The SM-T300, from Star Micronics, is a mobile printer for smartphones.
“This is a printer you can carry with you. It can be used outdoors for mobile purposes. For example, it can print from an iPad, smartphone, or Android device.”
The SM-T300 has a rubber-type case that can withstand being dropped from 1.5 meters. It’s also waterproof and dustproof, meeting the IP54 international standard.
“Basically, this product is for printing receipts and delivery slips. The battery lasts up to 11 hours, so you can use this printer for a long time. It communicates with the host device through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. We offer a special-purpose communication support library for sending data.”
The SM-T300 also comes with a magnetic card reader as standard. So it can be used to issue receipts for delivery services, and to bill for simple transactions at events.
The Case Marine, Gooma’s waterproof soft case for smartphones, has a waterproof rating of IPX8, which is the highest class in JIS (Japan Industrial Standards).
“This is the Case Marine. Until now, waterproof cases for smartphones haven’t looked very good, as they’ve all been bulky. But we’ve developed a stylish, attractive case. It’s made of 0.25mm polyurethane with a special finish. The screen part is made of acrylic.
“Our current line-up is for the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S2. Next, we plan to release an iPad case. The Premium versions are priced at 3,000 yen ($37), and the Lite ones at 1,200 yen ($15(). The iPad case will be available for about 4,000 yen ($50).”
Vites is TaskRabbit made a little more simple. It matches people with talent and/or time, to those who need to get things done. Vites was released in both Japanese and Korean a little over week ago. Wishscope is another Japanese website similar to TaskRabbit, but I do like the simplicity of Vites.
Users can create a Vites account using their Facebook credentials. Once you’re done, you can start listing any service that you can provide, such as giving a morning wake-up call, taking a picture of something, trying out an app, giving fashion advice, or anything else you can think of within reason. Every task on Vites is sold for 5 dollars, with no exception. If you come across something interesting, you can press the outsource button. Vites charges a one dollar service fee for every transaction. The worker signals the completion of a task by pressing a button, and the fee will be subsequently transferred to their PayPal account.
Some of the popular services on the site so far include drawing a Twitter icon, replacing a Twitter icon with an ad for 24 hrs, giving UI/UX advice, finding the perfect book, and more.
There is also a crazy one, as one guy wants 5 dollars to wake himself up early for one week. He is not providing anything in return, his just forcing himself to get up early in exchange for 5 dollars. Anything goes, I guess. It says on the project page that he has already received 9 orders. Maybe it’s his boss?!
User can browse using the category section in the right sidebar. Categories so far include illustration, photography, design, movies, music, and beauty.
Indeed the concept of Vites is nothing new, but they have done a good job of simplifying the structure. Vites is planned to be released in English, Thai, Indonesian, so users who speak those languages can look forward to that. They’re currently working on an iPhone app and Android app as well.
PayPal Introduces ‘PayPal Mobile Payments Standard’ and ‘Mobile Commerce in a Box’ Solutions for Singapore Businesses17 May
According to statistics released from PayPal Online and Mobile Shopping Insights 2011, mobile shopping here in Singapore is expected to increase from S$328 million (US$259 million) in 2011 to a whopping S$3.1 billion (US$2.4 billion) in 2015. And with nearby half of all online shoppers making a purchase on their smartphone devices while on-the-go, businesses ought to start looking at how they should adapt to such shopping behaviors.
Today PayPal officially released two solutions in Singapore: “PayPal Mobile Payments Standard” and “Mobile Commerce in a Box,” to help Singapore businesses increase their mobile conversions and sales, as well as engage mobile shoppers.
In a press conference today, Rahul Shingal, director of PayPal Mobile Asia Pacific said,
PayPal is aggressively driving this change by streamlining the payment process in as little as two clicks on web-enabled mobile devices for millions of consumers and businesses across the world. The time is right for Singapore’s retail industry to go multichannel by offering mobile-optimized checkout and mobile shopping websites to take advantage of this major change in consumer shopping behavior.
In a nutshell, both solutions aim to streamline mobile shoppers’ experience. “PayPal Mobile Payments Standard” solution automatically provides all merchants accepting PayPal on their websites with a mobile payment checkout experience optimized for mobile devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Android. PayPal intelligently detects when users are making payments from their mobile devices, and seamlessly redirects them to a mobile-optimized payment page, even when the website is not optimized for mobile devices yet. So, if you own a e-commerce site which is currently using PayPal, this mobile optimized payment checkout is already available without additional integration. As for merchants who’d like customers to enjoy such transactions, all you need to do is to integrate PayPal into your site and ta-dah, customers can complete their payment in just two clicks.
