Walyou » Watches http://walyou.com Cool Gadgets, New Gadgets, Tech News and Geek Design Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:33:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 No.1 Sun S2 Shows Its Tricks on a Round Dial http://walyou.com/no-1-sun-s2-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/no-1-sun-s2-smartwatch/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 20:30:34 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216799

In a world dominated by smartwatches with square or rectangular dial, No.1 Sun S2 may look unusual, but it has plenty of interesting specs to leave a good impression.

No.1 gained its place under the spotlight by making copies of popular smartphones and smartwatches. That may not be the best way to become popular, but now that the company has proceeded to manufacturing more original devices, people might actually start looking at it with different eyes. Sun S2, as its latest smartwatch is called, is a waterproof wearable with a round dial and plenty of useful features that make it a great alternative to its more expensive counterparts.

When using a chronograph watchface, No.1 Sun S2 can be easily mistaken for a conventional timepiece. However, the MT6260 chipset and its many functions make anything but conventional. The name of the device comes from the design of the frame, with pieces that look just like the rays of a stylized sun.

As many other wearables, Sun S2 relies on Bluetooth (3.0, in this particular case) to synchronize the phonebook, display phone call reminders and dial. On top of that, the smartwatch can display all sorts of notifications. The manufacturer also included a remote control function, both for the smartphone’s music player and camera. If you’d rather use the smartwatch’s camera instead, the manufacturer equipped it with a 1.33MP snapper that should prove sufficient in emergency situations.

Fitness tracking is an important part of using wearables, and with the help of the included heart rate sensor, No.1 Sun S2 does more than just counting your steps and calories. Such sensors can help people find out the heart rate zone they’re in at a specific moment during the workout. This piece of information is vital for optimizing exercises in order to achieve specific goals.

As mentioned before, Sun S2 can be used as a remote control for the smartphone’s music player. I really hope that this means it’s also compatible with custom music players (a la PowerAmp), and not just with Android’s default one. Hopefully, the included 350mAh battery is sufficient for controlling music playback for a couple of days.

No.1 Sun S2 can be purchased for $54.99 on GearBest, or for $52.59 if you apply the coupon code GBSS2 during checkout. The store is also offering a leather band, besides the metallic one that comes installed.

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Mifone W15 Makes a Decent First Smartwatch http://walyou.com/mifone-w15-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/mifone-w15-smartwatch/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 20:58:29 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216671

If you’re new to wearables and would rather take baby steps than go straight for the most expensive and feature-rich model, the Mifone W15 is a decent way of putting notifications and fitness stats around your wrist.

1. Contents of the Box
2. Design and Build Quality
3. Connectivity
4. Menu and Navigation
5. Battery Life
6. Price and Availability
7. Conclusions

Contents of the Box

The white box the Mifone W15 comes in is as basic as the smartwatch itself. Users will find inside everything they need to get started. On the front side of the box there is an oval window the smartwatch can be seen through, along with icons detailing its functionality. Truth be told, the company making this smartwatch could use some proper copywriters, as the last line of the description doesn’t sound right, even though it gives an idea about what the smartwatch can do.

The back of the box has a stylized watch drawn on it with a big smiley face. I assume that’s Mifone’s way of telling customers that it’s a smartwatch with personality. On the lower left corner, Mifone placed a QR code that doesn’t take users to its website (assuming that the company even has one, in the first place), but instead displays a description of the product.

Included in the box are the watch itself, a USB to microUSB cable for charging the device (there are no data transfers involved), and a user’s guide written in Chinese and English. Considering that some Chinese products don’t come with any English documentation (take Xiaomi’s most products, for example), it’s great to see that this one does.

Design and Build Quality

There is a clear contrast between the front and the back of the watch. The touchscreen is covered in 2.5D sapphire glass, and despite the thick bezel, everything looks quite elegant. The metallic part of the watch’s body complements the display quite nicely. What seems out of place there is the plastic bottom, but given this product’s price, I’m sure that making the whole body out of metal would’ve made it a lot more expensive.

