Singapore Airlines adds boarding passes to Google Pay

SIA introduces seamless access to mobile boarding passes via Google Pay — Singapore Airlines — “Customers travelling with Singapore Airlines (SIA) can now have the added flexibility of saving their mobile boarding pass on Google Pay, the digital wallet platform and online payment system developed by Google. This is the first time an airline in the Asia-Pacific region has such a capability on Google Pay.”



Drones relay RFID signals for inventory control

Drones relay RFID signals for inventory control — MIT — “MIT researchers have now developed a system that enables small, safe, aerial drones to read RFID tags from tens of meters away while identifying the tags’ locations with an average error of about 19 centimeters. The researchers envision that the system could be used in large warehouses for both continuous monitoring, to prevent inventory mismatches, and location of individual items, so that employees can rapidly and reliably meet customer requests.”


First battery-free cellphone makes calls by harvesting ambient power

First battery-free cellphone makes calls by harvesting ambient power — University of Washington — “University of Washington researchers have invented a cellphone that requires no batteries — a major leap forward in moving beyond chargers, cords and dying phones. Instead, the phone harvests the few microwatts of power it requires from either ambient radio signals or light.”


Alibaba challenges Google, Amazon with new Echo-like device

Alibaba challenges Google, Amazon with new Echo-like device — Bloomberg — “Importantly, the gadget — powered by the AliGenie system — may eventually simplify shopping for the Chinese e-commerce giant’s 450 million active buyers who turn to the website for everything from cherries to makeup. It will begin formal sales from August 8 only for China and won’t come with a display.”


Mastercard and Western Union explore digital model for refugee camps

Mastercard and Western Union explore digital model for refugee camps — Mastercard — “Mastercard and Western Union examined the needs, challenges and opportunities for refugees and their host communities at two settlement camps in northwestern Kenya. The findings have led to the development of Smart Communities: Using Digital Technology to Create Sustainable Refugee Economies, a blueprint that would combine digital access to remittances, banking, education, healthcare and other basic needs.”


Worldwide spending on the Internet of Things forecast to reach nearly $1.4 trillion in 2021

Worldwide spending on the Internet of Things forecast to reach nearly $1.4 trillion in 2021 — IDC — “A new update to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide forecasts worldwide spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) to grow 16.7% year over year in 2017, reaching just over $800 billion. By 2021, global IoT spending is expected to total nearly $1.4 trillion.”


International standard completed for high rate close proximity wireless communications exceeding 10 Gbps data rate

International standard completed for high rate close proximity wireless communications exceeding 10 Gbps data rate — TransferJet Consortium — “This new standard maintains the intuitive ease-of-use and can instantly transfer any type of data including large 4K definition and VR (virtual reality) video files… The required connection setup time has been reduced to 2 msec or less, allowing new usage scenarios such as the delivery of content while walking through ticketing gates.”


Xiaomi and Apple tie for the top position as the wearables market swells 17.9% during the first quarter, according to IDC

Xiaomi and Apple tie for the top position as the wearables market swells 17.9% during the first quarter, according to IDC — International Data Corporation — “The worldwide wearables market maintained its upward trajectory during the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17) with Xiaomi and Apple leading all companies and multiple products experiencing double- and triple-digit growth.”


Control Ikea Home Smart products with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Home app

Control Ikea Home Smart products with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Home app — Ikea — “Ikea is adding functionality to its smart lighting range by enabling people to voice control their lighting with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and to set up and adjust lighting using Apple’s Home app and Siri voice commands. This takes Ikea one step closer to making smart home technology accessible for the many.”


Researchers create a T-shirt that monitors the wearer’s breathing rate in real time

Researchers create a T-shirt that monitors the wearer’s breathing rate in real time — Université Laval — “The key to the smart T-shirt is an antenna sewn in at chest level that’s made of a hollow optical fiber coated with a thin layer of silver on its inner surface. The fiber’s exterior surface is covered in a polymer that protects it against the environment… As the wearer breathes in, the smart fiber senses the increase in both thorax circumference and the volume of air in the lungs… These changes modify some of the resonant frequency of the antenna.”



Sprint to support next generation IoT devices across its nationwide network

Sprint to support next generation IoT devices across its nationwide network — Sprint — “LTE Cat 1 is designed to support low-power applications on the Sprint network such as vehicle telematics and industrial IoT applications. LTE Cat M1 and LTE Cat NB1 are designed to support numerous other applications requiring ultra-low throughput and power consumption such as industrial sensors, asset trackers, or wearables.”


Seat and Saba promote the creation of the connected car ecosystem

Seat and Saba promote the creation of the connected car ecosystem — Seat — “The partners are studying the way to offer a mobile reservation and payment system for parking spaces… The collaboration lays the foundation for projects like Parkfinder 2.0, which will enable both companies to offer drivers real-time information on which parking spaces are available and recommend a car park according [to] the real needs of each client.”



Say hello to Spotify Codes

Say hello to Spotify Codes — Spotify — “We are introducing Spotify Codes, a brand new way for users to share any track, artist, album, or playlist available on Spotify, as easily as taking a picture… They also present an innovative and exciting new way for artists, labels and brands to instantly engage with fans through Spotify.”