DarkMatter Group launches the world’s first ultra secure smartphone for extreme field conditions

DarkMatter Group today unveiled the KATIM R01, the world’s first ultra-secure smartphone designed to withstand extreme field conditions. Vetted and tested by DarkMatter’s engineers in the UAE, Finland and Canada, the KATIM R01 certainly looks like it could take on anything you threw at it.

“We combined our expertise in secure communications with everything the mobile market expects in a handset, including a great user experience. Then we challenged the brightest minds in the industry to create a rugged design to withstand extreme field conditions experienced by defence, emergency services, and the construction, mining, transport, energy, oil and gas industries,” said Karim Sabbagh, CEO of DarkMatter Group.

The KATIM R01 features strength and rigidity provided by five layers of hardened case, which has been engineered designed to meet two military standards for harsh field conditions.  It can handle being dropped, run over, or immersed in water for 30 minutes.

It also features a built-in barometer, temperature and humidity sensors to optimize endurance and durability for vibration, water, dust, altitude and extreme temperatures. The handset can also deliver messages sent with GPS coordinates in emergency situations, with a dedicated SOS button and touch screen that is accurate with both gloved and wet hand operation.

In the event of a detected physical intrusion, it’s able to automatically wipe the phone to protect user data. The phone also features a Sheild Mode that securely cuts off microphones and cameras while still powered on and online.

The phone features a 5.65” display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, an IP68 rating, fingerprint sensor, and dual-SIM support. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (expandable via microSD), a 5600 mAh battery, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip. The secure Katin OS runs on Android 8.1 (upgradeable to Android 9.x).

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You might have to wait a while to tune into Apple’s streaming service

While it hasn't officially unveiled the service yet, there's no doubt that Apple is working on its own Netflix rival that might well include subscription bundles for digital news and magazines too – but when will it open its doors?

Those in the know say Apple is planning a launch event for March 25, when it's going to unveil some of the new digital services and bundles it's been working on. However, a new report suggests the streaming video service won't go live until later in the year.

That's per insider sources speaking to Variety: they say clips of new programs will be shown off in March, but the Apple Netflix won't be accessible until the summer or the fall of 2019.

Apparently the new Apple TV streaming service is going to include a mixture of original Apple shows and content provided by the likes of HBO, which you can buy as add-ons – that may be one reason why we'll have to wait few months to see it.

Look at the stars

We've seen Apple-made shows before, but the new service is set to be much bigger and more ambitious than anything that's gone before. It's being partly seen as an attempt to make up for slowing hardware sales.

And apparently Apple is ploughing in more than $1 billion to make sure its streaming platform is a success. We've also heard rumors that it might be readying a games subscription service as well.

Stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, and JJ Abrams are being tipped to turn up at the March launch event, so it sounds like it's going to be a star-studded occasion – even if the service doesn't go live until later in the year.

Recent rumors suggest Apple might also be showing off some updated AirPods at the event, plus the long-awaited Airpower wireless charging mat, but it sounds very much like the focus of the event will be on digital services rather than hardware.

Via Gizmodo

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Sony α6400 mirrorless camera with the world’s fastest autofocus launches in the UAE

Sony's full-frame camera lineup boasts of some advanced imaging features which the company has brought down to its new α6400 E-mount mirrorless camera. The α6400 boasts of the world's fastest autofocus acquisition at 0.02 seconds but that's just one of the interesting things about this camera.

With an AF acquisition speed of 0.02 seconds and 425 phase-detection and contrast- detection points spread across 84% of the image, the Sony α6400 is crazy fast- at least on paper. 

It sports a 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor backed by the company's latest BIONZ X image processor which allows the image sensor to reproduce colours more accurately along with several other image quality advancements. 

The ISO can be bumped up to ISO 102400 while creating pictures and Sony claims that the BIONZ X processor is able to assist in noise reduction between medium to high sensitivity. This is something that the Sony α6400 borrows from the company's full frame lineup.

The α6400 also features a real-time eye autofocus technology that deploys artificial intelligence (AI) to identify objects, more specifically, human eyes. The eye data is fed into the BIONZ X processor which processes it in a jiffy. Sony's camera will detect human eyes automatically and with half-a-press of the shutter button. In addition, users can choose between the right eye, left eye, auto select and a switch right/left eye function. Sony plans to roll out real-time autofocus support for animals through a software update which will be released in summer 2019.

Sony α6400 also has a new and real-time object tracking which utilizes AI algorithms to ensure that the pictures bear natural colours, accurate depth details and brightness. 

It also features a 180-degree LCD touchscreen that can be tilted to check and monitor the output. Users can also expect an overall higher shooting speed with upto 11fps using the mechanical shutter and up to 8fps while silent shooting. 

The α6400 is also the first Sony mirrorless camera which includes the HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile. This means that the camera supports HDR workflow allowing users to playback 4K HDR content on external displays.

Sony α6400 UAE price and availability

The Sony α6400 is ready for pre-orders at the Sony Boutique store in Dubai Mall, Kansas Store at Mall of the Emirates and all outlets of Jumbo Electronics, Grand Stores, Sharaf DG and Emax.

The camera will hit store shelves in mid-March and will be available in three price variants. The camera body by itself is priced at AED 3,799 while the α6400L with 16-50mm SELP1650 lens is available for AED 4,099. Additionally, the α6400M with 18-135mm SEL18135 lens is also available at AED 5,199.

