Tags Pebble is stepping up its product rollout, with the manufacturer using Mobile World Congress (MWC) to announce its second product launch in a week, plus what it claims is the sector’s first “hardware accessory platform” that lets sensor manufacturers build “smart straps” that can communicate with smartwatches.The smartwatch manufacturer revealed that it has extended its Pebble Time series, with the addition of Pebble Time Steel (pictured), a device unveiled by Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky during an MWC conference session focusing on Wearables that took place on Tuesday.Pebble Time Steel is available on Kickstarter – a crowdfunding platform where users ‘pledge’ funds to a project up until they have reached their target – for $250, and is the second such device it has made public in a week.The latest update has up to 10 days of battery life and is manufactured with stainless steel, plus optional leather, or steel straps, with the device to start shipping in July. Migicovsky also said updates are available to those that had ‘pledged’ to the previously announced Time device.In addition, Pebble has also debuted what it calls the industry vertical’s first “hardware accessory port” initiative, that lets smartwatch accessory makers build watch straps containing sensors that can transfer data to apps running on its devices.These “smart straps”, as Migicovsky calls them, signify a significant milestone for the industry vertical, as it is the first time such a service has been made on wearable devices.He added: “Pebble is no longer just an accessory to your phone, it is its own unique computing device,” he said.The new hardware platform is “open”, meaning all developers, or “hackers”, are able to build on top of it, and then make device accessories equipped with functions such as GPS tracking that can be attached directly to a Pebble device.“We believe that in the future sensor manufacturers will not have to create their own smartwatches just to bring their sensors to market. They can integrate them into a thriving and active community of people that want to see their smartwatch do more,” he told attendees.Migicovsky also said he believed smartwatches will become indispensable to consumers, but did concede that this was unlikely to “happen overnight”, although he did express his opinion that such devices could exceed smartphones in terms of popularity in the long-run.“With smartwatches now, you can start to get things done from your wrist, without having to take your phone out… It’s about not forcing the user to change their habits around the device,” he added. Devices Related Microsoft previews Windows 10, reveals new devices Previous ArticleNGMN unveils 5G operator wishlistNext ArticleEU digital chief hails collaborative 5G effort Read more AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 03 MAR 2015 HomeDevicesNews Pebble steps-up product rollout to ditch ‘accessory’ status BlackBerry unveils Leap smartphone; continues shift to software Huawei’s Honor aims high with latest smartphones Author Guest MWC 2015 News
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FRANCE: Infrastructure manager RFF has announced its intention to start exclusive negotiations with a Vinci-led consortium to build and maintain the 340 km Tours – Bordeaux high speed line under a PPP concession.The consortium, led by Vinci and including Caisse des Dépôts and Axa, was selected from a shortlist of three consortia at an RFF board meeting on March 29. The infrastructure manager hopes to finalise the concession agreement for the €7∙2bn project ‘by the summer’, however it reserves the right to re-open discussions with the other two shortlisted groups, one led by Bouygues and the other by Eiffage, if financial close with Vinci cannot be reached.The line is the first stage of RFF’s LGV Sud Europe-Atlantique programme which includes planned high speed lines from Poitiers to Limoges, and from Bordeaux towards Toulouse and the Spanish border.In addition to the construction of 302 route-km of high speed line, the Tours – Bordeaux project includes connection to the existing main line to allow TGVs to serve Poitiers, Angoulême and Châtellerault. The journey time from Paris to Bordeaux is expected to be reduced by 1 h to around 2 h when the line opens in 2016.Of the projected €7∙2bn cost, a maximum of half will be met through funding from the state and five regional authorities. A combination of RFF and the concessionaire will meet the remainder.
Guyana Chess Federation’s (GCF) Tournament Director, Rashaad Hussain believes the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic could be a blessing in disguise for local chess players. In an interview with this publication, Hussain explained that, like the rest of the world, chess activity has been devastated by the pandemic’s effects which include the postponement of several key tournaments in the GCF’s calendar for 2020.One such tournament is the National Championships, which, he stated, has been “postponed until players are comfortable to play or until we find a way to incorporate social distancing in chess.”Apart from the National Championships, Guyana was set to host the ninth Carifta junior chess tournament. They were also down to prepare for possible participation at this year’s Chess Olympiad.Hussain vented his frustration on the abrupt nature of the virus that also forced schools to close their doors and expressed, “I am disappointed that we did not get to initiate the Chess in Schools programme in more schools since corona pandemic creates the ideal opportunity to train.”With these programmes halted, the GCF executive decided to look at the bright side of the situation. “Players are having a great chance to practice for the Nationals which were supposed to have already been completed.”He posited that a number of alternatives could be explored ranging from online competitions and software to research and personal development.Additionally, the tournaments co-ordinator revealed that the body is exploring the potential of hosting a tournament where players will use the necessary precautions such as sanitizers and face masks. This is tentatively set for late May. Hussain disclosed that the body is aware of the logistical side of the situation and the willingness of players to participate as well as a venue for the event since most spaces have closed their doors but is optimistic that spaces will open, even if it means playing outdoors.