Chery joins forces with Aimoga to enter smart robot industry

Chery joins forces with Aimoga to enter smart robot industry
Mornine features a highly biomimetic design, with its face crafted from human-like silicone biomimetic material.
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Updated 25 June 2024
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Chery joins forces with Aimoga to enter smart robot industry

Chery joins forces with Aimoga to enter smart robot industry

Boston Dynamics is retiring Atlas, the famous iconic bipedal robot in existence. This news has sparked considerable interest within both the tech industry and the general public, raising questions about the future trajectory of robotics technology and potential development directions. 

As a trailblazer in humanoid robotics, Atlas has achieved global recognition for its remarkable mobility and dynamic balance capabilities, setting numerous milestones along the way. 

The retirement of Atlas serves as a microcosm, reflecting the broader development trajectory of the robotics field.

Meanwhile, a bipedal robot with Embodied AI, Mornine, a product of the collaborative efforts between Chery and Aimoga, is poised to make its debut at an upcoming CEO-themed conference.

Mornine is driven by electric motors and runs on battery power, departing from Atlas’ hydraulic system. While it may not match Atlas’s explosive power and performance on tough terrain, Mornine excels in scalability and cost-effectiveness, making it ideal for large-scale production and commercialization. Mornine features a highly biomimetic design, with its face crafted from human-like silicone biomimetic material. 

This material is engineered to deliver lifelike visual effects and tactile sensations. Moreover, Mornine can simulate human oral and facial muscle movements, articulating expressions like speaking, smiling, and opening its mouth convincingly.

Mornine is equipped with large language models that, when integrated with robotics technology, allow it to harness the model’s capabilities in understanding and generating language. This capability enables Mornine to accurately interpret verbal or written commands from humans and translate them into specific action strategies.

Mornine’s versatility spans across a wide spectrum of application scenarios, positioning it to pioneer a new customer ecosystem service system.

Its evolution unfolds through three transformative stages, each introducing groundbreaking features and expanding application horizons in response to technological advancements and evolving societal demands.

During the initial stage, Mornine serves as a proficient information provider and product adviser. For instance, within settings like automotive sales centers or showrooms, Mornine leverages its extensive knowledge base to deliver precise responses to customer inquiries and provide detailed product insights and recommendations via voice or screen interfaces.

Advancing into the second stage, Mornine integrates advanced capabilities such as visual recognition and autonomous navigation. It can autonomously navigate and guide customers to specific product locations, utilizing its dexterous robotic arms for physical demonstrations and operations, and even assisting customers with product handling tasks.

In its third and final developmental stage, Mornine evolves into a comprehensive home assistant, offering a myriad of services in home care scenarios.


Honor 200 Series makes regional debut at Dubai event

Honor 200 Series makes regional debut at Dubai event
Updated 23 July 2024
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Honor 200 Series makes regional debut at Dubai event

Honor 200 Series makes regional debut at Dubai event

Global technology brand Honor regionally launched its new 200 Series at a spectacular event in Dubai. The series introduces two cutting-edge models, the Honor 200 Pro and Honor 200, promising to reshape the smartphone experience and portrait photography with a range of advanced AI features across camera, chipset, display, user interface and powerful capabilities in a sleek design. The Honor 200 Series will be available in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, and Jordan, with a later rollout expected in South Africa.

The event revolved around the concept of taking off on a journey to “Honor AI World,” where guests were invited to discover the latest advancements in AI portrait photography on the 200 Series. They engaged in interactive zones and experiences, in addition to a shooting booth that showcased the innovative capabilities and excellence of AI technology in capturing portraits.

Furthermore, Honor’s top management highlighted in the event its significant expansion in the region over the past year. The brand has achieved impressive growth in the Middle East, with a notable 154 percent year-over-year revenue growth in 2023. The trend continued in the first half of 2024, showing a strong 90 percent revenue growth. Particularly noteworthy is its 544 percent growth in the premium segment, reflecting Honor’s strategic expansion and growing consumer preference in the region’s competitive market.

Daniel Wang, president, Honor Middle East Africa, said: “We are excited to launch the cutting-edge Honor 200 Series in the Middle East, setting new benchmarks in AI portrait photography.” He added: “Featuring the Honor 200 Pro and Honor 200, these models showcase advanced AI across camera, chipset, display, and user interface, catering to the demands of consumers in the region.”

