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India still is on the niche growth markets for the worldwide smartphone industry after it reported a 17% year-on-year advance in unit shipments in the second quarter of this year, according to a report from IDC. The growth came following two straight successive quarters of shipment declines, with Q2 noting in a thin 3.7% on the total shipment for Q1 2016, stated the research firm.

Samsung collected 25.1% of all smartphone shipments during the 90-day period, leading Micromax, Intex and Reliance Jo. IDC didn’t report a number for Apple such it was a modest position. Lenovo was the only Chinese vendor in the top five, reported IDC that Chinese smartphone manufacturers are seeing their shipment numbers increase in India. That’s in comparison to global and India-based competition, whose figures faded year-on-year.

IDC analyst Karthik noted in an interview, “China based vendors’ shipments grew 28% over previous quarter of which Lenovo group, Vivo Xiaomi, OPPO and Gionee were key contributors driving the growth.”

The second and third quarters of 2016 are usually difficult on Apple, as consumers await the company’s next devices, which are usually announced in September. Apple did record a 15% decline in phone sales during Q2 of this year. While its new four-inch iPhone SE performed as expected in the U.S. and throughout parts of Europe, captivating Apple new market share, According to IDC’s data that hinted that it didn’t perform well in India.

Apple’s iPhone SE failed to make any significant impact in the premium segment while its previous generation iPhone 5S continued to contribute majority volume,” the analyst firm quoted.

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New Music Video Maker Technology App Called ‘OOO’

Technology for disappearing messages was a bright idea from Snapchat, and that the smartphone camera should be a toy. On a bit of a smaller scale, a new app called OOO is out and is meant to be a fun camera toy that lets you play with your video. Instead of trying to help you make the “perfect” shot, the app lets you zoom in and out on as slowly or quickly as you want with just a press of a finger, while you set your mini movie to one of the music tracks included with the app. Co-creator Brett Bergeron said the end result will be something that feels more like a music video.


The app comes across as kind of silly, but Bergeron insists there’s more going on, like camera stabilization and audio management. The app uses 3D Touch, which lets you press hard to more rapidly zoom your shot. Its only purpose is to make a specific kind of video, and it is easier to do this kind of zooming in the app instead of in iOS’s own camera. OOO is supposed to be “Zooom” minus the “Z” and “M,” and not “out of office,” as could be expected, comes from Brooklyn-based This Also, a design studio Brian Baker and Bergeron set up after leaving Google Creative Lab where they worked as designers.

The studio’s clients include startups, Xbox, Spotify, and Google. More noticeably, they worked on Google Identity and a redesign of the Google App for iOS. OOO is the first app they have created for themselves. The app works best on an iPhone that supports Force Touch. This way, you can press lighter or harder to control the zooming speed. You can also slide up to zoom or set your zoom level, then just hold down the button to have the app zoom for you smoothly. As to be seen in the settings are tools to disable or enable mute, stabilize the image, the flash, pick the music, reverse and more. The music tracks are originals made by the teams musicians, and are ideal for the video parodies this app will produce.

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Diagnosis Of Skin Cancer Could Be Done On Your Smartphone

If found early, skin cancer isn’t necessarily fatal. Unfortunate for many, signs often go unnoticed until health has been damaged irreversibly. Studies published in Nature Today hint at a future where anyone may be able to do a skin cancer test on your smartphone.


A Stanford research team, including Udacity’s Sebastian Thrun, discovered that machine learning was able to match the efficiency of dermatologists at analyzing skin cancer. Even matching fallible human accuracy, the model could set the tone for a less expensive solution to get more people taking life-saving preliminary screenings.

The team began with an existing convolutional neural network architecture. Afterwards, they utilize transfer learning, bringing together stakeholders to assemble a database of almost 130,000 clinical images, covering about 2,000 different diseases. About 18 online repositories were used to create the training dataset alongside Stanford University Medical Center.

The group explained, “Our system requires no hand-crafted features. It is trained end-to-end directly from image labels and raw pixels, with a single network for both photographic and dermoscopic images.” A set of high quality biopsy-confirmed images was then used for validation. With humans classifying from a set of almost 200 images, machines actually tied the capabilities of clinicians.

