Apps

Acer has an In-Game Live AI Translator on their own esports platform

It’s called SigridWave and the platform is Planet9

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SigridWave

Acer introduces SigridWave — an In-Game Live AI Translator for Planet9 which is the company’s next-generation esports platform. There’s a lot to unpack here so try to digest the information slowly.

SigridWave: In-Game Live AI Translator

SigridWave aims to break language barriers and facilitate communication among gamers around the world. It leverages deep learning tech and is especially trained in gaming jargon.

When in-game, SigridWave employs Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology to recognize utterances and convert them into strings of text. This text is then run through a Neural Machine Translation (NMT) technology. The NMT Tech has so far been trained with over 10 million bilingual sentence pairs, enabling it to understand the terminology associated with specific games (such as “ADS” or “camping”) and learn how players express themselves.

If your nose is bleeding after reading all of that, don’t worry. Same.

Intended specifically for gaming, SigridWave’s AI has so far been trained with over 1,000 hours of game-centric speech (voice + transcript), enabling it to accurately relay detected messages back to users in a language that they can understand.

Being game-centric is key. Acer points out that the biggest hurdle in machine translation is context. Many words can carry multiple meanings and computers struggle to discern the most suitable translation for the situation, that’s why being focused on gaming is essential.

SigridWave will have a closed beta in Q4 2020, during which time it will be available for two-way translation between English and Mandarin in a number of major FPS titles such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.

Planet9 — Acer’s next gen esports platform

SigridWave will work in tandem with Planet9 — a next gen esports platform. The AI Translator is booted up while in a game lobby on Planet9’s desktop client. It’ll appear as a customizable in-game overlay.

The platform itself is meant to be partly competitive and partly social. It’s designed to provide an open community for casual and amateur players who want to improve their skills and take steps towards going pro.

The platform helps players connect with others via teams and social clubs; to improve their skills, via in-depth feedback on gameplay in the form of statistics and coaching; and to experience organized gameplay, via casual or ranked scrimmages and competitive tournaments for most games.

In-game overlays will be supported for League of Legends on launch in late 2020 or early 2021, and support will be made available for additional titles in the future.

Teams

Planet9 strives to help gamers connect with others who have similar skill levels and aspirations. From there, players can create a team to be registered on the website or search for one to join.

Planet9 will also help recruiting teams to fill their rosters, considering factors such as game played, rank, region and language in order to identify potential teammates.

Once a team is established, a private team page is created on the platform to function as a central hub for all involved. In addition to keeping track of match history and statistics for later review and discussion, the team hub includes a number of features to help keep everything organized: a board for discussion and polls, a group calendar for scheduling scrimmages, a tab to keep track of team funding and a directory with basic stats on all members.

Clubs

Planet9’s Club feature is intended to help players keep up with groups they like or admire, whether they’re major names in the industry or a local university team. Clubs consist of two parts, a public “home” page for followers and a private “lounge” for members.

The home page is a place to share content (posts, polls, videos, etc) in order to engage with the community, whereas the lounge is a place to relax and discuss club-related content with a smaller circle of more dedicated members.

Businesses, influencers and public figures are also capable of forming a club on Planet9, creating a unique new touchpoint for brands that wish to connect with gamers. Whether professional or amateur, each club is granted access to a variety of tools to host tournaments in order to grow their own community.

Planet9 recently partnered with Currys PC World to feature Planet9 in its stores in order to enhance esports initiatives in the UK and Ireland. This includes an in-house designed arena to give players a chance to see what it’s like being part of a local gaming club, practicing with teammates and learning from coaches.

These in-house arenas will launch soon with a rapid expansion to 30 stores throughout 2021. Each of the stores will open its own club on Planet9 to grow its gamer community as well as to host tournaments, creating a pipeline for players to show off their talent.

Tournaments

Planet9 includes a significant amount of infrastructure designed to make the process of organizing and hosting tournaments as seamless as possible.

An extensive UI ensures that a successful tournament can be put together even by those with no experience, while a number of automation features (registration, bracket mastering, etc.) enable experienced hosts to minimize time spent on tedious activities and focus on providing as enjoyable an event as possible.

