5-21: Google a series of announcement; 1Q16 smartphone shipped 349mln; Rockchip RK3399 VR products; eBay and Myer launch VR shopping app; etc.

Google a series of announcement — Ara modular smartphone to be launched in 2017, collaborating with Qualcomm on Android Auto Maserati, working with LG to use Soli for a smartwatch, working with Levis to use Jacquard for a jacket, working with IMAX and Yi Technology for Jump VR cameras; Rockchip RK3399 VR products; Samsung has filed for trademarks in the form of “Samsung Eyeprint” and “Samsung Iris” over in Europe; Samsung announces 10nm LPDDR4 6GB DRAM chip; 1Q16 smartphone shipped 349mln; eBay and Myer launch VR shopping app; etc.


Mouser Electronics, a leading global authorized distributor of the newest electronic components, and Marvel have partnered to launch the Project Heroes video series, designed to educate and entertain future engineers and fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (TechNews, Mouser, Electronic News, EE Journal)


Rockchip officially announces its VR flagship product RK3399 supporting high-end VR headgear standards –20ms delay, 75Hz screen refresh rate, and more than 1K gyroscope refresh rate. (CN Beta, PR Newswire, Freak Tab, Yahoo)


Google ATAP has announced that Ara phones will be shipping to developers in 4Q16, and commercial version will be available in 2017. Partners that are already working on modules for Ara include Panasonic, TDK, iHealth, E Ink, Toshiba, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Samsung. (GSM Arena, Google ATAP, Wired, The Verge, Phone Arena, DoNews, 163, TechNode)


Security researcher Gal Beniamini discovered this issue in the Qualcomm’s custom implementation of the TrustZone kernel, used on Android smartphones that utilize Qualcomm chips. Beniamini says that the vulnerability on its own is harmless, but if attackers chain two exploits together, the attacker can use CVE-2015-6639 to get root privileges in the Qualcomm’s TrustZone. (CN Beta, Softpedia, Bits Please)


Google and Qualcomm have outfitted a Maserati with an entirely unique Android Auto setup. (Engadget, Android Central, Tencent, IT Home)


Touch / Display

Knocki uses non-acoustic sensor technology to turn any surface into a smart surface. When Knocki is placed on a surface, it will be able to detect knocking or tapping, with different knocks/taps design to executive different commands. (Ubergizmo, Engadget, Tencent, iFeng, Kickstarter)


Microsoft patents for a multi-axis multi-pivot armadillo hinge. It is very flexible and mentions that it “can stabilize an entire device” by allowing the device to recline and fold upward and backwards. (CN Beta, Win Beta)


Samsung mirror displays have finally arrived. A hair salon called Leekaja Hairbis in Seoul is the first business to have a Samsung Mirror Screen installed. (CN Beta, The Verge, Phones Review, Slash Gear)


Simplehuman launches Sensor Mirror Pro Wide-View, which connects to Wi-Fi to control the color temperature of its light from phone. priced at USD400.  (The Verge, CN Beta, Ad Week)


Project Soli, built by Google ATAP division, is basically a tiny radar that can detect small hand gestures. LG and Google reportedly build a smartwatch using Project Soli. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, Venture Beat)


Google has shown off a new and novel way of typing in VR by using tiny drums. It is using HTC Vive controllers. (Ubergizmo, Google, TNW, Polygon, TG Bus)



Sony may not be able to meet its target quota because of “lower-than-expected” yields, plus damage to a production facility caused by April 2016 earthquake in Kumamoto, said Nomura Securities’ Chris Chang. As a result, another regular Apple supplier — LG Innotek — could claim the majority of Apple’s first-wave dual-camera module orders. (Apple Insider, Barron’s, press, iFeng, Tencent)


Google Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) group is showing the Levis Commuter jacket with Jacquard technology built right in, which is basically composed of conductive fabric woven into the garment to create an interactive patch that senses touch, pressure and even hand’s position before you touch the fabric. (Engadget, 163, iFeng)