A screen protector is pre-applied on the 1.44-inch display, but I’d suggest removing it. Not only does it have bubbles, but it also makes swiping a bit more difficult. Besides, there’s no point in using a screen protector, especially since the sapphire glass display has an oleophobic coating that even keeps fingerprints away. The only thing you may worry about is dust, but that certainly isn’t such big of a problem.

On the right side, the smartwatch has a microUSB port for charging, a power button for turning the device on/off or for getting it out of standby, and five holes for the speaker.

The manufacturer takes pride in having created an anti-allergic strap from the European food-grade standard material (TPSiV). The strap looks nice and feels very durable, the only detail that could be adjusted being the locking mechanism.

On the back, the device has a metal piece with the company’s logo, along with a hole for reseting the smartwatch, should it become unresponsive.

Overall, build quality is good, but replaceable straps and a back that doesn’t feel cheap could have made it even better.

Connectivity

Mifone W15 relies on Bluetooth 3.0 to convey notifications and carry phone calls to iPhones, Windows Phone and Android devices.

The above images include the pairing process and the permissions the smartwatch has when communicating with the smartphone.

Menu and Navigation

Mifone advertises 10 functions for this smartwatch, but navigating through the menu could have been easier. When out of standby, the wearable displays an analog clock face, as seen in the below picture.

Another option is to have time displayed in a digital format, as exemplified in the following image. While this may look less classier than the analog face, it does have its perks, as it provides quick access to the pedometer, and to Bluetooth options. Taping on the clock gets you to the menu, which has the options listed below.

Bluetooth: In this menu section, users can turn Bluetooth or or off, and can manage connections to smartphones.
Settings: From here, users can change time and date, switch between the two included languages (English and Chinese), reset the pedometer, pick the type of notification (ring or vibration). On top of that, restoring settings and taking the smartwatch back to factory mode is possible from here.
Step: Mifone W15 also works as a pedometer, and takes into account the number of steps, the distance and the burned calories. In my experience, this wasn’t very accurate, as even slight arm movements triggered the counter.

Call: A log of dialed, missed and received calls is provided here. While some of the smartwatch’s other functions don’t require Bluetooth connectivity, this one does. When connected over Bluetooth, the device can be used for answering or rejecting calls. Call quality is decent, but speaking on a wearable takes away from the privacy.
Phonebook: Assuming that the smartwatch is connected to a smartphone, the latter’s phonebook will be synchronized with the wearable, for quick access to contacts. However, navigating through the phonebook may prove difficult, especially if you have a great number of contacts.
Music: The manufacturer advertises the smartwatch as a remote for the phone’s music player. However, I was only able to play music on the smartwatch itself, and the included speaker, while not bad, won’t blow any minds. Besides, you need to take into account the fact that you might disturb others.

Alarm: Users can set several alarm, and whenever one of them is triggered, the smartwatch will vibrate. I found the vibration to be quite loud, which means that it’s guaranteed to wake you up, but it might also wake up the person you’re sleeping with.
Rec: The watch also includes a microphone that can be used for recording sounds from the user’s immediate vicinity. Playing back the recorded audio is only possible on the watch, as transferring the files is not possible. Keep in mind that the device only has 128MB of internal storage, so you might want to delete some recordings before making others.
Stopwatch: This function is pretty self-explanatory. It will undoubtedly come in handy for people who enjoy running and beating records.
Help: In case users don’t have the device’s manual handy, the Help section in the menu will help them get started. Instructions on how to navigate through the menu and how to pair the smartwatch to a smartphone are provided here.

Battery Life

Even though the manufacturer claims that charging the smartwatch takes three hours, from my experience, I’d say that the charging time is a bit over two hours. The 405mAh keeps the device working for almost two days, so you won’t have to worry about charging it every single night.

Price and Availability

GearBest currently sells the Mifone W15 smartwatch for $39.99. The coupon code GBMIFONE lowers the price to $32.99, which really is a very decent price for a wearable with so many features.

