Items tagged with wearables

As much as we'd like to believe that companies care about consumers in a way that would prompt them to issue price cuts for no other reason than to say, 'Hey, you rock, Joe Consumer!', that isn't how the business world works. If there's a price cut, it's usually because (A) a product isn't selling, or (B) a vendor is looking to clear inventory. Which is the case with the Moto 360?Good question. If you head over to the Google Store, you'll find that the Moto 360 is now selling for just $165 with free shipping, down from its regular price of $249.99. Google's price cut follows that of both Best Buy and Amazon, which reduced the Moto 360 to $179.99 and $179, respectively, last week. On Best Buy's... Read more...
So picture this -- there's two dudes in a public restroom standing side-by-side at the urinals relieving themselves. The taller gentlemen on the left peeks over the barrier that separates the urinals and stares downward at the fellow on the right, giving him an approving nod. He's not checking out his neighbor's package, but his Netflix Watch, a smartphone shaped device that sits on your wrist like an enormous watch for ubiquitous access to Netflix's streaming catalog. No, it's not a real thing, and oddly enough, Netflix waited a week after April Fool's Day to post the hilarious video on YouTube, which is an obvious spoof of the Apple Watch and the marketing that Apple has put into the product's... Read more...
Credit the late Steve Jobs for creating a consumer culture in which Apple product launches have become big time spectacles highlighted by long lines. If you're hoping to be one of the first to get your mitts on an iGadget, you better pitch a tent in front of your local Best Buy or Apple Store, otherwise it could be backorder blues for you. Or at least that's how it's traditionally been. With the forthcoming launch of the Apple Watch, company retail boss Angela Ahrendts wants to change the culture. Rather than wait in long lines for hours or even days, she wants Apple Watch buyers to steer clear of Apple Store locations and purchase their wearable of choice online. Say... Read more...
Wondering if Apple Watch is going to be worth the money? Well, that depends on several factors, including price, features, and how eager you are to jump into the smartwatch category. To help tackle the latter two, Apple has posted a handful of videos on YouTube that demonstrate what an Apple Watch can do. They play out like tutorial videos and are labeled "Guided Tour," followed by what specifically the video is showcasing. Currently, there are four Guided Tour videos, one of which is a general introduction to Apple Watch labeled "Guided Tour: Welcome." It's the longest video of the bunch at 4 minutes and 45 seconds. The other videos include: Guided Tour: Messages (1 minute and 49 seconds) Guided... Read more...
As wearable tech concepts go, the idea of a "smart helmet' — a motorcycle helmet equipped to deliver usable information to its wearer via heads-up visuals projected onto the visor, such as GPS data — really is quite smart, allowing riders to keep their eyes on the road. And even smarter? Configuring said helmet to respond to voice commands, allowing riders to keep their hands firmly on the handlebars. So all of this considered, the LiveMap helmet is indeed one wicked smart piece of wearable tech. The brainchild of a group of Russian engineers, the lightweight Android-based LiveMap helmet is fitted with GPS and voice controls, developed with a $250,000 grant by the Russian Ministry of Science... Read more...
The world doesn't always make sense. Take for example smartphones; these wonderful little devices reduced wristwatches to a niche market. And now those same smartphone makers, the ones who beat wristwatch makers over the head, are now trying to revive the category by implementing smart features. We call them smartwatches, which a part of the new "wearables" category, and according to International Data Corporation, it's one to keep an eye on. Taking into account a combination of new vendors, new devices, and greater awareness among potential consumers, IDC predicts the wearables market will see a total of 45.7 million unit shipments in 2015, up a staggering 133.4 percent from the 19.6... Read more...
The most successfully funded campaign in the history of Kickstarter (in terms of amount raised) belongs to a smartwatch. That was true a few weeks ago when the Pebble Time smartwatch raised over $17 million from more than 67,000 backers with 18 days remaining, and now that the crowdfunding period is over, the new record to beat is $20,338,986!Nearly 78,500 backers opened up their virtual wallets to support the effort, 142 of which contributed at least $5,000 for the "Distributor" reward tier, the highest tier available. In exchange, those 142 backers will all receive 10 Pebble Time smartwatches in each of the three available colors for a total of 30 smartwatches each. By our not-so-fuzzy math,... Read more...
