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IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 23rd February 2017

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We’ve just about recovered from the opening of IBM’s New Watson Headquarters in Munich last week, and now it’s time to catch up with the rest of the connected world. This week, BMW and Mobileye team up to crowdsource road data, Meitu’s new smartphone boasts beautification features that will whiten your teeth and smooth away blemishes, and the Pokémon GO servers are melting again following a hefty upgrade.

IBM’s Watson Headquarters in Munich are open for business

IBM’s much-anticipated Munich Headquarters officially opened its doors last week. The new building hosted the first Genius of Things summit, where IBMers, clients, partners and researchers came together to discuss the future of the IoT. The Munich Headquarters are IBM’s first ‘collaboratory’, the setting for an exciting series of new offerings and partnerships.

BMW and Mobileye team up to crowdsource road data

BMW is looking to employ Mobileye’s Road Experience Management (REM) software in its vehicles from 2018. Mobileye’s tech helps crowdsource real-time road data, and is being tipped as a key ingredient for fully autonomous driving. The REM system can provide information on weather, traffic, parking availability, and road hazards, which will be gathered in the cloud and made available to fleets of vehicles, supplementing HD maps with real-time information on the fly.

Samsung’s C-Lab produces four new VR and AR projects

Samsung’s C-Lab will premier four new VR and AR projects at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. The products will include a smart aid for the visually impaired, monitorless PC glasses, a solution which combines VR and home furnishing, and a 360-degree travel experience platform.

Meitu’s new phone boasts AI-powered beautification

Meitu, the selfie app and phone company, has unveiled its latest smartphone – and it’s got some new features to help its users appear more attractive. The Meitu T8 includes a DSLR-like front-facing camera, and offers ‘advanced beautification’ – think wrinkle smoothing and skin lightening / darkening – thanks to its AI capabilities. Vanity obviously pays, and the principle of enhanced beautification has turned Meitu into a $4 billion company.

Drones keep an ear out for songbirds in the Appalachian Mountains

Ornithologists from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania are using drones to monitor songbirds in the Appalachian Mountains. The drones work like flying ears, gathering data for environmental management purposes and providing an alternative to manned bird surveys in hard-to-reach sites. Full results of the study are published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances.

The Pokémon GO servers are melting again – but at least we get some new characters

Good and bad news for Pokémon fans: the good news is that more than 80 new Pokémon hit the game following a huge upgrade earlier this week. The bad news is that the servers are having a hard time coping with it, and players are reporting issues and crashes. More than likely these teething problems will be sorted soon.

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