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IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 3rd August 2017

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This week, there are more deals for PayPal, smart phones are battling it out over screen sizes, and you’ll never run out of toilet paper again, if Boxed has anything to do with it. Read on for the latest from the connected world.

LG’s new smartphone will feature a 6” OLED screen

This year’s flagship smartphones seem to be pitching their battles around screens. A leak suggesting that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 8 will feature a large screen was closely followed by confirmation that LG’s next phone will feature a 6 inch OLED screen. Rumour has it that the next iPhone will continue the trend too. LG’s 1,440 x 2,880 resolution display will support virtual reality on mobile, as well as other content-led services.

Paranormal Activity director develops new social app

There’s a new dating and social app on the horizon – from the director of Paranormal Activity, no less. Oren Peli is taking a break from psychological thrillers and revisiting his roots as an animation and games developer to create Spot, the free app that allows people to connect around their hobbies. The app will begin its life in Los Angeles, though it’s technically available worldwide. The idea is that users can set up an event and invite others to join them. It could be as casual as going for an afternoon hike, or larger-scale, depending on what you’re into.

Weav Run matches music with a runner’s natural pace

Weav Run, a new app from Google Maps cofounder Lars Rasmussen and partner Elomida Visviki, aims to make running more fun with music. The app uses ‘adaptive tracks’ which automatically change tempo depending on a runner’s natural pace. Your phone’s accelerometer pulls information about your running speed, and combines it with Weav’s algorithm, speeding tracks up or slowing them down to suit your inner tempo. There’s no typical pitch fluctuation either – apparently this process is a typical part of music production, allowing a producer to choose how a song will sound depending on its BPM.

Another new deal for PayPal

This week, PayPal announced another new deal – this time with Skype – that will allow users to send money via the Skype mobile app to other users. The functionality is available in 22 countries, extending PayPal’s scope considerably, if the billion Skype app downloads are anything to go by. It’s free to send money, provided you use your PayPal debit card or balance – but there’s a 3.4% charge for credit cards.

Apple smart watch sales are up 50%

According to CEO Tim Cook, Apple Watch sales are up since last year – to the tune of 50%. Shares are at $1.67 per share, higher than the anticipated value of $1.57. Apple Watches, iPods and accessories belong to the ‘other products’ category, which brought in $2.74 billion in revenue, perhaps owing to the popularity of Apple’s wireless earbuds, ‘AirPods’.

Boxed to predict when you’ll run out of loo roll

There are few moments as uncomfortable as the one you realise you’re out of toilet paper. Well, now Boxed is here to help. It wants to help you avoid being caught short by predicting when you’ll run out of loo roll – and other things, like snacks, but running out of those is a more trifling matter. The company released a new feature last week called SmartStockup – which uses data about shoppers to anticipate when they’re going to run out of stuff. If you’re a repeat shopper, you’ll start seeing prompts to buy repeat purchases as and when you’re likely to need them.

New bill to tighten security on IoT devices

Tuesday saw new legislation to improve cybersecurity of IoT devices. U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner, Cory Gardner, Ron Wyden and Steve Daines introduced The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017 (to give it its full title), which would require any IoT devices bought by the U.S. government to meet certain minimum security standards. Warner and Gardner are both co-chairs of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus.

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Bookmark the IoT weekly round-up series page to keep up with what’s going on in the wider world of IoT.

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