Best Buy last month gave Samsung's Gear VR Innovator Edition headset a test run by demonstrating the wearable in 100 of its locations scattered throughout the United States, giving customers an opportunity to experience what most have only read about. Apparently pleased with the response, Best Buy is getting ready to sell the headset in its stores tomorrow, March 27.This will be the first time that Samsung's Gear VR Innovator Edition will be made available to purchase in physical store locations. Up until now, it's only been available online -- Best Buy has a product listing on its website, and of course, and of course Samsung is selling the device direct to consumers. It's $200 at both portals... Read more...
Google put an abrupt end to its Glass Explorer program back in January of this year, leading some to speculate if Google was giving up on the wearable. That doesn't appear to be the case. When the Explorer program ended, Google moved Glass out of its Google X research lab and into a dedicated unit, and though the company hasn't said much since then, executive chairman Eric Schmidt says it's very much alive."It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google. We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn't true," Schmidt told The Wall Street Journal. "Google is about taking risks and there's nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests... Read more...
There's no shame in misplacing your smartphone. We've all done it, and though it seems incredibly careless given the (ridiculous) retail value of these devices, life happens. One way to track it down is to use Google's Android Device Manager, which has helped find 30 million misplaced phones and tablets to date. And if you're into the smartwatch scene, you'll also be able to find your lost device courtesy of Android Wear. Google is adding Android Device Manager support to its Android Wear platform. So whether you stayed up late partying and can't remember where you put your smartphone, or if little Johnny got his hands on it and doesn't recall where he last had it, there's no need to panic. "To... Read more...
NASA is teaming up with a San Francisco company called Osterhout Design Group (ODG) to test the feasibility of using smart glasses on space missions. By taking advantage of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology, astronauts will don computerized glasses built by ODG to making working on space projects a bit easier. There are several early uses that have already been identified, such as using "Assisted Reality" software to enable line of sight check lists, guided support via telepresence, and the ability to overlay digital markers on machinery or equipment, all while allowing the astronaut to keep his or her eyes and hands focused and free. "As electronic... Read more...
It seems that these days everything Apple touches turns to gold, hence why the company was able to post an $18 billion profit for its fiscal first quarter of 2015. Be that as it may, can Apple popularize the smartwatch market as others have been unable to do so far? Not only is that the expectation, but according to Swatch watch co-inventor Elmar Mock, Apple is going to bring about an "Ice Age" to the Swiss watch market.Elmar told Bloomberg that he expects the Apple Watch to quickly reach sales of 20 million to 30 million units per year. For the sake of comparison, Switzerland exported 28.6 million watches in 2014, none of them with smart capabilities.Swatch Co-Inventor, Elmar Mock - Credit:... Read more...
It's often said that records are meant to be broken, and every once in a while, they're downright shattered. Case in point, the Pebble Time smartwatch is now the most funded Kickstarter campaign in the history of the crowdfunding site, having raised over $17 million from more than 67,000 backers with 18 days still remaining. It will likely double the nearly $8.8 million raised for Exploding Kittens, the highest funded game in Kickstarter's history. And it's already collected $7 million than Pebble's own E-Paper Watch from three years ago, which at the time was also a record. But it's the Coolest Cooler that's now been eclipsed -- it raised over $13.2 million last summer... Read more...
Apple is preparing to reveal additional details on its Apple Watch wearable next week, but until then, more information continues to trickle out. One of the newest bits is that Apple is urging developers to design their applications to be used for no longer than 10 seconds at a time. The reason for that is Apple wants its forthcoming gadget to be useful without being annoying. Though not mentioned in Bloomberg's article on the topic, battery life might also be a motivating factor to limit user interaction. Previous rumors suggested that users should expect between 2.5 hours to 4 hours of active application use on an Apple Watch. That doesn't sound like much,... Read more...
The wearables market is still relatively new and we haven't really seen many real-world applications, especially for devices like smart glasses that have been stuck in various prototype and beta stages. That's about to change as Virgin Atlantic begins trialing Sony's SmartWear devices as part of a new partnership between the two firms. As part of the partnership, Virgin Atlantic's plane engineers at London's Heathrow airport will receive Sony's latest (and rather stylish) SmartWatch 3 and SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1 devices next week, plus a smartphone or tablet. The goal is to  streamline communications and add a level of efficiency to technical assistance. "We are proud of our... Read more...
