Samsung enlists HARMAN to help expand SmartThings ecosystem

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HARMAN International has announced an engineering partnership with Samsung SmartThings to enlarge the scope of the SmartThings ecosystem.

As part of the partnership, a group of HARMAN Connected Services (HCS) engineers will work together with the R&D team of Samsung SmartThings to develop and design the SmartThings app. In addition, the HCS team will integrate third-party sensors into the SmartThings ecosystem; work on feature development for SmartThings Cloud and drive initiatives for the IoT platform hub.

Since the time Samsung acquired HARMAN, both the parties are working hand-in-hand to formulate and implement state-of-the-art technologies for various industry verticals and customers. The new alliance is an illustration of the continuation of the successful bonding between the two parties to introduce a revolutionary spirit in the IoT and cloud space – expanding the scope to incorporate enterprises as well as automotive OEMs and not just consumers.

Commenting on the partnership, HCS’ SVP and GM Sandeep Kalra, said: “We’re thrilled to be an engineering partner for Samsung SmartThings and to help grow the SmartThings ecosystem. HARMAN Connected Services strives to deliver experiences at the intersection of design, data and devices. Together with Samsung, we are doing just that and bringing about next-generation IoT and cloud-based solutions for our customers.”

Robert Parker, CTO, Samsung SmartThings, said: “It’s more important than ever to be at the cutting-edge of digital transformation and connected devices. By partnering with HARMAN Connected Services for SmartThings application and device development, we’re able to bring the latest smart device innovations directly to consumers.”

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Next-Gen Apple Lightning Connector May Expand to Form Waterproof Seal

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published a new Apple patent application that describes a next-generation Lightning connector which, upon being plugged into an iPhone or iPad, will be capable of “expanding” to form a liquid-tight seal. The expanding connector would effectively prevent water, debris, or other potentially damaging materials from permeating and […]
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Ericsson helps expand LTE and IoT in Saudi Arabia

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NEWSBYTE: Saudi telco looks to Ericsson to assist LTE network expansion in the kingdom.

Saudi Telecom has inked a deal with Ericsson to help in a major nationwide expansion of its 4G network in Saudi Arabia, including the deployment of LTE Advanced and NB-IoT.

The deal is part of the telco’s drive to overhaul mobile broadband for its customers and open up business opportunities in the IoT, as well as laying the groundwork for 5G.

The LTE Advanced expansion will include the deployment of Ericsson’s 5G-ready baseband hardware. LTE Advanced will be deployed in a new 700MHz band spectrum acquired by STC. It will increase STC network throughput in 4G/LTE by up to 50 percent for smartphones, said a statement from the two companies.

In addition to the ramped-up access speeds delivered by LTE Advanced, subscribers will benefit from extended coverage, much longer battery life, and the low-cost devices enabled by NB-IoT, it added.

Expanding IoT network

STC will also deploy NB-IoT across its expanded network to “drive and support enterprise IoT ecosystem innovation and business opportunities”, said the announcement. This includes smart city applications, such as metering, parking sensors, and connected cars.

Read more: TomTom brings connected car services to Kia and Hyundai

STC recently renewed and upgraded its managed services contract with Ericsson. In addition to existing network planning/optimisation, network operations, and telecom field services, the contract now includes field services efficiency, as well as first- and second-line support.

“By making digital transformation real and effective for STC through 4G expansion, we will enable their customers to enjoy enriched experiences, whether that means lightning-speed video and media access for subscribers, or IoT business innovation and opportunities for enterprises,”said Rafiah Ibrahim, head of market area Middle East and Africa, Ericsson.

“Our partnership with STC shows that 4G network evolution is already happening and paving the way for 5G.”

Internet of Business says

In the light of a raft of recent announcements from Western companies working in partnership with China, India, and elsewhere, it is good to see international partnerships extending to the MENA region too: yet more evidence that the IoT is a global movement.

Read more: Vodafone teams up with China Mobile to drive global IoT expansion

Read more: AI: $ 16 trillion GDP boost will mainly benefit China – PwC

Read more: South Korea most automated nation on earth, says report. The UK? Going nowhere

The post Ericsson helps expand LTE and IoT in Saudi Arabia appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Expand your MacBook’s connections, learn coding, and more [Weekend Roundup]

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This week saw a lot of great deals on gear and gadgets. In this post, we’ll be rounding up some of the very best. From a sleek hub that instantly expands your MacBook’s USB-C connection, to a bundle of comprehensive coding lessons and way beyond, we’ve got something for everyone’s needs and budget. Read on […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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Comcast looks to expand content lineup with $30.9B bid for European broadcasting giant Sky

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As Apple pushes forward with its plans to produce video content in-house, Comcast’s attempt to purchase Sky could strengthen its capacity to provide a rival streaming service.
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Sling TV offers League Pass to expand its NBA streaming options

A day after Sling TV revealed that it counts 2.2 million subscribers, the over-the-top internet service announced that it's added new add-on options to watch NBA games. Users can access NBA League Pass today to watch out-of-market games, and in the c…
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Apple applies to expand Apple TV trademark to video games in over 60 countries


Although Apple’s video gaming track record has largely rewarded enthusiasm with disappointment, a new Apple TV trademark application discovered by Patently Apple indicates that the company is still interested in video games. Filed last week, the application expands the use of the Apple TV name for video gaming purposes — nothing else.

