From April 1, waitlisted passengers can avail the opportunity of travelling in premier trains like Rajdhani or Shatabdi even if they have booked tickets in other mail or express trains for the same destination.
Widening the scope of availing confirmed berths in trains, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu Wednesday launched the alternative train accommodation scheme – Vikalp – to be effective from April 1.
As of now, the scheme will be available in online bookings and later extended to counters.
Under this scheme, waitlisted passengers can get confirmed berths in the next alternative train if they opt for it while booking their tickets. There would be no extra charges or any refund provided for the difference of fares.
After a successful pilot run in six routes, the scheme has been extended to all train routes across the country.
The scheme aims to target about 1.5 lakh berths which remain vacant per day during lean season in some popular trains including premier and special services.
‘Vikalp’ envisages to utilise vacant berths in premier trains, including Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, and special service such as Humsafar and Suvidha trains in all major routes across the country with no extra cost to passengers.
Describing the scheme as “passenger friendly”, Prabhu said, “Some of our premier trains run with vacant berths at times and we hope those can be filled up through scaling up Vikalp scheme. It is for the passengers’ benefit.”
Any waitlisted passenger who has booked ticket online earlier can avail the new scheme now by opting for alternative trains through the IRCTC ticketing site.
The railways has to forego about Rs. 7,500 crores annually in refund to customers, out of which Rs. 3,500 crores is on the account of cancellation of waitlisted tickets. The rest are for RAC and confirmed tickets which get cancelled for various reasons.
A senior railway ministry official said, “We aim to achieve the twin objectives of providing confirmed berths to waitlisted passengers and ensure optimal utilisation of available accommodation by this scheme.”
After introduction of flexi-fare system in premier trains, some berths are going vacant while at the same time many passengers could not be accommodated in other Mail or Express trains due to huge demand.
The railways maintain that in any case these berths are running vacant. Since no additional cost is involved to the railways, anything that is saved will be earnings for it.
As per the scheme, passengers opting for ‘Vikalp’ scheme while booking tickets will get SMS alert on his/her mobile phone about confirmed accommodation in the next train running on the route.
The name of the passenger, who has been provided berth in the alternative train will not figure in the waitlisted charts of the original train. A separate list of passengers transferred in alternative train will be provided along with the confirmed charts.
iRobot CEO Colin Angle has been repeating for some time now that the next step in the evolution of the company’s hit Roomba vacuum is becoming a connective tissue for the smart home. This morning’s announcement from the company takes it a couple of steps closer to that dream, introducing Alexa voice integration and advances to robotic vacuum’s mapping system that lay the groundwork for future smart home upgrades.
“Roombas are already becoming one of the commonly found connected devices in the home,” Angle tells TechCrunch. “The popularity of the Roomba has made it a very powerful ambassador for connected devices, but its ability to organize physical information in the home is making it a central player in allowing homes to be more intelligent. You need to be aware of where things are in order to have a home do the right thing without programming it.”
The company isn’t leaning too heavily on the Alexa integration at this stage, since it’s still a bit of a ways off, arriving at some point in Q2. But it will certainly be a handy feature for those with both an Echo and 900 connected series Roomba already in their home. We caught a demo of the functionality on a recent trip to the company’s Bedford, Massachusetts headquarters, and the whole setup was as user-friendly as one would hope, asking Alexa to tell Roomba to start cleaning and return to the docking station.
The more immediately available Clean Map function, on the other hands, leverages the 900’s navigational functionality to essentially make dirt map of a user’s home. The information takes a bit of the guesswork out of using a Roomba, showing the owner where the vacuum has cleaned and where it spent most of its time – a sort of heat map of a home’s dirtiest spots.
What’s perhaps most compelling here, however, is the groundwork that the company is laying out with these upgrades. iRobot’s push into strictly consumer devices has dovetailed nicely into the rise of the smart home, and the company is hoping that its widely deployed robot can serve as sort of a connected tissue, levering its WiFi connectivity and advanced computer mapping capabilities to make device a better way to lay out the home.
“The challenge right now with smart home and connected devices is that they’re too hard to use,” explains Angle. “There’s wonderful voice interfaces like the ones from Amazon and Google that allow you to talk to your home and have your home understand the words that you say. But if the house doesn’t know where the kitchen is, what’s the use in saying, ‘turn on the lights in the kitchen?’ You can program your light to be the kitchen light, but your average consumer doesn’t want to program. Typically there’s a really poor track record of wanting to program these things.”