Tournaments are highly customizable, featuring a number of preset brackets and privacy modes, opportunities for sponsored branding and club-determined rewards. Come game day, an all-in-one “Bracket Master” console makes it easy for judges and organizers to communicate, configure matches, broadcast to an audience and more.

Apps

Microsoft could bring Android support to Windows in 2021

Feeling the heat from Apple’s move to ARM

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is widely used globally and has remained the laptop and PC segment’s undisputed leader. However, Linux, as well as macOS, have gained considerable traction in the last few years. To maintain its edge, Microsoft could bring Android support to Windows soon.

According to a Windows Central report, internal discussions are ongoing over the possibility of bringing Android runtime to Windows 10. Currently, you can install a third-party emulation software like Bluestacks to run Android apps on a Windows device. But the experience is far from perfect and still requires a bit of a learning curve.

Apple has a significant lead in this regard because its move to an ARM-based M1 processor allows it to run iOS apps on macOS seamlessly. This ideally helps in bridging the software gap between two very different devices.

Microsoft has tried to achieve a similar goal with the Universal Windows Platform. But the results are still limited because there are barely any devices with a smaller form factor leveraging the operating system.

More importantly, Microsoft wants to bring Android apps to its Microsoft Store. While there’s no information on how it intends to achieve this, the report does say the release is expected by Fall 2021.

Microsoft no stranger to cross-platform apps

Microsoft has whole-heartedly adopted cross-platform compatibility and has a host of apps on iOS as well as Android. If it’s able to bring Android apps to Windows, it’ll challenge the status quo of Chromebooks, which has long been a pain for the Redmond giant in the affordable segment.

This isn’t the first time a company is trying to incorporate Android within its proprietary operating system. BlackBerry 10 supported Android runtime, and the brand leaned on it to make apps easily available. While the move was too late for BlackBerry, it isn’t the same for Microsoft.

It’s worth noting that the idea is in a very nascent stage right now. We don’t know how Microsoft intends to distribute Android apps or whether it’ll start supporting Google Play Services. Although one thing’s for clear — Microsoft is feeling the heat from Apple.

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Apps

India bans 43 more Chinese apps, takes total count to 220

AliExpress and Taobao get the red slip

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The Indian government is dead serious about blocking apps developed by Chinese developers. It has announced a new tranche that now stands banned. The most popular app included in the fourth wave is AliExpress, Alibaba’s international shopping app.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) issued an order stating these apps were engaging in activities that are prejudicial to India’s sovereignty and integrity, defense of India, the security of the state, and public order.

India has already banned major Chinese apps like TikTok, PUBG Mobile, and even startups like Shein and Lalamove haven’t been spared. The all-out ban against Chinese apps gained momentum when the two countries were involved in a border skirmish in June.

Both sides suffered high casualties, and the move was seen as an aggressive breach of India’s sovereignty, although China too lays a claim on the disputed valley.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the anti-China narrative was on the rise since the virus outbreak first happened in the Chinese city of Wuhan. With the escalating border crisis, India clamped down on developers that depend on the market and has pretty much removed every China-backed app from the top 500 list.

Similarly, India has also ruled against Chinese hardware, and Huawei is the worst-hit. The country is yet to deploy commercial 5G, and when it does, it won’t be relying on Huawei’s technology. Officials are concerned that China will get a lot of power over Indian users via data collection and snooping.

The country is also actively pursuing data localization compliance to ensure the data of Indian users remains within the country. WhatsApp Pay wasn’t allowed to launch services in the country for almost two years due to these requirements.

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Here’s everything you need to know with ING Pay

Another safe, easy cashless option

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ING Pay

You can now do more with your ING account! A little over a year ago, ING Philippines launched its mobile-only bank. With it you can save up your hard-earned cash. Now, they’re letting you do more with ING Pay.

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has forced most of us to stay home. With that comes with the need to shift to mobile and online banking. With ING expanding their services, it’ll help with the transition to going cashless.

Here’s everything you need to know about ING Pay.

