Shipments of connected wearables will reach 19 million by the end of the year, impressive growth from 5.9 million devices in 2013, according to Berg Insight. Smartwatches, smart glasses, fitness & activity trackers, people monitoring and safety devices will see a 54.7 percent compound annual growth rate and reach 168.2 million units in 2019.
Bluetooth will be the No. 1 connectivity option, but embedded cellular connectivity will increase, largely in part to smartwatches and people monitoring and safety products. Smart wearables are going to greatly increase as the Apple Watch hits the market in 2015, introducing new consumers to the booming market.
"This product category is now facing fierce competition from smartwatches that have activity tracking features," said Johan Svanberg, Berg Insight Senior Analyst, in a press statement. "Decreasing prices and new form factors will still enable dedicated fitness & activity trackers to reach shipments of 42 million units in 2019."
AMC Theatres has partnered with MoviePass to launch a pilot theater subscription service that will allow subscribers to see movies for a monthly fee, instead of per screening. The standard MoviePass subscription allows for one movie per day in 2D for $35 per month, while the MoviePass Premium costs $45 per month and allows for one movie per day in any presentation format.
The trial will launch in Boston and Denver starting in early 2015, the companies said in a press release.
"This is the first time a premium level subscription service has been launched in the U.S. and marks a significant step forward by offering passionate movie lovers the premium sight and sound experiences available in movie theatres," said Stacy Spikes, MoviePass CEO and co-founder, in a press statement.
Time has partnered with Coinbase to begin accepting bitcoin payments for digital and print subscriptions of Fortune, Health, Travel + Leisure and This Old House. This is a major victory for Coinbase and the bitcoin community, as Time's online and print media reaches 130 million consumers every month - and surely some of them own bitcoins.
"We are always looking for ways to make it easier for consumers to engage with our brands and this pilot program will give bitcoin users a seamless and simple way to purchase subscriptions," said Lynne Biggar, executive vice president of consumer marketing and revenue at Time, in a press statement. "We hope to expand our partnership with Coinbase in the coming months to create more opportunities to provide greater value to our customers."
Bitcoins continue to be extremely volatile, with value fluctuating as many investors question its long-term financial stability. However, that doesn't mean retailers and other businesses have shied away, as they want to accept whatever payment methods its shoppers use.
Apple's draconian move to disable TRIM software support in the latest versions of OS X has left only one third-party SSD manufacturer that supports TRIM. Angelbird natively supports TRIM in OS X, a feat others haven't been able to accomplish without TRIM Enabler software. Apple removing TRIM Enabler compatibility has forced users to expose their system to malware by disabling key security features, or to simply not use TRIM with their third-party SSDs. Other third-party SSD manufacturers rely upon garbage collection in lieu of TRIM, but as any enthusiast with rudimentary knowledge can explain, garbage collection doesn't keep performance as snappy as a TRIM-enabled system.
Angelbird's wrk SSD now comes in capacities up to 1TB. The wrk utilizes an SMI 2246EN controller, and the case is made of a matte-black anodized aluminum. Sequential read/write speeds weigh in at 564/456 MB/s, respectively. The SSD also tops out at 72,000 random read IOPS. The 1TB wrk retails for $599.99, which is comparable to other Apple-specific SSDs, especially considering it is the only line of SSDs that natively supports an integral feature required for sustained performance.
The US Navy and Boston Engineering created a new underwater drone called the GhostSwimmer, a reconnaissance drone that looks just like a shark. GhostSwimmer measures five feet in length, weighs around 100 pounds, and can "swim" in water from 10 inches to 300 feet in depth. The UUV can operate while tethered or swim independently, with personnel controlling it using joysticks.
"GhostSwimmer will allow the Navy to have success during more types of missions while keeping divers and sailors safe," said Michael Rufo, Boston Engineering Advanced System Group director, in a press statement.
The US Navy has boosted efforts to create a fleet of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) it can use or reconnaissance, security - and one day help launch stealth attacks - against select targets. There is increased research into robotics and drone development based on natural movement of wild animals.
The hacker group reportedly behind a major cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment is getting what they want - as Sony tells theaters they don't need to show "The Interview" due to terror threats. The movie is scheduled for release on Christmas, Dec. 25, and it would appear some theaters have already said they won't show the controversial film.
Movie theaters that decide to still show the film plan to use additional security - even if there has been no credible evidence a plot is in place - with AMC, Cinemark, Regal and Carmike all suffering a drop in stock values because of the threat.
"Somebody is playing mind games with [Sony]," said Richard Clarke, cybersecurity expert and former White House counter-terrorism lead, in a statement published by Good Morning America. "I think North Korea has little or no capability to do any physical attacks, commando activity, or terrorism in the U.S. By saying it's coming, however, they hope to keep people from the theaters and, thereby, hurt Sony's revenue."
Hackers of New York recently found a vulnerability in Delta's online portal, which allowed other passengers to view or alter other users boarding passes without knowledge or permission of the original owner.
Described as a direct object reference vulnerability, this issue saw Dani Grant from Hackers of New York contact Delta for an explanation. However they only received an apology for an "unfortunate online experience" with Delta choosing not to comment on any flaw that may have, or current does, exist.
Pebble's Smartwatch offering has been rated by many as one of the best products on the currently booming market, with improvements said to come very soon in the form of Android Wear capabilities. Their latest beta version of the Pebble app has Android Wear compatibility installed, meaning you'll be able to act on notifications directly through your watchface.
Some of the useful tasks include things such as archiving emails through the watch-face or other simple things such as re-tweeting your mentions on Twitter. There has been no mention of voice commands, but it's still early days of operation and compatibility with this useful service.
The Delhi High Court has given Xiaomi a bit of a reprieve, allowing the Chinese mobile manufacturer the chance to sell its Qualcomm-based devices until Jan. 8. Xiaomi will have to turn over $1.60 for all devices sold, but will be able to allow consumers to purchase products until the deadline in three weeks. Qualcomm received patent licenses from Ericsson to use its patented technologies, an argument Xiaomi plans for 2015.
Earlier, a single judge passed an order that stopped Xiaomi from importing and selling its smartphones to India - its biggest target market outside of China - and a legal fight seemed imminent.
Ericsson wants Xiaomi to hold a license to have their smartphones imported to India, and the issues will be put on the table during the next legal hearing on Feb. 5. However, Xiaomi says it has a licensing agreement with Qualcomm to utilize its chipsets for the Xiaomi Mi3, Xiaomi Redmi1S and Redmi Note 4G for sale in India.
The Australian government have proposed curriculum changes to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority - making computer coding and computational thinking a mandatory part of the countries Year 10 curriculum.
This news is well received by the Australian Computer Society as this positive information comes to light after the ACS and StartupAus joined forces with either other industry bodies fighting against a the proposed recommendation to only allow a dedicated technology subject in Year 9 Australian Schools - now it looks like the children may be learning more and over a longer period of time.
As we've recently reported on President Obama writing his own little bit of code, it helps signify the global 'new-age' of technology that we're currently experiencing. This is where basic and intermediate computer skills are becoming a necessity in this day and age with many professional and unskilled 'real-world' jobs and workplaces requiring you to have some form of computer knowledge - this bill helps solidify the improvement in education working toward preparing the children for the workforce.