This work highlights efforts by Microsoft and Google’s DeepMind to recognize conditions that can lead to blindness using machine learning. The first line of defense when it comes to health is often a visual scan, something that data fueled deep learning has proven capable. For machine learning to reform the way we think about healthcare, algorithms need to escape the lab and find new homes on everyday electronic devices.

Computational capability is still predominant for most functions in machine learning, something that just does not exist on mobile yet. Prior attempts have been defeated by the highly-variant data produced by smartphone cameras used in the real-world. The question is whether greater amounts of data can overcome these factors like angle, zoom, and lighting. If it can be done, such technology has the potential to cut healthcare costs and save lives. It isn’t difficult to envision making a small in-app purchase for a preliminary diagnosis rather than a doctor’s visit that would be much more expensive.

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Lifelock, an identity theft protection company launched a brand new mobile application today called Identity, which offers users a centralized location where they can view their credit card and bank accounts and respectively update them with new information such as a change in address.

The app functions by first prompting the user to log into their credit card accounts through the app, or by allowing the user to import the login info that is stored in their browser or password keychain. This application simplifies the process of changing an address because it allows you to enter your new address and updates it amongst all credit cards simultaneously for you.

Lifelock sees this application as necessary because the average person in the United States has over 12 online accounts, which can be tedious to update a change in account information when needed. For security purposes, the information in Identity is stored locally on your smartphone, not on a cloud server. Lifelock also claims that your information such as passwords, login and data will not be stored with them.

An additional security feature this application has it the capability to see the businesses that have your credit card information stored on their websites or linked to your account with them. By logging into Identity, you can pull up your different accounts and see which businesses have your information stored on their servers. Serving as mainly an account management app, it does not offer more involved features such as monitoring spending or making payments.

However, due to the previous claims against Lifelock, people are likely to have concerns with the claims Lifelock is making about data security. In the past, Lifelock paid a $100 million dollar fine with the Federal Trade Commission for not having proper data security measures in effect for keeping customer’s credit card, bank account, and social security information safe.

One year after the fine, Lifelock is back with their new application Identity, however whether consumers will trust Lifelock with their personal information is to be decided.

Facebook is continuing to push users to install its private photo-sharing app Moments. The social media giant’s newest move- warning users that some of their photos will be deleted unless they install Moments- has managed to make the app number one on the Apple App Store. Users are given a deadline of July 7th to move to Moments, or to download their synced albums. After that, Facebook will delete the “Synced Photos” album, says Facebook. The are using push notifications to spread the word, and can also be seen on the synched album page on the app. Facebook has also sent emails to users telling them to install the app.

Many Facebook users don’t even know they have a Synced album, but photo syncing began in 20112, where Facebook allowed users to automatically copy all their smartphone photos onto a private album on Facebook. The idea was that if the photos are already uploaded, it will be easy to find them later and share them with friends. These photos are stored in Synced (in the Facebook App). This is the album that will disappear, not your photos or Facebook photos uploaded from a mobile device. Many are angry to install yet another Facebook App, after being pushed to install Messenger.

This “forced” download is a tactic that has been working for the communications company. Facebook previously pushed all of their users to download Messenger, after removing its chat option from the main app back in 2014. This made Messenger one of the top apps in the App Store, a move that came at a critical time, considering Facebook was trying to acquire WhatsApp, a company with a $19 billion valuation. Some people do continue the day to day without downloading Messenger, through a loophole which users can log onto through a browser app. However Facebook now tells users that “your conversations are moving to Messenger,” which will be disabled this summer.

What was once a suggestion is now turning into a demand; move to Moments, or your photos will be deleted. As expected, the app has shot up from being ranked in the 90s to now number one on the iTunes App Store, where it has remained for a couple of days. It isn’t mandatory however, so the choice is still up to the user, for now.

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Many smartphone owners have the same problem; they forget to backup their phone. And the only time they remember to do so is when they’re sitting in the store trying to get it fixed for one reason or another. MEEM SL Ltd, a new innovative technology startup, has produced the solution to those needs. The company prides itself on creating power cables for both iOS and Android, that not only charge phones but back up the device every time its plugged in. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, Meem’s cables began shipping product earlier this week.

