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In a little over two weeks from now, Samsung will unveil its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at its Unpacked event being held at the IFA 2013 conference in Berlin, Germany. Today, thanks to website GigaOm, we now have an idea of what hardware the Galaxy Gear will feature.
The report states that Samsung has managed to cram a 2.5-inch flexible OLED screen, a dual-core processor, and an unknown amount of RAM into the small wrist package. The report says that "decent" battery life can be expected from a lithium-based battery and that a camera alongside speakers will be embedded into the device's wrist strap. Other sensors rumored to be on board include an accelerometer, a gyroscope, Bluetooth 4.0, and some form of gesture support.
The report went on to say that Samsung will offer incentives to developers to offer apps for the smart watch through its proprietary app store rather than posting them on Google Play. Over the last few weeks, I've done a lot of thinking about smart watches, and while I feel that there definitely cool, I honestly see them as a passing fad. By this time next year or the year after, I suspect we will look back and wonder why we all spent so much money on smart watches.
Swiss watchmaker Hyetis has unveiled a new smartwatch with a built-in camera that is said to rival Nokia's Lumia 1020 smartphone in imaging resolution. The Hyetis Crossbow is a titanium encased, sapphire crystal watch that features everything you would expect from a Swiss watchmaker, and so much more. The front crystal features a digitized touchscreen, while a 41-megapixel camera is placed at high noon.
The watch has the ability to connect to Android, iOS and even Windows Phone 8 devices and includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC connectivity. A built-in GPS allows for the device to track its location, ambient temperature, altitude and depth while biometric sensors collect data about the wearer. The company is releasing the Crossbow in limited quantities with a retail price of $1200.
Today, website VR-Zone is confirming the existence of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Gear smartwatch. A newly released report says that Samsung will launch the Galaxy Gear on September 4 at the 2013 IFA show in Germany.
VR-Zone says that the Galaxy Gear, model number SM-V700, will function as an accessory to Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets and will feature a flexible display. A recently filed patent says that the device will feature a power button, menu buttons, a USB port for data transfer and charging, and a capacitive back which will sense heart rate and other biometric data.
The patent went on to describe the Galaxy Gear as a "wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band, or bangle capable of providing access to the Internet and for sending and receiving phone calls , electronic mails, and messages." While no official confirmation has been released, VR-Zone is usually spot on with their predictions and as such, I to fully expect to see the Galaxy Gear unveiled at IFA 2013.
Google Glass users receive monthly updates to their wearable device, with the latest "XE8" update including new Google Now cards, new voice commands, and a better video player application.
The new voice actions on Glass include "post an update" and "take a note" which work well with applications like Path and Evernote, letting Glass users use these services much easier, and more on-the-go thanks to wearing the device, and using your voice to add notes. The new Google Now cards include Reservations and Events, Movies and Public Alerts, as well as more commonly-used Now cards like Weather, Sports and Traffic.
These cards will now be shown to the left of your timeline, and will become available as needed after the update has pushed to your Glass unit. There's a new Volume card in the settings, hashtag in captions and a new "send a birthday message" card available in the XE8 update.
Toward the end of the year we can expect the consumer version of Google Glass to arrive, but what sort of price should we expect? Most have been expecting $500+, but according to a local researcher at the Topology Research Institute, we should expect a price of an affordable $299.
The display on Glass will most likely be supplied by Taiwan-based Himax Display Inc. and will cost between $30 and $35, which will be the most expensive part of building Glass. On July 22, Google announced they had acquired a 6.3% stake in Himax Display, who make liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) chips and modules that will be used in devices such as Google Glass, heads-up displays and handheld projectors.
Topology Researcher, Jason Tsai, also said: "We believe wearable devices will face the first wave of growth in the coming one to three years due to their innovative features, and will then experience a rapid growth in the next phase when the market becomes more mature."
It appears the rumors that Samsung will be bringing a Galaxy branded smartwatch to market are true. Of course we've known this for a while, but it's always nice to receive confirmation from new sources. Today, a new trademark filing has popped up in which Samsung has filed to protect the Galaxy Gear name.
The trademark filing was spotted by website GalaxyClub and it specifically states that the Samsung Galaxy Gear name pertains to a "wearable digital electronic device in the form of a wristwatch, wristband or angle capable of providing access to the Internet and sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails and messages." The application goes on to mention that the Galaxy Gear could have the ability to keep track of messages, managing personal information, and smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
One thing that stays common between early adopters of Google Glass is its not-so-great battery life, but designer and inventor, Kevin Alan Tussy, has an idea that could triple the battery life of Google's wearable device.
His idea is called PWRGlass, which is an external battery pack that would be sold as an optional accessory to Glass. PWRGlass isn't anywhere near ready, with the only form it exists in right now is in a computer, as a 3D render. But, as it stands, it features a 2000mAh lithium-ion battery that is built into the sunglass band-like design.
There would be a microUSB connector on PWRGlass, that would allow a user to recharge both the PWRGlass, and Google Glass, at the same time. The designer is also working on a second device that would give Glass an injection of storage from its on-board 12GB.
Today, we're seening evidence that Microsoft has plans to build its own version of so-called SmartGlasses similar to that of Google Glass. A recent patent application from the software giant shows off what appears to be augmented reality glasses for multiplayer gaming.
The patent shows off what appears to be a pair of normal sunglasses with a camera and microphone mounted in the nose bridge. Sensors would be located at different positions around the frame as well as speakers mounted near the ears. The patent claims device could receive voice commands, track your eyes, calculate depth, and recognize the faces of fellow players.
This patent falls in line with a similar patent by Microsoft recently that details how to augment live events with augmented reality displays. At the moment, it is still unclear if Microsoft has produced any prototypes or if this patent is simply IP.
Google Glass has been mostly kept in the shadows for now, with developer signups at Google I/O, and a social media contest the only way of a mere mortal getting their hands on Google's wearable tech.
But it looks like this is changing, with Google+ going nuts with reports that Glass Explorers are receiving e-mails from Google, allowing them to invite a friend to grab Google Glass if they join the program. Did your eye just flinch with anticipation? There are some requirements, though. You have to be a US resident, at least 18 years old, and be capable of picking up your hardware in San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles.
Google told Engadget that a "small subset of Explorers" have received the invite-a-friend e-mail, in hopes of expanding their program. Google went further, asking five film schools to help find out how Glass can be used for everything from character development to production. The five film schools are:
- The American Film Institute
- California Institute of the Arts
- Rhode Island School of Design
- UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television
- University of Southern California
How many hours did you put yourself through in Atari's 1984 classic, Paperboy? I know I rode through that game for countless hours, and it looks like I might just do it again with Globacore's new title.
Globacare are a creative technology company who specialize in large multi-touch displays, and have unveiled a new work-in-progress, first-person homage to Paperboy, Paperdude VR. Paperdude VR uses Oculus' VR headset, Rift, as well as Microsoft's motion sensor, Kinect. You can see in the video above that player rides on a stationary bike, attempting to throw newspapers into peoples' mailboxes.
Paperdude VR is a great concept, something that might just keep gamers a bit fitter than they are now. Constantly peddling your bike in a game is sure to keep gamers a bit fitter. The more I see on Oculus Rift, the more I want it.