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Edmonton-based startup Mover acquired by Microsoft

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Mover, an Edmonton-based startup that offers data migration services, was acquired by Microsoft today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The announcement was made Monday, with Mover co-founder and CEO Eric Warnke stating in a blog post that it has been a fantastic journey these last eight years, and Mover was ready to embark on its next chapter.

“Our technology makes us one of the fastest OneDrive and SharePoint document migrators in the world.”

Microsoft bought the company with plans to integrate Mover’s data migration service, which moves files online between cloud storage providers, with Microsoft 356. Mover’s technology will now help customers to migrate data to OneDrive and SharePoint.
Mover currently supports migration from over a dozen cloud service providers, including Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, and Google Drive, the integration will help users more easily transfer their files from those platforms to Microsoft’s OneDrive and SharePoint, enabling seamless file collaboration across Microsoft 365 apps and services, including the Office apps and Microsoft Teams. According to a Microsoft blog post from Jeff Teper, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office, the Mover integration is currently available with more plans and details to be revealed at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference being held in November.

“Our technology makes us one of the fastest OneDrive and SharePoint document migrators in the world,” Warnke said in the blog post. “My team has proven this time and time again by setting migration speed records for the industry, always meeting customer needs. Security, file fidelity, and transfer accuracy are core tenets of our company and we take pride in our reputation.”

Founded in 2012, through the Vancouver Growlab accelerator, Mover originally began as a product called Backup Box, which allowed users to move data back and forth between cloud storage services. In the earlier days, as ‘the cloud’ was still gaining traction, Mover then decided to tackle to problem of data migration. In 2013, Mover raised $1 million (listed on Crunchbase as its total funding to date) in a seed round from Canadian and American investors, including Double M Partners, Yaletown Venture Partners, Amplify, and Medra Capita, as well as angel investors Jarl Mohn, Rick Barry, and Dennis Phelps.

“We have met thousands of wonderful customers and moved more data than I ever imagined. It has been an honor to be trusted by you and your fellow customers,” said Warnke. “On behalf of everyone at Mover, thank you to all our family, friends, customers, partners, investors, and allies who helped us get to where we are today. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

Image source Mover via Twitter

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Apple thinks glasses will replace smartphones

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Apple is planning to launch its first augmented reality (AR) product sometime in 2022. According to a report from The Information, citing sources attending an internal Apple presentation, Cupertino wants to release an augmented reality headset in 2022 and a pair of AR glasses by 2023. These “Apple Glasses” have popped up in previous rumors with an earlier launch date in 2020, but this new report reveals a far more concrete plan than previous accounts.

Product details are thin on the ground, but a few design points pop up in the report. The products will be designed with gaming, video, and virtual meetings in mind, according to Bloomberg. The Apple Glasses AR capabilities hinge on a new 3D sensor system, developed in-house at Apple over several years. Apparently, this is a more advanced form of FaceID technology used in modern iPhones. Apple is allegedly working on lenses that darken when the wearer is using AR. This is to let others know the user is not necessarily paying attention to them.

Apple has about 1,000 engineers working on the AR and VR initiative. CEO Tim Cook has been hot on the idea of AR for a number of years now. The report also mentions plans to begin attracting developers to the platform in 2021. Clearly, this is a major business commitment, not a small side project.

More posts about AR and VR

Apple Glasses to replace the iPhone

Perhaps the most interesting part of the report states that Apple believes augmented reality glasses will eventually replace smartphones. This will occur “in roughly a decade,” according to executives at the presentation. By 2030, Apple expects that the iPhone, and by extension Android phones too, will be obsolete — at least in high-end Western markets.

That’s no easy task. Current AR glasses pair up to a smartphone, which provides the data connectivity, storage, and bulk of the processing capabilities required by AR apps. Moving this entirely into a set of sleek, lightweight glasses will require a number of engineering breakthroughs. Apple’s first-generation AR products certainly won’t offer fully standalone capabilities. You’ll still need a phone in your pocket. Instead, the company is reportedly working on a new operating system, dubbed rOS, to enable existing devices to work with future headsets and glasses.

Barring the technological hurdles, there’s little reason to believe AR glasses can’t replace most of our smartphone needs. Messaging and calls are certainly possible, as is watching video and navigating with real-world map directions. The other hurdle is solving user interaction, something that advances in voice recognition and 3D object detection technology will likely be key to solving.

Augmented reality is already here, but new form factors will enhance the experience.

It’s easy to imagine the possibilities with AR, as some examples have already proven immensely popular. 2016’s Pokémon Go phenomenon was likely many people’s first foray into the world of AR. Today, consumers are using AR for Snapchat filters, real-time text translation, viewing the stars, and kitting our apartments. AR is already useful on smartphones, but AR glasses open up new possibilities for even more useful and engrossing experiences — ranging from in-world games to real-time contextual information on everything from directions to people.

