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Korean tech companies Samsung and LG Electronics have unveiled new smartwatches, as Apple continues to wait until an expected event next month. Companies in the smartwatch market are interested in creating fashionable watches that still have excellent connectivity and features to draw consumers in.
The LG G Watch R has a traditional watch design and the Samsung Gear S uses a curved screen. The G Watch R includes a heart rate monitor, with the watch itself using a 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU, 4GB of storage and 512MB RAM. LG plans to release it in time for Christmas, but pricing details weren't made available.
Meanwhile, the Gear S from Samsung has a 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display, built-in GPS, 3G cellular radio, running the Tizen operating system. It's the sixth smartwatch Samsung has released in 2014 so far, indicating the company plans to remain a major force in the growing smartwatch market.
It feels like there's so much conflicting information on the iWatch right now, but according to Re/code, we should expect Apple to unveil its first wearable next to two new iPhones - which should arrive in 4.7- and 5.5-inch versions.
Apple's iWatch should feature deep integration with Apple's health tracking tools, something that will make an appearance with iOS 8. We should also see the health tools go as far as working with home automation kit HomeKit, which is something else that will reportedly arrive with Apple's next iteration of its mobile OS.
If you thought the future of first-person shooters was using a mouse and keyboard, this video will have you thinking again. Half-Life 2 + Oculus Rift + Razer Hydra motion controllers open up an entire new world, a world where my wallet is obviously not accepted through my LCD screen.
Not only is shooting in the VR world improved by many magnitudes, but the reloading of the guns is impressive, with the revolver being the highlight according to YouTuber 'Goldfish'. He explains: "You unlatch the barrel, [physically] flick it over, release the clips, put in the new ones, flick it up and then you shoot".
There's not much time until IFA 2014 kicks off, with two weeks until the event left. Some photos have popped up on Naver, showing off the new Gear VR headset from Samsung, a new VR headset that will connect up to your compatible Galaxy smartphone for some VR goodness.
We now, possibly, know the model number of the new headset: SM-R320, but other than that, we only have a few pictures to share with you today. We should see Samsung unveil, and launch the new Gear VR hardware next month, which will be compatible with the company's Galaxy S5 smartphone. Samsung's Gear VR should feature an OLED display, which should be similar, if not identical to the one found inside of the Oculus Rift DK2 unit - which is a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 panel.
The future of entertainment isn't just sitting in front of your TV watching a flat image, but it is going to be a world that wraps around you in virtual reality. This is where Jaunt steps in, a cinematic VR technology company, which just took in a new round of funding.
Jaunt received $27.8 million of new funding, which will help it pump more money into its omnidirectional camera shooting 360-degree experiences, perfect for VR technologies like the Oculus Rift. Jaunt had its funding come in from many different companies, who hope to see the company lead the future of cinematic VR.
Jaunt's technology was recently spotted at the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy, where it was shooting 360-degree footage which can be played back through the Oculus Rift. Jens Christensen, CEO of Jaunt, says: "The enthusiasm we have seen for our technology has been tremendous and we are working tirelessly to make VR experiences available to mass audiences".
The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, and subsequent riots and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, led to greater interest in video camera wearables for police officers.
Taser, better known for its stun gun technology, also has several wearable cameras for law enforcement officials. The company has seen a rise in sales and a 30 percent surge in its stock since the Brown incident.
"We believe the concept of using wearable cameras to provide a foundation of transparency has a tipping point," said Rick Smith, Taser CEO, in a statement to the Washington Post. "The intense emotions that arise from uncertainty and diametrically opposed conjecture about what did or did not happen in life and death encounters can tear communities apart. We believe wearable technology, like body-worn cameras, is the future for communities to relate to those entrusted to protect them."
Google has just pushed out a new firmware update to Glass, which improves the Hangouts abilities on Google's wearable device. Glass users now have the option of starting a new Hangouts session with a contact, send them an email, or message them through SMS.
Android-powered users should be receiving the update any minute now, if not already, while iOS users will have to wait until next week to update through the MyGlass app. In order to get the new functionality, users will need to update their MyGlass app, with the Android version sitting at 3.2, and the iOS version at 0.7.0.
After that, Glass users will need to update their Glass firmware, bringing it to XE20.1. Google explains its new update: "Now when you tap on one of your contacts, you can swipe between Hangouts, email or SMS - whichever strikes your fancy at that moment".
Netflix engineers have created a custom interface, where users with the Oculus Rift can browse the service through VR. The engineers created the custom interface during a recent hack day, which also supports the Leap Motion controller for gesture control - allowing you to wave your hand to scroll through movies.
Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that Netflix will ever release Oculus Rift support for Netflix, with the company saying: "[These] are some examples of some of the hacks to give you a taste of what we saw this time around. We should note that, while we think these hacks are very cool and fun, they may never become part of the Netflix product, internal infrastructure, or otherwise be used beyond Hack Day. We are surfacing them here publicly to share the spirit of the Netflix Hack Day."
Facebook is now offering people money to find bugs within the Oculus Rift, as part of the social networks bug bounty program. As the program stands, individual security researchers are paid a minimum reward of $500 for finding a bug. Last year alone, Facebook paid out $1.5 million in bug bounties.
Most of the bugs that are being found are in the messaging system for Oculus developers, and parts of the website. Facebook seems to be trying harder to squish the bugs before the launch of CV1 (Consumer Version 1) of the Oculus Rift, as it is their first hardware product. The fact that someone could hack into the software, or the Rift itself while you're on it, could spell trouble - a big reason why the social network is pumping funds into having bugs destroyed before the Rift goes retail.
Facebook security engineer Neal Poole explains: "A lot of the issues that come up with Oculus are not necessarily in the hardware yet. Potentially in the future, if people were to go explore and find issues in the SDK or the hardware, that is definitely of interest to us".
Startups and established companies are developing new technologies to better monitor health and create gadgets that can improve the lives of seniors. As the wearables market expands further, helping those with the most significant medical needs has become important for software developers and hardware manufacturers.
One such technology is a pendant being used at the Edgemere retirement community in Dallas, Texas, which sends an alert if a resident falls. The custom pendant can track the fall and will immediately notify staff members, so they can be quickly dispatched to address the situation.
"The pendant will pick up the arc of that fall," said John Falldine, Edgemere managing director, in a statement to the media. "It sends the same signal to us as though the resident had hit the button."