The event welcomed Dr. Ghalib Al-Shammari, chairman of the Saudi Society for Artificial Intelligence and Smart Systems, who shared his vision on the future of AI and its transformative impact on society. He highlighted AI’s paths and trends and the potential to improve everyday life with the power of AI.

His remarks underscored the significant role of AI in shaping a more efficient and interconnected world, which aligns seamlessly with Honor’s mission to create a new intelligent world for everyone, reinforcing the brand’s dedication to innovation and enhancing user experiences through cutting-edge AI technology.

The event also featured Shaina Suchdev, COO of Studio Harcourt, who highlighted their 90-year legacy and their collaboration with Honor in developing the AI Portrait Engine. This collaboration blends Studio Harcourt’s artistic heritage with cutting-edge AI technology, promising to redefine portrait photography by delivering high-quality, distinctive portraits that reflect the studio’s signature style empowered by AI.

The event was attended by prominent figures and influencers from the region, including Mustapha Azab, celebrity portrait photographer; and Saeed Jumoh, chairman of Emirates Photography Society and general secretariat of Union Of Arab Photographers.

At the event, it was announced that Honor 200 Series won an award for “Best Portrait Phone” from Hia Magazine.

The Honor 200 Pro is available for pre-order in three colorways: Ocean Cyan, Moonlight White, and Black, at a price of SR2,699 ($720).

Honor 200 is available in Moonlight White, Emerald Green, and Black. The 12 GB+512 GB version is available at a price of SR1,999 and the 12 GB+256 GB version is available for SR1,699.


Lumi opens first motorcycle rental outlets in KSA

Lumi opens first motorcycle rental outlets in KSA
Updated 23 July 2024
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Lumi opens first motorcycle rental outlets in KSA

Lumi opens first motorcycle rental outlets in KSA

Lumi, a mobility provider in Saudi Arabia, has announced the grand opening of its first motorcycle rental branches on Riyadh’s Al-Urubah Road and in Jeddah’s Al-Nahda district. The openings were attended by bike aficionados from across the Kingdom, including riders from the Harley-Davidson’s Hog Club. Lumi’s first official motorcycle rental branches are equipped with lounges dedicated to the local biking community where riders can meet up, relax, and connect.

In addition to the two new branches in Riyadh and Jeddah, Lumi also offers a digital experience for customers to browse the fleet and rent motorcycles on its dedicated page for motorcycle rentals online. As a digital-first entity, Lumi is focused on offering a seamless experience for users with enhanced customer service across their portals.

Syed Azfar Shakeel, CEO of Lumi, said: “As one of Saudi Arabia’s leading vehicle rental and leasing operators in a fast-growing segment, Lumi is committed to bringing unique offerings to the market. By providing our discerning clientele with the latest models of high-end BMW and Harley-Davidson motorcycles, we can provide them an exclusive experience within this segment. The opening of Lumi’s first motorcycle rental branches is part of our endeavor to offer customers easy access to our range of services even as we look forward to growing our own biking community.”

Lumi is the only company currently offering brick-and-mortar motorcycle rental services in the Kingdom. Their young fleet of well-maintained Harley-Davidson and BMW bikes comprises 2022 and 2023 models. Lumi also offers motorcycle gear rental for bikers in line with their commitment to enhancing the safety of riders. To facilitate optimum biker experience, the biking gear is rented out for the whole booking period.

The used motorcycles are also available for sale at the used vehicle sales auction. This is beneficial for bikers who desire to purchase used motorcycles in excellent shape and low mileage at competitive prices.

“The thrill of riding a Harley-Davidson is something that every rider should experience at least once in their life,” said Monther Al-Mutlaq, managing director of Harley-Davidson Saudi Arabia. “The open road is calling, and Harley-Davidson is the answer. We’re thrilled to associate with Lumi to bring this iconic experience to riders in Saudi Arabia, allowing them to feel the freedom and exhilaration of riding a Harley-Davidson.”