The wearable is available in black, sapphire blue, orange, chocolate and purple. Mind you, not only the color of the strap differs from one version to another, but also the plastic back of the watch.

If it’s diversity you’re looking for, the Mifone W15 can provide you that, at least as far as color options are concerned.

Conclusions

Considering its price, the Mifone W15 is a decent way to get started in the world of wearables. The build quality has some impressive aspects (2.5D sapphire glass, metal frame), as well as some details that could have been improved (a metal back and the ability to switch straps). Changing the way users navigate through the menu could also use some improvements, as that can become frustrating at some point. Also, it would have been great if the smartwatch really acted as a remote for the smartphone’s player, as advertised. For a bit over $30, that might be a lot to ask for, but I’m sure people wouldn’t mind paying a few dollars more to get that functionality. Users need to realize that at this price, their expectations should not go though the roof.

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U Watch Ux Wearable Acts as a Gym Buddy http://walyou.com/u-watch-ux-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/u-watch-ux-smartwatch/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 16:30:18 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216600

Knowing the heart rate zone you’re in while exercising can help you achieve your goals, and wearables such as U Watch Ux are far more convenient for this task than chest strap sensors.

U Watch Ux may not have the most inspired named in the world, but what it lacks in that department, it makes up for in functionality. You won’t be able to install apps on it, but its companion app is available on both Android and iOS, thanks to the MTK2501 chipset it’s based on.

The photoelectric heart rate sensor helps gym enthusiasts to figure out if they should increase the pace or just take it a bit slower.

U Watch Ux includes NFC connectivity, besides the typical Bluetooth 4.0, but it’s only there for pairing the smartwatch to the phone, and not for wireless payments. Instead of enabling Bluetooth, going through the settings and finding the smartwatch, users only have to keep the two devices close to each other and they’ll get paired right away.

If you don’t own a selfie stick, but would still like to make in the final picture with your friends, you can use this smartwatch’s remote camera function for triggering the shutter.

The Ux comes in a durable stainless steel shell that will be offered in several different colors, along with matching or contrasting straps. Since it’s not that unusual for members of a couple to have different color preferences, it’s great to see that the manufacturer has offered a few options.

It’s important for a watch to be sturdy, especially if you intend to use it at the gym, but that’s not the only aspect that makes the U Watch Ux great as a gym buddy. Its heart rate sensor will help you better assess your performance, and that definitely is an important element, if you want to progress. Correlate that with the pedometer functionality and the visual cues provided by the companion app, and you’ve got one of the most affordable wearables for active people.

GearBest currently sells the U Watch Ux for $60.52, a lot less than what other manufacturers charge for their smartwatches. Even better, you can get it for $53.99 if you apply the coupon code GBUX during the checkout procedure.

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SensorWake Alarm Clock Fills the Room with Scents http://walyou.com/sensorwake-scent-alarm-clock/ http://walyou.com/sensorwake-scent-alarm-clock/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 20:25:48 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216559

Using aromas to wake people up is not a new concept, as alarm clocks emitting coffee or bacon scents were launched not long ago. SensorWake is looking to provide a bit more diversity, though.

Even though some smells could be classified as generally pleasant by most people, not all of us have the same olfactory preferences. With that in mind, Guillaume Rolland set up a startup called SensorWake, with the sole purpose of helping people wake up in a cloud of their favorite scent.

Swiss fragrance manufacturer Givaudan created the aromas found in SensorWake’s cartridges. The French startup has decided not to make any extreme choices, so they picked several scents that should please everyone. These include, but do not resume to: peppermint, ginger, espresso, hot croissant, chocolate, peach and strawberry candy.

Some might find these choices nauseatingly sweet, but I definitely wouldn’t mind waking up in a room that smells like ginger. I find that particular scent to be very refreshing, exactly what people need in the morning!

The uppermost image also has a cartridge with dollar scents, so that should teach Vespasian a lesson.

