BlackBerry confirmed Friday that it will eliminate roughly 200 jobs at its Ontario headquarters and in Florida. The company is in the midst of transforming itself from a hardware company into a mobile security and software services provider for businesses.
Google is reportedly working on replacing its Cardboard VR viewer with a smartphone-based headset this year, per a Financial Times report, which states that the upgrade will feature higher-quality sensors and lenses encased in solid plastic. Reportedly, the virtual reality viewer will be compatible with a broad range of devices and Google is developing software for its Android platform.
Seeed Studios is shipping a $59 modular kit that will enable buyers to build a basic 2G phone, as well as cellular-based devices for the Internet of Things and wearables. The RePhone Kit Create will contain parts -- including a SIM card -- to construct a 1.54-inch screen for voice and text messaging. The company hopes to introduce a 4G-capable product by October.
Enterprises are increasingly looking to save money on capital expenditures by outsourcing the building of wireless infrastructure. "A lot of businesses don't have a lot of capex to invest," said Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus, a maker of Wi-Fi access points.
All of Nissan's fleet will be connected by 2020, executive Richard Candler predicts, adding that its line of electric vehicles is already connected. "As the technology becomes more mainstream and costs reduce, we will start to see embedded solutions or a combination of embedded and smartphone systems becoming more common," Candler says.
Stadiums are turning increasingly to mobile ticketing as a security measure at events in an effort to keep track of individual attendees, tying tickets to specific IDs, David Goldberg writes. Mobile also presents an attractive platform because teams can push out features to fans that add value to their experience, Goldberg writes.
Mobile-payment systems are expected to reach mainstream status by 2020, per market research firm Packaged Facts, which says Android Pay will benefit from Google's purchase of rival Softcard. Moves by third parties such as Wal-Mart and JPMorgan Chase will likely help boost momentum for mobile-wallet services, given their large customer bases, the firm predicts.
Google will offer another Android 6.0 upgrade for Android Wear devices over the next two weeks, following its ill-fated launch on an LG Watch in November. The upgrade adds support for 4G service, as well as for speakers and voice-activated messaging.
The National Football League will sell the digital rights to its "Thursday Night Football" lineup, and Verizon Communications is among the companies identified as potential bidders, Variety reports, adding that the telecom, if selected, would stream the games over its Go90 mobile-video service. The NFL said it was "in active discussions" with interested parties, which could reportedly also include Apple, Amazon and Google.
The rollout of Apple Pay at retail and restaurant chains including Chick-Fil-A, Au Bon Pain, and Crate and Barrel has made the mobile-payment service an option in more than 2 million locations, Apple said. The service has grown globally, and 16.6% of consumers with newer iPhones had used Apple Pay as of last October, up from 9% a year earlier, a Pymnts and InfoScout survey found.
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