Roomba’s daily mapping functionality could potentially serve as a sort of mobile hub to help connected home software understand what is located where and build actions based around that knowledge. Angle again, “The most important concept that I believe the home needs to understand is what is a room and what’s in that room? It doesn’t matter whether it’s high or low in that room. I want to very clearly say these lights, this television, this radio, these speakers, are in this room. If you think about how we live our lives, we move into a room and we want that room to be able to do something. When we leave the room, we’re happy if the room shuts down.”
It all seems a ways off, of course. Angle told us that he anticipates the true smart home connectivity play to arrive in “the single digit years.” But it is, at the very least, an interesting next step for a company that has spent much of the past decade and a half tweaking and perfecting its robot vacuum iteration by iteration.
Grab, the main rival to Uber in Southeast Asia, is expanding its engineering footprint after announcing new development centers in India and Vietnam.
The company last month announced plans to open an engineering center in Jakarta, Indonesia, so the addition of bases in Bangalore, India and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will take it to six R&D locations worldwide. The others are Singapore, Grab’s HQ, Beijing and an office in Seattle which was opened last year.
Despite the new office plans, Grab said it will not expand into India. The move is a bid to suck up new talent to fuel its rivalry with Uber in Southeast Asia, a region of over 600 million consumers where the market for on-demand rides is tipped to grow from $2.5 billion in 2015 to $13.1 billion in 2025, according to a report co-authored by Google.
“These two [new] locations are growing in terms of local talent and they understand what it is like to live in these parts of the world,” Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan told TechCrunch in an interview. “There are a tonne of parallels between India and Southeast Asia, especially around payments.”
Tan said Grab is looking to hire around 200 staff in Bangalore, where it will focus on developing its payments service, over the next two years. The other two offices will be focused on more local innovation. In Jakarta, Grab wants to hire 150 people while in Vietnam it will initially start with a team of 25.
Grab has a total of 2,000 staff, Tan said, but it plans to add 800 more developers to its six R&D offices. Currently there are around 20 in Seattle, where Grab just moved into a new office to house plans to expand to 60 people. The Beijing office, she added, has 40-50 employees, with the remainder of the rest mostly based in Singapore.
Grab isn’t the first from Southeast Asia to look to India for talent. Go-Jek, its $1.3 billion-valued rival in Indonesia, set up a development office in Bangalore last year via two acquisitions. It has since acquired another startup to grow its engineering chops in India. Uber, meanwhile, has an engineering team in India but it doesn’t have a dedicated team in Southeast Asia. Its Hyderabad-based facility, however, does develop technology for other emerging markets beyond India.
Today, Grab claims 710,000 drivers across 39 cities in six countries in Southeast Asia. It said it has seen 36 million downloads of its mobile apps. There’s precious little data to compare marketshare in Southeast Asia, but anecdotally Uber and Grab seem to be fairly well matched across the region. Indicators suggest that Go-Jek is ahead of both in Indonesia, however. That’s significant because Indonesia is the region’s largest economy and its top ride-sharing market, too, according to the Google report.
If company optimization is one of your primary objectives for 2017, you need to develop a strategic plan. Below you’ll find a few tips and techniques you can integrate into your company’s strategic plan for the purpose of generating ongoing growth and expansion:
Implement Employee Development Strategies.
If you’re serious about enhancing the company optimization process, make sure that you implement employee development techniques. These techniques are helpful because they ensure that you have a smart, savvy staff working on behalf of your organization. There are several strategies you can implement to get the employee development process going and growing. One is hiring a team of business consultants. A firm like KEYGroup Consulting can implement a wide variety of employee development strategies, one of which is the disc employee assessment.
Hire A Web Design And Development Firm.
In addition to implementing employee development strategies, make sure that you hire a web design and development firm. The professionals from these firms will be able to implement a diverse, customized range of strategies to help make your site absolutely incredible. The web optimization process is important for many reasons, including the fact that one of the primary resources that an online shopper will refer to in order to make purchases or learn more about your brand is the website. This is the reason your website needs to be up to date, highly functional, cross compatible, aesthetically appealing, etc. Make sure that the web optimization company you hire can offer several other digital marketing services. Examples would include content marketing, social media optimization, and search engine optimization. By obtaining all of these digital services in tandem, you can optimize your level of visibility and thereby improve your conversion rates.
