Microsoft, Tata Motors Ink Technology Collaboration Deal

Tata Motors and Microsoft on Thursday announced a strategic collaboration on the technology front to make driving a more personalised and connected experience.

Microsoft, Tata Motors Ink Technology Collaboration Deal

The first vehicle showcasing the enhanced driving experiences will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor show on March 7, the companies said.

This will be via Tata Motors’ user interface application and services suite utilising Microsoft-enabled functionalities such as advanced navigation, telematics and remote monitoring features, they said.

Announcing the partnership, Tata Motors Managing Director Guenter Butschek said the tie-up with Microsoft can create new revenue opportunities for the company as car-buyers increasingly look for value-added services. But he did not quantity the potential.

He said the programme will begin with its recently announced sub-brand TaMo but will gradually extended to the main Tata Motors branded passenger vehicles as well.

The companies did not share the commercial details of the partnership.

“Using the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, we will provide the vehicle owners here as well as across the world a safe, productive and fun-driving experience,” Anant Maheshwari, Microsoft India President, said at a press conference.

Maheshwari said Microsoft expects 90 percent of cars to be fully connected by 2020 and even today one-third of all car-buyers/owners want personalisation of his/her mobility experience.

Butschek said Tata Motors aims to enhance in-car connectivity and efficiency to provide an enriched mobile experience for its consumers with this option.

“We will leverage Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies that bring together artificial intelligence, advanced machine learning, and the Internet of Things capabilities on the global hyper-scale Azure cloud, to traverse the digital and physical worlds and create a highly personalised, smart and safer driving experience across the digital life of a vehicle owner,” he said.

He said the company’s recently launched ring-fenced vertical, TaMo will act as an open platform to foster innovation through a startup ecosystem and develop vehicles with on-the-go connectivity.

“In the first phase, the advanced offerings will incorporate technologies such as cloud computing, analytics, geo-spatial and mapping and increased human-machine interface, creating a new benchmark in the industry for connected vehicles,” he added.

Earlier this month, Tata Motors announced a sub-brand TaMo with an aim to introduce new technology-equipped vehicles faster in its bid to regain the lost market share.

Xiaomi Mi MIX Successor Already in the Works, Confirms CEO

Xiaomi CEO and Founder Lei Jun has confirmed that the company is already working on the second-generation of the Mi MIX smartphone. Jun in his recent Weibo post revealed that the Chinese company is once again working in collaboration with French designer Philippe Stark to develop the Mi MIX successor. Further, Jun is his Weibo post (see below) said that Stark has come up with ideas for the Mi MIX successor and now, both the parties are now exploring ways to bring the idea into reality.

Xiaomi Mi MIX Successor Already in the Works, Confirms CEO

To recall, the key feature of the Xiaomi Mi MIX was its near bezel-less display with curved edges on top, and 91.3 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Unfortunately, Lei Jun hasn’t shared any timeline for the Xiaomi Mi MIX II launch this year, but we can expect it in the second half of the year. The Chinese company unveiled the Mi MIX in October last year, and introduced a White version of the smartphone at CES 2017 earlier this year.

We can expect Xiaomi to work on multiple prototypes of the Mi MIX successor before deciding on the final product. Based on preliminary leaks, the Xiaomi Mi MIX II could sport an even thinner bezel with a screen-to-body ratio of up to 93 percent.

Apart from bezel-less display, Mi MIX also featured a ceramic body, which was another highlight of the device. The smartphone also came with piezoelectric acoustic ceramic earpiece speaker, as well as the ultrasonic proximity sensor rather than the traditional front-facing infrared sensor.

Xiaomi Mi MIX was launched last year in China in two variants – 4GB RAM/ 128GB storage priced at CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 34,500), and 6GB RAM/ 256GB storage priced at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 39,500).

To refresh on the specifications, the Mi MIX include a 6.4-inch display which bears a 9:17 aspect ratio, with a 1080×2040 pixels resolution, a pixel density of 362ppi, and a 94-percent NTSC colour gamut. It is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor coupled with 4GB or 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The Xiaomi Mi MIX smartphone sports 16-megapixel rear camera with PDAF, an f/2.0 aperture, and dual-tone LED flash. It bears a 5-megapixel front camera.