Last week, the Barcelona Mobile World Congress 2015 took place, the world’s largest 3GSM conference and exhibition, where Samsung and HTC launched their latest smartphones. Sales for South Korea-based Samsung devices have fallen lately in light of the success of Chinese mobile companies, such as Lenovo and Xiaomi, which have recently come out with quality and durable smartphones at significantly lower prices and offer buy-one-get-one-free promotions.
Samsung is launching its new flagship smartphone, Galaxy S6 Edge, which has a screen that slopes down on either side, in the hopes that this will help jump start sales.
The model sports many improvements, such as the Gorilla Glass cover, the inability to remove the battery without taking the phone apart, the inability to use an SD memory card and a touch-based fingerprint sensor in place of its previous swipe sensor that was extremely cumbersome.
The Galaxy S6 enables wireless charging using an Israeli technology called Powermat that comes integrated in the phone. All you have to do is place your phone on a Powermat Spot and it charges your phone, with no need to plug it into the electrical outlet.
HTC ’s new phone will have a 20-megapixel rear camera, on par with other leading Android phones. HTC has announced its new GPS-enabled fitness tracker called Grip, worn as a bracelet and whose UA Record system helps you keep track of exercise workouts.
Another smartphone that was on display at the Barcelona exposition was Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2, an ultra-secure device that is considered “NSA -proof” since its unique operating system encrypts data and makes it impossible to hack.
In general, I think it’s safe to say that mobile device manufacturers have found it difficult to come up with any revolutionary changes.
It might take a few more years until the industry will witness any exciting innovations, such as folding screens or 3D technology that would convince buyers to shell out the big bucks.The Israeli connection:
The Israel Export Institute collaborates with start-ups and as a result an amazing 5 percent of the mobile companies that participated in the exhibition were from Israel. This is a very high percentage considering how small Israel’s population is. The exhibition pavilion was constructed over 500-square meters and included display booths, meeting halls and a huge interactive screen, which showed demos of more than 80 Israeli apps.Seven leading Israeli participating start-ups
ENTiTi, by wakingapp
, is the first augmented and virtual reality platform that enables you to create interactive and dynamic content using an amazing 3D engine. All you have to do is look at a specific location, and the app will provide you with information, such as what restaurants or tourists spots are located in the vicinity. This simple technology can be used from any smartphone without a need for any additional devices.
develops systems that optimize the transfer of data (such as music, video clips or games) to cellphones quickly and efficiently. Saguna makes broadband faster, simpler and more economical, which improves user experience tremendously and reduces glitches almost completely.
Ramat Gan-based StoreDot
, which purports to be the market leader in the cellular battery industry, develops rechargeable batteries that can be fully charged in just one minute. StoreDot attracted a great amount of attention recently when it raised $42 million, and has not hesitated to express confidence in its ability to alter the world’s understanding of the cellular battery industry.
More than 60 million people have used Magisto
to create and edit personal movies.
In just a matter of clicks, Magisto uses its unique artificial intelligence technology to create short or long films by analyzing visual and audio aspects of the footage. At the exhibition, Magisto announced its collaboration with Deutsche Telekom, following which Deutsche Telekom customers will be eligible for a free premium version of Magisto.Care@Home
is the latest generation in panic buttons. This smart home-management system learns the habits and behaviors of elderly and chronically sick individuals and sends an alert if there is any deviation in their daily routine that might indicate a potential change in their health condition.Aerotel
has developed a new ECG machine for home use that has built-in mobile communication that carries out ECG tests just like the sophisticated equipment used in hospitals.
Aerotel’s machine can detect a patient’s heart attack in real time.
A company called eyeSight
has developed a gesture recognition app called Snapi that uses gestures to remotely capture photos hands-free. This is useful for taking selfies, remote activation of presentations and operating devices at home. The company’s vision is to enable control over devices by using hand gestures and body movements.Zimperium
: Enterprise Mobile Security has developed an app that protects against intruders who use WiFi connections to hack into people’s cellphones. Following its participation in Barcelona, Zimperium signed a strategic collaboration with Japanese distributor Toyo, which involved an acquisition of the company and a $15m. investment.Five useful apps
is a great site for helping you book the most suitable hotel.
Each of the more than 590,000 hotels have been rated and reviewed by people who’ve stayed there. The site includes a handy interactive map, suggestions for attractions in the vicinity and attractive prices. Booking.com has a convenient interface that lets you compare prices between hotels.
Free for Apple and Android.Mila Tirgumim
, a phrasebook offered by Google, is the perfect app to use when you’re traveling and trying to communicate with the natives. It includes a number of languages and has lists of commonly used words and phrases. All you have to do is select the appropriate language, type in a word or sentence and you’ll immediately see the translation.
Free for Apple and Android.Tinder
is a dating app that lets you get to know people in whatever location you choose. It’s very simple and quick.
All you do is look at a picture of someone and then swipe right if you want to get to know him/her or left to remove the contact. A new premium version, Tinder Plus, is available on Android Wear watches so you can leave your phone in your pocket.
Free for Apple and Android.
For now, the Android Wear version is still free.
The Find My Phone
app is great for people who tend to misplace their phone (i.e. all of us). Whether you’re at home or the office, this smartwatch app can help you locate your missing phone – as long as it’s within a distance of up to 10 meters – by making your phone ring. You can alter the ringtone, change the brightness and even turn the flash on and off.
Free for Android.Evernote
is an app that helps you organize your grocery lists, reminders to take your car for its yearly test and even lengthy research papers all in one place.
You can organize articles, handwritten notes and even photos and then quickly find them with its powerful search engine.
Free for Apple and Android.
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Translated by Hannah Hochner.