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Fitbit Launches Four New Wearables

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Fitbit has announced four new products – Fitbit Versa Lite EditionFitbit Inspire HR, Fitbit Inspire, and Fitbit Ace 2 – designed to help make health and fitness accessible to more consumers across the globe. Consumers can choose the best device for their own journeys with leading health and fitness features at an affordable price. Beyond devices, the Fitbit platform offers users engaging software features, access to their holistic data, and connection to one of the largest global health and fitness social networks which helps to drive positive behavior change. Fitbit will also soon launch a major redesign to the Fitbit app so users can further personalize their dashboard, better understand their data, discover new content and more easily connect with others on Fitbit’s social community.

“Since founding Fitbit almost 12 years ago, we’ve focused on making health fun and achievable for everyone – regardless of fitness level or goals. Today we have a growing, supportive community of more than 27 million active users[1] around the world who are getting more active, sleeping better, reducing stress, managing weight and getting healthier from being ‘on Fitbit,’ which is a testament to the power of our platform and our consistent innovation across our devices, software features and mobile app experience,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

Building on the success of the Fitbit Versa family of devices, Fitbit Versa Lite Edition is an everyday smartwatch with most of the core fitness and smart features Versa is known for, including automatic activity, PurePulse 24/7 heart rate and Sleep Stages tracking, 15+ goal-based exercise modes, connected GPS, smartphone notifications, apps, 4+ day battery life and relative SpO2 sensor, which has the potential to estimate changes in blood oxygen levels and help track new health indicators about health, such as sleep apnea.

It features a simple one-button, lightweight, swimproof design in new bold color choices for the young at heart. At AED 799 Versa Lite Edition is Fitbit’s most affordable smartwatch yet, for users who want an attractive, versatile, and easy-to-use device with core features, actionable insights and personal guidance to motivate them to improve their health.

Fitbit Inspire HR is the brand’s most affordable and stylish 24/7 heart rate tracking device at AED 499. It packs all-day automatic activity, exercise and Sleep Stages tracking, with 15+ goal-based exercise modes, connected GPS, and Relax guided breathing in a stylish, slim design. For consumers who are new to wearables and want an even lower-cost, easy-to-use tracker, Fitbit Inspire is available at AED 349. It has the essential health and fitness features to help consumers stay motivated, including automatic activity, exercise and sleep tracking, goal celebrations, Reminders to Move and timer and stopwatch apps to help users stay on track. Both products have a new modern, comfortable and swimproof design with a touchscreen display, smartphone notifications, and up to 5 days of battery life for day to night wear.

Fitbit Ace 2 helps kids ages 6+ learn healthy habits at an early age and encourages them to spend more active time with family and friends. Ace 2 has a new swimproof design with a bumper to protect the screen during kid-related activities all day long, and is available in fun and bold kid-friendly colors and accessories that include patterned designs. Ace 2 debuts new animated clock faces, motivating challenges to keep kids moving, and colorful avatars and cover photos to personalize their profiles within the Fitbit app. Additionally, parents must create a Fitbit family account in order to set up Ace 2 with their child’s account which helps them stay on top of their kids’ activities.

The Fitbit app will soon receive a major redesign, giving users more ways to personalize their health journey on Fitbit. The new design will make it easier to view and understand their health and fitness stats, log data, discover new content, see their progress in Challenges, and better connect with Fitbit’s large global health and fitness social community. The update also adds Fitbit Focus, a new section found at the top of the dashboard that delivers relevant insights, messages and tips to keep users engaged, informed and motivated.

A wide range of sport and lifestyle accessories are available to add personal style to all four products for any activity or occasion.

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UAE Entrepreneurs Launch Private Messaging App

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UAE-based entrepreneurs have launched a private messaging app, which enables users to send voice and written messages that disappear as soon as they are sent, read, and played. “The application called Oh!Message, brings users back to the classical period of simple communications tools, but by using the best privacy-enhancing features, to be the first chat application with this high privacy developed in the ME region by Arab expertise,” said Mohammed Othman and Haian Nayouf, the makers of the app.

With this free app, the sent message will disappear from the sender’s account after 10 seconds if it is read by the recipient or not, and it will also disappear from the recipient’s account after 10 seconds of opening or playing it. The message will be destroyed completely within the application and will not be stored on the app servers. Each written message is limited to 100 characters while the audio message is 10 seconds.

“Oh!Message is end-to-end encrypted but it has also other features that make it the most private app among messaging apps,” said Engineer Mohammed Othman, Co-Founder and Chief of Technology at Oh!Message. “In this app, which is available in Apple and Android stores, the user doesn’t appear online while using it, and his/her location is not tracked.”

“The first period of the app launch is in the UAE, the Gulf region, and Arab countries,” said Haian Nayouf, Co-Founder and Chief of Communications at Oh!Message. “The UAE is the capital for talent, companies, and investments in the areas of digital and technical excellence globally, and this has greatly motivated us to work on this project in UAE, and the app is the first of its kind in the Arab world with these strong privacy features.”