The cartridges will get empty after about 60 uses, so I imagine that this scent alarm clock will have a lot in common with printers.


While it may sound pleasant to wake up surrounded by an aroma you love, I find this to be a source of disappointment. I mean… what to good to smell espressos and croissants right after opening your eyes in the morning, if it’s not the real deal? Sure, this might motivate you to get up and spend some money to get a real espresso and some real croissants, but that doesn’t change the fact that the reactions resemble a sine wave.

SensorWake has turned to Kickstarter to help its scent alarm clock make the jump from merely a concept to a real thing. At the time of writing, backers had pledged more than half of the funding goal, which was set at €50,000 (US$54,570) by the developers. Since the early bird spots are long gone, you will have to back the project with at least €80 ($87) to get a SensorWake alarm clock in November 2015. If you’re a heavy sleeper, you might want to reconsider purchasing such a gadget.

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Google, Intel and TAG Heuer Team Up Against the Apple Watch http://walyou.com/google-intel-tag-heuer-android-wear-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/google-intel-tag-heuer-android-wear-smartwatch/#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 20:46:32 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=215708

What do a search giant, a chip manufacturer and a Swiss watch maker have in common? Well, not much, besides all of them wanting to show Apple how wearables are done.

Come to think of it, each of these three companies can play a great role in the creation of a smartwatch. Google has plenty of experience with its Android Wear platform, while Intel has just dipped its toes into the wearable tech industry, but as the world’s main chip maker, knows a lot about hardware. TAG Heuer, on the other hand, is one of Switzerland’s most popular luxury watch makers, and the only one of them who knows how to design a head-turning timepiece.

David Singleton, the head of Android Wear development for Google, stated that “When I think about the watch, it’s always been a marriage of beauty and utility. We’re going to do that with our partnership.”

What’s completely ironic is the fact that not long ago it was rumored that TAG Heuer engineers are helping Apple to develop its smartwatch. As you can clearly see, Google, Intel and TAG Heuer want to prove Cupertino that delivering a smartwatch in a golden case and sticking a $10K price tag to it does not make it a luxury wearable, by any means.

“The difference between the TAG Heuer watch and the Apple Watch is very important. That one is called Apple, and this one is called TAG Heuer,” pointed out Hublot’s CEO Jean-Claude Biver. “Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility. Our collaboration provides a rich host of synergies, forming a win-win partnership, and the potential for our three companies is enormous.”

Another ironic thing is that if until now many celebrities endorsed Apple and its products, now there are quite a few who advise people against buying an Apple Watch, gold edition or otherwise.

Then again, Biver, the head of luxury brand conglomerate LVMH Group’s watch division that also includes TAG under its vast umbrella, called Apple’s Watch a “fantastic product, an incredible achievement,” and the “biggest threat for watches priced at less than $2,000,” despite having an exactly opposite opinion not long ago. All this suggests that TAG might join this partnership simply for the financial benefits.

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Pebble Time Puts a Color e-paper Display on Your Wrist http://walyou.com/pebble-time-color-e-paper-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/pebble-time-color-e-paper-smartwatch/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 19:03:47 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=215360

Gadget lovers didn’t mind that the original Pebble was already two years old when they voted it as yesteryear’s best smartwatch. It was functionality they were after, not bells and whistles, and that’s exactly what they are going to get with Pebble Time, as well, just with a color e-paper display.

Bear in mind that the e-paper display is not the only thing Pebble Technologies have changed over their basic model, but this is definitely the main new feature. Other significant differences include a slimmer case, the addition of a microphone, and buttons that react what the owners of the classic Pebble are used with. The changes in hardware are also reflected in the software of the smartwatch.

The included microphone can be used for replying to notifications. In no time, all Pebble Time users will look like spies and secret agents, with the mention that they surely won’t wear tuxedos at all times and they won’t invariably order shaken Martinis. In addition to that, Pebble Time comes with a timeline UI, user being able to see past, present and future notifications at the press of a button.

