SpaceX to launch its satellite internet prototypes this weekend

For years, Elon Musk has been talking about his plans to launch thousands of low-orbiting satellites that will be able to provide high speed internet to people around the globe. While the details of those satellites have been kept largely under wraps…
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Facebook prototypes Messenger Broadcast for businesses

 Facebook may soon be ready to squeeze more money out of its 1.3 billion user chat app. The company has internally developed “Messenger Broadcast”, a self-serve mass-messaging interface that lets businesses send marketing messages to users. Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s testing the feature internally, but hadn’t trialed it to the public or with businesses as… Read More
Mobile – TechCrunch

Sources ‘Confirm’ Apple Is Testing Several Wearable AR Prototypes

Apple is testing several different variations and prototypes of its wearable augmented reality tech as it attempts to find the best way to move forward, according to a new report.

The tech giant is trying to figure out the “most compelling application” for a standalone AR device, according to sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans cited by The Financial Times on Friday. Augmented reality has become “a particular area of experimentation” at Cupertino, according to the report, but the company is still working with various prototypes to find the best style, type and functionality of a standalone headset.

At least one group within Apple is advocating for a pair of spectacles with a 3D camera but without any type of display tech — instead opting to use an iPhone’s screen as its primary display, similar to Snap’s spectacles. Other prototypes use their own integrated display tech to overlay AR content onto real-world environments, while additional approaches are more akin to a VR headset like Samsung’s Gear VR. Notably, no final design decision about the device has been made, the Times reported.

Word that Apple was working on its own standalone augmented reality device first surfaced in late 2016. Since then, there have been plenty of rumors surrounding such a device — including one that suggested Apple was partnering with German optical company Carl Zeiss, and another that predicted a launch of the device this summer. Of course, that latter rumor is pretty much dead at this point, seeing as Apple is reportedly still in the prototype phase.

Earlier this year, a separate Financial Times report indicated that Apple was ramping up its research & development on a wearable AR headset, but noted that a launch of such a device is still a year or more away. Similarly, Bloomberg has reported that an unveiling might take place in 2018, but probably not any sooner.

While the release timeline for an Apple AR headset is still up in the air, we can be sure that Apple is working on something akin to AR spectacles. In July, iDrop News received confirmation by way of Apple Support staff that a virtual or augmented reality headset was indeed in existence. According to the staff members, such a device can be used for animation and VR video composition.

Apple’s AR endeavors are well-known at this point, even beyond a standalone headset. In June, the company unveiled ARKit — a development toolset that will make iOS 11 the biggest augmented reality platform overnight. In the past few years, the company has also made a number of acquisitions and has filed a number of patents related to the tech.

CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about the potential of augmented reality platforms. During Tuesday’s earnings call, Cook said that he “could not be more excited about AR and what we’re seeing with ARKit.” He called the tech “big and profound,” and added that “this is one of those huge things that we’ll look back and marvel at the start of it.”

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Video shows prototypes of Red’s $1,200 Hydrogen One smartphone

Remember that $ 1,200 smartphone – Hydrogen One – that high-end professional camera maker Red announced last month? Well, some prototypes of the phone have now appeared in a video from popular tech YouTuber MKBHD. The prototypes shown in the video are non-functional, but should give you a pretty good idea about how the device actually looks. The majority of the video focuses on a “fit and finish” model that’s without any internal components, but gives a crystal clear look at the design. As some of you might already know, one of the main features of the Hydrogen One is its…

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Red’s $1200 Hydrogen One smartphone detailed in new video showing trio of prototypes

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Red’s $ 1200 Hydrogen One smartphone with 3D display is more than vapor, with three prototypes being demonstrated — with one having a fully functional display.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

MKBHD shows off non-functional RED Hydrogen phone prototypes

Last month, premium camera company RED announced it was developing a smartphone called “Hydrogen.” The product sounded like vaporware – almost no details were disclosed at first, besides the whopping $ 1,200 price tag. Perhaps in an attempt to prove that the device will actually come to market, the company gave MKBHD (a well-known tech YouTuber) a few prototypes to try out.

With the phone’s launch scheduled for Q1 2018, it’s probably not surprising that the prototypes don’t actually do much right now.