It has been found that Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix had semiconductors in stock worth KRW7.4024 trillion and KRW2.1939 trillion as of the end of 1Q16. Samsung Electronics’ amount is the largest among those it has recorded in the first quarters while that of SK Hynix is an all-time high. (TechNews, Business Korea)
Samsung revealed a new LPDDR4 6GB DRAM chip produced using the 10nm process. (Phone Arena, The Next Rex, Tencent)



Samsung has filed for trademarks in the form of “Samsung Eyeprint” and “Samsung Iris” over in Europe, both of which sound like they could be related to iris scanning technology, which has led to speculation that Samsung could be considering to include it in the Galaxy Note 6. (CN Beta, Quadrangle Online, Softpedia, Ubergizmo, Pocket Now, Sam Mobile)


An Apple patent application originally filed on March 5th 2015, titled “Man-machine interface for controlling access to electronic devices”, includes a method called “ultrasound imaging”. This would allow Apple to embed TouchID inside an iPhone screen. (CN Beta, Phone Arena, USPTO, 9to5Mac)



Global sales of smartphones to end users totalled 349 million units in the first quarter of 2016, a 3.9% increase over the same period in 2015, according to Gartner. Smartphone sales represented 78% of total mobile phone sales in 1Q16. In 1Q16, there were three Chinese brands – Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi – and they achieved 17% of the market. (Gartner, data, CN Beta)

gartner-1q16-phone-2 gartner-1q16-phone

Apple CEO Tim Cook is in India on multi-city visit. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to tell Cook that India would want Apple to manufacture in India. Cook is considering it. (CN Beta, USA Today, Indian Express, Rediff Business, Times of India, IT Home, NDTV)


According to Influence Central, the average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10.3 years. Tablets have surged from 26% to 55% usage as kids’ device of choice during car rides. Smartphones trail at 45% (up from 39% in 2012). (Android Authority, TechCrunch, Influence Central, Tencent)
Japan local carrier NTT DoCoMo has launched 5 new phones that will allow investigative authorities to track the phones’ locations without users being aware of it. (Ubergizmo, Japan Times, CN Beta)


Samsung has partnered up with Ant Financial Services Group, the Chinese company behind the Alipay online payment service. (GSM Arena, Samsung, Sina, CE)


eBay has partnered with Australian department store Myer for the launch of VR shopping experience, offering 12,500 products that shoppers can browse through, select and add to their cart just by moving their head. eBay is giving away 20,000 free headsets “Shoptacles”. (CN Beta, CNET, Tech Times)


Google will collaborate with IMAX to create “a cinema-grade Google Jump camera”, and also working with  Yi Technology releasing a Jump-ready camera this year. (CN Beta, Sohu, 163, Venture Beat, Bidnessetc)


Intelligent Environments has launched a platform which can link the Pavlok wristband, which delivers a 255 volt shock, to a bank account. If the funds in the account go below an agreed limit, the band kicks in. (Ubergizmo, BBC, Sohu, TechWeb)


Internet of Things

Just weeks after General Motor (GM) bought Cruise Automation, GM is reportedly already testing self-driving Chevy Bolts. (Engadget, The Verge, 163)
Goldman Sachs’ Tesla analyst, Patrick Archambault shows that to reach a 500,000 unit production in 2018 (which he believes will be difficult to achieve) Tesla will need USD7.5 billion in cash. He believes in 2018 Tesla would have sold about 165,000 units. (CN Beta, Business Insider, Forbes, article, Bloomberg, Market Watch)
Tesla has told suppliers the company was doubling its original production projections to 100,000 Model 3s in 2017 and 400,000 in 2018. Supplier executives and industry consultants said would be difficult to achieve and potentially costly. (CN Beta, Economic Times, Forbes)
Alibaba Smart Living collaborating with Whirlpool launching Mr. Bin smart refrigerator, which is powered by Alibaba smart platform, and it also links to the Tianmao supermarket so that the user can directly shop via the fridge. (CN Beta, 163, Sohu, TechWeb)


SoftBank is opening up Pepper’s tablet to Google Android, in the hopes of spurring on its capabilities with new apps. (Engadget, Bloomberg, TechWeb, Sohu)


Uber is testing a self-driving, hybrid Ford Fusion on the streets of Pittsburgh. (Apple Insider, Uber, 163, Sina)

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