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Connected cars, 5G technology, VR gaming dominated CES 2017



CES 2017

Las Vegas, January 11: Not just smartphones, convertibles or cameras, it was time for ground-breaking products in 5G technology, self-driving vehicles, digital health, Artificial Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), robotics and machine learning to be showcased at the world’s biggest annual electronics event here.

As CES 2017 celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, the mega electronics event was also a record-breaker in hosting more than 600 startups and more than 175,000 industry professionals — including 55,000 from outside the US.

“Our industry is helping the world improve through connectivity and innovation, touching literally every facet of our lives. Today’s connected world was on full display at CES 2017 — our largest, boldest show in history,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The event also showcased the connected future of technology with more than 3,800 exhibiting companies and exhibit space of more than 2.6 million net square feet.

This year’s show was all about connectivity — both in the form of the technologies unveiled and in the valuable face-to-face business connections happening throughout the show,” added Karen Chupka, Senior Vice President, CES and corporate business strategy, CTA.

In the field of connected cars, Intel showcased a system with Microsoft Hololens (augmented reality headset) that sent signals to the Cloud via 5G and received commands from artificial intelligence (AI) servers, taking decisions for automatic driving.

“What you see here is all that needs to come together for automated driving to come a reality. At the Intel automated driving experience, the car has the sensors that are collecting information and processing it to recognise everything in its surroundings,” said an Intel exhibitor at the booth.

In a perfect vehicle-to-vehicle communication, the car could also connect with the traffic lights which, in turn, gives less traffic congestion and safe automated driving experience with very less or no accidents.

CES 2017 was a global showcase that demonstrated that we are in a new era of innovation where technology is valued not just for the devices it produces but for the experiences it makes possible,” Bridget Karlin, Managing Director, IoT, at Intel said.

Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Blackberry and QNX Operating Systems, Mitsubishi and Mercedes also showcased their electric and hybrid cars.

The US glass manufacturing company Corning introduced a car with Corning Gorilla Glass that provided toughness with a 30 per cent decrease in the vehicle’s weight.

Chip manufacturer Qualcomm introduced its newest mobile platform Snapdragon 835 processor with X16 LTE modem, which will provide high performance and enhanced power efficiency.

Snapdragon 835 is designed to support next-generation entertainment experiences and connected Cloud services for premium consumer and enterprise devices.

The mobile platform is 35 per cent smaller in package size and consumes 25 per cent less power compared to the previous generation flagship processor Snapdragon 821.

Expected to revolutionise the connected world, 5G was a major focus throughout CES.

CES 2017 was a coming out party for the future of 5G which, we estimate, will generate a net 20 million new jobs,” Jim Mault, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Qualcomm Life said.

Companies like Samsung, TCL and Hisense came up with 8K TVs — with Samsung and TCL building the new platform on Quantum Dot technology that offers true RGB colour mixing, more durability and is energy efficient.

Samsung also unveiled its much-awaited Gear S3 Smartwatch.

While companies like Lenovo launched machines dedicated to gaming, the onus was on virtual (VR) games. Several companies launched products that support VR gaming.

The show also received a huge social media momentum, including nearly 1.4 million mentions using #CES2017 hashtags.



Adobe reports record $2 bn revenue in Q4



New Delhi, Dec 15: Riding on the success of its Creative, Document and Experience Cloud portfolios, software giant Adobe on Wednesday said that it has achieved a record $2.01 billion revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017 that ended on December 1.

The company also registered an annual revenue of $7.30 billion — representing a 25 per cent year-over-year growth.

“Adobe delivered a record revenue of $2 billion in Q4. Our strong business momentum is driven by the market-leading solutions we provide to empower people to create and businesses to digitally transform,” Shantanu Narayen, President and CEO of Adobe, said in a statement.

The company said that its ‘Digital Media’ segment revenue was $1.39 billion, with Creative and Document Cloud achieving record quarterly revenue of $1.16 billion and $235 million, respectively.

Digital Media Annualised Recurring Revenue (ARR) grew to $5.23 billion exiting the quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $359 million.

Adobe Experience Cloud achieved a record revenue of $550 million, which represents a 18 per cent year-over-year growth.

“Adobe achieved record annual and quarterly revenue and the leverage in our business model once again drove record profit and earnings,” said Mark Garrett, Executive Vice-President and CFO of Adobe, adding that “We are raising our fiscal 2018 revenue target and remain bullish about delivering strong top line and bottom line growth.”

The software giant’s operating income grew 37 per cent and net income grew 26 per cent year-over-year on a GAAP-basis, operating income grew 37 per cent and net income grew 39 per cent year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis.

“Cash flow from operations was a record $833 million and deferred revenue grew to an all-time high of $2.49 billion. The company repurchased approximately 1.9 million shares during the quarter, returning $297 million of cash to stockholders,” Adobe said.

As far as revenue details of the fiscal year are concerned, Adobe reported $5.01 billion in Digital Media segment revenue, with Creative and Document Cloud achieving a record annual revenue of $4.17 billion and $837 million, respectively.


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OnePlus 5T ‘Star Wars’ edition phone in India for Rs 38,999




Mumbai, Dec 15 : Celebrating its third anniversary in India, Chinese smartphone player OnePlus has now introduced OnePlus 5T “Star Wars” special edition smartphone in collaboration with science-fiction film “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” for Rs 38,999.

The limited edition phone’s design has been inspired by planet “Crait” from the movie. The metal back of the device is “Crait” white with a “Star Wars” logo in red.

“We dedicate the ‘Star Wars’ limited edition to OnePlus and Star Wars fans in India as a part of our three-year anniversary celebration. We’ve worked hard to refine every detail,” Kyle Kiang, Head, Global Marketing, OnePlus, said in a statement late on Thursday.

Similar to OnePlus 5T, the special edition device also features a 16MP + 20MP primary camera with f/1.7 aperture on both sensors.

There is a six-inch display with an aspect ratio of 18:9 for immersive viewing.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset fuels the phone, coupled with 8GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage.

On the software front, there is a customised red, white and black theme with a set of 10 exclusive “Star Wars” wallpapers.

Apart from India, the limited edition variant will also be available in select European countries including Finland, Sweden and Denmark.


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Facebook to push more videos via pre-roll ads for ‘Watch’




San Francisco, Dec 15 : In a move that will push more videos to users, Facebook has announced it will introduce pre-roll advertisements on its video-on-demand service “Watch”.

“Today, the majority of video discovery and watch time happens in News Feed. It provides a great opportunity for publishers and creators to reach their audience, drive discovery, and start to build deeper connections for their content,” Maria Angelidou-Smith, Product Management Director and Abhishek Bapna, Product Manager, Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Thursday.

The social media giant is also updating News Feed ranking to improve distribution of videos from publishers and creators that users actively want to watch.

“With this update, we will show more videos in News Feed that people seek out or return to watch from the same publisher or creator week after week — for example, shows or videos that are part of a series, or from partners who are creating active communities,” Facebook added.

Facebook said it will start formally testing the format next year, according to Ad Age.

However, this does not mean the entire News Feed is going to be full of video ads for users.

The social media major has long resisted the format because of its reputation for annoying viewers who are trying to view their desired content.

For years, CEO Mark Zuckerberg even banned “pre-roll” from Facebook’s advertising platform.

“We don’t need to do pre-roll because our model is not one where you come to Facebook to watch one piece of content, you come to look at a feed,” Zuckerberg had earlier said in July.


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