The application is noteworthy because Apple’s original 2007 trademark for the first Apple TV covered computer hardware and set top boxes focused on photos, music, and videos, excluding games entirely, and no change was made when it debuted the fourth-generation Apple TV with app and game support in September 2015. Last year’s Apple TV 4K trademarks were similar, only briefly mentioning “computer games” amongst many other functions of the wireless black box. By comparison, Apple’s new filing is devoted to Apple TV video game console and video game controller uses, which is unusual given that interest in Apple TV gaming is at a nadir.

Expensive by trademark standards but a drop in the bucket for Apple, Apple’s $ 16,000 international filing covers over 60 different countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Also interesting: The gaming-specific trademark filing appears to have been in the works for some time. Apple quietly filed a preliminary application last August in Jamaica, a country with a trademark office that cannot be searched online. Due to international reciprocity treaties, filing first in Jamaica enables Apple to plant its trademark flag early and privately, then expand the filing internationally whenever it’s comfortable going public.

This isn’t the first time Apple has publicly pushed the Apple TV for gaming purposes. The aforementioned fourth-generation Apple TV added the ability to play games, leading experienced gamers (including us) to hope that Apple would grow past its questionable gaming legacy. Unfortunately, Apple angered game developers by requiring them to support the new Apple TV’s limited Siri Remote as a controller, rather than letting games solely use dedicated gaming controllers. Developers soon stopped launching games solely for the Apple TV and retreated from initially higher Apple TV game price points, as well.

However, gaming has been wildly successful for certain developers on iOS devices: Games are amongst the most popular downloads in the App Store, which has generated $ 70 billion for developers since 2008. While game developers rarely if ever launch AAA console titles on iOS, games such as Minecraft and “freemium” titles with in-app purchases have been popular on iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches. Still, relatively few developers have brought their iOS hits to the Apple TV, as sales of the device have fallen below expectations.

Apple has recently embraced the potential of augmented reality gaming on iOS devices with the release of ARKit software development tools, going so far as to publicly refute claims of modest and slowing developer interest in AR. In light of Google’s apparent recent interest in developing a gaming platform, it’s possible that Apple’s competitive instincts may be kicking back in — though possibly too late to make a difference this time.

Apple – VentureBeat

Tatango Acquires Plyfe to ‘Expand Mobile Communications Platform’

Tatango announced this week that it is officially acquiring New York based Plyfe, which enables marketers to create interactive mobile optimized experiences.

An industry leader in text message marketing software, Tatango says that the Plyfe team has developed revolutionary mobile experience technology that gives marketers “the ability to create personalized, simple mobile web experiences, without the need for a developer.”

With Plyfe’s software, marketers can easily create mobile optimized experiences such as a Personality Quiz, Swipe Left/Right (Tinder for anything), Trivia, Timed Trivia, Registration, Image Based Polling, Video Trivia, Video Polling, # Galleries, Sweepstakes, Leaderboards and more.

“We are very happy that the team at Tatango identified the advantages of Plyfe’s mobile optimized experience technology and the value it will bring to customers,” said Jeff Arbour, CEO of Plyfe. “Tatango is full of fantastic and visionary people and I’m confident that with this acquisition the Tatango platform will further establish itself as the leading text message marketing platform.”

Following the acquisition, we’re told that Plyfe’s technology will be integrated into the Tatango platform. By integrating this technology, brands will be able to send interactive mobile web experiences, through SMS, MMS or RCS messaging, which boasts a 99% open rate.

The post Tatango Acquires Plyfe to ‘Expand Mobile Communications Platform’ appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Google spending $2.5 billion to expand operations across the US

Just over two years ago, Google announced it would convert a 1,300-sq ft former Hemlock Semiconductor facility in Clarksville, Tennessee into a new $ 600 million data center. Today, the search giant broke ground on the site — and Google CEO Sundar Pi…
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Google Play Store to expand to 52 countries and 25 languages in 2018

Google has some impressive products like Google Home and the Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL phones, but the biggest issue is lack of availability on a global scale. A slide from the Digital News Initiative summit in Amsterdam, Netherlands revealed a map of all the countries and regions Google will cover by the end of 2018, spanning across 54 locales in 52 countries and 25 languages with local support. The map shows in blue where Google devices and services will be locally available. The graphics, albeit low-quality, reveal that the new countries will be 38, while the new supported languages…

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