automotive

Mobile World Congress: Volvo Brings Driver Safety to the Cloud

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 2, 2015 05:24 PM

As connected cars gain acceptance and popularity, Volvo is taking it one step further. It has deployed 1,000 cars in Sweden and Norway that use “road status” technology to anonymously share road condition data to the Volvo Cloud. The project speaks to its corporate citizenship mandate and the brand's core promise of safety: Sharing car data will save lives, time and taxpayers money.

"Imagine a world where road status data collected by cars is shared with other road users and with local authorities through a connected car cloud such as the Volvo Cloud," stated Volvo Group CIO Klas Bendrik at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. "Volvo Cars is working on realising such a future scenario." Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Mobile World Congress: Oral-B Smart Toothbrush Lets You Brush Up on News

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 2, 2015 04:23 PM

When someone mentions mobile devices, what usually comes to mind are phones and tablets. In this Internet of Things, however, everything from vacuum cleaners to 300-pound refrigerators have been added to the mobile, connected experience.

Even the humble toothbrush is connected. Procter & Gamble’s Oral-B brand, which unveiled its first Bluetooth-enabled smart toothbrush at last year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, is back at MWC to show off its new and improved version that's launching this summer, adding more features in response to user feedback. 

In addition to dental hygiene, Oral-B's next high-tech device will bring multitasking toothbrushers the latest news, photos and weather reports. P&G is even opening its API to expand the electric device's content and functionality, inviting mobile developers to participate in advancing the world's first Bluetoothbrush.Continue reading...

that's entertainment

All Hail the King: Elvis Returns, in Style, to Las Vegas

Posted by Paula Pou on March 2, 2015 03:17 PM

Elvis is back in the building!

For the first time in 40 years, the King of Rock & Roll will return to Las Vegas with “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition—The Show—The Experience.”

Slated to open on April 23 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the first-ever permanent Graceland exhibition outside of Memphis will feature hundreds of artifacts as well as live entertainment that celebrates Elvis Presley’s life and legacy.Continue reading...

going mobile

Domino's Brings Pizza Orders to the Smartwatch

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 2, 2015 02:22 PM

Domino's pizza smartwatch

Pizza-lovers can already order Domino's on iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 8 and Kindle Fire mobile devices—even via in-car tech powered by Ford, not to mention at dominos.com.

Add smartwatches to its list of digital ordering innovations, as Domino's customers can now place and track their order by downloading an an app for Pebble and Android Wear smartwatches. 

In an announcement timed to Mobile World Congress, the move marks the first time that Domino's ordering is available on smartwatch technology.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Mobile World Congress: Google Confirms US Mobile Network Plan

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 2, 2015 01:28 PM

Following weeks of rumors, Google confirmed at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday that it plans to offer talk and data plans in a US wireless service that's now in development, using Google Fiber and Wi-Fi technologies.

When it comes to Google, of course, small doesn’t usually stay small for long. The brand plans to become a wireless carrier by launching a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), meaning it could buy access from “Sprint and T-Mobile networks and then sell cellular plans to its own customers,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps, told MWC attendees.

The goal, he added, isn't to compete against telecom incumbents such as AT&T or Verizon. Continue reading...

bc q&a

5 Questions: smart USA on Making Customer Education Fun

Posted by Dale Buss on March 2, 2015 12:29 PM

While smart’s two-seater cars certainly stand out in the market, the Mercedes-Benz-owned brand is facing tough challenges in the US. Lower gasoline prices, which curb demand for its gasoline-powered models, and lackluster enthusiasm for mainstream electric cars, its other offering, means the automaker has its work cut out for it.

But its sales and marketing executives see big things ahead for the tiny gas and electric smart cars. In one promising sign, US sales rose last year by nearly 13 percent over 2013, to more than 10,400 units, even while smart has been phasing out the current version of its ForTwo model (the four-seater ForFour isn't available in the US).

While most consumers and dealers simply refer to the model as "the smart" and the brand doesn't bother much with the ForTwo moniker, smart is priming interest in the launch of its improved models this year with a little branded humor.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Mobile World Congress: Runcible Aims for Quiet, Discreet Mobile Chic

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 2, 2015 11:45 AM

The 2015 Mobile World Congress is now underway in Barcelona, touting all manner of bells and whistles coming to your phone, wrist or head (if you're into VR). One startup, however, isn't shouting but whispering, calling for non-intrusive mobile connectivity instead of "look at me!" Google Glass-like attention.

The team at Monohm, which includes Apple and Sony alumni, would much rather have people gaze at the world around them than draw attention to its mobile device. It has attracted some key attention, however, in the form of investment by KDDI, the Japanese telco.

Called Runcible, it's an undeniably beautiful and intriguing object, with a vaguely steampunk and sci fi vibe, recalling a Star Trek-style communicator you'd activate by touching what looks like a brooch on your chest—or the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Is it watching us? Are we supposed to watch it? Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Mobile World Congress, McDonald's and More

Posted by Dale Buss on March 2, 2015 09:14 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple CEO Tim Cook stokes excitement for Apple Watch and sees rivals scrambling at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where IBM unveils new batch of enterprise apps with Apple ... Samsung unveils all-aluminum eco-friendly new Galaxy S models and launches mobile wallet ... HTC unveils move into virtual reality headsets with Vive headset ... Intel launches chip for low-price smartphones ... Oral-B promotes Bluetoothbrush and dental care app ... and IKEA reveals wireless-charging home collection with Qi standard.

Costco names Citigroup and Visa as credit partners as it replaces American Express.

Airbnb reportedly raising funding at $20 billion valuation.

McDonald's new CEO takes over, ready to deliver change.

Volvo tests self-driving car on Swedish roads.Continue reading...

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