Read More Business Books.
One final strategy that can enhance your company optimization process is reading more business books. This technique is empowering because it will enable you to gain ongoing access to business strategies and tips that have worked for various corporate leaders. Some of the books you might want to purchase include:
-Think And Grow Rich
-Good To Great
-Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Start Optimizing Your Company Immediately!
There are several tips and techniques you can employ to start optimizing your company. Three of them include implementing employee development strategies, hiring a web design and development firm, and reading more business books. Start implementing these techniques to attain the business growth that you desire!
AWS took a lot of heat when its S3 storage component went down for several hours on Tuesday, and rightly so, but today they published a post-mortem explaining exactly what happened complete with technical details and how they plan to prevent a similar event from occurring again in the future.
At the core of the problem was unsurprisingly human error. Some poor engineer, we’ll call him Joe, was tasked with entering a command to shut down some storage sub-systems. On a typical day this doesn’t cause any issue whatsoever. It’s a routine kind of task, but on Tuesday something went terribly wrong.
Joe was an authorized user, and he entered the command according to procedure based on what Amazon calls “an established playbook.” The problem was that Joe was supposed to issue a command to take down a small number of servers on an S3 sub-system, but he made a mistake, and instead of taking down just that small set of servers, Joe took down a much larger set.
In layman’s terms, that’s when all hell broke loose.
Amazon explains it much more technically, but suffice to say that error had a cascading impact on the S3 storage in the Northern Virginia datacenter. To make a long story short, Joe’s error took down some crucial underlying sub-systems, which removed a significant amount of storage capacity, which caused the systems to restart. As this happened, S3 couldn’t service requests, which caused even AWS’s own dashboard to go down (which is, you know, kind of embarrassing).
By now, the outside world started to feel the impact and your favorite websites, apps and cloud services were beginning to behave in a wonky fashion.
The day Amazon S3 storage stood stillAmazon AWS S3 outage is breaking things for a lot of websites and appsWhy AWS has such a big lead in the cloudWTF is cloud computing?
As the afternoon wore on, the company was working feverishly to get the service back online, but the size of the systems was working against them. When the system shut down, something that AWS says it hasn’t had to do in many years, it became a victim of its own success. S3 capacity had grown to such an extent in the affected datacenter that when they restarted, running all of the safety checks and validating the integrity of the underlying metadata took a mite bit longer than they expected.
To reduce the prospect of a similar human error in the future, the company is making some changes. In their words, “We have modified this tool to remove capacity more slowly and added safeguards to prevent capacity from being removed when it will take any subsystem below its minimum required capacity level.” That should prevent someone like Joe from making a similar mistake in the future.
In addition, AWS is looking at ways to break down those S3 sub-systems, which were core to the problem, into much smaller pieces or cells, as they call them, something they have tried to do in the past. Obviously, the sub-systems proved too large to recover quickly (or at least quickly enough).
They close with an apology and a promise to do better. In the end, it was a combination of factors that caused the issue, starting with a human error and then cascading across systems that hadn’t been designed to deal with an error of this magnitude.
Kids growing up in low-income neighborhoods have always faced extra challenges when it comes to keeping up with their middle- to high-income peers. And with the dawning of the digital age, low-income students now face a new, unprecedented challenge: access to high-speed internet.
More than ever, students are required to go online to complete homework, collaborate on projects and conduct research. For students with no internet access at home, this can be a daunting challenge. Even though 85 percent of the nation has access to broadband internet, one White House release noted that less than half of the households in the lowest income bracket have an internet subscription at home.
“While many middle-class U.S. students go home to internet access…too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends,” according to the White House release. “This ‘homework gap’ runs the risk of widening the achievement gap, denying hardworking students the benefit of a technology-enriched education.”
In response, the White House launched ConnectHome in 2015. This initiative set out to bring high-speed internet to more than 275,000 low-income families in 28 communities across the nation. Likewise, companies like Microsoft, Google and Comcast have rolled out programs to help bridge the digital divide.
