Sharp Aquos Zero uses an in-house developed curved OLED with a huge notch

Sharp’s latest smartphone was unveiled in Japan today. It’s the Aquos Zero, which features the company’s first OLED panel designed and manufactured in-house.

It’s a curved 6.2-inch 1440×2992 screen with support for the DCI-P3 color space and Dolby Vision, and as you can see it comes with a huge notch. Not just that, but the parts of the top bezel that are to the left and right of it are pretty substantial too, at least by the usual notched smartphone standards.

Oh, and there’s also a chin. Anyway, enough about that. Thanks to its magnesium frame and aramid fiber back it weighs just 146g, and Sharp is clearly proud of this achievement, boasting about how this is one of the lightest flagships around. By the way, for reference, note that Kevlar is a type of aramid fiber although Sharp doesn’t mention that brand anywhere in its marketing materials so we’re assuming it didn’t pay DuPont the associated licensing fees.

The Aquos Zero is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset (what else?), paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS storage. Its battery has 3,130 mAh capacity and the phone runs Android 9 Pie. Its dimensions are 154 x 73 x 8.8 mm.

The single rear camera has 22.6 MP resolution and f/1.9 aperture, while the selfie cam is an 8 MP unit. The Aquos Zero is IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. A fingerprint scanner is on the back of the handset, and it also has a face unlock system. Stereo speakers are in too, with Dolby Atmos technology.

The Sharp Aquos Zero will be available in Japan by the end of the year. There’s no telling if it will be offered elsewhere at any point – but since the company now has a presence in Europe, maybe we’ll see it there in the future.


Toyota Uses Open-Source Software In New Approach To In-Car Tech



  • Toyota aims to have the flexibility to customise its software
  • The new Camry will use AGL to operate its suite of in-vehicle apps
  • The platform can also be used to support future advanced technologies

Toyota Motor Corp on Wednesday said the infotainment system of its revamped Camry sedan to be sold in the United States will run on a Linux-based, open-source technology platform as it tries to keep up with tech firms in developing software for cars.

With the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) system in a mainstay model, Toyota aims to have the flexibility to customise its software, while it would also keep user data that could otherwise be captured by CarPlay from Apple Inc or Android Auto from Alphabet Inc’s Google – applications which enable users to access smartphone data through vehicle infotainment systems.

Toyota is among 10 global automakers working with suppliers and technology companies to jointly build AGL, a basic, open-source platform for vehicle applications which automakers can customise, eliminating the need to code systems from the ground up for each vehicle model.

Developing the platform in collaboration with Mazda Motor Corp, Suzuki Motor Corp, Daimler AG and others will reduce development time and costs, Toyota said, and create an industry standard platform to operate in-vehicle features including music and navigation applications.
The platform can also be used to support future advanced technologies, including self-driving functions and connected car services.

“It’s very necessary to reduce the overhead of duplication work among our suppliers so they can spend more time to create new things rather than maintaining fragmentary codes,” said Kenichi Murata, group manager of Connected Strategy and Planning at Toyota.

Cars typically require over 100 million lines of computer code as automakers pack as much technology as possible to attract buyers.

So much so that coding has become an increasingly cumbersome part of vehicle development, which takes years, compared with the mere months it takes for tech firms to develop apps.

In addition, the process requires constant updating to keep up with technology developments and which results in disparate interfaces between automaker’s products.

The latest Camry sedan to be launched in coming months will use AGL to operate its suite of in-vehicle apps, and the Japanese automaker said it planned to expand the platform to other Toyota and Lexus vehicles in North America and elsewhere.

Roughly 70 percent of the operating platform for the latest system consists of largely generic coding, while the remaining 30 percent was customised for the Camry, Murata said.

At the moment, automakers make vehicles compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto. While this enables users to connect smartphones to cars, Dan Cauchy, general manager of automotive at the Linux Foundation, said it makes it difficult for automakers to have control over customising their platforms.

