March/April 2014 Tech Update

Technology | Fri 11 Apr | Author – Anne Whelton
tech update

Bite-sized news, views and updates from the global tech industry, by Anne Whelton.

Small but perfectly formed

Xperia Z1Launched in February, the Xperia Z1 Compact smartphone is designed for those who want a ‘mini’ size without compromising on Sony’s flagship features including: G Lens camera technology, Exmor RS for mobile, high-quality 4.3 inch TRILUMINOS HD display and X-Reality for mobile. Available in a range of colours, the Xperia Z1 Compact is available now through the Meteor and eMobile networks until April 1st before general release across all networks.

Specs

  • 127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm
  • 20.7 megapixel camera
  • HD video recording
  • Runs on Google Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
  • 2.2 GHz Qualcomm MSM8974 Quad Core
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Waterproof and dust-resistant
  • Up to 18 hours of talk time

Price

From €19 bill pay/€459.99 pre pay from Meteor and eMobile.

X marks the spot

Nokia XNokia has entered the Android market with the launch of the Nokia X range. The new range, which was launched at 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is described as ‘an affordable introduction to popular Microsoft services’, will run on a version of Android 4.1 and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon(TM) dual core processor.

The first device to be released, the Nokia X, comes with a 4 inch IPS capacitive display, a 3 megapixel camera and supports Dual SIM, allowing users to switch SIM cards.

The Nokia X will go on sale immediately – unfortunately an Irish release date has yet to be revealed – with prices starting at €89. The Nokia X+ and Nokia XL are expected to roll out later in the year and will be priced €99 and €109, respectively.

Come fly with me

Virgin Atlantic passengers have become the first air travellers to experience the benefits of pioneering Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch technology as they arrive at London Heathrow airport, in an innovative pilot scheme that began in early February.

Virgin Airline staff are equipped with either Google Glass or a Sony SmartWatch 2, which is integrated to the Virgin Atlantic passenger service system. Individual passenger information is then pushed directly to the assigned staff member’s smart glasses or watch just as the passenger arrives at the upper class wing, which aids swift check-ins and improved service as the staff wearing the technology can update passengers on their latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate any foreign language information.

Virgin Google Glass

Bolt from the blue

Blueface has announced it will launch a full M2M platform in Q2 2014 to enable businesses to roll out applications for the wireless Internet of Things.

The SMARTY platform will target service providers, carriers, fleet management providers, utilities, applications providers and other companies who have innovate M2M applications and need a reliable, secure platform to provide the access layer for such services. The M2M platform will be highly differentiated by virtue of its open architecture and ease of deployment for companies who have application layers and need to roll out their services in an efficient and flexible manner.

Payments at your fingertips

Samsung Galaxy S5 and PayPalPayPal and Samsung recently announced a collaboration that will make the new Samsung Galaxy S5 users the first to be able to login and shop at any merchant that accepts PayPal on mobile and in-stores with only their fingerprint. The new secure, biometric feature of fingerprint authentication means that Galaxy S5 users will no longer need to remember passwords or login details across millions of PayPal merchants. Customers can use their finger to pay with PayPal from their new Galaxy S5 because the FIDO ReadyT software on the device securely communicates between the fingerprint sensor on their device and PayPal’s service in the cloud. The only information the device shares with PayPal is a unique encrypted key that allows PayPal to verify the identity of the customer without having to store any biometric information on PayPal’s servers.

Phablets to outsell tablets in 2014

The top global tech, media, and telecom trends for 2014 have been published in the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (DTTL) 13th edition of the Global TMT Predictions and make for some interesting reading. Amongst others things, the report predicts that phablets — an oversized smartphone that’s part mobile phone, part tablet — will outsell tablets by €18.3bn and the total global sales of smartphones, tablets, PCs, TV sets, and gaming consoles will exceed €550bn in 2014. The report adds that shipments of phablets will represent a quarter of smartphones sold, or 300 million units. That is double the 2013 volume, and 10 times 2012 sales. After initial rapid consumer success, however, 2014 may mark a ‘peak phablet’ year according to the report