Although these large-scale programs are leading the way, it’s smaller, grassroots startups that will ensure the delivery of high-speed internet to every home in America. Startups and nonprofits across the country are stepping up to help low-income families connect to the internet. They deliver programs that aim to facilitate the personal, academic and professional growth of their local communities.
One of the most established organizations delivering internet access to those who can’t afford it is Connecting for Good. This nonprofit based in Kansas City formed in 2011, after Google announced that Kansas City would be the first city to receive Google Fiber. By the end of 2012, Connecting for Good had installed its first free Wi-Fi network, providing connectivity to almost 400 low-income residents.
In addition, the group provides digital literacy training and offers refurbished laptops for just $50. Connecting for Good is funded through grants and private donations, and one of its co-founders was named the manager of President Obama’s ConnectHome program.
In the Bronx, where one-third of the residents go without home internet, startup Neture, Inc. aims to provide reliable, high-speed internet access to all. Founded in 2014, Neture launched its third phase last summer, and currently provides a combination of free and low-cost internet to several Bronx neighborhoods. The company also provides free computers as amenities in some apartment complexes, and is devoted to teaching digital literacy.
Because the achievement gap is a mosaic of different challenges, some startups are focused more on teaching tech skills and harnessing available tech to improve student support. Even though these organizations aren’t providing internet access, the ultimate success of all of these ventures — and the children they hope to help — will depend on unilateral access to home internet.
Code Fever is a southern Florida startup on a mission to encourage under-resourced and minority students to learn coding. The company hopes to inspire these students, ages 13 to 21, to create their own tech-related startups in their communities and become the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) leaders of the future. Code Fever started in 2013 and raised $75,000 through crowdfunding efforts.
Thrive Capital hires Obama’s Director of Product Josh Miller to focus on tech for the underprivilegedPresident Obama: “The Internet Is Not A Luxury, It Is A Necessity”Classkick Raises $1.7 Million To Tackle The Student Achievement Gap
TalkingPoints is another organization working to bridge the achievement gap with technology. The founders wanted to provide a way for parents, students and teachers to overcome language barriers, so they developed a multilingual texting platform that can translate text messages into the language of the recipient. Teachers can text parents in English, and the parents are able to read the message (and respond) in their own language. TalkingPoints is free to schools and supported by grants and private donations.
In a world that keeps getting faster and more tech-savvy every day, it’s crucial for all children to have access to the tools and resources they need to become productive, successful members of society. As time goes on, home internet access will become increasingly necessary for students to engage, grow and perform at school. Fortunately, government programs, big business initiatives and grassroots startups are already well on their way to making high-speed internet accessible to every household.
Zootopia has won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature at the 89th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night. The Disney film, a buddy comedy between a rabbit police officer and a fox con artist set in a city full of anthropomorphic animals, was the frontrunner at Hollywood’s biggest night, having won the Golden Globe, Annie, and Critics’ Choice awards previously.
“Thank you Academy, this is an incredible honour. About five years ago, almost six now, we got this crazy idea about humanity with talking animals, in the hopes that when the film came out, it would make the world just a slightly better place,” Byron Howard, co-director on Zootopia, said in his acceptance speech.
“And we are so grateful to the audiences over the world who embraced this film, with this story of tolerance being more powerful than fear of the other,” co-director Rich Moore added.
Zootopia was one of our favourite movies from last year, not just for its heartfelt storytelling, but more so for how it tackled a variety of topical themes – gender stereotyping, xenophobia, and racial diversiry – in a kids’ friendly package.
The critical acclaim it garnered has helped the movie to its multiple award wins, but Zootopia was also the most commercially successful Oscar nominee with its $1-billion-plus at the worldwide box office, beating out Moana, Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Zucchini, and The Red Turtle.
Directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, and co-directed by Jared Bush, the Disney animated adventure featured an extensive voice cast of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, J. K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, and Shakira.
The Oscars are still on-going in Los Angeles, with some of the biggest awards – Best Picture, and Best Actor/ Actress among others – yet to be given out. Mahershala Ali won the first Oscar of the night – Best Supporting Actor – for his work on Moonlight. Suicide Squad took home Best Makeup and Hairstyling, while Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them won Best Costume Design.
Nokia sees demand for higher speed 4G network equipment starting to recover this year, led by Japan, the company’s chief executive Rajeev Suri said on Sunday as he announced a series of contracts with telecom operators.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Suri also predicted a new wave of industry consolidation among telecom operators in the US and Indian markets in the course of 2017.