The app is now available for both iOS and Android devices.

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Taiwan’s First International Streaming Platform Called Taiwan+ is Now Live

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Taiwan Plus (Taiwan+), the first English-language international streaming platform of Taiwan, was unveiled by Vice President Lai Ching-te, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, Culture Minister Lee Yung-te, Central News Agency (CNA) Chairman Liu Ka-shiang, Taiwan+ CEO Joanne Tsai, and H.E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins of Embassy of Saint Christopher and Nevis at the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei on Aug. 30.

Targeting an English-speaking audience, Taiwan+ consists of media professionals from the U.S., the U.K, Canada, France, and Australia, as well as local industry professionals, who work collaboratively to deliver the latest news about Taiwan, international affairs, and covers a wide range of topics. The platform also sources stories from Taiwan’s public and private media organizations.

Golden Melody-award-winning singer Sanpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw opened the event with a music performance. Held with COVID-19 prevention measures in place, the event was joined by representatives including Izumi Hiroyasu from Japan, Jordan Reeves from Canada, Andrew Wylegala and Don Shapiro from the U.S., and Henry Chang and Giuseppe Izzo from Europe.

H.E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins of the Embassy of Saint Christopher and Nevis in Taiwan said the international video platform is expected to connect Taiwan with the world. President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her pleasure to join the launch of Taiwan+ with a video message, saying “Taiwan+ is an exciting new initiative to tell Taiwan’s story. Generations of Taiwanese fought to transform this country into a vibrant democracy that protects freedom of speech and expression.”

Premier Su Tseng-chang wished the platform success. He stressed that Taiwan is a democratic and free country guided by the rule of law, and cares about universal values of human rights, freedom of speech, and diversity, noting that this is why many countries are willing to make friends and do business with Taiwan. Vice President Lai said, “I hope that the platform can be the starting point from which the world learns about what Taiwanese people think and want, what Taiwan is doing, and what we can contribute to the world.”

Legislative Speaker, You noted that, with China’s intimidation and political oppression against Taiwan, the establishment of Taiwan+ allows Taiwan to tell its stories to the world through its voices. Taiwan+, a project commissioned by the Ministry of Culture to the CNA, marks an important milestone in the country’s history of mass media, Minister Lee said. He expressed his gratitude to legislators and professionals for making this happen.

“I hope to make this platform a form of expansion, connection, and infinite possibilities, just like how Taiwan incorporates ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity, and introduce Taiwan to the world through dynamic storytelling and news,” said Tsai, a senior media professional with over 25 years of experience in international media outlets, such as NBC/CNBC, National Geographic, and Fox International Channels.

The content of Taiwan+ can be played on the Taiwan Plus app or viewed on its website and social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

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“Selfdrive” Launches Smart Mobility App

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Selfdrive, an entity of Pinewoods Tech Serve, has launched an all-in-one Smart Mobility App. The app is serving as a game-changer for the car rental space offering its users a seamless, reliable, and convenient mechanism to rent a car on demand. The cutting-edge mobile app provides direct access to dealership fleet to its users, allowing them to rent a car by the day, subscribe by the month, or lease a car up to 3 years, offering complete flexibility in booking duration.

The company to date has served over 50k customers and witnessed a 30% MoM growth in customer base in the past six months. The app is built on a proprietary tech foundation concept, Search – Select – Pay, that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to match customers’ profiles with the cars that they would like to drive, making the selection process and renting a car absolutely seamless experience.

This app is available to download on Android and iOS, which offers users the option to select from 65 different car models across 15 different car brands from 45 different locations in the UAE within three hours. Some of the key brands available to rent are Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Renault, Mazda, Infinity, Volkswagen (VW), BMW, and many more.

Speaking about the launch of its app, Soham Shah, CEO, and Co-Founder of Selfdrive said, “As one of the largest car rental service providers in the UAE, we strive to offer exceptional service to our customers every step of the way. We bring together exclusive offers on the app starting from AED 49 per day and AED 999 per month. That’s not all, with the launch of ‘Lease Pro’ in this app, users can now rent a brand new ‘Zero Km’ car under its 12 – 24 – 36 months subscription that would be exclusively registered on demand by the car dealer.”

“The smart mobility platform is a testament of our commitment to curate best deals on cars direct from the dealership, whilst making it possible for anyone to rent a car on demand and get it delivered too. This alleviates the hassle of going through multiple car rental agencies to find the best car models and rates on offer,” added Shah.

The Car rental market accounted for $86 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $131 billion by 2026, projecting a CAGR of about 7% during the forecast period. Selfdrive launched in 2017 is the UAE’s largest car rental tech platform that has crossed 2000 cars on road.

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