Vendor News

Nokia Planning Mobile Comeback?

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Re/code reports Nokia is "quietly plotting" a consumer mobile comeback, as the Finnish company plans to launch a mobile phone together with "ambitious technology projects" come 2016.

Nokia phonesSuch ambitious projects include stabs at virtual reality, unnamed sources "briefed in Nokia's plans" say.

Reportedly driving the move is Nokia Technologies which, together with maps and networking equipment, makes what remains of Nokia. It is the division handling the licensing of the vast (10000+) Nokia patent portfolio.

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Apple Buys Camera Maker?

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According to the Wall Street Journal Apple has made a photography-related acquisition-- LinX Imaging, an Israel-based developer of depth-sensing cameras similar to Intel's RealSense technology.

iPhone cameraLinX makes "miniature multi-aperture cameras designed for mobile devices." One such camera, launched back in June 2014, promises to pack SLR-level photographic chops within a package half the height of standard mobile camera modules.  To do so, it uses software to software create "true depth information on high contrast objects and on near flat surfaces, such as walls, which are traditionally considered difficult for passive stereo systems."

The company's camera modules are available in 2, 3 and 4 camera arrays in a variety of configurations and sizes-- or at least used to be, since the LinX website is now defunct, no doubt following the acquisition.

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Xiaomi Blasts out 2m Phones in 12 hours

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XiamiChinese technology company Xiaomi held one of its famous “Mi Fan Festivals” on Wednesday 8th to commemorate its 5th birthday, and managed to sell no less than 2m smartphones during the 12 hour event. While this is rather smaller than the 10m iPhone 6s that Apple sold during its launch weekend, this was a shorter period of time, for an existing product, and only in one country.

Xiaomi is clearly hot in China, and is often held up as the “Apple of China”, due to its fanatical fan base, and charismatic leader Lei Jun, who models both his dress and his presentation style on that of Steve Jobs. This approach has taken Xiaomi to the number one position in the Chinese smartphone market, but has limited the company’s ambitions internationally, with rollouts to date only into a few other Asian countries - the US is not rumoured to be a target for a few years, and European plans are no more clear.

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Intel Shrinks RealSense Camera

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Intel presents a smaller version of its RealSense 3D camera technology at Intel Developer Forum, Shenzhen-- one fitting a 6-inch prototype smartphone to provide such devices with gesture control akin to the Microsoft Kinect.

Intel RealSenseAs well as reduced dimensions, Intel says the latest version of RealSense offers longer detection range and lower thermal output. However the actual module was not shown in action at the event, suggesting Chipzilla is still not ready to go into manufacturing just yet.

Mind, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich still demoed the technology, if in its larger tablet form- specifically with a Windows 10 device (based on the Skylake development kit) one can unlock via face scan, and another designed to improve warehouse management, the result of a partnership with Chinese online retailer JD.

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Google, Intel, TAG Heuer Team Up in Smartwatch

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Swiss watchmakers are set to embrace wearables as TAG Heuer announces a partnership with Google and Intel in a smartwatch combining the companies' respective expertise in software, hardware and watchmaking.

TAG HeuerThe collaboration was actually hinted at back in January 2015 by TAG Heuer interim head Jean-Claud Biver. In a Bloomberg interview Biver admitted the Switzerland lacks the expertise to make such devices, demanding the addition of Silicon Valley smarts.

Either way, as the companies put it, the collaboration brings about "a product that is both luxurious and seamlessly connected to its wearer's daily life." Reuters reveals it will be a "digital replica" of TAG Heuer's black Carrer watch, if with the addition of Intel innards and the Android Wear OS.

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