SoftBank founder’s brother Taizo Son launches agri-food tech accelerator in India

SoftBank Group’s founder Masayoshi Son’s younger brother Taizo Son has launched an agri-food tech accelerator in India in partnership with Gurgaon-based GSF Accelerator and Indo-Japan business consultancy Infobridge.

Taizo Son’s Japan-based incubator Mistletoe, GSF and Infobridge floated the joint venture accelerator christened as ‘Gastrotope’ in Bangalore on Thursday.

Taizo Son is a tech entrepreneur and a prolific investor in his own right, while his brother Masayoshi Son has earned more fame, money and influence through his aggressive investments across the globe. Since its launch in 2013, Taizo Son’s Mistletoe has made over 90 investments globally that are worth around $160 million. Mistletoe has made three investments in India in startups such as Innerchef, Ninjacart and Kisan Network. Innerchef was started by GSF’s founder Rajesh Sawhney.

Taizo Son founded Mistletoe in 2013. He is also founder of Japan-based mobile gaming company GungHo, in which SoftBank acquired a 51% share in 2013 for $1.53 billion. GungHo bought back most of its shares from SoftBank last year.

The newly launched accelerator Gastrotope will focus on sustainable ideas and models in the ‘farm-to-fork’ value chain. It plans to create an agriculture and food-tech enabled industry ecosystem throughout this value chain and invest in startups that can add value at various stages, starting with farmers and moving to food transportation, processing and delivery to consumption.

“I have always believed that innovation comes from the connecting of diverse dots, and this time, with the bridge between India and Japan, unique solutions to the questions of food and agriculture will arise,” Taizo Son said. “We hope, while working with our partners here, we will become a catalyst for this new movement of farm-to-fork permaculture,” he said.

Sawhney said he will be working on creating a leadership team for Gastrotope. Other details such as the duration, number of startups, launch of the first batch and investment amount are yet to be finalised.

“Gastrotope is borne out of a vision of democratising healthy gastronomy experiences for millions. The food consumption habits are changing globally with a focus on nutrition and wellness and instead of food industrialization, the new goal is all about ‘what we grow’. Gastrotope seeks to play a vital role in catalysing India’s adoption of these trends through the birth of a new agriculture and food-tech ecosystem,” he said.

Besides Innerchef, Sawhney founded GSF that runs three programmes such as an accelerator, an angel network and tech conferences. The GSF accelerator programme has incubated over 40 startups in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Among these, investors have exited five startups, about 40% have raised venture rounds and over 80% have gone on to raise angel funding.

Infobridge has more than 10 years of experience in India, creating a bridge between India and Japanese businesses. It provides consulting and business development services to Japanese in India. The company has brought several Japanese startups to India.

[“Source-vccircle”]

How to find legitimate deals on tech

Gadgets

We all want to get our hands on the latest in shiny new gadgetry. Unfortunately, the newest tech tends to come with the most premium prices. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. By keeping an eye out for seasonal price changes, annual product cycles, special offers, and refurbished devices, you can make sure you’re buying your hardware at the best price point possible. If you want the best value from your future tech purchases, check out some of the tricks in this guide.

Become a web detective

Good news for eager bargain hunters: Plenty of online retailers are willing to slash prices in order to attract your business. To find these discounts, head to price comparison sites such as Google Shopping and PriceGrabber, which will list where something is selling for the cheapest price. Before you start your purchase though, check to see how extras like shipping charges and warranty costs will add to your total cost.

Don’t forget the biggest online retail behemoth out there. This guide to saving time and money on Amazon has lots of useful advice, such as tracking price changes with CamelCamelCamel. Plenty of the tips apply to other sites as well. For example, sign up for the email newsletters and follow the social media accounts of your favorite stores in order to receive a heads up on special tech deals you wouldn’t otherwise notice.

Google Shopping

On top of individual price comparison sites, you can install price comparison extensions for your web browser. The Shoptimate add-on fits right in your browser; when you visit one of a broad range of shopping sites, it will pop up to share additional price options in real time. InvisibleHand works similarly, and it also covers flight and hotel comparisons in addition to e-tail. Finally, Honey will lead you toward discount coupons and codes to take even more money off your total.