“It comes down to an automaker wanting to customise their operating platform to their liking and not having a third party dictating what the applications are going to be for the vehicle,” he said.

“A lot of automakers want that control.”

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

© Thomson Reuters 2017
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Amaryllo Uses Kickstarter for iCamPro in a Different Way


With IP cameras flooding the market nowadays it’s hard to stand out. But Amaryllohas found a way to set its iCamPro FDH apart through crowdsourcing. Amaryllo claims the iCamPro is the world’s first robotic home security camera, able to see, hear, and track intruders. Amatyllo says it’s using an expensive technology usually only available to the military or professional security systems. That technology is being made an affordable and realistic option for homes and offices, the company says.

The camera itself gained attention at CES 2015, winning Best of Innovation for its ability to search for and track movement even in darkness. Amaryllo boasts a camera with a multiple-sensor network allowing for 360 degree auto tracking. It doesn’t matter what direction the camera is facing. It can detect movement and swivel around to catch it, the company says. With the use of an app, the iCamPro can send images and updates to your smartphone so you can see what’s going on while you are away.

Check out this video for an overview of the device:

Standing at just over three inches, the camera is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. And it can be installed on a flat surface, the wall, or the ceiling. The company boasts its camera is equipped with a high powered CPU to avoid video and audio delay. iCamPro’s firmware continuously updates it’s performance and features through the app.

The iCamPro Kickstarter campaign was not an ambitious one, with a goal of only $1,000. Yet the company has gained over a thousand backers pledging over $200,000. Another campaign is also running on Indiegogo with almost identical results. In all the company has raised over $430,000 with these two campaigns combined.

It’s possible Amaryllo has hit upon an effective marketing strategy that other businesses may seek to emulate. The company is already established with its own product line. So it’s doubtful the funding is needed to launch the iCamPro. Instead, the company has used the interest gained by two crowdfunding campaigns to generate both pre-orders and exposure for a new product.

Image: Amaryllo

More in: Crowdfunding, Gadgets


New Ransomware Uses Image Files on Facebook, LinkedIn to Hijack Your Computer: Report

New Ransomware Uses Image Files on Facebook, LinkedIn to Hijack Your Computer: Report

New Ransomware Uses Image Files on Facebook, LinkedIn to Hijack Your Computer: Report
New ImageGate malware utilise Facebook, LinkedIn images
It works same as Locky ransomware
Researchers recommend users not to open unusual extensions on a system
A newly discovered ransomware can target a computer through malware laced images on Facebook and LinkedIn. Researchers claim to have identified a new attack vector, which they call ImageGate, which embeds malware in image and graphic files. Additionally, the researchers discovered that the attacker’s method of executing the malicious code within images was through social media apps such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

“The attackers have built a new capability to embed malicious code into an image file and successfully upload it to the social media website. The attackers exploit a misconfiguration on the social media infrastructure to deliberately force their victims to download the image file. This results in infection of the users’ device as soon as the end-user clicks on the downloaded file,” explained Roman Ziakin and Dikla Barda, Check Point Research team.

The team also suggests that the new malware works same as the Locky virus, a file-encrypting ransomware, works which made headlines few months back. The Locky ransomware once downloaded on the system can automatically encrypt all the files on the device when users try to open it. Users then gain access to their files only when the ransom is paid.
Check Point recommends some steps to stay protected from malwares like ImageGate and Locky. “If you have clicked on an image and your browser starts downloading a file, do not open it,” noted the team.
According to researchers, the attackers are targeting social media sites because they are ‘white listed’ on browsers and can easily be used on attack users. It adds that attackers are “continually searching for new techniques to use social media as hosts for their malicious activities.”

The researchers also recommend users not to open any image file with unusual extension such as SVG, JS, or HTA which may be infected with malware. Check Point claims that it updated Facebook and LinkedIn of the attack vector in September.

Tags: Ransomware, Desktop, Computers, Locky, ImageGate