. Apple is scheduled to introduce its next iPhone model Wednesday, as well as a larger iPad, but analysts say Apple's growth efforts could be challenged, given the success of last year's iPhone upgrades. Bloomberg (9/8), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/7), Reuters (9/7)

Wrio keyboard app offers honeycomb-shaped keys to avoid typos
Keyboard application Wrio, which is still in development, has changed keys from squares to hexagons in an effort to help users reduce typos. The Swiss developers are crowdfunding the effort and testing an alpha release. The app will also have autocorrect support for multiple

Hitachi develops "management" A.I.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/8)

Amazon may sell $50 tablet with 6-inch screen
Amazon.com hopes to jump-start lackluster tablet sales with the release of a 6-inch, $50 device -- half the price of its current low-priced model -- for the holiday season, a report states. Amazon also may roll out 8- and 10-inch tablets this year. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/7), CNET (9/7)

"The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."
-- Colin Powell,
military leader and statesman

 

Samsung gives rivals a look inside the Gear S2
Samsung Electronics has announced that its Gear S2 smartwatch will ship in October. The company added that it will allow Android-based smartphone rivals to access the device's technology in hopes of giving Android-based watches a better chance to compete against the Apple Watch. Samsung has not yet revealed how much its watch will cost. PCWorld/IDG News Service (9/3), Reuters (9/3), TechCrunch (9/3)

LG's flat OLED is ready for TV's HDR future
LG is introducing a flat OLED TV to its otherwise curved OLED line. The TV will be able to play High Dynamic Range content streamed to the set or plugged into the HDMI 2.0a port, Caleb Denison writes. Digital Trends (9/3)

Samsung's sub-mattress sensor aims to help you sleep better
USA Today (9/4)

Pioneer tests low-cost LIDAR for autonomous cars
Pioneer is working to lower the price of systems within autonomous cars as it tests a new light detection and ranging system, which is expected to cost much less than current systems. The company is basing the new system on technology used in its laserdiscs in the 1980s and hopes to bring costs down to $85 per unit by 2025, compared to current systems used by Google that run from $25,000 to $70,000. Digital Trends (9/3)

Google Street View offered as separate app with new capabilities
Google Street View is now a stand-alone application rather than a feature of Google Maps for Android. Among other things, the new app supports a linked spherical camera and allows users to create and upload photospheres while offering a camera for taking them if users have a gyroscope-equipped phone. Android Police (9/2)

ZTE benefits from low-cost smartphone trend in the US
ZTE has doubled its share of the US smartphone market in the last 15 months by selling small, prepaid handsets for as little as $30, IDC's second-quarter report indicates. ZTE, with an 8% share of the market, ranks fourth among vendors, even though the Chinese company's phones are often hard to find in carriers' stores. Bloomberg (9/3)

BlackBerry partners with industry group to promote secure IoT technology
BlackBerry has teamed up with the National Cyber Security Alliance to bolster mobile-communication security by applying its vast technology resources to the Internet of Things. Under the partnership, BlackBerry will work with the NCSA to identify issues and promote innovations around connected-device security. ConnectedWorldMag.com (9/1)

 

AOL homes in on mobile future with Millennial Media buy
AOL's acquisition of Millennial Media was undertaken with the goal of transforming the company from a desktop-centered business to one with a focus on mobile and applications. "Millennial brings us the in-app inventory as well as it brings us the programmatic and automated technology to serve content and advertising," AOL President Bob Lord said. Advertising Age (free access for SmartBrief readers) (9/3)

Publishers raise e-book prices, but it's not paying off
Kindle e-book prices have gone up as many major publishers have entered new deals with Amazon to protect the prices of their products. Early data indicate that consumers are less willing to pay a premium on e-titles, with James Patterson's publisher, Hachette Book Group, reporting that its e-book sales fell to 24% of its U.S. net trade sales in the first half of the year. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/3)

Amazon buys Elemental Technologies, a video-processing firm
USA Today (9/3)

"There are no traffic jams along the extra mile."
-- Roger Staubach,
football player

 

