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  • Cheryl Tan

Tech Round Up Week 3 August 2020: 5G in SG, Canon Ransomware Attack and More

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Starhub customers will be first in Singapore to experience 5G speeds, as long as they have compatible mobile devices and are subscribed to the new Mobile+ or Biz+ plans. StarHub’s 5G signals cover up to 53 per cent of Singapore’s populated areas but this will be expanded to 70 per cent coverage by September, including locations such as Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, the Central Business District, Jurong and Woodlands. Starhub’s 5G trial will run until Feb 16 2021.

ZTE Corporation has announced that it will be launching the ZTE Axon 20 5G in China on September 1, 2020. This device will be the world’s first mass-produced 5G smartphone featuring an under-display camera.

In recent years, ZTE has achieved numerous breakthroughs in the field of smartphone displays, including launching the world’s first pressure-sensitive display, the world’s first naked-eye 3D display smartphone, as well as the world’s first foldable dual-screen smartphone. With the latest launch of their 5G smartphone that has an under-display camera, this might herald the coming of phones that don’t rely on punch-hole cameras or pop-up cameras to get an uninterrupted screen.

Facebook has begun testing their plans to unify the messaging platforms of its hugely popular apps to allow cross-messaging among Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. On the Instagram mobile app, a message pops up stating that “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram” along with a list of features including a “new colourful look for your chats,” more emoji reactions, swipe-to-reply, and “chat with friends who use Facebook.”

The regular DM icon in the top right of Instagram will be replaced by the Facebook Messenger logo. Chats on Instagram are more colourful, with the sender’s messages shifting between blue and purple as you scroll.

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore have developed a new smart glove, Infinity Glove, that allows you to play games with your hands! The glove lets you move forward by rotating your wrist, look up with a flick of your hand and fire your weapons by flexing your index finger. The glove overcomes existing problems with weight and flexibility by weaving ultra-thin, highly sensitive microfibre sensors into the material of the glove.

The application of this microfibre sensor technology is the breakthrough innovation that enables the InfinityGloveTM to accurately map finger gestures for human-machine interaction. Currently, the prototype weighs about 40 grams and is flexible and comfortable, with tests being done in games such as Battlefield V.

Canon has become a victim of a ransomware attack. The attackers, known as Maze, gave the company seven days to respond to their demands, but Canon was unwilling to pay the ransom fee resulting in the release of Canon’s data online. Maze has published 2.2GB of stolen data so far, containing marketing materials.

No personal or financial information has been leaked yet. Canon has taken action by implementing its response protocols and beginning an investigation. Maze ransomware has previously been used to encrypt and steal the data of high-profile organizations such as LG, Xerox, Cognizant and more.

Zoom has opened its first data centre in Southeast Asia, right here in Singapore. The Singapore data centre is amongst Zoom’s 18 sites globally. Zoom has plans to hire more Singaporean employees for positions in enterprise, financial services, public sector, major accounts, sales, engineering, customer success, tax, legal, human resources and professional services. Zoom has stated that the company is committed to bringing better services and experiences to their users and plans to bring together a diverse and talented team in Singapore.

Singapore’s EZ-Link and Malaysia’s Touch ‘n Go has launched a new dual-currency contactless card.

The cross-border card will allow users to store both Singapore dollars and Malaysian ringgit in two electronic purses on the same card. The announcement comes shortly after the implementation of the Reciprocal Green Lane and Periodic Commuting Arrangement at the Singapore-Malaysia border.

The card can be used in Singapore for Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) payments, checkpoint toll charges and parking fees at some car parks. In Malaysia, it can also be used to pay highway tolls, checkpoint toll charges, parking fees, MRT and bus fares. It is also accepted at Touch n’ Go retail outlets.

Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, has launched Where You Shop Matters, an initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses while helping SMEs to go digital following the onset of COVID-19.

Visa will be working with Shopee to feature more than 2,000 local micro SMEs in its marketplace and create campaigns to enable Visa cardholders to enjoy discounts when they shop at these local merchants. Visa will also be providing SMEs with a Visa eCommerce Starter Kit to help them start, manage and grow their online storefronts to encourage them to go digital.

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