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Global lifestyle accessories giant Fossil Group on 17 December launched seven Next-Gen touchscreen smartwatches under its six brands for the tech-savvy millennials in the country.

Starting from Rs 19,995, the seven smartwatches are: Fossil Gen 4 Smartwatch Venture HR and Explorist HR for Fossil; Skagen Falster 2 for Skagen; Michael Kors Access Runway for Michael Kors; Emporio Armani Connected for Emporio Armani; A|X Armani Exchange Connected for Armani Exchange and Diesel Full Guard for Diesel.

“India has 47 percent of its population below 25. They understand technology very well,” Johnson Verghese, managing director, Fossil India, told IANS.

Fossil Gen 4 Smartwatch Venture HR. Image: Fossil

Fossil Gen 4 Smartwatch Venture HR. Image: Fossil

“We have a unique space as young, tech-savvy, fashion-conscious and aspirational youth are backing us,” Verghese added.

Powered with Wear OS by Google and running Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 Platform, the new product line comes with features like touchscreen digital display, Bluetooth technology, wireless syncing and magnetic charging, compatibility with iOS 9.3+ and Android 4.4+ (excluding Go edition) and long battery life.

The smartwatches have features like heart rate sensor, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light and microphone.

“With the launch of next generation of smartwatches, we have amplified the technological features on the wrist while maintaining our aesthetically fashioned designs, creating an experience individual to each consumer”, said Johnson Verghese, managing director.

The heart rate functionality was an important ask from consumers, said the company, adding that whether going for a run outside or hitting the gym, you can automatically track your heart rate during logged exercises with Google Fit.

The dials have heart rate integrated into the designs, to show users beats per minute on the watch face.

“Since our entry into the smartwatch market three years ago, it has been Fossil’s mission to meld technology and design,” added Gautam Sharma, vice president brand strategy-APAC.

New “untethered GPS” capabilities allow to track walks and runs, hikes, bike rides and more via Google Fit and third-party fitness apps. The added swim-proof functionality will help users track swim workouts, said the company.

Even as social media has started playing a very significant role in our decisions, many people who create content to promote products on popular platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest do not always disclose their marketing relationships with the companies, reveals new research.

The YouTube app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration - RC1F9FACE150

The YouTube app logo 

The study focused on affiliate marketing, in which companies pay a commission to social media figures for driving sales.

Content creators who produce videos, photos and commentary are rewarded when their followers purchase products after clicking on affiliate marketing links included in their social media posts.

Researchers from Princeton University’s Department of Computer Science extracted affiliate marketing links from randomly drawn samples of about 500,000 YouTube videos and 2.1 million Pinterest pins.

They found 3,472 YouTube videos and 18,237 Pinterest pins with affiliate links from 33 marketing companies.

The researchers found the links by identifying characteristic patterns in the URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) that marketers use to track readers’ clicks.

They then used natural language processing techniques to search for disclosures of affiliate marketing relationships within the ‘videos’ and ‘pins’ descriptions.

Disclosures were present in around just 10 per cent and seven per cent of affiliate marketing content on YouTube and Pinterest, respectively.

These findings were published in the journal, ‘Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction’.

In view of these findings, the researchers proposed that regulators should take broader legal action against affiliate marketing companies for failures to disclose, and recommend that social media platforms make it easier for content creators to disclose marketing relationships in a standardised way.

The lead author of the study, Arunesh Mathur, a computer science graduate student, and his colleagues are also developing a web browser extension that would automatically flag some types of paid content, Princeton University said in a statement.

In addition, they are working on computational methods to detect other types of hidden advertising on social media, including sponsored content and product giveaways, which are less straightforward to identify than affiliate marketing.

On the surface, PowerPic looks like a contemporary picture frame that you’d pick up at any home decor store, and while the frame itself is a bit more premium than the average generic frame — it’s made from solid and attractive New Zealand Pine — it really is just a standard frame. The magic of PowerPic actually comes from the backing on the frame, which incorporates a 10-watt Qi-certified charger that hides behind the photo, allowing you to charge an iPhone, or any other Qi-compatible smartphone, simply be placing it in the frame.

PowerPic comes with a five-foot cable that uses a standard USB-A connector, although sadly you’ll need to supply your own USB power source, which we found to be a disappointing omission in a product like this. The move to USB charging standards has seen many companies moving away from bundling USB power adapters, which may be fair for accessories like inexpensive portable speakers that only need the adapter for recharging, we don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that products designed to be plugged in all the time should actually include the plug. To be fair, Twelve South notes you can plug PowerPic into a computer at your desk, or a USB-equipped wall outlet, eliminating the need for a traditional power adapter, but those seem like edge cases, and we suspect most users will be looking to use a traditional power adapter to plug in PowerPic, and it’s worth noting that you’ll need to supply something with more power than what comes with your iPhone if you want maximum performance out of PowerPic.

On the upside, however, once you take the back off the frame, you’ll discover that Twelve South has chosen to use a standard USB-A to USB-C cable, rather than hardwiring into the charger. This allows you to easily replace the cable if you need a longer one, or prefer a different style of cable or connector on the other end, such as connecting to a USB-C power source. Twelve South also includes a metal stand that doubles as a cable guide to allow you to keep the cable more hidden and out of the way, which is a thoughtful design touch, although the stand only attaches to set PowerPic up in a portrait orientation, rather than landscape.

Other than the wireless charging aspect — which charges exactly like any other wireless charger — PowerPic is like any other picture frame. The back removes normally, with five tabs holding it in place, and you can insert your own 5 x 7” portrait photo. Twelve South also provides a gallery of photo and wallpaper combinations that you can print out and put on your iPhone screen to make them blend together nicely when the iPhone is charging, which we think is a really cool idea, although we were surprised to find that Twelve South doesn’t provide any wallpapers to go with the picture that’s actually included with the double-sided beachfront/snow-capped mountain picture that’s included with PowerPic, so sadly you’ll need to fire up your printer if you want to take advantage of the matching pictures. We’re not too concerned about this, however, as we think most users will want to use their own photos in PowerPic anyway, since that’s rather the point of it, not to mention that unless you make a special effort to bring up the photo first, your iPhone screen is going to be off when you’re charging anyway.

Let’s face it, while wireless charging is a great idea, we’re normally less enthusiastic about the actual wireless chargers that are required to take advantage of it. Although many companies are doing their best to make wireless chargers that look as unobtrusive as possible, in most cases you’re still left with a black or white disc that has to sit atop a table somewhere, and we can’t blame some users for wanting to shy away from setting them up in more public living spaces. This is what makes PowerPic so great, and while we’re prefer to see the frame available in a wider range of styles and options, the contemporary black and white options should fit in reasonably well with all but the most eclectic styles of home or office decor. PowerPic seems exactly like the kind of product we would expect from Twelve South, but on reflection we’re still amazed that nobody else thought of it before now. While PowerPic is a bit pricer than an average wireless charger — especially considering you still have to add your own power adapter — we think the design stands out enough to justify the expense; if you’re simply looking for a wireless charger, there are plenty of less expensive options, but if you’re looking for a wireless charger that will fit unobtrusively into your living space, and look good while doing it, this is the one to buy.

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