In good ol’ Pebble fashion, the company turned to crowdfunding to help the color e-Ink smartwatch make the jump from a concept to a mass-produced device. Since their first smartwatch made history on Kickstarter, Pebble Technology used the same platform for this project. Needless to say, the initial funding of $500,000 has been reached within a few hours since the campaign’s beginning, and at the time of writing backers had pledged over 9 times that. Early birds had the chance to secure a Pebble Time for $159, while regular backers can get one for $179. It should be noted that the color e-paper smartwatch will be available in three versions differentiated by the color of the wristband.

The estimations on Kicktraq are absolutely ridiculous, currently trending toward $136,443,872. I doubt it that this trend will continue until the end of the campaign, but chances are that Pebble Time will break the record established by its predecessor and possibly even the one set by the Coolest Cooler last summer.

All in all, Pebble Time seems to push all the right buttons, proving that wearable tech companies don’t need to launch golden smartwatches to keep users happy.

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Burg 12 Smartwatch Flies Solo in Terms of Communication http://walyou.com/burg-12-watchphone/ http://walyou.com/burg-12-watchphone/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:59:05 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=196206

The battle between smartwatches should be won by the ones that don’t rely on smartphones to place and answer calls. The Burg 12 watchphone would be one of the best contenders in that case.

In the future, we’ll all look like secret agents, talking into our wrists as if only our grandparents are worthy of using full-fledged smartphones for communication. Of course, that’ll only happen until we somehow get the speakers and the microphone into our own skin, fact that’ll do away with the lousy battery life of current wearables. Until then, we’ll have to do with smartwatches that can place and receive calls, as rare as these are. Frankly, I think there are more no-name Chinese brands than big players making such devices. With an office in Hong Kong and the other one in Guangzhou, China, it would seem like Burg fits in the first former category, but you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Founded by lifestyle designer Hermen van den Burg, this company wants to make itself known in the world of wearable tech, and so far has done so with the help of a few watchphones.

Burg 12 is not exactly the only watchphone around, as Samsung Gear S and Neptune Pine are also built in that manner. However, this one has an important advantage over both of those wearables: its $200 price tag. The dust- and waterproof circular case encompasses a square 240 x 240 pixel 1.5″ touchscreen display, and that could very well qualify as a differentiating factor, as well, since displays usually follow the shape of the case.

In terms of battery life, the Burg 12 is said to run up to three days on a single charge, and provides up to three hours of continuous talk time. I couldn’t possibly stand staying 3 hours with the wrist close to my mouth, which is why I assume that Bluetooth connectivity will also be available, thus enable people to use Bluetooth headsets for talking.

To sweeten the deal, Burg offers a $25 prepaid SIM card for this watchphone, so you can start phoning people right after buying the wearable, supposing that its battery is not empty. Even though it works on its own just fine, it’s also compatible with iOS and Android devices, should you wish to pair it with one.

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Retro DC comic book watches for heroic wrists http://walyou.com/retro-dc-comic-book-watches/ http://walyou.com/retro-dc-comic-book-watches/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:00:02 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=196198

DC super heroes are amongst the most classic icons of classic 20th century America, and ever since we started talking smartwatches, so seem the regular old watches. So what happens when you combine DC heroes and watches? Pure magic, let me tell you.

This set of watches come via ThinkGeek, who are asking for $29.99 a piece. They’re based off of classic comic book covers from the late 30s and early 40s, and feature DC heroes’ Batman and Superman from Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), and Action Comics #10 (March 1939), an early first appearance for Superman. These are officially licensed watches made out of first class materials, so if they interest you at all, head over to ThinkGeek to check them out.

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Wellograph Watch Displays Fitness and Health Stats Using an Infographic UI http://walyou.com/wellograph-watch-health-stats-using-an-infographic-ui/ http://walyou.com/wellograph-watch-health-stats-using-an-infographic-ui/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:45:18 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=195085

Some manufacturers of wearables seem to think that a smartwatch doesn’t need to have a gazillion functions, so long as it looks nice. That’s surely the case with the Wellograph Watch.