David Mcgoldrick, managing director, BMW Group, added: “For those who enjoy living in the fast lane, BMW offers an exhilarating ride. The opening of the new motorcycle rental branches by Lumi in Saudi Arabia presents local biking enthusiasts with the opportunity to get a feel of our premium brand before they embark on an adventure of a lifetime. BMW’s focus on pure performance along with a keen eye on aesthetics underpinned by functionality guarantees a thrilling ride for all.”


MENA ISC 2024 returns to support KSA’s digital transformation

MENA ISC 2024 returns to support KSA’s digital transformation
Updated 22 July 2024
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MENA ISC 2024 returns to support KSA’s digital transformation

MENA ISC 2024 returns to support KSA’s digital transformation

The MENA Information Security Conference, one of the oldest and most trusted events among chief information security officers and cybersecurity professionals in the region, will once again bring together top industry leaders and decision-makers, for its 12th edition, to discuss the latest cybersecurity challenges and share ground-breaking solutions.

With the theme, “Hyper-resilient Cyber: Navigating the Evolving Threat Landscape of the Interconnected World of IT, OT, IoT, IIoT, and Hybrid Cloud,” MENA ISC 2024 will address the rapidly changing cybersecurity landscape and its implications for the Kingdom’s thriving businesses and critical infrastructure. The event will be held in Riyadh from Sept. 10-11.

The unemployment rate for Saudis dropped to 7.7 percent in the last quarter of 2023, nearing the objective of 7 percent as set for Vision 2030. The nation is set to grow by 4.4 percent in 2024, fueled by substantial investments in non-oil sectors and the ambitious Vision 2030 initiative aimed at economic diversification. As Saudi Arabia’s economy continues to flourish, this economic upturn is further supported by robust consumer spending, stabilized oil prices, easing inflation and a highly digitalized public and private sector.

As a digitally advanced nation, the Kingdom’s residents have technology integrated into everyday life, from government services on platforms like Absher to various mobile applications for healthcare, finance, insurance and other services. Saudi Arabia is recognized globally for its digital advancements, ranking third in the World Bank’s GovTech Maturity Index for digital government transformation and first in the Arab world for digital competitiveness. This widespread digital integration necessitates the need for a resilient cybersecurity infrastructure to ensure the secure functioning of digital services.

The rapid expansion is also driven by the implementation of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Industrial Internet of Things, and hybrid cloud, in both public and private sectors. Reflecting this trend, the cybersecurity market in Saudi Arabia is witnessing unprecedented growth, with a compound annual growth rate of 13.78 percent and a market size of SR21 billion ($5.6 billion) at the end of 2023.

The Kingdom’s rapid digital transformation and economic diversification under Vision 2030, increase the vulnerability of its digital infrastructure, making it a prime target, with the average cost of a cyberattack in Saudi Arabia being significantly higher than the global average, highlighting the critical need for cybersecurity measures such as the government’s significant investments in developing cyber-secure infrastructure and the establishment of the National Cybersecurity Authority.

Four new special economic zones in Saudi Arabia were also launched at the end of 2023, including the Cloud SEZ, which aims to attract leading global cloud computing companies to start their commercial operations with the capability to build and operate data centers throughout the Kingdom. This was followed by major global companies like Oracle announcing a SR6 billion investment toward developing local cloud computing centers, AWS announcing a SR20 billion investment toward building data centers and a significant cloud presence, and Google launching a new cloud region in Dammam, which is estimated to add SR409 billion to the country’s GDP between 2024 and 2030.

To achieve hyper-resilience against cyberthreats, strong collaboration between government entities, private enterprises and international partners is essential. 

This approach leverages the strengths and resources of all stakeholders to create a comprehensive cybersecurity framework for the nation. MENA ISC 2024 aims to play a pivotal role in this collaborative effort by gathering thought leaders, visionaries, market innovators and experts, who will together pave the way for a digitally secure Kingdom.


London roundtable facilitates financial firms’ entry into Saudi market

London roundtable facilitates financial firms’ entry into Saudi market
Updated 22 July 2024
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London roundtable facilitates financial firms’ entry into Saudi market

London roundtable facilitates financial firms’ entry into Saudi market

Jersey Finance, an international financial center, partnered with the Saudi British Joint Business Council to host a roundtable in London titled “Setting up in Saudi — Practical Insights for Financial Service Firms.”

