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01-13 CES 2019: Continue to follow… TCL and Samsung have showcased their first batch of 8K TV products; Sony is reshuffling its mobile division; etc.

Chipsets

Ryan Sanghyun Lee, vice president of Samsung’s foundry business, said that Samsung has been developing GAA (Gate-All-Around) technology since 2002 and has created MBCFET (Multi-Bridge-Channel) by using nanochip devices, this technology can significantly enhance transistors performance. They will mass produce 7nm EUV processes in 2H19, and in 2021 they will mass produce more advanced 3nm GAAFET chips. (GizChina, Tom’s Hardware, My Drivers, EXPreview)

Apple has considered the possibility of using modems from Samsung and MediaTek in its future 5G devices, testimony at a US Federal Trade Commission trial with Qualcomm reveals, with an Apple executive confirming there is a possibility of the two companies providing modems for the forthcoming 2019 iPhone refresh.  (VentureBeat, Reuters, Apple Insider, Sohu, CN Beta)

Touch Display

[CES2019] TCL and Samsung have showcased their first batch of 8K TV products. TV makers Hisense, Panasonic, Samsung, and TCL have formed the 8K Association, or 8KA, together with panel manufacturer AUO. Samsung Display is in the process of joining.  (CN Beta, IT Home, SlashGear, Flat Panel HD)

[CES2019] Sensel is showcasing pressure-sensitive technology that works under water. The company develops touch screen technology based on force touch. Sensel chief technology officer Aaron Zarraga says the company is now working with device makers targeting production for sometime in 2019. (TechCrunch, Tom’s Guide)

Camera

Apple is allegedly planning to release 3 new iPhone models again in 2019 fall, including a successor to XR, the lower priced 2018 device with a liquid-crystal display. Apple plans to introduce some new camera features, including a triple rear camera for the highest-end model and a double rear camera for the two other models. (GSM Arena, WSJ, Sohu)

[CES2019] Taiwanese 3D imaging company eYs3D has announced this week that it is teaming with Lucid to create the Axis, a handheld solution for a fraction of the price of higher-end systems. (TechCrunch, Access Wire, Teller China)

Sensory

[CES2019] Taiwan startup Ganzin Technology is showcasing its newly developed Aurora eye tracking modules that can be paired with VR and AR for diverse applications, according to the firm’s chief operating officer JY Chueh. (Digitimes, Digitimes, Digitimes, Business Insider, Ganzin)

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and Audiokinetic, a leading global provider of cross-platform audio solutions for the gaming and interactive media industries, have announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for SIE to acquire Audiokinetic. SIE will tap into Audiokinetic’s vast audio engineering expertise, adding significant value to the PlayStation ecosystem. (VentureBeat, Audio Kinetic, PR Newswire, PingWest, iFeng)

[CES2019] Intel’s Mobileye has announced that it has reached an agreement with Ordnance Survey to help the U.K. mapping agency bring high-precision location data to businesses in the country. Mobileye’s sensors will be retrofitted onto Ordnance’s utility fleets to collect volumes of location data on road networks and roadside infrastructure. The collected data is then cross-referenced with existing geospatial data sets to develop accurate maps of Britain’s roads and surrounding areas. (TechCrunch, The Register, Intel, Tencent, Sohu)

Battery

OPPO has reportedly joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC)  suggesting that OPPO are set to release a phone with wireless charging. WPC is an association of companies who have come together to create, maintain and promote the Qi wireless charging standard. (CN Beta, IT Home, Ausdroid, XDA-Developers)

Phone

[CES2019] HTC is positive about its business prospects for 2019 as it will continue to roll out efforts to revitalize its handset business and achieve significant VR revenue growth by offering integrated hardware, platform, content and related services, according to company chairperson Cher Wang. With the arrival of the 5G era, HTC is developing its first 5G-focused smartphone in line with the progress of related 5G technology aiming to bring the highest value-added to consumers. (Android Headlines, Digitimes, Ubergizmo, CN Beta)