Take HP’s MB Chronograph, for example. That wearable doesn’t even have apps, so there’s no way it could have an extensive functionality, not to mention that its design isn’t exactly otherworldly. The tech giant hasn’t understood that it needed to bring something new to the table in order to stay relevant and sell its product. Wearables don’t even need to have a display to perform a task flawlessly, and the Articheck Assure is a clear example of that. Back to smartwatches, though, Wellograph manages to integrate a simplistic range of capabilities in a sleek-looking timepiece featuring an unusual way of displaying things: on an infographic UI.

Don’t expect the Wellograph watch to do much. It’ll monitor your activity, heart, number of steps taken each day (which, as you know, should be north of 10,000 if you want to live long and prosper), and your world records in terms of speed. Just kidding, the wearable also comes with a stopwatch, should you decide to use it for running, swimming, or other sports where speed matters.

It’s funny how Brian M. Wolfe of AppAdvice thinks the Wellograph won’t win any design awards, seeing how it was actually nominated for the 2014 CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards.

That being said, this $349 smartwatch has a sapphire crystal display. On the software side of things, it features a firmware that’s updated regularly, which means that new features are provided frequently.

It works equally fine with Android, iOS and Windows Phone smartphones, so you shouldn’t really worry about its compatibility. The week-long battery life is about as much as the one of the improved Pebble. Bear in mind that the Pebble smartwatch has an e-paper display, while this one is a 1.26-inch low-power rectangular LCD with integrated backlight. The bulky design also brings the Pebble Steel to mind, so I’m going to subtract some originality points from there. At least the Wellograph charges wirelessly.

Given the small number of functions, Wellograph’s price will definitely seem steep to most people. If you’re willing to sacrifice that for great design, then I won’t blame you.

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iWatch Android Wearable Will Be Launched Soon, But Not by Apple http://walyou.com/iwatch-android-wearable-by-probendi/ http://walyou.com/iwatch-android-wearable-by-probendi/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:30:57 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=180646

Apple Watch was expected to be launched under a different name, but it looks like the Cupertino company was forced by circumstances to give up on the iWatch name. Still, it looks like a smartwatch using this name will be launched soon.

The iWatch could never have been an Apple product, as this name is trademarked in Europe, and doing so would have inevitably resulted in lawsuits and many millions of dollars in damages. Because of this, Apple took the safe route and used a very generic name for their wearable, while renouncing on their dream to use the i on each of their products.

Daniele Di Salvo, CEO of Probendi, is a 50-year-old Italian entrepreneur whose Dublin-based software development studio holds the trademark for the iWatch name for computing devices and software since August 3, 2008. Pictured above is a concept for the iWatch Sport, which should be launched sometime in the future, even though some people are skeptical and call this vaporware. There is also an app made by Probendi that is called iWatch. Police in Vercelli, a small town in northern Italy are said to use it for sending mugshots to their HQ, fact that makes you think that Di Salvo might just be a patent troll.

Di Salvo pointed out that “We have been contacted by some very important manufacturers in China about the possibility of manufacturing a smartwatch and selling them with the name iWatch. Discussions are still ongoing. We are good at software but hardware is definitely not our business but we are evaluating this request.”

According to Bloomberg, Profendi’s iWatch will have a smaller price than the Apple Watch. It will only come with a square touchscreen, GPS and accelerometer, which explains why the iWatch will be cheaper. After all, at $349, Apple Watch is among the most expensive smartwatches currently available. Ironically enough, the iWatch will run Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat, so this must be one of Apple’s worst nightmares.

I’m pretty sure that unaware that the iWatch isn’t in fact an Apple product, many of the company’s fanboys will jump to buy it. Assuming that Probendi will go with the design pictured above (which is actually highly improbable), that may be the wearable’s main selling point. Other than that, it will feature functions found in any other smartwatch.

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