Monthly Archives: November 2016

Barclays launches ‘Contactless Cash’ for Android Users

Barclays launches ‘Contactless Cash’ for Android Users

Barclays has recently announced it’s Contactless Cash technology for Android users. The initiative means that you’ll no longer need your bank card to access cash, instead you can simply use the banking app on your smartphone or your contactless bank card, to interact with the ATM. The British multinational bank hopes the new service will make cash withdrawals both easier and safer by reducing the risk of magnetic card skimming and distraction fraud as the device never leaves the users’ hand.

“With Contactless Cash customers can quickly and securely take-out money with just a tap of their smartphone – a first for the UK.”

Barclays launches 'Contactless Cash' for Android users

The service will allow you to pre-select how much money you want to withdraw via the Barclays app after having logged in. Once you’ve chosen how much you want and entered your pin, you’ll have 30 seconds to tap it against a contactless cash machine to access your cash. Alternatively you can tap your contactless card or phone against the cash machine, then type in your pin before proceeding as normal. The reader is currently installed in over 600 in-branch machines.

According to Barclays, the service will launch in branches in the north of England before Christmas, then roll out to 180 banks nationwide in the New Year.

Other posts you may like:

EE TV first in the UK to launch ‘Watch with Twitter’

EE TV first in the UK to launch ‘Watch with Twitter’

EE is the first TV platform in the UK to partner up with social giant Twitter to bring you ‘Watch with Twitter’. The launch of Watch with Twitter will allow EE customers to discover and watch the most talked about programmes in real time, using data provided by Twitter.

“Great telly and Twitter have always gone hand-in-hand – people love talking about their favourite shows and our new partnership with EE makes it easier than ever to discover which programmes are creating the biggest conversations.” – Dara Nasr, UK Managing Director, Twitter.

EE TV

Up to five of the highest trending live shows will be highlighted in the EE TV guide, as well as popular programmes that are due to start in the next hour. In programme view, EE TV will now include the official hashtag of major shows so that viewers can join in the conversation on Twitter.

Further updates to EE TV

Further updates to the EE TV include improving it’s Replay functionality (replay allows users to view the last 24 hours of TV from their favourite channels) from 6 to 8 standard definition channels. Replay content is now also searchable in 10 categories including Movies, Drama, Kids and Sport.

EE has also partnered with NBCUniversal International to introduce hayu – a next-generation reality subscription video on demand service – via an on-demand app on EE TV. The service includes over 3,000 episodes including complete box sets, with the majority of reality content added to the service on the same day it premieres in the US.

hayu

Priced at £3.99 per month, it may not be worth it for those without an interest in the Kardashians, however EE TV users can take advantage of a one month free trail to see if hayu is for them. If users choose to use the service, they can opt out at anytime thanks to no  fixed-term or length contract.

 

Google’s Self-Driving Car

Google’s Self-Driving Car

Over 1.2 million car accidents occur every year across the globe,  with an astonishing 186,209 casualties in Great Britain alone last year. While in the United States, 94% of accidents have involved human error.

94% of accidents in the U.S. involve human error

Google is aiming to create a car that can drive itself from place to place, without the need for any human intervention, thus making mobility safer and offering the potential to reduce accidents dramatically.

How does it work?

Google's Self-Driving Car

Real builds of Google’s prototype vehicle in the paint the town scheme

Google’s car uses a mix of sensors and software to sense objects such as pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. The sensors include lasers, radars and cameras that are placed on top of the car, almost looking like a black siren. The sensors help detect the object while the software classifies the object based on size, shape and the pattern of movement, and predicts what the identified object will do next. Based on it’s findings, the software will then choose a safe speed and path for the car.

The car features a rounded shape to maximise the sensor field of view, and includes back-up systems for steering, braking, computing and more, while of course the interior is designed for riding, not driving…

How safe is the car?

The May 2015 Google report totalled 12 minor accidents in the six years of Google’s self-driving car project and 1.8 million miles driven. According to Google, in all these cases the cause was not of the self-driving car but due to the input of manual driving – (during the testing stage, Google drivers watch over how the car drives to provide feedback to the engineering team and take over the driving when desired.)

When the car be available on the market?

So far, Google has successfully self-driven over 2 million miles – that’s over 300 years of human driving experience, considering the hours spent on the road. With a testing fleet currently on the streets of Mountain View, CA, Austin, TX, Kirkland, WA and Metro Phoenix, AZ. Google plans to continue it’s testing in various situations and more complex scenarios such as city streets, and if the technology develops as they’ve hoped, will bring the self-driving cars to market with the help of their automotive partners including  Roush, Bosch, Continental, FRIMO, LG Electronics, Prefix, RCO and ZF Lenksysteme.

To the future

Although the first obstacle is ensuring the car can self-drive through any terrain or weather condition, the second is how the Google car would fit into our society. Not only would it take a huge leap of faith to put your safety on the road into the hands of a robot, but also how this technology would fit in and the impact it would have.

Will the car evolve in size to suit families? Will newbies to the roads need a driving licence to travel in a self-driven car? Will petrol stations be replaced with charging stations to power the electric batteries? Will the car and/or insurance be affordable and thus accessible to those with lower incomes? With many unanswered questions, it looks like the future of self-driven cars still has a long way to go…

Other posts you may like:

Has Apple scrapped it’s iCar?