“Noise about carrier M&A will heat up dramatically in United States and India. The pent-up demand for action is there,” Suri said.
Nokia and its rivals, Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei, have struggled lately as telecom operators’ demand for faster 4G mobile broadband equipment has peaked, and upgrades to next-generation 5G equipment are still years away.
Nokia repeated that while it expected the global networks market to fall around 2 percent in 2017, it spotted growth opportunities in markets such as North America, India and Japan.
“We believe that the (overall) primary market in which we compete will be down again… but to be considerably better than last year,” Suri said, anticipating a slower rate of decline.
“Investments in 4G, particularly in advanced 4G technology, will pick back up in some key markets, such as Japan.”
Earlier this month, Nokia reported its profits for the final quarter of last year fell less than expected, helped by cost cuts and the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.
The Finnish company has reached a “landmark”, 3-year deal with Telefonica to build networks in London, Suri said on Sunday, adding that the contract propels Nokia to overcome Ericsson as the leading network supplier in Britain.
Nokia also announced that it was working with US telecom carrier Verizon and semiconductor giant Intel to supply equipment for pre-commmercial 5G services in US markets, including Dallas.
Suntrust analyst Georgios Kyriakopoulos cautioned that global weakness in operator spending will likely remain for a long time and that projected consolidation will likely serve as a further drag on results for equipment vendors such as Nokia.
“The fact Suri predicted more M&A in that space means Nokia’s core business faces some challenges, he said.
Meanwhile, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp is prepared to cede control of Sprint Corp to Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile US Inc to clinch a merger of the two US mobile carriers, sources told Reuters earlier this month.
The long, confusing lifecycle of AMD’s beastly Radeon Pro Duo is quietly entering its final days as retailers clear the deck for the forthcoming Radeon Vega graphics cards.
The $1,500 MSRP Radeon Pro Duo sits reigns as AMD’s graphics champion with not one but two high-end Fiji graphics processors, exotic high-bandwidth memory, and integrated closed-loop water cooling that kept the board running at chilly temperatures. But the timing and messaging around the graphics card just felt wrong from day one.
AMD first teased a then-unnamed dual-Fiji graphics card at E3 2015—a decidedly consumer-focused gaming event—alongside the Fury, Fury X, and Radeon Nano. While those gamer-focused cards launched in relatively short order, the Radeon Pro Duo languished all the way until March of last year, when it released with a newfound focus on professional users and hellacious GPU compute chops.
That bummed out enthusiasts hoping to unleash the power of two Fury X GPUs in a single card, but it made sense for AMD to focus on development scenarios instead as the effective 4GB capacity of first-gen HBM memory would no doubt hinder gaming performance at the resolutions and detail settings that two Fiji GPUs could push. Plus, multi-GPU gaming has been punched in the gut over the past two years, with few major game releases supporting CrossFire or SLI setups, further diminishing the Radeon Pro Duo’s potential effectiveness.
Unfortunately the marketing for the Radeon Pro Duo was muddled and confusing right up until its launch, and once the ferocious GeForce GTX 1080 released a mere two months later there was little reason for many users to consider buying AMD’s technological champion no matter how impressive it was on paper. AMD never even sent the Pro Duo to consumer publications for testing.
Now that AMD’s publicly showing off its high-end Radeon Vega graphics cards, which pack performance upgrades and second-gen HBM memory that ditches the limitations of the initial product, the Radeon Pro’s days are numbered, as TechPowerUp pointed out. While Amazon’s selling the XFX Radeon Pro Duo for $1150, a $350 discount, Newegg’s selling the XFX Radeon Pro for $800, as is Japan’s PC4U—nearly half off!
Or at least it was. The remaining stock sold out quickly at that price on Newegg, proving yet again that there’s no such thing as bad hardware, only hardware at bad prices. The XFX Radeon Pro is available once again on Newegg, but for $820 now.
If you’re curious about what’s to come in Vega, Gordon Mah Ung and I recently chatted with Radeon SVP and chief architect Raja Koduri for more than 40 minutes at CES, drilling deep into the details of AMD’s next-gen graphics cards. Check out the full interview below.