Beyond sites and extensions, you can compare some prices on your own. Scroll down to the bottom of a product listing on Amazon, for example, and you’ll see side-by-side spec and price comparisons of similar products. Every listing shows when the item first went on sale, so you can make sure you’re not comparing TVs or laptops from different years.

Once you’ve finished shopping, you’re almost ready to purchase. Before parting with your credit card or PayPal information, research the history and specs listings of the gadget that’s tempting you. After all your comparing, a low price might have tricked you into selecting an older product, or one that’s not exactly what you’re looking for.

Know your seasons and cycles

The time you shop can make a difference to the price you pay. So if you can hold off on a purchase, you might be able to get it for cheaper. For example, the sales bonanza that kicks off with Black Friday doesn’t really stop until Christmas. The biggest reductions during this period will be on older, mid-range tech rather than the very top-end stuff, so by all means splurge, but make sure you know what you’re getting.

When should you buy to get discounts on the best and newest gadgets? These deals don’t usually hit the scene until immediately before or after an updated version arrives. If you wait for the new model to appear, the current (and soon to be “old” model) is likely to be much cheaper. For the iPhone, for instance, shop in September, while Samsung’s Galaxy phones get less expensive around late February or early March, coinciding with the Mobile World Congress tech expo.

Apple iPhone

If you know when the new iPhone is coming out, you can save money on the older model.

Apple

Not every gadget has such a predictable release schedule. But a few minutes’ research online should tell you how long a tablet or a digital camera has been on the market and whether there are any rumors of a new and improved model in the pipeline. If you really want to get technical, look at the components. For example, Apple and all the other big laptop manufacturers base their product cycles around new CPUs from Intel, so you can predict when an updated range is about to arrive. (In case you’re wondering, the next batch at the time of writing should show up in late 2017).

You don’t have to become an expert on silicon. But keep a cursory eye on the tech press for Intel CPU news in order to choose the best time to make a purchase.

Take the refurb route

Ask yourself: Do you really need a laptop or a phone that’s fresh out of the box, untouched by human hands? Refurbished tech sometimes gets a bad reputation for faulty or knock-off gadgets that are priced to sell. But the reality is that you can make some serious savings on refurb tech that is virtually as good as new.

If someone has already opened your laptop, decided they don’t want it, and sent it back to the supplier, what do you care? As long as it works and you’re saving a chunk off the list price, you can enjoy your new product. These days, a lot of refurbed gear comes with a guarantee and warranty, so you’ll still have the security of purchasing a verified gadget—and the discounts can be substantial.

Apple Macs

The Apple site is one place to go to for refurbed tech.

David Nield/Popular Science

It’s not the only place you can buy refurbed gear, but eBay is a good place to get started. Look for refurbished versions of your favorite devices. Before you spend your money, check for good seller feedback and a warranty. Pay attention to the listing and the supplied photos as well, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.

Many of the big tech companies, including Dell and Apple, have refurbished storefronts of their own. Coming from the companies themselves, you know the goods will be comprehensively checked and good to go, so you don’t have to worry about the hardware dying on you after a few months. Again, double-check the age and spec of whatever you’re buying so you can do a proper comparison with the prices for the newest, top-end models.

Go for older tech

If you know what you’re looking for, then you can find some great deals on older pieces of technology. You just need to learn the difference between a gadget that’s cheap because it’s almost obsolete, and a gadget that’s cheap because it’s just been replaced by something newer.

We can’t give you advice for every single laptop, desktop, phone, tablet, TV, camera, and wearable line out there. But let’s use smartphones as an example: The Galaxy S7and the iPhone 7 were launched last year, but they’re both still very capable devices. When you start shopping, focus on flagship tech that’s now slightly older, rather than tech that was originally in the budget or mid-range section of the market and has now fallen even further behind.

Amazon TVs

Electronics like TVs can hang around in stores for a long time.