Has Apple scrapped it’s iCar?

Rumours have emerged that Apple has scrapped it’s electric iCar ambitions, also code-named ‘Project Titan’ after a large number of staff working on the project were laid off. Although the traditionally secretive Apple has stayed quiet on the matter, there may still be hope for an iCar in the future. With talks of Apple buying out McLaren as well as rumours of a partnership with BMW, and evidence that Apple has spent $10bn in research and development costs, which is more than triple of what it spent just four years ago ($3bn) and far too large a sum for an iPhone or iPad.

Has Apple scrapped it's iCar?

iCar Concepts

If Project Titan is still ago, rumours suggest that the Apple iCar will be launched in 2020 and conceived as a personal assistant with a level of connectivity far beyond the capabilties of any existing car currently on the market. Like other Apple products, it’s expected that the iCar will feature a highly contemporary design using high-quality materials and a smooth interface. The new level of connectivity is likely to involve Apple’s Siri speech recognition, as well as multi-aperature digital camera technology and force touch.

However, if the iCar is scrapped, it looks like Apple will move it’s automotive division’s focus from building it’s own electric car to just creating the software for self-driving cars, which may rival Samsung after their acquisition of Harman.

Other posts you may like:

Samsung confirms acquisition of Harman for $8 billion

Samsung confirms acquisition of Harman for $8 billion

Mobile giant Samsung has confirmed that it will be acquiring Harman – the designer and maker of connection products for automakers, also known for it’s headphones and speakers, for around $8 billion. With more than 30 million cars equipped with Harman connected car equipment and deals with vehicle makers including Chrysler, Jeep, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini and Volvo, it’s safe to say the acquisition will provide Samsung with a strong foundation for growing it’s automotive platform.

Image result for harman

“The vehicle of tomorrow will be transformed by smart technology and connectivity in the same way that simple feature phones have become sophisticated smart devices over the past decade,” – Young Sohn, President & Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics

More and more tech companies are taking interest in the automotive market, Google for example is currently working on building prototype vehicles that are ‘self-driving’ and has already successfully achieved more than 2 million ‘self-driven’ miles. Apple on the other hand may have had less luck building their electric car also known as ‘Project Titan‘, with rumours suggesting a change of course to instead work on delivering automotive software – potentially giving Samsung some direct competition.

Other posts you may like:

  • Has Apple scrapped it’s iCar?

Motorola Moto X Force

Motorola Moto X Force

Design:

Motorola’s Moto X Force features a 5.4″ AMOLED Quad HD display that is the World’s first smartphone display guaranteed not to crack or shatter. Using Moto ShatterShield, the exclusive system consists of five layers designed to absorb any shock. Motorola has backed up it’s claims with a four year shatterproof warranty for every Moto X Force device holder. Taking durability levels even further, the Moto X Force is also water-repellent, thanks to advanced nano-coating technology.  When it comes to the design, the Moto X Force is highly customisable with the choice of pebbled leather for a luxurious look, durable ballistic nylon for those wanting a lightweight feel, or a soft grip surface for easy holding, all available in a variety of colours.

motorola-moto-x-force

From left to right: Leather, Ballistic, Soft-grip

Not only can you customise the back, but you can also choose a variety of colours for the accent, and choose between a white & light silver or black & dark grey front and frame. If you opt for the pebbled leather back, you can take your own personal customisation even further with free engraving. Finally, for all designs you can choose your own personalised greeting that will appear whenever you re-start your device.

moto-x-force-moto-maker

Features:

The Moto X Force comes running on Android Lollipop 5.1.1, however Motorola plans to start rolling out the newest version of Android, Nougat 7.0, later this quarter to 15 of it’s devices – including the Moto X Force. See the new features in Android Nougat here.

Although you’ll have to wait a little while for a more up to date OS, the Moto X Force is packed with power. The 3760mAh battery offers up to 48 hours of life before you’ll need to charge up. But when you do, you can take advantage of ultra-fast charging with the featured TurboPower™ charging giving your Moto X Force up to 8 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes.

Finally, the Moto X Force features a 21MP camera, offering you 9 more megapixels than Samsung’s current flagship, the Galaxy S7. The Moto X Force camera features rapid focus with zero shutter lag and a colour-balancing dual LED flash for true-to-life images even in low light.

Specs:

  • 5.4″ AMOLED Quad HD display
  • Android Lollipop 5.1.1
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 810 processor
  • 21 MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Water repellent nano-coating
  • 149.8mm (Height) x 78mm  (Width) x 7.6mm – 9.2mm (Curve)
  • TurboPower™ for up to 13 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging
  • 32GB/64GB with microSD support up to 2TB
  • 3GB RAM

Overall, the Motorola Moto X Force offers high level durability as the World’s first shatter-proof phone with a whopping four year warranty, and is highly customisable to suit your own taste. For more information on the Moto X Force and information on SIM free and pay-monthly prices, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager via Email: sales@callmastermobile.co.uk or Phone: 01252 854352.

Other posts you may like: