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MEA Startups Gain Traction at AIM Startup 2019

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Over 100 startups and young companies mostly from the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) convened at the third edition of AIM Startup which runs in conjunction with Annual Investment Meeting, held in Dubai until the 10th April. Being held under the theme ‘Harnessing Global Digitization to Empower Startups and SMEs’, AIM Startup witnessed the participation from several MENA companies including Darajtee, 360 Moms, Tarteeb, Takalam, Akyas from Kingdom of Jordan; Wakoo, E-pill Box, Go Diving, Ideabot, Diabetic Wound Detector from State of Kuwait; and Telpay, Zayr, Adeeb Kids, Pocket Carage, Fastmovers from Oman.

In addition, companies from Lebanon included Formidable Industries, Groovy Antoid, Neotic, Lemonade Fashion, Lexyom and Augmental. Mutamer, Pick Logistics, Maya Clinics, Vigorous Antelope participated from Riyadh – Saudi Arabia and Firnas Aero, Bab Makkah, Men Wall, Tagit Games, Passioneurs from Jeddah – Saudi Arabia. Countries participating from Egypt included the likes of Garment IO, Epic VR, WideBot, ZeroPrime Can Waste, and VoXera, whereas the UAE witnessed the presence of companies as INVOIZ and several others.

These companies were selected during a roadshow pitch competition held in the region. The selected startups now have the opportunity to participate in the final pitch competition, where the best innovative minds in entrepreneurship will emerge as the winner of the annual competition and receive $50,000 seed money to support their project on the last day of the event.

While 360 Moms focused on its unique bilingual content and mamas reward cards, Men Wall- a local brand of Saudi Arabia provided shaving and grooming products made out of organic products through a subscription model. A spokesperson from the company stated, “Start-ups are doing well in Saudi Arabia and the government is offering the right support. We are here at this platform to raise funds worth 300000 riyals.”

Another highlight of the competition was Taklaam- an app developed to help individuals who suffer from stuttering. The app makes use of an internal speaker and a hidden microphone, permitting individuals to speak more clearly. In addition, INVOIZ, a UAE based-mobile app that encourages the use of e-receipts over paper was another highlight of the event.

In addition, Augmentalan educational platform that uses artificial intelligence, Zayran online platform that helps travellers connect to local experiences and BabMakkah, an online platform that provides authentic and high-quality products from Makkah were some other key participants at the event. At AIM Startup’s third edition, Khalifa Fund is also showcasing its innovative services and financing solutions for national SMEs.

Mouza Al Nasri, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Khalifa Fund, said: “KFED is always keen to participate in such important events to interact with various stakeholders and meet local entrepreneurs and owners of innovative SMEs. Our participation in this year’s edition of AIM Startup is aligned with our commitment to engage with Emirati entrepreneurs and help nurture their potentials, falling in line with our endeavours to create a more sustainable, innovative, and integrated society in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”

Dubai South was another exhibitor at the global forum. Shoeb Alrahimi – Vice-President of the Business Park at Dubai South said, “80 percent of the companies with Dubai South are SMEs and to support SMEs in the aviation sector we also waived fees for this segment. Our aim is to support young companies and our participation at the event is a testament of the same.” AIM Startup has over the years been counting on the continued support of the public and private sector to provide much-needed tools in learning and networking platforms for investors and entrepreneurs.

On the national level, the support comes from National Program for SMEs and Projects, Sheraa, Sharjah Business Women Council, Khalifa Fund, Dubai South, Wamda, Abu Dhabi Global Market, and many more. From the international level, AIM Startup is highly supported by BIAC, Wadi Makkah, Monshaat, Mohammed bin Salman College and in partnership with Korean Trade Association, Indian SME Chamber, Switzerland’s Solar Impulse Foundation, and Brazil’s Mango Venture.

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Displays

Acer Launches New Monitors and 4K Projector for Home Entertainment

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Acer has announced upgrades across its projector and monitor ranges, bringing new options to gamers and home entertainment enthusiasts. The new 4K laser projector brings high performance and high ECO efficiency to the mainstream market. Two new monitors are also available, one with a WQHD IPS display for prosumers who work and play at home and another with a WQHD 300 Hz panel for gamers.

“The pandemic has changed how people are approaching work and entertainment,” said Victor Chien, President, Digital Display Business, Acer Inc. “People who do their work on notebook computers are investing in monitors, and more families are exploring home cinema technology. We’re doing our best to respond flexibly and meet that new demand.”

Acer L811 Laser Projector
The Acer L811 is an ultra-short-throw laser projector that offers HDR10-compatible 4K resolution and 3,000 lumens of brightness for an incredible home-theater experience. Capable of offering a 120-inch projection from only 0.312 meters (1.02 feet), the device defeats space limitations, making it possible to fit a big screen into a small room. The excellent image quality is further enhanced by a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, allowing for deep blacks, while Acer LumiSense technology analyzes content on a frame-by-frame basis then dynamically adjusts brightness levels to provide the best image quality possible.

Content can also be projected in 3D at 144 Hz 24P via 3D Blu-ray. The projector comes preloaded with an app market that enables users to enjoy a variety of streaming services, social media platforms, and more, right out of the box—no wires necessary. Users can also wirelessly mirror content via Miracast if using Android or Windows devices, or via EShare if using iOS or Android. Low input lag, an option for 240 Hz at 1080p, and two built-in 10W speakers enhanced with Acer TrueHarmony technology enhances the quality of video and audio, while Acer’s EcoProjection technology reduces standby power consumption by up to 66% in order to extend the laser’s lifespan to 30,000 hours.

The projector also supports 24/7 continuous projection, providing users with dependable and high-quality projection when they need it.
With an IP6X “dust-tight” certification, the highest grade available for solid particles, the L811 is a very durable projector that offers reliable performance even in dusty or outdoor environments. From there, users can adjust keystones and each of the projection’s four corners in order to easily accommodate existing mounts or wall space and suit their unique living space.

Nitro XV2 Series
The Nitro XV272U KF is a 27” WQHD monitor that boasts a 300 Hz refresh rate for seriously smooth visuals. AMD FreeSync Premium Technology further enhances visual performance by varying the display’s refresh rate to match that of the GPU, eliminating choppy gameplay. A low 0.5 ms (G-to-G) response time[] further improves image quality by virtually eliminating the blur of fast-moving objects on the screen to enable lightning-fast reactions to gameplay, while Acer Black Boost technology makes it easier to pick out details such as hidden enemies when in darker environments.

VESA DisplayHDR 600-Certified, the monitor takes advantage of 90% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut and Delta E<1 color accuracy rating to make games look more lifelike. Acer’s Agile-Splendor IPS panel provides high contrast and vivid colors even at wide viewing angles, while Acer Vision Care 3.0 technology brings several features that may help reduce eye strain during prolonged usage for a more comfortable viewing experience. For example, Acer LightSense detects the amount of ambient light in an environment and adjusts the display’s brightness accordingly, and Acer ColorSense matches the display’s color temperature to that of the surrounding environment. Additionally, the monitor is TÜV/Eyesafe certified.

The Nitro XV272U KF monitor sits on an Ergostand that allows users to find the perfect viewing angle by adjusting its tilt, height, swivel and pivot. It also includes the Acer Display Widget, a tool that allows gamers to automatically adjust color settings and choose from a range of 11 preset screen-snap configurations to simplify the process of keeping multiple windows tidy.

Acer CB273U Monitor
The Acer CB273U is a 27” WQHD (2560×1440) IPS monitor that displays vivid 8-Bit colors, making it great for photo editing and design. HDR10 support allows for deeper blacks and more brilliant whites, presenting colors in Delta E<1 color accuracy. For creators who enjoy playing games on the side, AMD FreeSync makes gameplay smoother and decreases lag for virtually blur-free images, further enhanced by a 1 ms Visual Response Boost (VRB).

Acer’s CB3 Series monitors support 178-degree wide viewing angles and feature a docking station so users can create a perfect, clutter-free workspace that only has to be set up once. The dock includes a 90W USB Type-C port that supports power delivery for notebooks, an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, and a built-in KVM switch that makes it possible to switch between desktops and laptops without having to change monitors, keyboards, or mice.

The monitor is TÜV/Eyesafe certified and includes a variety of techniques to allow for the most comfortable viewing experience possible, including Acer BlueLightShield Pro technology, Acer Flickerless technology to eliminate screen flickering, and Acer’s low-dimming[] technology. Allowing for even further personalization, the monitor’s Ergostand allows users to find the perfect viewing angle by adjusting its tilt, height, swivel, and pivot.

The Acer L811 projector (UL5630) will be available in EMEA in November at EUR 2,599. The Nitro XV272U KF monitor will be available in EMEA in November at EUR 1,149. The Acer CB273U monitor will be available in EMEA in November at EUR 449.

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Gadgets

Oral-B Launches the iO Electric Toothbrush in the Region

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Oral-B has launched the iO toothbrush in the region, ensuring a professional level clean feeling is achievable at home every day. This latest addition to the brand’s line of electric toothbrushes comes after six years of intensive product research and development and over 250 patents from around the world. The iO boasts a coveted position as 2020’s CES Innovation Award Honorees due to its advanced technology.

The UAE will be the first market in the Middle East and Africa region to launch the innovative Oral-B iO electric toothbrush. P&G’s use of cutting-edge technologies to develop connected, innovative products that transform everyday consumer experiences, aligns with the “Creating the Future” agenda of Expo 2020 Dubai. Oral-B iO combines best-ever clinical performance with a superior user experience, making it one of the industry’s most advanced brushing products.

According to the company, in clinical tests, Oral-B iO provided a deeper cleaning of teeth and gums, allowing users to easily and effectively maintain oral health. When compared to manual toothbrushes, Oral-B iO users experienced:

  • 100 percent more plaque removal after eight weeks vs a regular manual toothbrush
  • 100 percent healthier gums in just one week vs a regular manual toothbrush

“There is nothing like the Oral-B iO. It introduces a new era in brushing and is a monumental leap in innovative oral care technology,” said Paolo Zilianti, Senior Brand Director, Oral Care Middle East & Africa. “The result of years of expert development, Oral-B iO strikes the right balance between effectiveness and experience and reimagines how a brush performs, cleans, and feels. It is a brush that people will look forward to using and will deliver superior oral health. Aligning with the UAE’s digital transformation strategy, P&G is constructively disrupting its business to deliver experiences that reinvent what people expect of everyday products.”

The Oral-B iO uniquely features a frictionless magnetic drive, which distributes energy more efficiently to the tips of the bristles, resulting in a smooth, quiet, sensational cleaning experience. The new magnetic drive delivers cleaning energy to the redesigned iO brush head, which has been engineered to combine oscillating and rotating cleaning motions with micro-vibrations for a professional clean feel. As a result of input from more than 1,800 consumers, the Oral-B iO includes five key pillars of design features and experience capabilities:

  • Linear Magnetic Drive: created from the need to deliver an effective and enjoyable brushing routine. Producing controlled, harmonious movements, the quiet and frictionless linear drive system efficiently transfers more energy directly to the bristle tips.
  • Superior Cleaning Action and Redesigned Brush Head: Oral-B iO brush heads combine oscillating, rotating movements with micro-vibrations to ensure a deep clean that reaches every contour. The brush head has been redesigned with twisted bristles, and reinforced with a high-density tuft-in-tuft configuration, for a sensational brushing experience.
  • Bimodal Smart Pressure Sensor: an innovation that is the first of its kind to provide positive brushing feedback, identifying and guiding users to brush in the optimal pressure range. The Sensor features a variable-speed smart drive that adjusts the frequency to protect gums and enamel.
  • Smart Display with Personalised Brushing Modes: an intuitive interface that greets users, while also providing coaching and motivation throughout the cleaning process. Features up to seven brush modes for a highly personalized experience.
  • Artificial Intelligence Tracking via the Oral-B iO App: provides real-time individual tracking and coaching, thanks to artificial intelligence informed by thousands of recorded brushing sessions. Oral-B iO has a simple and intuitive user interface that guides consumers through a two-minute brushing session with 3D teeth tracking across 16 zones (in the iO9) to ensure a professional clean feeling every time.

The new Oral-B iO is available for purchase in the UAE immediately and is available in the following colours and prices:

  • Oral-B iO 9 Series Black: AED 1499
  • Oral-B iO 7 Series White: AED 899
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Audio Devices

Sony MEA Intros Dolby Atmos HT-A9 Soundbar Powered by 360 Spatial Sound Mapping Tech

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Sony Middle East & Africa has announced the launch of its premium HT-A9 surround sound system, delivering revolutionary multi-dimensional sound experiences in the region. The innovative surround sound technology creates an incredibly immersive home theatre and soundscape experience. “Music, film, and gaming content is richer and more immersive with the Sony HT-A9, a new and powerful era for our portfolio of home audio products. Its unique optimization features enable anyone the ability to create immersive cinematic experiences at home,” said, Shintaro Hayatani, Head of Marketing, Sony Middle East & Africa.

The 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology of the Sony HT-A9 can create up to twelve phantom speakers from just four real speakers by synthesizing sound waves based on the positional information. An ultra-wide listening area fills every part of your living space so your family and friends get the same sound experience. The listening area is not limited to the front of the TV but encompasses a much wider space.

The HT-A9 also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, so users can experience cinematic surround sound without leaving home. Surrounded on all sides by multiple phantom speakers within an optimised sound field, you’ll hear every flap of wing and gust of wind with incredible intensity. It’s like you and your living room are inside the movie. The HT-A9 features Sony’s latest Omnidirectional Block Design. The cylindrical shape represents a single solid block providing 360 spatial sound. It fits perfectly against the wall with a flat rear surface. Its light pearl grey color can seamlessly blend with most decor schemes. The inside of the speakers features rectangular X-Balanced Speaker Units to maximize the diaphragm area for richer bass and sound pressure.

Enjoy music the way the artists truly intended with High-Resolution Audio and 360 Reality Audio, which immerses users in music as if they were right in front of their favourite artist and can be streamed through Apple Music. The A9 also features DSEE Extreme, which restores the high-range sound of compressed digital music in real-time. Paired with compatible BRAVIA televisions, the HT-A9 offers the ultimate immersive audio-visual experience with Sony’s best picture and sound quality. With Acoustic Center Sync, the HT-A9 precisely matches where the audio is coming from with what’s on the screen for even deeper immersion.

HT-A7000 Home Theater System
Sony Middle East & Africa also launched the flagship HT-A7000 soundbar, delivering a new and revolutionary multi-dimensional sound experience. The 7.1.2-channel soundbar features two up-firing speakers for overhead sound, two beam tweeters and five front speakers for wider surround, and a built-in dual subwoofer for deep bass, giving the feeling of the action happening above and from every corner of the living room with innovative surround sound technologies.

Thanks to Sony’s Vertical Surround Engine and S-Force PRO Front Surround, the A7000 can position sound in vertical space to create overhead audio without the need for in-ceiling speakers. The soundbar can virtually reproduce the surround sound field, with audio coming from both horizontal directions. Featuring Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and the Sound Field Optimization, the A7000 utilizes built-in microphones to intelligently measure the height and width of the room, as well as the position of an optional subwoofer and rear speakers, and perfectly optimizes sound to the room’s layout.

The HT-A9 and HT-A7000 are now available in the Middle East and Africa.

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