Report: Retailers may lead Internet of Things adoption
Retailers may lead business sectors in the adoption of Internet of Things technologies in coming years, with spending in the field projected to hit $2.5 billion by 2020, according to Juniper Research. The IoT push will be driven by the adoption of beacons and RFID tags that help retailers improve asset management, make timely price adjustments and target consumers via portable devices, the report notes. The VAR Guy (9/2)

Report: Retailers may lead Internet of Things adoption
Retailers may lead business sectors in the adoption of Internet of Things technologies in coming years, with spending in the field projected to hit $2.5 billion by 2020, according to Juniper Research. The IoT push will be driven by the adoption of beacons and RFID tags that help retailers improve asset management, make timely price adjustments and target consumers via portable devices, the report notes. The VAR Guy (9/2)

Samsung readies 4K with Blu-ray player next year
Samsung will bring an Ultra HD Blu-ray player to market early next year, and Fox is on board to provide the content. Samsung is said to be the first company to unveil plans for a 4K- and High Dynamic Range-compatible Blu-ray player, Richard Lawler writes. Engadget (9/3)

Panasonic unveils its first 4K OLED TV
Panasonic is joining the 4K OLED TV market with its own 65-inch curved display. The set features High Dynamic Range technology and is expected to cost around $10,000. TechHive (9/2), HD Guru (9/2)

Analyst: Apple car is likely still 10 years away
Speculation about the possibility of an Apple vehicle has grown as the company competes with Tesla for employees and assigns staff to a secret project codenamed "Titan," but analyst Gene Munster says a vehicle from the tech firm is likely still a decade away. He suggests the rise in popularity of electric vehicles has contributed to excitement about a potential Apple car. KPIX-TV (San Francisco) (9/2)

What Microsoft tablets have to do with the NFL
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablets may be used to show NFL players and coaches on the sidelines live video of the plays on the field. The league is testing out the application with select teams this preseason and has reportedly received positive feedback from some players, who say live video makes assessing and improving plays easier. SportTechie.com (9/1)

Analysts: It will take time for smartwatches to get traction
Analysts remain cautious about the smartwatch market, but that didn't prevent Huawei Technologies, Motorola Mobility and Lenovo from introducing new devices Wednesday. Huawei, whose smartphones have been shut out of the US market, hopes to get its brand established with a new version of its Huawei Watch. Motorola said its second-generation Moto 360 will have three customizable variations, while Lenovo unveiled the Magic View smartwatch. Bloomberg (9/3), Re/code (9/2), Bloomberg (9/2), Ars Technica (9/2)

Toshiba announces tablet, laptop hybrid with 4K display
Toshiba's upcoming hybrid laptop will tout a 12.5-inch 4K display and is expected to hit shelves this year. The laptop, which turns into a tablet with a single fold, weighs 2.9 pounds and is only 0.6 inches thick. Reviewed.com (9/2)

Wearables open new marketing avenues
Wearables are becoming a fixture among consumers and opening up a new world of marketing opportunities, writes Alex LePage. The opportunities include relevant messages through fitness devices, better location-based targeting and wider scope for cross-device marketing. ClickZ (9/2)

"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest steppingstones to success."
-- Dale Carnegie,
writer and motivational speaker

 

Google, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft make next-gen video decisions together
The "Alliance for Open Media," whose members include Netflix, Mozilla, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, Google and Cisco, has come together to decide how the "next generation" in royalty-free video will look, alliance member Mozilla confirmed. One goal of the group is to support real-time video delivery and have the format be workable for commercial and non-commercial content. TechCrunch (9/1)

Smart trash can sucks up dust, sends reminders
Makers of a sensor-packed garbage can named Bruno say their receptacle can vacuum up dust when it is swept in its direction and send reminders via a smartphone application when it's trash day or time to stock up on trash bags. The "smartcan" is available for preorder starting at $129. USA Today (8/31)

Nest slims down with latest smart thermostat
Nest is bringing a thinner, easier-to-read Internet-connected thermostat to market, first online and then to retail shelves, at a price of $249. USA Today (9/1)

