Qualcomm is kicking off the first eMTC/NB-IoT/GSM (LTE Cat M1/NB1 and E-GPRS) multimode field trials in China with China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) and Chinese smart bike sharing company, Mobike.

The field trials are expected to make use of China Mobile’s 2G/4G multimode network and Mobike’s smart lock, supported by Qualcomm Technologies’ MDM9206 global multimode LTE modem for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The LTE connectivity and integrated GNSS position-location capability in the MDM9206 LTE modem is designed to help Mobike customers accurately identify an available bike, accelerate the unlock process of the smart lock, and assist with real-time management – while also providing Mobike with continuous monitoring of the bike’s status.

The Qualcomm modem will be paired with Qualcomm’s low-power Bluetooth solution for use in the smart Mobike Preferred Location (sMPL) platform to support sub-meter level positioning, helping Mobike monitor the real-time location and overall status of its bikes including quantity, position, and traffic information from different regions.  This service will provide operations personnel with smart instructions for the delivery, scheduling, operation, and maintenance of the bikes.

“China Mobile Research Institute has been actively boosting the development of IoT and exploring new IoT business opportunities,” Huang Yuhong, the DGM of China Mobile Research Institute, said. “The planned field trials with Qualcomm Technologies and Mobike will further expand the applications for LTE IoT (eMTC/NB-IoT) in areas such as smart bike sharing and smart travel. We will conduct cross-industry integration and innovation to boost ubiquitous IoT solutions and the smart IoT life by jointly working with the China Mobile 5G Joint Innovation Center, and taking full advantage of China Mobile’s vast GSM network and technology leadership in eMTC/NB-IoT.”

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has been nominated to join SoftBank’s Board of Directors, the Japanese company announced this week. Claure and four other candidates will be confirmed in an election on June 21.

Sprint has also partnered with NYU Wireless on mobile 5G research, and joined the research center at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering as an industry affiliate sponsor. As a sponsor, Sprint will gain early access to NYU Wireless’ research and work with students and faculty on 5G projects. The carrier will also contribute its technical expertise on network design, use cases, and architecture requirements for core and radio access 5G networks and devices. Fellow U.S. carriers Verizon and AT&T are also NYU Wireless sponsors.

“We’re focused on delivering mobile 5G in late 2019 using our 2.5 GHz spectrum to provide broad nationwide 5G coverage with millimeter wave bands serving as high-capacity, high-throughput hotspots,” Sprint’s VP of Technology Ron Marquardt commented. “Our work with NYU Wireless will be instrumental for practical use of this spectrum and ensuring strong integration between these bands.”

Humavox, a wireless charging company, said it recently partnered with Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) to create the first module for wearables that comes equipped with wireless charging capabilities and health tracking functionality. The new module is infused with a Photoplethysmogram (PPG) chip and includes a BLE transmitter, ultra-low power consumption voltage detector, and Humavox’s wireless charging.

“This is yet another great step in making Humavox technology accessible to the consumers. I’m proud to collaborate with AKM, one of the best global semiconductor companies, to develop the first-ever chip equipped with wireless charging and health tracking capabilities,” Humavox CEO and Co-Founder Omri Lachman commented. “I expect more collaborations like this to come in the future as the efficacy of wireless charging spreads.”

Qeexo, a developer of user interaction solutions for touch-enabled devices, announced the debut of EarSense, a software-only alternative to the standard proximity sensor. The proprietary solution reportedly allows mobile devices to recognize contact with the face and ears, rejecting unwanted touches during phone calls.

EarSense is a software-only solution that can be used by device manufacturers to replace the physical proximity sensor, a technology that is used to turn off the screen of the phone during phone calls.  By freeing up the space previously occupied by the proximity sensor, Qeexo indicated smartphone manufacturers will have greater freedom to create more exciting and imaginative designs.