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Amazon DASH and IOT buttons in Sri Lanka

Amazon dash button

Amazon dash button is a typical example for IOT based devices which is simple to operate and configure It consumes very less power (as per vendor it can last for a decade). The most important thing is that the button is fairly cheap which cost around 5$.

amazon-iot-button

You can setup the dash button using the amazon app on smart phone and get it connected the home wifi network.  Currently most the IOT devices such as fire alarms, security alarms are connected in the same manner.

By reading the documentations about the device, it consumes no or little power during it’s idle operation.  Once user press the button, it connects to the wifi network and notify to amazon using internet connection. After that the button turns itself off until the next button press to save power.  According the amazon’s description of the product, it can last for 1000 presses, which means user presses the button 4 times a month, the button power can last for 20 years.  Since electronica devices like this wouldn’t extend more than 3 years in practice, you don’t have to worry about replacing battery or recharging the device.  Normally battery powered IOT devices don’t exist because wifi devices consumes lots of power. This is the reason most of the IOT devices are using protocols such as Zigbee or Z-wave.  We must appreciate amazon for designing the device in such a manner that we don’t have to worry about the replacing the batter or recharging the device.

IOT buttons in Sri Lanka.

Since amazon is not operating in Sri Lanka and currently doesn’t ship to Sri Lanka. Amazon dash button is  currently opened exclusively for  amazon prime customers.  It must be commended that Dialog Axiata has taken the initiative to develop a button similar to amazon dash with the partnership of University of Moratuwa research lab.  The button is bit bulky than amazon dash button but the operation looks very similar to Amazon dash. We are yet to find out their performance since they haven’t launched the product publicly. Even though appearance of the button is somewhat different to amazon, operation of the button is very similar to that of amazon because it connects to the wifi network only the button is pressed and disconnected with wifi network when button is in idle operation.

Sri Lanka IOT button

IOT button by Dialog

Even though it is not sure how dialog is selling the device whether they are planning to partner with external vendors such as supermarkets or internal online retailer such as wow.lk

Mean time Another online grocery delivering company Snapcart has launched a IOT button so that their customers can order groceries through their Snapcart quick button. Appearance and size of the button is very similar to the amazon and descripton of their button also looks very similar to that of amazon dash button.

The next mention of the IOT buttons in Sri Lanaka is in CIMA launch pad where the team fidget was planning to build a button which is similar to Amazon dash to order groceries online.

Message service center numbers for all Mobile operators in Sri Lanka

There is a configuration to set up Message centre in every mobile phone. When you get a new cellular phone, have to preset their message center number in to it which is provided by your ISP. Digit length of SMS message service center numbers is not a fixed number. Mobitel message service center address and Airtel message service center addresses is 7 digits long while dialog and etisalat message center address is 8 digits long and hutch message center address is 9 digits long.

 

Dialog GSM +94-77000003
Hutch +94-785000005
Airtel +94-7500010
Mobitel +94-7100003
Etisalat +94-72000004

 

sms message center

sms message center on android

You must do this only one time if your hand phone is not receiving messages or if it can’t send them.

  1. Enter Menu Mode on your handset
  2. Select MESSAGES
  3. Select WRITE MESSAGES
  4. Select MESSAGES SETTINGS (for some hand phone models if necessary)
  5. Select option for MESSAGE SERVICE CENTRE number or its equivalent
  6. Enter Message Centre Number: +9477000003 (For Dialog)
  7. Confirm selection.

 

Sms delivery report for Apple IPhone for Dialog customers in Sri Lanka

Note: This method works only for Dialog mobile users for the moment.

If you start to use iPhone after Nokia or blackberry phone, one feature you are going to find missing is sms delivery report. You can use I messenger to send a message to an apple user, you can see the delivery status in case the remote party is also an iPhone user.

Even though the reason for apple to remove this feature is not clearly mentioned by the apple, The only thing we can guess that Apple thinks that this is a feature that people don’t need.

But for some of us, it could be frustrating that we don’t know whether the message is delivered to the remote party as we used to wait for the delivery report after sending a sms.  All the other phones in the market have this feature supported.

Some of the apple customers are requesting this feature in numerous blogs and  some of the operators have this feature built into their networks.  For example adding a some special prefix to start of the message.  This will send a delivery report back to user once the receiver receives it.

In Sri Lanka, Dialog Axiata has built iPhone sms delivery as a service to activate by sending a message to dialog short number. Once you enabled it, you will receive a delivery status message once your message is delivered to the receiver.

Activation/Deactivation of the feature.

Activation: type “delivery on” and send to 9010.

Deactivation: type “delivery off” and send to 9010.

image_2

Please note that the service is offered at FOC by dialog.

image_1

this service works only for Dialog mobiles.  In case I found another operator supports this feature, I will add it here.

It turned out to be Dialog is the first one to launch HD voice in Sri Lanka

 hdvoice

HD voice as simply means, High Definition voice. High Definition voice is an emerging topic which the media highly advertise these days. Once I heard about HD voice I was really thankful to Etisalat, for taking the voice quality to the next generation level although it seems little bit late. As they say, credit goes to Etisalat as the pioneer in HD voice. However I felt like this seems to be a late blow in the technology since all supporting technologies for HD voice was already matured and similar concepts are already implemented like noise and echo cancellation. So I Googled about HD voice.

What is HD voice?

HD voice is essentially a wide band technology. It extends the audio bandwidth used in standard telephony from 300 Hz – 3.4 kHz to a range of 50 Hz to 7 kHz, or higher. That’s much more in line with the human voice, which transmits audio between 75 Hz and 14 kHz.