David Nield/Popular Science

Again, the specs list can tell you just what you’re getting. The newest TV sets have support for 4K and HDR, so if you can live without either or both of these (perhaps if you’re shopping for a smaller bedroom set that doesn’t need the highest resolution), you can get a model that launched two or three years ago—instead of the latest TV on the market—for a significantly cheaper price.If you don’t mind used gear, from sites such as eBay or Craigslist, then you can save even more: Just follow each site’s official buyer advice and do your research into the item you’re purchasing and its seller. That means carefully checking the photos of the device and its description so you know exactly what your money is buying.

Source:-popsci.

Samsung, Panasonic and 20th Century Fox join hands for HDR tech alliance

Samsung, 20th Century Fox, Panasonic, HDR 10 plus, HDR

Samsung Electronics on Monday said that it has agreed to join US’ 20th Century Fox and Japan’s Panasonic Corporation to expand the ecosystem for the High Dynamic Range (HDR) 10 Plus technology. (Image Credit: AP)

Samsung Electronics on Monday said that it has agreed to join US’ 20th Century Fox and Japan’s Panasonic Corporation to expand the ecosystem for the High Dynamic Range (HDR) 10 Plus technology.

The agreement is aimed at inducing more TV producers and movie productions to join the ecosystem for the new technology, Yonhap news agency quoted Samsung as saying.

The HDR technology allows screens to deliver vivid displays by optimising brightness depending on colours, boasting improved display quality.

The HDR 10 Plus technology is a next-generation standard for high-resolution video content developed by Samsung. Samsung said the companies will establish a license agency for HDR 10 Plus technology in January.

The participating companies will be able to share the technology to produce improved visual content. “The partnership of the three companies will help users around the globe experience the HDR 10 Plus technology,” Samsung said.

Samsung plans to host the QLED and HDR10 Plus Summit on the sidelines of the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin, which kicks off for a six-day run on September 1, inviting business partners to promote the technology.

[“Source-indianexpress”]

AI-powered filter app Prisma wants to sell its tech to other companies

Prisma, the Russian company best known for its AI-powered photo filters, is shifting to B2B. The company won’t retire its popular app, but says in the future, it will focus on selling machine vision tools to other tech firms.

“We see big opportunities in deep learning and communication,” Prisma CEO and co-founder Alexey Moiseenkov told The Verge. “We feel that a lot of companies need expertise in this area. Even Google is buying companies for computer vision. We can help companies put machine vision in their app because we understand how to implement the technology.” The firm has launched a new website — prismalabs.ai — in order to promote these services.

Prisma will offer a number of off-the-shelf vision tools, including segmentation (separating the foreground of a photo from the background), face mapping, and both scene and object recognition. The company’s expertise is getting these sorts of systems — powered by neural networks — to run locally on-device. This can be a tricky task, but avoiding using the cloud to power these services can result in apps that are faster, more secure, and less of a drain on phone and tablet battery life.

Although Prisma’s painting-inspired filters were all the rage last year (the app itself was released in June 2015), they were soon copied by the likes of Facebook, which might account for the Russian company’s change in direction.

Moiseenkov denies this is the case, and says it wasn’t his intention to compete with bigger social networks. “We never thought we were a competitor of Facebook — we’re a small startup, with a small budget,” he said. But, he says, the popularity of these deep learning filters shows there are plenty of consumer applications for the latest machine vision tech.

Moiseenkov says his company will continue to support the Prisma app, and that it will act as a showcase for the firm’s latest experiments. He says the app still has between 5 million and 10 million monthly active users, most of which are based in the US. The company also started experimenting with selling sponsored filters on its main app last year, and says it will continue to do so. It also launched an app for turning selfies into chat stickers.

There have been rumors that Prisma would get bought out by a bigger company. Moiseenkov visited Facebook’s headquarters last year, and the US tech giant has made similar acquisitions in the past — buying Belarus facial filter startup MSQRD in March 2016. When asked if the company would consider a similar deal, co-founder Aram Airapetyan replied over email: “We want to go on doing what we do and what we can do best. The whole team is super motivated and passionately committed to what we do

Source:-theverge