Haven’t we been here before?

Apple certainly isn’t the first company to believe in AR as a future consumer product. Microsoft has been developing HoloLens for years and has just launched HoloLens 2 for businesses with an eye-watering $3,500 price tag. There’s also Google Glass, which was hounded out of the market by privacy advocates in its prototype launch period, although it remains in development for enterprise users. A number of other companies are working on the idea, including Epson, Toshiba, and Vuzix, among others. However, the majority fall under enterprise and specialist products.

Apple is banking on consumer appeal, but that’s a big ask. It is possible Apple Glasses will receive a warmer reception than Google Glass, given the US media’s often more sympathetic coverage of Cupertino over Mountain View. Its launch may also be more prime time ready, providing a robust developer platform and app ecosystem are ready to go at launch. However, consumer privacy concerns regarding camera and video recording, consent, and data collection will be a sticking point.

Privacy concerns and recording consent issues don’t disappear just because it’s Apple.

There’s no getting around the fact that AR glasses will fundamentally change the way we interact with the world and each other, but also the way in which technology interacts with us. Dedicated AR devices, like glasses, will consume even more data about our surroundings, taking in audio and visual cues from our lives to provide and contextualize content. Furthermore, we will likely wear glass throughout even more intimate aspects of our lives than a phone witnesses in our pocket. Having said that, consumers don’t seem too alarmed at the privacy implications of smart home products.

AR and the future of personal computing

Using Google Lens to identify a bunch of bananas as seen on the camera of the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Augmented reality is the inevitable next step in personal and enterprise computing. Its uses are bound to range from the essentials through to entertainment and the mundane. AR is clearly central to Apple’s future product plans, but it’s far from the only company working on the technology. Expect augmented reality to become increasingly popular in smartphones at all price points over the coming years. The next few years in mobile will lay down the building blocks for future AR-first products like Apple Glasses.

We’ll have to see whether wearable products like the Apple Glasses are the form factor that AR inevitably settles in. Perhaps phones will remain the preferred option for their flexibility if nothing else. Predicting the death of the smartphone within a decade is a bold move by Apple, but inevitably the tech world will move on. AR is as likely as any other to be that next big leap.

More posts about AR glasses

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Samsung Galaxy S11 hole-punch camera will be tiny – Pocket-lint

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The latest rumour regarding the Samsung Galaxy S11 suggests that the front facing camera will be placed within an even smaller hole-punch cutout than the Note 10.

It’s a relatively minor point on a smartphone that’s likely to be one of 2020’s most impressive devices, but it will mean an improved experience of the screen.

It goes without saying that having a smaller cutout for the camera means that it becomes less intrusive, and won’t block as much of what you have being displayed.

This information comes via @UniverseIce on Twitter, a leaker with a reliable track record in the mobile world.

We’ve already heard that the S11 will come in three different sizes, similar to the Galaxy S10, and that it will have a bigger battery than the S10.

Of course, hole-punch camera cutouts are a temporary measure until mainstream phone manufacturers figure out a way to implement an in-display selfie camera hidden beneath the display panel.

The aim from most of the smartphone makers is to create an edge-to-edge screen with no intrusion at all. It’s why some – like OnePlus and Oppo – have gone for a pop-up camera mechanism rather than have a notch or hole-punch camera at all.

Samsung’s next flagship is expected to launch around its usual timeframe in Spring 2020, kicking off next year’s new wave of high end smartphones.

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Samsung brings Note 10 features to S10 series with new update

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A recent update brings a lot of the Galaxy Note 10 features to the S10 series of smartphones, according to the company’s latest blog post.

The update now lets users on the S10 quickly find photos in the Gallery app with keyword searches.

Another feature brings up content recommendations from the multimedia streaming apps on the handset. Additionally, ‘Media & Devices’ are now in the Quick Panel, which lets users control their experience across all devices.

There’s also an Auto Hotspot solution that turns your S10 into Wi-Fi hub for all your other Samsung devices if they share the same Samsung account.

Another part of the update brings an improved Night mode, AR Doodle and ‘Super Steady’ mode to the S10’s camera.

Further, there’s a feature that makes videos more dynamic and easier to edit, trim and personalize with Samsung DeX.

The rollout is currently ongoing and varies region by region. We’ve reached out to Samsung Canada for more information, but let us know in the comments below if you received the update on your S10.

And while mostly unrelated, Freedom Mobile customers with the Galaxy Note 10+ and S9 are now receiving a new security update with device stability improvements and bug fixes, as well as camera improvements for the S9.

Source: Samsung Blog 

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