IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 14th September 2017
It’s all about Apple this week, as the unveiling of the iPhone X and Apple Watch 3 are greeted with mixed reactions. In other news, we’ve been putting in a showing at Frankfurt’s international motor show (IAA), where autonomous tech and cars that combine transport, PA capabilities, entertainment systems and retail hubs in one are all the rage. Read on for the latest from the world of connected things.
Apple Watch 3 unveiled
Tuesday saw the advent of the Apple Watch 3, which will be available from 15th September. The new smart watch has cellular and GPS capabilities, so you can leave your phone at home and still receive calls and messages. It also boasts around 18 hours of battery life, heart monitoring, and a 70% faster dual core processor than its predecessor. Cellular watches retail at £399 and the non-cellular versions start at £329.
iPhone X ditches home button and Touch ID in favour of Face ID, wireless charging
On 12th September, iPhone unveiled the release dates, pricing and specs for its new iPhone X. This is Apple’s 10th anniversary phone, so naturally it includes some major upgrades and a substantial price hike from previous models. The 64GB version costs £999, and you’ll pay £1,149 for the 256GB version. Eye-watering, no? But Apple say the extra cost is worth it for the new features. There’s a new glass design with a bigger display than Plus phones, though the actual device is smaller. It can be charged wirelessly, there’s no ‘home’ button (instead you flick upwards from an open app to return to the home screen), and Touch ID has been replaced by Face ID. In other words, you can unlock your phone just by looking at it. And no, it won’t be fooled by photos or even the most lifelike masks (they did actually check this.) Vitally, you can combine animations with emoji, which accurately mirror your facial expressions (a bit like a souped-up Snapchat mask) onto an animoji. That’s an animal emoji, if you didn’t know. Pre-orders start on 27th October.
Try out IKEA furniture in your home with ARKip augmented reality app
A few weeks ago, I went to IKEA for some picture frames and a candle, and came back with an entire bedroom suite. This is mainly because it’s impossible to take shortcuts in store – to get anywhere, you have to work your way through the open-plan, yet somehow labyrinthine paths between which idealized, homey set-ups tempt you with their promise of comfort and style at affordable prices. If, like me, you’re a sucker for this kind of vision, and if, like me, you can’t be bothered to make the drive to your nearest store, you’ll be thrilled to learn that there’s a new augmented reality app that will let you virtually ‘try out’ new pieces of furniture in your own home, without venturing outside at all. To use it, download the IKEA Place app to your phone, then take a picture of the place you envisage putting your new furniture, and select the piece you want from a catalogue of 2,000 items. Pretty nifty.
Congress passes bill for regulation of autonomous cars
Wednesday brought good news for those interested in the future of autonomous vehicles, when the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed the SELF Drive Act. This means the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) will have an easier time regulating what self-driving cars will look like, as well as granting permits for testing. Now, the bill will go to the Senate, but with support from Congress, hopes that it will pass are high.
Self-enabling cars and connected automotive technology at Frankfurt’s IAA
This week, IBM has been having a ball at the IAA – Frankfurt’s international automotive show. From our booth (C30, in New Mobility Hall), we’ve been highlighting some of our leading initiatives in connected vehicles, AI, analytics and machine learning. You can follow our coverage of this year’s IAA event on the IoT blog by bookmarking the tag IAA 2017.
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