The event at 33 St. James’s Square, brought together experts from Saudi Arabia, including government representatives, to discuss the practical requirements and support available for finance firms looking to establish operations in the Kingdom.

The roundtable was led by Faizal Bhana, Jersey Finance’s director — Middle East, Africa and India. “These events are crucial in providing financial services firms with the knowledge and connections they need to successfully navigate the process of setting up in the dynamic Saudi market,” said Bhana.

He added: “Saudi Arabia’s ambitious economic transformation presents significant opportunities, and we are committed to helping firms leverage Jersey’s expertise to establish a presence in the Kingdom.”

The event featured speakers from the Saudi Embassy in London and the Ministry of Investment, as well as leading law firms and advisory firms. Abdullah Masood, commercial attaché at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London, highlighted the embassy’s support for establishing financial services in the Kingdom. 

Richard Jacobs, managing partner, also provided insights into the Saudi financial sector development plans and regulatory environment.

Chris Innes-Hopkins, SBJBC UK executive director, said: “The roundtable aimed to foster discussion and debate, equipping attendees with valuable, on-the-ground insights into setting up a financial services firm in Saudi Arabia.”

He added: “We are pleased to partner with Jersey Finance to facilitate this knowledge-sharing and connect financial firms with the resources they need to succeed in the Saudi market.”

Jersey has been a leading international finance center for more than 60 years, offering a forward-thinking and ESG-driven approach across banking, corporate services, fintech, funds, investment management, private wealth, and specialist areas like Islamic finance and philanthropy. Financial firms in Jersey provide services to clients around the world, and more than 30 Jersey-based financial firms also operate in the Gulf region and four have recently set up in the Kingdom.


Mastercard supports Saudi gaming with EWC partnership

Mastercard supports Saudi gaming with EWC partnership
Updated 22 July 2024
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Mastercard supports Saudi gaming with EWC partnership

Mastercard supports Saudi gaming with EWC partnership

The Esports World Cup Foundation has announced Mastercard as an official partner of this year’s Esports World Cup, the world’s largest gaming festival taking place this summer in Riyadh. Through curating an exciting, one-of-a-kind gaming journey, Mastercard is helping create an accessible and enjoyable experience for all EWC attendees.

The EWC provides an ideal opportunity to showcase Saudi Arabia’s rapidly growing esports industry, highlighting the nation’s progress in developing its digital economy and infrastructure.

Mastercard’s sponsorship will enable enhanced experiences for attendees, including seamless digital payments, and the chance to win valuable prizes by competing in a broad selection of rousing challenges. Meanwhile, a dedicated Mastercard booth, located in the Esports Arena, is hosting on-ground activations and meet-and-greets with Saudi esports stars and gaming personalities.

In addition to holding weekly tournaments that put gamers’ skills to the test, Mastercard will also reward game lovers for their passion and enthusiasm for esports with an array of prizes. The technology company will also challenge visitors to demonstrate their teamwork abilities by taking on a novel, exciting game called “Gen Blend,” with the aim being to play and win together.

“Mastercard’s sponsorship is a significant milestone for EWC, supporting our goals and harmonizing with Saudi Vision 2030’s focus on diversity, inclusion, and digital innovation,” said Mohammed Al-Nimer, sales director, EWCF. “We look forward to welcoming a diverse audience of gamers, tech aficionados, and industry professionals to EWC, casting a bright spotlight on the Kingdom’s digital prowess and cultural vibrancy.”

“At Mastercard, we are committed to connecting people to their passions,” said Maria Medvedeva, country manager, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Mastercard. 

“With Saudi Arabia being home to some of the most skilled and dedicated gamers in the world, we are proud to contribute to the development of the Kingdom’s gaming industry in line with Vision 2030 and in tandem with EWCF. We look forward to further strengthening our long-standing partnership with EWCF to fuel the robust gaming ecosystem in the Kingdom. We look forward to welcoming people from all over the world to EWC.”

The EWC, which began on July 3, has transformed Riyadh into the epicenter of esports fandom and gaming culture. Located in Boulevard City, fans can watch their favorite athletes and clubs compete across 22 game championships for a share of more than $60 million in life-changing prize money — the largest prize pool in esports history. Across eight weeks, the tournament will also feature festival activities that include numerous gaming activities, community tournaments, pop culture celebrations, international experiences, and more.