While the future of Google Glass is in question (and in limbo), the market is ripe for rivals to jump in and pick up where the search giant left off. Count Sony in -- the Japanese electronics firm is off to the races with its new SmartEyeglass wearable that's already available to pre-order in Germany and the U.K. (it's coming soon to the U.S.). What's available now are the Developer Edition SED-E1. It consists of a pair of glasses with hologram optics -- using holographic waveguide technology, the SmartEyeglass device can superimpose text, symbols, and images in your field of view for an augmented reality experience. In a YouTube video that's nearly 2 and a half minutes long, Sony demonstrates... Read more...
HTC's desire to jump into the smartwatch category has been ongoing for some time now, though it's taking a patient approach in hopes of avoiding a product failure. Newly leaked information also suggests that HTC isn't interested in releasing a run-of-mill Android wearable that will blend in with the rest. Instead, the device will run a home brewed OS that supports both Android and iOS phones.That's coming from Upleaks, which posted a bunch of details on the device, including its codename "PETRA." It will be HTC's first wearable and it will run the company's own RTOS. We're not sure what that stands for, but there's a note that it will support Android phones running Android 4.4 or later, and iOS... Read more...
There's a bit of irony to the whole smartwatch movement. After all, it was the rise of the smartphone that diminished the market for watches, and now smartphone makers are trying to make wrist wearables trendy again (and also smart). But wouldn't it be something if traditional watchmakers ended up dominating the category? It could happen -- Swatch is reportedly planning to release a smartwatch sometime this year, making it the second traditional watchmaker to jump into the category. It was previously rumored that Swatch would partner with Apple to help design and market its Apple Watch, but instead it looks like the two companies be compete with each other.... Read more...
Apple has yet to reveal pricing information for the high-end versions of its Apple Watch products (only the entry-level Sport edition has been priced; it will set you back $349), though like most of the company's products, we'd be surprised if these wrist wearables didn't carry premium price tags. That will undoubtedly be true of the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, which Apple's retail stores will shove in safes every evening.According to 9To5Mac, these will be custom designed lock boxes with MagSafe chargers inside so that the Apple Watches will be fully charged the next morning. That's important, as Apple will allow customers to demo the wearables, including the more expensive gold versions,... Read more...
There are several questions surrounding Apple's forthcoming Apple Watch. For example, will it be a hit? How long with the battery life be? Will it blend? And of course one of the most frequently asked questions, when will it launch? The only answers we've gotten to most of them have been rumors and speculation, though that changed when Apple CEO Tim Cook decided to reveal a launch window.Cook used the company's quarterly earnings call to formally and officially announce that the wearable should be ready to ship in April 2015, a month later than the March time frame that had been making the water cooler rounds."The creativity and software innovation going on around Apple Watch is incredibly exciting,"... Read more...
Apple chief Tim Cook said last year said that most people would use their Apple Watch so much that they'll need to charge it daily. He didn't provide any specifics at the time, though it's now being reported that users might be able to squeeze 19 hours out of their Apple brand wearables when combining active and passive use.This is coming from "people with knowledge of the Apple Watch's development" who spoke with 9To5Mac, presumably on the condition of anonymity since Apple itself hasn't disclosed any such details. According to those sources, Apple is aiming for a high-end experience by combining a high-quality screen with a relatively powerful processor, along with a stripped-down version of... Read more...
The emerging wearables category is one that is fast changing and, quite frankly, a bit confusing if you haven't been paying attention to every little development. And honestly, who has time for that? Unfortunately, these devices aren't cheap, so if you want to make the jump, you're almost taking a leap of faith that your choice will pan out. Alternately, you could take advantage of a new try-before-you-buy program. Enter Lumoid and its new wearables rental service. The way it works is rather simple -- you select up to five devices from Lumoid's website that you're interested in trying out, and you'll get 7 days to evaluate them all. If you like one (or more), you can pay the retail... Read more...
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