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MKBHD shows off non-functional RED Hydrogen phone prototypes was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Original iPhone keyboard designer shows off Apple’s ‘Wallaby’ hardware prototypes

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A new image shows a pair of early iPhone prototypes used during the creation of the device’s software, allowing developers to build the revolutionary touchscreen keyboard that, back in 2007, was actually controversial.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Asavie CEO: Faster prototypes will lead to accelerated IoT adoption

Asavie rapid prototypes accelerate IoT adoption

Internet of Business speaks to Asavie CEO Ralph Shaw on the company’s goal of helping manufacturers get their products IoT-connected – quickly, simply and securely. 

When Dublin-based Asavie launched its Industrial IoT Accelerator Kit at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, chief executive Ralph Shaw was confident of a positive response to the offering – but even he was impressed by the immediate results the company achieved.

Asavie CEO Ralph Shaw

“Within an hour, we had orders coming in from several Fortune 100 companies,” he says.

That points to a situation, he believes, where many manufacturers of industrial equipment are interested in equipping their products with IoT capabilities, but are held back by what they perceive as the complexity of providing connectivity and securing data.

Asavie’s Industrial IoT Accelerator Kit seeks to address those concerns by combining the company’s own PassBridge IoT connectivity management platform, with the Dell Edge Gateway device and industrial sensors from specialist EpiSensor.

Read more: Asavie continues global expansion with new APAC hub

Faster prototypes

This means that companies can innovate, iterate and deploy their IoT project without having to change their network infrastructure from the prototyping to final production phases. At a cost of around $ 1,000, Shaw adds, the accelerator kit also means they can get started fast.

“Essentially, you’ve a lot of very big businesses, manufacturing lifts or chainsaws or whatever, and they definitely recognize the benefits of having their devices connected, but a lot of them don’t know where to start. If you can give them a starting point, where they have everything they need to get connecting something, that helps them quickly establish a better handle on how, where and why they might also deploy IoT technology,” he says.

“You’re removing the fear factor,” he adds. A successful prototype is a much better way to get the boardroom conversation on IoT moving along than a request for budget based on not much more than guesswork. “If you start small, you can actually accelerate adoption faster,” says Shaw.

Read more: IoB Insiders: What jobs do we want IoT to do?

PassBridge at its heart

Established in 2004, Asavie is now a 130-person company with eight offices around the world and some €20 million in annual revenues. Despite its ambitious expansion plans, it has enjoyed 22 consecutive quarters of profitability.

The company’s PassBridge platform provides on-demand, pay-as-you-go network services that enable companies to provide a secure connection from the IoT edge to the cloud (such as Amazon’s AWS services) or alternatively, to their own on-premise servers. So even without the third-party add-ons that come in the Industrial IoT Accelerator Kit, PassBridge represents a fast track to IoT enablement for many companies.

PassBridge is the technology, for example, that provides a leading coffee shop chain with the ability to monitor coffee-making machines and predict when they may require maintenance work and helps Glanbia, a manufacturer of dairy products and nutritional supplements, to monitor its supply chain operations as products are transported from the point of manufacture to retail stores, says Shaw.

Read more: AWS launches IoT competency test for partners

Digital transformation

“Many of the end-customers who use are products are basically looking at digital transformation projects, although they may not state it in those terms. They want to take something that’s generally been a manual and often paper-based process and digitize it – and that digitization required information to travel between an end point such as a device or machine to a cloud or on-premise server. But they want a platform that can provide that easily and securely, so that they can get on with whatever it is that their own business specializes in,” he says.

In many cases, that involves Asavie working with network operators (it currently works with around 20 including AT&T, Telefonica, Vodafone and Three) as well as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

As many of those OEMs looking to IoT-enable the products they make are based in Asia, it makes sense that the company recently opened a new headquarters for that region in Kuala Lumpur.

Says Shaw: “A lot of IoT projects get stalled because companies can’t get connectivity up and running or find they can’t do it in a secure and scalable fashion. They’re looking for a specialist to handle that on their behalf, so they can focus on their core business, which is where we come in. What’s more, we offer the secure and scalable connectivity in a way that enables companies to get to market faster and to generate revenues sooner.”

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