Imaging Tops Feature Trifecta For Smartphones

A new report analyzing consumer reviews from major U.S. distribution channels has three specific features — battery, camera and display — have become integral drivers in the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of new smartphone purchases. According to Strategy Analytics, the camera was the most mentioned device feature for nearly all flagship smartphones included in this study. The camera of the Samsung Galaxy S7 was mentioned positively by one in five reviews vs. one in six reviews for the Apple iPhone 7.

Our Take: Clear Brand loyalty will only take manufacturers so far. In order to remain competitive, they need to ensure they’re hitting the imaging mark, which explains why the much-loved but lesser-purchased OnePlus is teaming up with the DxO imaging house for its upcoming OnePlus 5.

Parkmobile Teams With BMW For Simplified Parking

Parkmobile’s parking-reservation app is coming to the new line of BMWs. Drivers will be able to find, pay for, reserve and renew parking in more than 2,000 locations and 250 cities in the U.S. and Canada directly from their dash. As with the app, the vehicle will prepopulate the zone based on GPS coordinates, enabling one-touch parking. It also supports the capability to preselect the amount of time a driver wants to purchase, with the ability to manage and extend sessions remotely through the companion ParkNow app or Parkmobile app while away from their vehicle. Where parking rules allow, the platform supports start-stop parking sessions whereby the parking session terminates automatically when the driver returns to the vehicle and begins driving.

Our Take: Finding parking directly from the dash, without needing to fumble for a smartphone? This is a marriage made in in heaven.

TVs With HDR Will Hit 245 Million In 3 Years

TVs with high dynamic range (HDR) features are expected to grow at a 41 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and reach 245 million units in 2022, according to ABI Research. “As evident with Sony’s recent announcement to include HDR in all its new TV sets, the next-generation TV technology will soon be a prominent feature in many Ultra HD TV sets,” said Khin Sandi Lynn, ABI Research industry analyst. “While some less-expensive sets will not yet support the technology, high-end TV manufacturers recognize the value that HDR functionality brings to the viewing experience.”

Our Take: As a former TWICE editor once remarked, “Buying a 4K Ultra HD TV without HDR is like buying a color TV without the color red.”

Kuna Security Platform Can Match A Car With Its Owner

Kuna Systems has launched an AI platform that enables its smart security lights to ID a vehicle by its color, make and model. Able to detect motion outside a home, Kuna AI performs the recognition using deep learning, and can over time learn to match a car with its owner, such as with a babysitter’s car or a delivery van. For example, users can pull up all instances of a suspicious vehicle driving by a home, assigning a siren to activate whenever it passes by.

Our Take: Bringing deep learning into the smart home will not only help eliminate the false notifications that plague current security systems, but will also help make the devices deemed more necessary by consumers.

THX Debuts Certification Program For AR & VR Wearables THX announced its new Virtual Cinema Display Certification program, meant to ensure a high-quality viewing experience for AR and VR wearables. The program, which THX said will indicate that devices are calibrated to the same color and resolution standards used in professional Hollywood studios, will test for color accuracy, video processing, grayscale quality and visual geometry. It will also guarantee smooth video playback without stuttering or motion artifacts. The ODG R-9 smart glasses will become the first THX-certified product in the program.

Our Take: Lesser-known wearables manufacturers that secure THX certification could receive a significant boost in the consumer confidence buying index.


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