Technology

In an effort to encourage a healthier lifestyle, Singapore’s government has partnered with Fitbit to offer its citizens free fitness trackers.

Under the country’s national health program — Live Healthy SG, hundreds of thousands of Singapore residents will soon be able to register to get a free Fitbit Inspire HR.

The activity band itself, which has a $99 price tag, won’t cost a dime. However, in exchange, users will have to subscribe to Fitbit’s premium coaching service, which costs $10 a month, for a year, according to CNBC. On top of that, Singaporeans will have to agree to share whatever data the Fitbit collects with the country’s health board.

The data will shape future health programs as well as “enrich” the Board’s promos through relevant and practical insights, Singapore’s Promotion Health Board said. On privacy, Fitbit claims that there will be a “clear and seamless consent process” and enrolled residents will know precisely what data they’re sharing with the government. While participants won’t have an opt-out option specifically for data sharing, enrollment in the program will remain optional.

Singapore has a growing population of 5.6 million and Fitbit is expected to supply hundreds of thousands of fitness bands.

“We intend to work with industry innovators, such as Fitbit, on additional efforts to use technology to provide Singaporeans with personalized health advice and nudges, so that they can take control of their own health,” said Zee Yoong Kang, CEO of the country’s Health Promotion Board.

The monthly fee quickly adds up to be higher than the cost of the fitness tracker itself and represents Fitbit’s larger push towards subscription services as it struggles to stand its ground in the hardware space amid competitors like Apple, Xiaomi, and Huawei.

Plus, Fitbit’s smartwatch business has failed to take off. Last month, the company reported its smartwatch revenue has dropped 27 percent year-over-year, mainly due to a result of “weaker than expected” Versa Lite sales.

A Fitbit spokesperson declined to say how much the deal with Singapore is worth.

“We think this program could reach up to one million people. It’s an indication hopefully to investors and other potential customers that the transformation that we’ve talked about in our business model is becoming real,” Park said. Speaking with CNBC, Park also revealed Apple was one of the bidders and negotiations were “highly competitive”.

Singaporeans can pre-register for Live Healthy SG in September and the program is officially slated to debut in late October.

Companies, Technology

The Apple iPhone 11 lineup will come with a camera setup that will allow the device to capture better images in low light conditions.

pple is gearing for a major launch event next month, where the company is expected to unveil the much-awaited iPhone 11 lineup. Apart from its 2019 iPhone, the tech giant is also expected to launch a bunch of new devices including a brand new MacBook Pro laptop and new iPad models among other things.

In the past, a series of rumours and leaks have revealed a number of key details about the upcoming iPhone 11 lineup right from its name, which is likely to come with ‘Pro’ moniker to its design and camera setup. But now, a new report by Bloomberg has given us a detailed view of the products launching at Apple’s upcoming launch event and their key details.

iPhone 11: Leaks and rumours in the past couple of weeks have detailed that Apple will use the Pro moniker for its higher iPhone models, which means that the iPhone XS successor could be called the iPhone 11 Pro while the iPhone XS Max successor could be called the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The new report states that the main feature of the Pro iPhone models will be their camera. The two iPhones will come with a third camera at the back that will allow users to capture ultra-wide angle images and videos. The third camera will also help in capturing better images in low-light conditions. On the front, a multi-angle Face ID sensor will ensure that a wide field of view is captured allowing users to unlock their iPhones more easily.

Apart from this, the company’s 2019 will come with a special feature that will allow users to retouch, reframe or even alter the colors in a video live while are recording it. They will also come with a reverse wireless charging feature – similar to the one present in the Samsung Galaxy S10 – that would allow users to charge their AirPods and may be even Apple Watches by placing them on the back of the phone.

While the overall design is likely to remain unchanged, the 2019 iPhones are expected to feature matte finish as against the existing glossy finish. They are also expected to come with shatter resistant technology and an advanced water resistant technology that could allow the iPhone to be submerged under water for longer than 30 minutes.

The iPhones will also gain an iPhone XR-like haptic touch which will replace the pressure sensitive 3D touch technology. While the three iPhones will be powered by A13 chipset, it will come with a co-processor that may help the device with computer vision and augmented reality.

MacBook Pro: A number of reports in the past couple of months have hinted that Apple will launch a 16-inch MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard along with the iPhone 11. Now the Bloomberg report takes the old report a step further. The 16-inch MacBook Pro will be closer in size to the 15-inch MacBook Pro but it will come with slimmer bezels.

In addition to that Apple will also Mac Pro and 32-inch XDR Pro Display later this year.

iPad: Apple refreshed its line of iPad Air and iPad Mini models earlier this year. The report states that Apple will launch the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with A13 chipset and upgraded cameras. The company will also launch a low-end 10.2-inch iPad model, which be be the successor the company’s 9.7-inch model.