Also HD Voice takes in more audio samples per second than a standard call. Instead of 8,000 audio samples per second, HD Voice calls doubles that to 16,000. That way, you’re able to hear more details in a person’s voice during a call.

To whom HD voice is for?

Yes, it is true that HD voice gives crystal clear voice to the user but not to everyone. HD voice requires a greater DSP processing capability in the handset. So only smart phones benefit this free of charge service. Now, all we need are carriers to actually enable HD Voice. They will do so by using a higher-quality speech codec called AMR-WB (Adaptive Multi-Rate Wide-band). That codec doubles the frequency of the call, which means you’ll hear less muffled voices and be able to better distinguish between “s” and “f” sounds. So HD voice feature works only between AMR-WB compatible phones.

Why the pioneer in the technology is late?

After my research on HD voice technology and history it was evident that Etisalat wasn’t actually the first to launch the HD voice feature. Since 3G was launched a very long time ago and DSP is also a fast growing field from long time back, HD voice is not really a new thing. There are many noise cancellation applications which is capable in removing noise and echo smoothly and generating the original signal exactly. So, why etisalat is too late?

The major reason why service providers didn’t care much about this HD voice feature in a great deal is because a very little community will benefit this service as there was very little amount of smart phone users.

Actually etisalat was not the first to introduce the HD voice feature to Sri Lankan community. 2 years back in 2012 Dialog had launched the HD voice feature. Dialog’s offering, at the time, went largely unnoticed, partly for the simple reason that there weren’t as many smartphones back then supporting HD voice in Sri Lanka. There was also the fact that nobody really cared. In fact, the Global Mobile Supplier’s Association contains records listing Dialog’s implementation in 2012. So Etisalat isn’t the first time launcher of HD voice in Sri Lanka. According to GSA Dialog has launched the service 14-02-2012 and Etisalat’s launch date is 22-05-2014 more than two years later.

gsa1

You can download the full document on http://www.gsacom.com/gsm_3g/info_papers.php4 from GSA official website.

It’s just the marketing strategy of Etisalat which releases a great deal of advertisements and press releases.

References

  1. http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=business/etisalat-lanka-introduces-hd-voice-technology
  2. http://kathabuzz.com/hd-voice/

 

 

 

 

Cheap Korean Galaxy S4’s in Sri Lanka are Real Galaxies from Samsung..?

 

After listening about latest galaxy s4’s new features, enhancements and performance, I was thinking of buying a new galaxy s4. So I checked on Dialog and Mobitel websites cost was about 110K rs. Pffff, That is big money.  Then I search on Ikman.lk to see what could be the price on retail market in Sri Lanka. There I could find brand-new Galaxy S4s for 20K to 35k, wow 35K one fits perfectly on my budget for galalxy S4 (20k fits even more better).  But there was a problem, all those S4s are Korean.

I thought even though Korean, it is S4 and made by Samsung, I will go for that. I know that Samsung will never produce a bad quality one for own country.  When I check the specifications, the major difference of Galaxy S4 for Korea and Internal is their processor.Actually in comparison, Korean one is better than International one in most of the aspects.  So where is the catch, sounds like excellent deal?  I called some of these guys to see whether this is some kind of a joke.

When I called them those phones are genuine galaxy S4s, but when I asked them reason for cheap price, all says only problem with those phones are they don’t have eye sensor and has a back camera 5Mpixels where International one has 13Mpixels.  Phone has Samsung batch and packaging box is exactly the same as internal version.

I thought eye sensor is not a killer feature that I cannot live without. Low camera quality is problem, but still it’s ok for the price difference. Finally I decided to buy one.  I thought maybe there is an issue of frequency band that phones support and there could be some problem with mobile network support. But person I called confirms that this phone works with any mobile operator in Sri Lanka including Dialog. Finally I verified the language also English and phones are operator unlocked too.

But I noticed that some of phones are having 512 Mb RAM and others have 2Mb RAM. One goes close to 20 K is one with 512 Mb Ram, and one has 2GB ram is more than 30 K Rs.  When I looked at the specification there has never been a Galaxy S4 with 512 MB ram released by Samsung. So this could probably be the fake one.  So it is worth to go to 2GB Ram Korean model even though missing eye sensor and Camera quality, it is a quality product from Samsung.

samsung-galaxy-s-4-12-of-35

For me it is ok to buy Galaxy S4 with some missing features, but It has to be from real Samsung. I’m not willing to buy a Chinese or fake device for a lower price. I started to search more about Galaxy S4, the Korean version, But according to the wikipeda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_Galaxy_S4) , All the S4s have 13 Mpxiel camera. There is no mention of anywhere that eye detection is not working in some of the models (there is no specific sensor for eye detection and S4 is using I’ts front camera for eye movement detection).

I found some articles regarding the storage of the device that genuine 16Gb S4 is having close to 9GB of the space available for users. But this Korean version with 16GB is having 2Gb when connected to PC. I decided this phone is also a fake one. Fake s4s are sold in the srilanka with name of Korean version. There are very little resource on the web regarding such fake Samsung devices. So I decided to blog my experience.

Finally I decided to go for internal version even though the price of that is higher, paying some extra for real thing doesn’t seem to be bad idea. (It is indeed real good phone, I still couldn’t find what’s missing in it)Also It is a very prudent to buy with reputed shop, so that there are so many fake models in Sri Lanka which cannot be easily identified.