Companies are changing the way they treat smartphones now, as most computers don’t even have USB ports anymore. However at the same time, the data on everyone’s phones is important, and cloud storage providers are trying more and more every day to make their servers safe. The magic in Meem is that it is completely transparent. Plug a device into the Meem cable, type a four digit pin and the personal data is backed up right away, every time the phone is charged.

The charging cable comes in both 16GB and 32GB sizes, for both iPhone and Android devices. The storage might not seem like much, however Meem has found away to back up the most important parts of the phone, while keeping the operating system and apps behind. The company is working on making a USB-C version, which will be available in the future. The company started in Kickstarter January, and barely met its goal, however the company does have an impressive track record.

CEO Kelly Summer’s resume includes being CEO of Take-Two interactive, which is best known for Grand Theft Auto, and CEO of RedOctane, which created Guitar Hero. Meet used its U.K equity crowdfunding platform CrowdCube in order to raise £710,000 ($1 million) from 282 individual investors. This puts Meem at a valuation of £11 million ($16.3 million). The cables are available for purchase from both the manufacturer’s website and from Amazon.

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More and more gadgets, from smart dash cams to head-up displays to Bluetooth-enabled diagnostics devices, are looking to tap your car’s built-in diagnostic (or OBD-II) port for power and data. The problem; this port really wasn’t built to be used like that. Primarily designed to be tapped occasionally to better explain that vague “Check Engine” light, it certainly wasn’t built to be connected to an always-attached device blasting out all sorts of different wireless protocols whenever the vehicle is on.

Example A: Researchers at Argus Security have found a flaw in a commercially available Bluetooth-enabled diagnostics device that let them turn off the vehicle’s engine while the car was moving, as long as they were within Bluetooth range. The device in question is the Bosch Drivelog Connect, a device meant to shed insight on your driving behaviors and send diagnostic information to a companion smartphone app via Bluetooth. To Bosch’s credit, the company began addressing the issue within a day of being alerted, and publicly acknowledged and outlined their fix for the issue here.

You might think, “Who cares? I’ve never even heard of that device.” It’s a fair stance, but one that assumes that this is the only device that has this sort of flaw. Similar flaws have been found in other devices. Meanwhile, more gadgets are tapping the OBD-II port than ever. It’s probably safe to assume that all the workings behind the scenes aren’t exactly flawless.

So do you need to go rip that shiny new dash cam or smart display out of your car? Probably not; but be mindful of the attack vector you’re introducing to the 4,000-pound metal box you’re cruising around in. It’s the owner’s responsibility to stay up to date on reports regarding the device’s security, and to keep the device itself up to date (a lot of these things are easy to set up and then completely forget).

More crucially, it’s up to the device makers to test their devices, hire external firms to try to crack them and patch bugs as quickly as they responsibly can. Consider building a “red alert” notice/mandatory update into apps for the worst stuff. If you’re interested in the specifics of the research on the aforementioned dongle, Argus has a deep breakdown of their methodology here, from disassembling the companion app, to poking holes in the device’s security, to actually shutting down one of their own vehicles while it was in motion.

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On Demand Driver Technology? Lincoln Chauffeur Service Will Make You Feel Like A VIP

Automobile company, Lincoln, is testing a new service for owners of its vehicles that supply a driver on demand technology. The service is like an upscale version of Uber’s technology, in which you supply the car, and Lincoln supplies a professional driver. This driver is actually a Lincoln employee, not a spot contractor, and will drive you around and return your car to your home, basically make you feel like a VIP.


The service will launch first in Miami and will let Lincoln owners order up a chauffeur via a smartphone app. The chauffeur will not only be able to drive you around, but will also return your car to your home in case others in the household need to use it, will fill it up if so required, and can even run light errands like picking up some groceries. Costs, as you might expect, are not cheap. During the pilot program, Lincoln Chauffeur will run around $30 per hour, which is actually not terrible compared to Uber until you remember you have to supply the car as well. On the plus side for Lincoln owners, they will get eight hours free of Chauffeur service included in the purchase price of their vehicle.