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Sony α6400 mirrorless camera with the world’s fastest autofocus launches in the UAE

Sony's full-frame camera lineup boasts of some advanced imaging features which the company has brought down to its new α6400 E-mount mirrorless camera. The α6400 boasts of the world's fastest autofocus acquisition at 0.02 seconds but that's just one of the interesting things about this camera.

With an AF acquisition speed of 0.02 seconds and 425 phase-detection and contrast- detection points spread across 84% of the image, the Sony α6400 is crazy fast- at least on paper. 

It sports a 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor backed by the company's latest BIONZ X image processor which allows the image sensor to reproduce colours more accurately along with several other image quality advancements. 

The ISO can be bumped up to ISO 102400 while creating pictures and Sony claims that the BIONZ X processor is able to assist in noise reduction between medium to high sensitivity. This is something that the Sony α6400 borrows from the company's full frame lineup.

The α6400 also features a real-time eye autofocus technology that deploys artificial intelligence (AI) to identify objects, more specifically, human eyes. The eye data is fed into the BIONZ X processor which processes it in a jiffy. Sony's camera will detect human eyes automatically and with half-a-press of the shutter button. In addition, users can choose between the right eye, left eye, auto select and a switch right/left eye function. Sony plans to roll out real-time autofocus support for animals through a software update which will be released in summer 2019.

Sony α6400 also has a new and real-time object tracking which utilizes AI algorithms to ensure that the pictures bear natural colours, accurate depth details and brightness. 

It also features a 180-degree LCD touchscreen that can be tilted to check and monitor the output. Users can also expect an overall higher shooting speed with upto 11fps using the mechanical shutter and up to 8fps while silent shooting. 

The α6400 is also the first Sony mirrorless camera which includes the HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) picture profile. This means that the camera supports HDR workflow allowing users to playback 4K HDR content on external displays.

Sony α6400 UAE price and availability

The Sony α6400 is ready for pre-orders at the Sony Boutique store in Dubai Mall, Kansas Store at Mall of the Emirates and all outlets of Jumbo Electronics, Grand Stores, Sharaf DG and Emax.

The camera will hit store shelves in mid-March and will be available in three price variants. The camera body by itself is priced at AED 3,799 while the α6400L with 16-50mm SELP1650 lens is available for AED 4,099. Additionally, the α6400M with 18-135mm SEL18135 lens is also available at AED 5,199.

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will.i.am speaks on security, AI, and new partnership with Majid Al Futtaim

At the World Government Summit 2019, Majid Al Futtaim announced a new partnership with I.AM+ to bring its voice-controlled AI to the Middle East for the first time. Named Omega, it’s designed to be a conversational, voice first, A.I platform. While similar to existing voice assistants such as Siri and Amazon Echo, Omega is able to understand more complex requests, as well as the context and nature of the request.

It’s essentially a voice platform specifically for the enterprise market, which allows it to be customized and tailored across a variety of scenarios such as entertainment, retail, grocery, fashion, financial services, hospitality travel and more.  The platform is currently being used by Deutsche Telekom and has been deployed in Europe for providing customer care for their customers in German language under the persona of “Tinka.”

The partnership with Majid Al Futtaim is the latest in a strong bid to fulfil the city’s vision for Smart Dubai 2021, as expressed by His Excellency, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence.

 

Omega will interact both in English and Arabic, and will allow customers to easily search and book for cinema tickets at VOX Cinemas, or shop for groceries at Carrefour. Customers can string together more complicated requests than current voice assistants can handle, making things much more convenient and efficient. For example, you could dictate an entire shopping list to Omega in one go, and it would add all of the items to your cart, rather than having to add each item as a separate command.

It’s been an interesting journey for Omega, which has been in development for a number of years now. Its launch in the region comes at an integral time for the company, whose founder will.i.am says reiterates the high demand for more intelligent and intuitive assistants. Speaking exclusively to TechRadar Middle East, will.i.am outlined how Omega came about, and how it evolved over the past few years. 

“Omega started out as a few different form factors, and one of our investors mentioned that we should be working more on getting the software into as many customer touch points as possible” says will.i.am. “At first I was a bit hurt because we had worked on so much already, but then I realized that it’s okay to pivot to something new. So I came back and told my team and we started working beyond just having it on a smartphone. So in six years we’ve been able to do a lot. Where it’s heading in the future there are still some things within the company that has to happen, but we have to transform with the growing needs as quickly as we can.”

An adaptive AI

Where Omega aims to differentiate itself from other similar assistants is that it will function as an OS, rather than something that sits on top of another platform such as Android or iOS. This also allows it to more easily adapt to other scenarios such as television sets, small computing systems such as Raspberry Pi, and many more in the future. It’s a bold idea to have for such a young company, but one that is necessary in order to swiftly adapt to customer needs.

Data security is of course, an important talking point. Omega will not transmit back any user data, but will locally analyse and learn from it on the device itself. Third-party access is also not allowed at any time, ensuring that whatever Omega learns from user interaction is kept secure at all times.

The future for Omega certainly seem bright, with the company focusing all efforts on perfecting its platform for mobile devices and televisions, and possibly even a speaker in the future. The goal is to eventually open up its ecosystem to other manufacturers, which will.i.am says will be the best way to ensure that Omega reaches a significant portion of both the enterprise and consumer market.

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