The first working week of the year 2017 has finally come to an end, and it has been a pretty busy week in the world of tech. In order to give you a quick recap of the top happenings, we at www.indianweb2.com have come up with the Top 10 things that happened in the tech world this week.
According to some recent reports, Apple supplier Wistron Corp is looking to expand its factory in Bengaluru city and has applied for a fast-tracked approval for the same.
Wistron has recently been added as Apple’s third manufacturer for Apple’s 2017 iPhone, iPhone 8. Prior to this, the company had gained experience and credibility as an Apple supplier on secondary iPhone handsets.
The interesting thing to note here is that the Wistron news comes just a few weeks after it was reported that Apple is currently in the midst of talks with the Indian government regarding the possibility of assembling its products in India, one of the world’s biggest smartphone markets, wherein the US-based tech firm accounts for less than 2 percent.
The ‘Internet of Things’ in which more and more devices are connected together in a world of ‘smart working’ holds the potential of providing a helping hand to police/detectives in terms of gathering important clues for crime scenes. A number of US detectives are currently undergoing training to be able to search for gadgets and white goods that could provide a ‘digital footprint’ of victims or criminals involved in a crime.
According to a statement given by Mark Stokes, the head of the digital, cyber and communications forensics unit at the Metropolitan Police to The Times, wireless cameras within a device, such as a fridge, might soon be able to record the movement of owners and suspects.
He further added, “Doorbells that connect directly to apps on a user’s phone can show who has rung the door and the owner or others may then remotely, if they choose, to give controlled access to the premises while away from the property.”
“All these leave a log and a trace of activity. The crime scene of tomorrow is going to be the internet of things,” he concluded.
After a Chinese study recently concluded that humans very soon might be able to send scented odours in their online messages, it’s now time to welcome eye-tracking Internet of Things.
Even though human eye is considered as the fastest moving organ in the human body, still the eye-tracking technology represents a nascent market all around the world. Though new and comparatively smaller, the market has a number of participants making an entry into the space by bringing with them a good range of new, innovative solutions to provide users with more intuitive, immersive, and glanceable experiences, something which they expect the fourth screens to deliver.
Currently, there are a number of companies trying their hand at capitalising this great notion by bringing eye-tracking technologies to wearable augmented reality and virtual reality devices. The list includes California-based startup Eyefluence, which was acquired by Google last year, and Copenhagen-based The Eye Tribe, which was just recently acquired by Oculus (Facebook).
This week saw Google’s Indian origin global chief executive officer Sundar Pichai unveiling Google’s Digital Unlocked program, a program aimed at getting all of India’s 51 million small and medium businesses (SMBs) online.
Google’s new initiatives for the SMBs include a training program, tools to build their websites, and a support service to help such businesses get online.
The Digital Unlocked program is a free training program that aims to teach SMBs the basic digital skills required to get online and how they can start using the Internet to grow their business. While the online training under the program consists of 90 self-paced training video tutorials, created by the Indian School of Business, FICCI and Google itself, the offline training comprises of an eight-hour classroom training programme created in partnership with FICCI. By 2020, Google plans to successfully conduct as much as 5,000 such workshops in 40 Indian cities.
The BHIM app, which has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is expected to make its iOS debut in about 10 days from now. Along with the iOS version, the app, which is currently only available in Hindi and English, will also come out with several more multilingual versions.
BHIM, the unified app for UPI-based payments launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 30th last year, has crossed over 3 million downloads in just five days since its launch with over 500,000 transactions successfully accomplished.
The app allows payments via the United Payments Interface (UPI), which makes sure that money is debited or credited directly to a user’s bank account. For those users who don’t have UPI on their bank accounts yet, BHIM also supports transfers via MMID and IFSC code.
Narayan Neelakantan, a former chief information security officer at NSEiT, a subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSEIL), has decided to counter the alarmingly growing incidents of cybersecurity in the world by leveraging the power of the swiftly growing Blockchain technology. Neelakantan has recently launched a startup powered by blockchain technology for cybersecurity called Block Armour.
The Mumbai-based startup will be effectively making use of blockchain and other emerging technologies of the world for the purpose of providing software-defined perimeter for digital signature based authentication for devices, data and humans in an effort to curb growing cybercrime cases in the digital world.
With a goal of providing the world with easily deployable, scalable and cost-effective next-generation enterprise-grade cybersecurity, the startup is also looking to address the growing concerns over the security of Internet of Things devices and is working towards safeguarding connected devices and networks in the Internet of things (IoT).
This week witnessed the HDMI Forum, which is the industry body responsible for HDMI announcing its first draft of the standard’s next set of specifications. According to the draft, the HDMI version 2.1 — which will be backward compatible with the current HDMI devices — will support 8K (7680 x 4320 or 33 million pixels) video with HDR at a 60Hz refresh rate, or 4K (3,840 x 2,160 or 8.3 million pixels) video at a 120Hz refresh. The HDMI Forum’s Technical Working Group believes that this new capacity will allow for more “immersive viewing and smooth fast-action detail.”
Meet The Basslet, a new wearable device that not only lets you just hear the music, but feel it in your body too. The device is a small, flat black box that one has to wear on their wrist. The device contains a miniature actuator that pulses in time with the music the user is playing, giving the user a localized version of the bone-rumbling beats that real subwoofers push out.
In order to make the $199 device function, a user is required to plugin their headphones into a small, passthrough box on the way to their music source (phone/laptop/iPod), which samples the music as it goes through and wirelessly communicates to the wearable how to vibrate in time with the bass of the music being played. The buttons present on the side of the wearable are used to control the intensity and also double up as magnetic charging contacts.
Honda has become the first major automaker to unveil a concept vehicle especially designed for the ride-sharing market. Announced at CES, Las Vegas, The NeuV, which is is an acronym for the New Electric Urban Vehicle, has been built to explore the potential that self-driving, electric cars can be delegated to do some concrete work rather than just sitting idle nearly all the time.
The two-seat vehicle has the ability to be programmed to pick up and drop off passengers when its owner isn’t using it, or to even sell back the remaining energy to the grid. According to Mike Tsay, principal designer, Honda R&D Americas, the company has designed NeuV to become more valuable to the owner by optimizing and monetizing the vehicle’s down time.
Amazon Prime members can now use voice commands to order food through Amazon Restaurants, the e-commerce giant’s popular online food-delivery service, on Alexa-enabled devices like its Echo speakers.