ING Pay is the newest product offering of ING Philippines. It makes payment easy, smart, and convenient through different features such as bills payment, virtual VISA debit card, and real-time InstaPay transfers. It also helps customers separate their daily account from their savings.

Is ING Pay an e-wallet?

ING Pay is not e-wallet. It’s a bank account, approved by the BSP which means that the security and processes are aligned with ING internal control framework and the standards of the BSP. As a bank account, customers can use ING Pay for all their payments and transactions, including crediting their salary, and manage their financials using the ING mobile app.

Do customers need to have an ING Save account in order to open an ING Pay account?

No. Customers do not need to have an ING Save account in order to use our ING Pay account. Just download the ING mobile app through iOS App Store or Google Play Store and select “Open an ING Pay Account”. However, we encourage our customers to still open an ING Save account to take advantage of its features, such as the high interest rate.

Will savings in ING Save be used for ING Pay?

Not necessarily. ING Pay account is separate from ING Save. Customers, however, can transfer funds from their ING Save to ING Pay instantly with no charges. 

How can customers deposit funds?

There are 3 ways:

  1. They can use their other bank’s online banking portal or mobile app to transfer funds to ING Pay via PESONet or InstaPay.
  2. They can deposit a check directly to your ING Pay account via the ING mobile app.
  3. If they have an existing ING Save account with balances, they can transfer funds from their ING Save to ING Pay instantly and completely free.

Is there any maintaining or minimum balance needed in opening an ING Pay account?

There is no minimum amount to open and maintain the account.

How can customers contact ING?

They can reach out to us by sending a message in the in-app live chat function and FB Messenger. Our customer care team is available 24/7 and will reply as soon as possible.

Fund Transfers

Can customers transfer money from their ING Pay account to other third-party bank accounts?

Yes. Customers can transfer to their other bank accounts via InstaPay and PESONet, at no fees.

Are there any fees when transferring money from other banks?

Some banks may charge transfer fees.

How much can customers transfer via InstaPay?

Customers can transfer PhP 50,000 per transaction via InstaPay, as compared to a daily limit of PhP 50,000 set by most other banks.

Can customers adjust their transfer limits?

Yes. As an added security feature, customers can adjust their daily transfer limit via the ING mobile app.

How long will it take for deposits from other banks to get credited?

Transfer via InstaPay is credited instantly. For PESONet transfers, it will depend on the time that the transfer is made and the cut-off time of the sending bank.

Freelancer (and K-Drama fan) Ceej Tantengco shared how ING Philippines’ Save and Pay accounts are helpful in her work setup.

Virtual VISA Debit Card

How can customers access the virtual Visa debit card?

They can access and use their virtual Visa debit card via the mobile app so they never have to worry about losing the card details. They can keep track of all the transactions and manage their card usage anytime, anywhere.

Will ING Pay have a physical debit card?

Yes, customers can look out for our announcements and notifications on the availability of the physical debit card.

Can customers use the virtual Visa debit card for foreign transactions?

Yes, you can use your debit cards at local and foreign stores and or merchants that accepts Visa transactions.

Bills Payment

How many merchant partners does ING Pay have?

You can pay your bills to more than 70 merchants in our pre-enrolled list. 

What do customers need in order to pay bills?

To pay bills, customers will need the following:

  • The name of the biller
  • The account, reference or policy number of the bill
  • The exact amount you need to pay

How long is the processing time for transactions?

Generally, processing time can take 1-3 banking days. Payments made on weekends, holidays, or after 6:00pm on weekdays will be processed in the next banking day. Please ensure that all bill payments are made before your due date.

Security

If customers lose their mobile phone, how do they access their account?

We have applied measures to ensure the security of your account. For example we only allow 3 attempts when entering the passcode.

To access their account from a different phone, they will be asked to verify their personal details like what they used previously during account opening. They will also be asked to go through the liveness detection again for verification before accessing their account.

Is the customer’s money safe?

Yes, their money is safe with us. We are supervised by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. We are also a member of PDIC. The Maximum Deposit Insurance for each depositor is PhP 500,000.

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