Google's adaptable new logo points to mobile future
Google on Tuesday unveiled a logo that features a sans-serif font and a slightly tilted "e." An animation posted by Google also shows a new "G" logo for use in applications, an updated microphone image for speech-recognition functions and four bouncing dots that serve as transitions between its looks. "Google's new logo ... tells us a lot about the future of branding in a world of smartphones, smartwatches, GIFs, and mobile video," writes Will Oremus. Popular Science (9/1),

Nextbit's Android phone takes the work out of storage in the cloud
Startup Nextbit Systems on Tuesday revealed plans for a smartphone that automatically transfers files to and from the cloud. The Android-based "Robin," which has 100 gigabytes of room in the cloud, can sense which files need to be accessible immediately and which do not. Ars Technica (9/1), Bloomberg (9/1)

Neato's robo-vacuum can be maneuvered via smartphone
The BotVac Connected, an Internet-connected robotic vacuum from Neato, can be started, monitored and steered via Wi-Fi and a smartphone application. The $700 vacuum can clean up in Turbo Mode or Eco Mode and will be available to consumers by year's end. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/1)

Lenovo introduces newest members of the ThinkPad Yoga family
CNET (9/2)

LVMH picks Apple's Ian Rogers to lead e-commerce efforts
Paris-based luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has hired Apple executive Ian Rogers as its new chief digital officer. Rogers' unusual career path includes an early gig teaching the Beastie Boys about the Internet and a later stint as CEO of a firm that helped high-profile musicians sell their work online. Many luxury brands have held back on e-commerce, and about 40% still don't sell online at all, according to Bain & Co. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/1), The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (9/1)

"There are many kinds of success in life worth having."
-- Theodore Roosevelt,
26th US president

 

Samsung preps Gear S2 smartwatch
Samsung Electronics on Thursday will unveil the seventh version of its smartwatch, the Gear S2 equipped with 3G connectivity, a round display and a battery the company claims will last two to three days. Samsung's Tizen-based smartwatch will compete with the Apple Watch and be available in two styles: the sporty Gear S2 and the S2 Classic. CNET (8/31), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/31)

Vubiquity acquires Juice Worldwide for digital, OTT services
Vubiquity has purchased Juice Worldwide in a deal that will give Vubiquity partners the chance to distribute content with top digital and over-the-top streaming services including Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and Amazon. Vubiquity has more than 470 media partners that now have access to 1,500 platforms. Multichannel News (8/31)

How LED lights around a TV deliver an "immersive" experience
USA Today (8/31)

Nintendo is bringing its standard size 3DS to the US
When Nintendo debuted the latest 3DS and 3DS XL last year, the company released only the larger version in the US market, but come Sept. 25, the standard size will be available as well. The handheld console will sell for $219.99 and come paired with the "Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer" game. Wired.com (8/31), Ubergizmo.com (8/31), USA Today (8/31)

Samsung's 4K TVs to feature CEA stamp of approval
Samsung's 2015 UHD TVs will feature CEA's voluntary 4K Ultra HD logo, signaling the sets meet CEA's requirements for true 4K viewing. The company points out that rival LG does not have the same stamp of approval on its bottom-tier 4K smart TVs. TWICE (8/31), Advanced Television (free registration) (9/1), HD Guru (8/31)

Android Wear devices are now compatible with iPhones
Android Wear devices will now work with recent versions of Apple's iOS platform, Google said Monday. Although the capabilities of such connections are somewhat limited, the new option is expected to widen the potential customer base for Android wearables by opening them up to iPhone users, Richard Nieva writes. Ars Technica (8/31), CNET (8/31)

Kid-friendly smartwatch with GPS gives parents peace of mind
Tencent is gearing up to release a kid-friendly smartwatch in China that uses GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular technology to let parents track their child's location. The device, slated for international release by the year's end, is built for toughness and will feature an SOS button for added safety. Tech Times (8/31)

PayPal relies on human detectives, technology to spot fraud
Payments processor PayPal relies on complex algorithms to check transactions and spot fraud. But the company relies on humans to make real-time decisions, says Hui Wang, senior director of global risk sciences. Technology combined with human detectives "gives us the best analytical advantage," she says. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/25)

 

"Let me tell you the secret that has led to my goal: My strength lies solely in my tenacity."
-- Louis Pasteur,
chemist and microbiologist



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