[CES2019] Sony Mobile’s vice president of Marketing, Don Mesa indicates that the company is reshuffling its mobile division. He said that his company’s division has been “undergoing a lot of change”. (Digital Trends, Tom’s Guide, India Times, Sina)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

[CES2019] Singapore-based startup Whyre has showcased Argon Transform, which is a dual-camera system that works by sticking one camera to the back of a helmet and one to the front. The front piece acts as a high definition dash cam with a black box recording feature, and has a simple mounting system that should work with any helmet.  (Digital Trends, CNET, Ride Apart, Baijiahao)

[CES2019] nreal, developer of mixed reality (MR) glasses, announces nreal light, its first flagship ready-to-wear mixed reality glasses. It packs a vivid display, in a compact size and a computing pack powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform. (Engadget, PR Newswire, SCMP, Baijiahao, IT168)

The developer Against Gravity has revealed its app had been installed on over 1M VR headsets by the end of 2018. Rec Room is a social VR platform available on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Windows VR and PlayStation VR.  (Upload VR, Against Gravity, Baijiahao)

Home

Google discontinues the diminutive streaming dongle Chromecast Audio. Google’s USD35 disk-shaped accessory — a variation of the second-generation Chromecast designed for use with audio apps — plugged into the 3.5mm jack or optical socket of home audio systems, or speakers with RCA inputs with a first-party adapter. (VentureBeat, My Drivers)

[CES2019] Samsung has announced the 2019 version of its excellent Family Hub refrigerator, which now includes the company’s Bixby personal assistant. The updated fridge will act in a similar way to a smart display, with owners able to summon a Morning Brief, which will read out the news and weather accompanied by on-screen content. (Digital Trends, CNET, Trusted Reviews, Hidden Wires, Sina, My Drivers)

Automotive

Tesla has broken new ground with its Shanghai factory. The new plant  is located in Lingang Area, a high-end manufacturing park in the southeast harbour of Shanghai. The new factory has an annual producing capacity of 500,000 electric cars. Tesla delivered 245,240 cars in 2018 worldwide, including 145,846 Model 3. (CN Beta, Forbes, China Daily)

SenseTime has recently unveiled its own dedicated testing course “AI Autonomous Driving Park” in Japanese city of Joso in Ibaraki Prefecture.  The testing course will be utilized solely by the company to develop autonomous driving technology and conduct road tests of autonomous vehicles, fostering the development of smart car industry. (CN Beta, Wire19, Telecompaper, TechCrunch)

[CES2019] Mercedes-Benz Vans has presented its Vision Urbanetic. The autonomous vehicle uses a skateboard-like all-electric platform which has a fixed fascia but can be fitted with either a 12-seat fully-covered cabin or a suitcase-like luggage module which can fit up to 10 EPAL (European Pallet Association) pallets. (CN Beta, Auto Car Pro, Overdrive, CNET, Mercedes-Benz, Zigwheels)

[CES2019] Meituan-Dianping has signed strategic cooperation agreements with Valeo, Nvidia and Icona. Valeo is an automotive supplier from France; the U.S.-based Nvidia is a leader in AI computing; and Icona is an Italian design company for the automotive industry. (TechCrunch, Forbes, Pandaily, PR Newswire, iFanr, Sina, CN Beta)

Artificial Intelligence

Xiaomi will invest at least CNY10B (USD1.5B) on artificial intelligence (AI) and smart devices over the next 5 years. The huge investment is part of Xiaomi’s strategy of grabbing more revenue from high-value services and the Internet of Things (IoT). (Gizmo China, Bloomberg, 36Kr, Wall Street CN)

JD.com has released the first smart content creation platform, “AI Flash”. The platform integrates the 2 major AI copywriting systems of Shakespeare and Li Bai JD, and adds support for smart creation of video content, forming overwriting copy, image and video processing. (My Drivers, iNews, JD.com, Sohu)

Health startup Sophia Genetics has announced that it has raised USD77M in a funding round to expand development of its artificial intelligence platform that uses genomic data to improve diagnostics. Sophia, founded in Switzerland back in 2011, has raised a total of USD140M, including a USD30M round in 2017. (VentureBeat, Genome Web, East Money)

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