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Dubai Aims at Becoming a Global Benchmark for Smart Cities

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Reporting from Barcelona, Spain: Dubai has set itself the objective of becoming the benchmark for smart cities not only for emerging markets but also globally. This is with an approach that focuses on the happiness of its citizens rather than merely being the “most connected” city or the city with the most data.

“Our vision is to make our city the happiest city on earth,” said Aisha Butti bin Bishr, the director general of Smart Dubai, which was first launched in 2014. “We have been constantly committed to impacting people’s happiness in every way… the technology is only a means to an end. Our end goal is people’s happiness.”

The city has launched “happiness meters”, for example, to measure how citizens respond to new services and solutions and to understand their current levels of satisfaction and future needs. During her keynote session on Wednesday, the executive also pointed to Dubai’s partnership with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the first city to trial the ITU key performance indicators for smart sustainable cities.

The KPIs focus on the elements of a smart city that rely on information and communication technologies (ICT), offering a measure of progress relevant to ICT aspects of urban-development master plans. Bin Bishr told the audience that when the Smart Dubai team first sought examples of what other countries and cities had done, they realised that nothing yet existed on the scale of what Dubai wished to achieve.

“The UN informed us that there was no city that had smart initiatives included across all dimensions,” she said. “We then partnered with the [ITU] to create a bespoke roadmap for services and initiatives for smart city implementation across six dimensions: economy, living, people, environment, government, and mobility.” The ITU is now carefully tracking the progress of Smart Dubai, “to use Dubai as a benchmark for smart city implementation across the globe,” Bin Bishr said.

Bob Moritz, global chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), praised Dubai for the leadership it has taken globally in driving the creation of smart cities. He also stressed the importance of educating people not only to create the right skills, but also to ensure that they are aware of, and are capable of adopting, the services and technology that are available to them. “That is absolutely fundamental,” Moritz said.

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Gadgets

MWC 2021: Samsung Shows Off New Watch Experience with a Sneak Peek of One UI Watch

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Samsung Electronics today introduced its One UI Watch user experience at Mobile World Congress (MWC) today. The new interface is designed to make the Galaxy Watch and smartphone experience more deeply connected. Samsung also confirmed that One UI Watch will be available for Galaxy Watch on the new, unified platform it jointly built with Google, bringing performance enhancements, a more seamless experience between the Watch and Android smartphones, and access to an even greater number of applications. Samsung further revealed that its upcoming Galaxy Watch will be the first to feature the new unified platform and One UI Watch, which will make its debut at the Unpacked event later this summer.

“To unlock the full potential of these wearables, we’re leveraging our long legacy of mobile innovations and our partnerships with trusted industry leaders who have grown with us in our open ecosystem,” said Patrick Chomet, EVP and Head of Customer Experience Office, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “Through these efforts, we will enrich our smartwatch experience and convenience of the Galaxy ecosystem for our consumers.”

One UI Watch together with the new unified platform will create an entirely new Galaxy Watch experience. As part of the new experience, once you install watch-compatible apps on your smartphone, they will be swiftly downloaded onto your smartwatch. If you’ve customized your clock app on your phone to show the time in different cities around the globe, this will be automatically reflected on your watch as well. And if you block calls and messages from your watch, they will now be blocked on your smartphone, too.

The unified platform will open up new features and integrations with popular third-party apps available to download from Google Play directly on your Galaxy Watch. So, whether you’re a sports and fitness fanatic who wants to get more out of apps like Adidas Running, GOLFBUDDY Smart Caddie, Strava and Swim.com, a wellness seeker who wants to live a more balanced lifestyle with apps like Calm or Sleep Cycle, a music lover who revels in discovering new artists on Spotify and YouTube Music, or an intrepid explorer ready to roam with Google Maps—there’s something for everyone, thanks to a diverse range of partners.

“Samsung and Google have a long history of collaboration and whenever we’ve worked together, the experience for our consumers has been dramatically better for everyone,” said Sameer Samat, Vice President of Product Management, Android and Wear, Google. “That certainly holds true for this new, unified platform, which will be rolling out for the first time on Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch. In collaboration with Samsung, we’re thrilled to bring longer battery life, faster performance, and a wide range of apps, including many from Google to a whole new wearable experience.”

In addition, Samsung will bring an improved watch face design tool, making it easier than ever for designers to create new watch faces. Later this year, Android developers will be able to unleash their creativity and release fun, new designs that will be added to Samsung’s ever-growing collection of watch faces to give consumers even more options for customizing their smartwatches to suit their mood, activity and personality.

The new Galaxy Watch will be the first-ever device to feature One UI Watch and the new, unified platform, which is scheduled to be announced at Samsung’s Unpacked event later this year.

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Events

MWC 2020 Cancelled Over Coronavirus Fears

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The world’s largest mobile phone showcase, Mobile World Congress (MWC), has been cancelled over coronavirus concerns, organisers have confirmed.

The GSM Association (GSMA) said it had become “impossible” for the event to go ahead as planned in Barcelona.

BT, Facebook, LG, Nokia, Sony and Vodafone were among the high-profile exhibitors to have pulled out of the annual event, citing coronavirus fears.

But Spain’s health minister, Salvador Illa, urged people to remain calm. Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Illa said people should “trust in the Spanish health system” and “take decisions based on scientific evidence”.

MWC was due to be held in Barcelona on 24-27 February. More than 100,000 people usually attend the annual event, about 6,000 of whom travel from China.

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Events

Huawei P30 Series Reaches 10 Million Units in Sales

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At the MWC Shanghai Global Device Summit, Kevin Ho, the President of Handset Product Line of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said, “Huawei’s smartphone shipments reached 100 million units on May 30th, earlier than that of 2018 when we reached the same volume. The sales volume of P30 series hit 10 million 85 days after its launch. The time we took to reach 10 million unit sales is 62 days less than that for P20 series.” The company said this is a record-breaking three months for Huawei flagship series.

A series of innovative features helped Huawei achieve recognition and love from media and consumers, including the Huawei SuperSpectrum Sensor, an extreme optical SuperZoom Lens and a new Huawei Time of Flight (ToF) Camera – as well as HUAWEI’s enhanced optical & AI image stabilization technology. Huawei claims it has invested more than CNY480 billion over the past decade, helping establish its powerful technological strength and partnerships in both the software and hardware supply chains, enabling Huawei to pioneer many new technologies and experience in the smartphone industry.

“Huawei believes that continuous innovation and technological leadership will continue to expand the boundaries of smartphones, creating all-scenario smart life experience for consumers. This the cornerstone of confidence from a large Huawei user community,” said the company in a statement.

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