This is only a limited test at the moment, but Lincoln reported that it would like to expand the service to San Diego next, and then additional markets after that. It is likely a decent challenge to scale, since Lincoln’s actually employing the drivers it is using. Lincoln Chauffeur may be a bit of a departure from other mobility service offerings automakers are exploring, which include on-demand vehicle rentals and even white glove delivery of said cars to a renter’s door, but it still sounds like an interesting way to add value while driving new revenue sources in the luxury segment.

technology gm lyft

GM And Lyft May Launch Autonomous Technology In Test Bolts In 2018

Technology has evolved and can now be seen in self-driving groups of vehicles may be sharing the roads with human drivers sooner than many of us predicted. Beginning in 2018, General Motors will field thousands of self-driving technology-based electric test vehicles, primarily based on the Chevy Bolt platform, Reuters reported. According to the report, the fleets of cars will mainly be used with partner Lyft for on-demand ride-hailing service technology.

technology gm lyft

This is much sooner than the anticipated 2020 date Ford and others have been aiming for large-scale deployment of self driving vehicle groups in similar ride-sharing functions. The report calls this a launch of “test fleets,” so these cars will still likely not be positioned as a commercial debut of a service, but it sounds like we may still see them in active service with customers, since Lyft is said to be planning to operate them in a test capacity in multiple states among its ride-sharing service fleet.

General Motors has said in the past that it intends to start piloting its self-driving vehicle technology in ride-sharing services “sooner than you might think.” The company has also been sharing periodic updates from GM-owned Cruise, which is actively testing autonomous Bolt EVs driving city streets in San Francisco, as well as in Arizona, with plans to expand to Michigan roads soon.

In the course of testing its Cruise fleet, General Motors has made use of a smartphone app that allows a user to choose a beginning and end point for the trip, and it’s very likely we’ll see similar technology used in any consumer-facing trials at a larger scale. In May of 2016, General Motors and Lyft previously discussed plans to begin testing self-driving taxi service on public roads “within a year.”

Lyft rival Uber also announced that Daimler would be the first automaker joining its so-called self-driving vehicle platform, which is open to all OEMs and will allow them to operate fleets of their own autonomous cars on Uber’s network for ride-hailing services. The tie-up between Lyft and General Motors has seemed a more exclusive arrangement, and it looks likely to stay that way at least through this test period, if this report is accurate.

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Smart Devices: Smart Phones And Smart Wheelchairs?

People may not think something like a cane needs to be Smart Devices. However, the Dring Smart Cane isn’t a step tracker that syncs with your smart home. It is a safety device. Individuals with canes are often physically disabled and there is a good chance they may injure themselves by falling down or they may get lost.

smart devices

A cane that tracks the user’s location can tell someone if they have fallen or need help. That’s just what the company has created. The sensors and GPS module are in the handle, and it can text, call, or email a contact with an alert when the button is pressed, or when the user has possibly fallen down.

When someone finds themselves disabled, a wheelchair is just as likely an accessory as a cane. Gaspard is a thin pad that sits under the wheelchair’s cushion and notices the user’s position with a set of sensors. Communicating with the smartphone app, the cushion informs the user whether their posture is suitable. Leaning on one side too much may indicate chronic pain. The sensor also tracks weight over time as measured by lifting oneself up from the chair regularly.

Rehabilitation is necessary after a stroke if the person affected is to regain use of afflicted limbs. However, physical therapy in the hospital may not be as often as one may wish, due to everyday challenges like scheduling free time and conflicts. South Korea-based Neofect makes devices and software that assist victims of stroke proceed with some therapy at home.

The idea is to gamify the exercises and track progress with greater granularity than self-reporting. By wearing Neofect’s glove, multiple axes of flexion and torsion can be detected with precision. The games are simple, but for many they may be a better option than being instructed to move your wrist up and down multiple times every hour. The user is told to twist their wrist to move a character or grasp virtual objects, and gain points for doing so. This makes the therapy more interesting.

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