Samsung Electronics on Monday blamed batteries supplied by two manufacturers for the overheating and even explosions of some Galaxy Note7 phones, as it tried to provide a long due explanation for the issues surrounding the smartphone.
The announcement by the company, a day ahead of it reporting its fourth quarter results, had experts from TUV Rheinland, Exponent and UL stating that internal manufacturing and design defects of the batteries, including missing insulating tape in some cases, and not the design of the phones were responsible for the battery issues.
The negative electrode windings in the battery of an unnamed “manufacturer A,” who first supplied the batteries for the Note7 phones, were found in some cases to be damaged and bent over because the cell pouch did not provide enough volume to accommodate the battery assembly, said Kevin White, Exponent’s principal scientist, at a press conference that was webcast.
There were signs of internal short circuit at different locations of the cells from five of the damaged devices, said Sajeev Jesudas, president of the consumer business unit of UL. He also pointed to deformation of the upper corners of the batteries, missing insulation tapes on the tabs, and the use of thin separators as some of the factors that could contribute to a short circuit.
After incidents were reported on the field, Samsung turned to another supplier, referred to by the company as “manufacturer B.” But welding defects in “some incident cells were found to be tall enough to bridge the distance to the negative electrode foil,” raising the possibility of short circuits and self-heating, White said.
Samsung turned to Amperex Technology in Hong Kong to supply batteries for the replacement Note7 phones after issues were reported with batteries supplied by affiliate Samsung SDI, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Samsung’s team of investigators checked the Note7’s features such as fast charging, water resistance and its newly-introduced iris scanner for a possible role in the explosions but found those had not had an impact, said D.J. Koh, president of the Mobile Communications Business at Samsung.
More than 700 Samsung researchers and engineers tested over months over 200,000 Note7 phones and 30,000 phone batteries before arriving at their conclusions, he said.
In the wake of reports of overheating of the lithium-ion batteries, Samsung announced a global recall of the Note7 in early September after it found a “battery cell issue.” The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also announced on Sept. 15 a recall in the U.S. of about 1 million Note7 phones.
The replacement phones Samsung shipped out also had battery issues leading the company to recall the phones again and end production of the device. By Oct. 13, CPSC had expanded the recall to include replacement Note7 phones that Samsung had supplied to customers under the first recall program.
Samsung said that 96 percent of about 3 million Galaxy Note7 phones “sold and activated” had been returned by users. As some customers had not returned the phones to the company, despite an offer of an exchange with other Samsung devices or a refund, it had to take recourse to working with cellular operators in some markets like the U.S. and Australia, to disconnect the phones from the network.
The Note7 recall was a public-relations and financial debacle for Samsung, which reported that the third quarter revenue of its IT and Mobile Communications division was down 15 percent from the same period last year to 22.5 trillion Korean won (US$19.8 billion) while operating profit fell 95 percent to 100 billion won, as a result of the discontinuation of the Note7.
The company now expects a turnaround in the fourth quarter, largely because of a better showing by its components business that includes memory chips and displays. In guidance issued earlier this month, the company said its profit has grown year-on-year by close to 50 percent in the quarter. Revenue for the quarter is expected to be about the same as in the fourth quarter of the previous year.
Samsung is trying to put the Note7 debacle behind it and may well succeed. “Most in the US and Europe had forgotten about it already. It’s China they really need to lean into and make sure this message sticks,” said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.
To reassure customers, Samsung also discussed steps it was taking to ensure product quality at every level of product development, including an eight-point safety check for batteries. Teams will focus, for example, on key components and work with external advisers to make preventative checks for any issues.
A battery advisory group of external advisers made up of academic and research experts is expected to provide the company a “clear and objective perspective on battery safety and innovation.” The company is also introducing improved algorithms for managing battery charging temperature, and charging current and duration.
“I liked that they added new processes and enhanced others in the 8-step safety check,” said Moorhead. “The new software is very interesting, too. Even better was the board of advisors that are there to assist on future decisions.”
The future will be even more challenging as consumers are demanding thinner devices that have longer battery life, he added.
In the short term though there could be concerns from consumers about lithium-ion batteries after Samsung disclosed that two manufacturers had made serious mistakes. “This level of promotion will give some pause for a while as it relates to Li-ion devices, but as with most recalls, it will be forgotten in six months,” Moorhead said in an email.