But we also need to bear in mind that while a better checkout experience translates into increased mobile sales, it is essential for businesses to offer a mobile-optimized website to compete in the e-commerce marketplace today. So PayPal is offering “Mobile Commerce in a Box,” which aims to help businesses present a mobile shopfront, enhancing the entire shopping experience. PayPal claims to be able to do it within an hour there will be no additional costs incurred for businesses. So now, the mobile shopfront will have larger product photos, buttons, links, and text to make it easy to shop while on-the-go, on top of being able to make payments in just two clicks. That certainly sounds exciting, especially for folks who love shopping on-the-go, like myself.
The two solutions are an effort to retain two-thirds of Singaporean mobile shoppers stopping a mobile transaction due to hassle of keying in financial details on a small screen, and help three out of four Singaporean businesses without mobile friendly websites to increase their reach of mobile shoppers.
With these two solutions, PayPal is hoping that businesses will benefit from lower bounce rates, increased browsing timings, higher conversion rates, and eventually an increase in mobile sales. For those e-commerce owners who are looking to use this mobile commerce solution, PayPal merchants using ZenCart or osCommerce shopping carts can download, install, and use the free PayPal Mobile Store Plugin which will convert existing online stores into a fully optimized mobile shopfront.
Chinese-based startup Mafengwo is a website that provides content on all things travel-related. Aside from the website, one of the products that it has developed is Traveling Translator. The app serves to help users to get around despite language barriers. It contains all the frequently asked questions likely to come from a confused traveler, ranging from greetings, transport, ordering food etc. Simply tap on the questions you want to ask and show it to a native person.
Note that Traveling Translator doesn’t do simultaneous translation. All the content is already loaded within the app. In other words, you do not need internet connection to be able to use the app. I thought this is really helpful since most travelers will not have data access on the road anyway. There is also simple “simultaneous translation.” If you type in hello the app will return a “nihao” result. But it’s very limited, of course, compared to Google Translate.
A PR rep told me that the app gets its answers from its group of third-party translators who have pre-loaded their translated content into its database. This is why users can access the app and its content without having an internet connection. The team at Mafengwo took a year to collect all this translated content to be able to provide a useful experience for users even when offline. Because the content is translated by humans, it is far more accurate than machine translation. Traveling Translator is available in over 30 languages and has so far attracted five million downloads. The iOS version costs $1.99 while the Android version is free. Click here to get yours.
Apple Inc plans to use a larger screen on the next-generation iPhone and has begun to place orders for the new displays from suppliers in South Korea and Japan, people familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.
The new iPhone screens will measure 4 inches from corner to corner, one source said. That would represent a roughly 30 percent increase in viewing area, assuming Apple keeps other dimensions proportional. Apple has used a 3.5-inch screen since introducing the iPhone in 2007.
Early production of the new screens has begun at three suppliers: Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd, Sharp Corp and Japan Display Inc, a Japanese government-brokered merger combining the screen production of three companies.
It is likely all three of the screen suppliers will get production orders from Apple, which could begin as soon as June. That would allow the new iPhone to go into production as soon as August, if the company follows its own precedent in moving from orders for prototypes for key components to launch.
Apple’s decision to equip the next iPhone with a larger screen represents part of a competitive response to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Samsung unveiled its top-of-the line Galaxy smartphone with a 4.8-inch touch-screen and a faster processor earlier this month.
With consumers becoming more and more comfortable using smartphones for tasks they once performed on laptops, like watching video, other smartphone manufacturers have also moved toward bigger displays.
AESTHETICS AND DESIGN
A likely shakeup in the design of a larger-screen iPhone could go a long way in boosting its “wow” factor, convincing fans to trade in their old iPhones for new ones, said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee.
“Not only do users pay for features, but they also pay for aesthetics and design. That’s as important, or more important, than features,” Wu said. “People love the current design—but it’s 18 months old.”
The latest iPhone 4S was introduced in October of last year and essentially has the same form factor as the iPhone 4, launched in 2010.
Samsung, which this year became the world’s largest cell phone maker, sold 45 million smartphones in the first quarter, and sales of the Galaxy phones outstripped the iPhone.
Apple was not immediately available to comment.
Apple’s move toward a larger display for the next generation iPhone was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal.
In addition to being Apple’s rival, Samsung is also a major components supplier to the U.S. computer, tablet and phone manufacturer.
The share of the production of new screens that go to each of the three manufacturers working with Apple has not been determined, one source said.
Sales of the touch-screen iPhone now account for about one-half of Apple’s total sales, and the phone has been a key source of growth for the company in Asia.
A report in March by a South Korea business newspaper said Apple would use a “retina” display on the next iPhone, the same technology in its latest iPad that enhance image quality.