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Rumors have been flying that Apple was set to get into the smartwatch business for a long time. According to the rumors, the iWatch will have lots of sensors and other tech built-in. The latest rumor that has surfaced about Apple's smartwatch comes by way of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
According to Kuo, the iWatch will enter mass production in November. Kuo had previously estimated that mass production on the iWatch would kick off in September. While changing up the time estimate for mass production, Kuo is also changing shipment estimates for the iWatch this year.
Kuo now expects that Apple will ship 3 million iWatch units in 2014. Kuo notes that the iWatch is expected to feature a flexible OLED screen, sapphire coated display cover, high water resistance and system on chip components.
LG has a new smartwatch that is set to hit the market called the LG G watch. The smartwatch will run the Android Wear operating system and will go on sale on July 11. AT&T has announced that it will be the first carrier to get the LG G watch in its retail stores.
The LG G Watch is made in partnership with Google and carries a MSRP of $299. Fans of the device could pre-order the watch starting July 8. LG fits the smartwatch with a 1.65-inch screen that gives all sorts of notifications from the smartphone it is connected to and can connect to calendars and applications.
The LG watch is for Android devices and works with many of the Android smartphone on the market today. There are still few smartwatches that are designed to work with the iPhone.
Adidas has officially launched a new wearable fitness and heath product called the miCoach Fit Smart. The wearable device was unveiled in San Francisco recently and is able to monitor all sorts of health data while being worn on the wrist. Fit Smart can monitor calories burned, heart rate, distance covered, pace, and a number of other fitness statistics.
Adidas offers the device in black or white colors and the strap is made from silicone and has a small strip of LEDs on the side that can change color depending on how hard you are working out. The watch sells for $199 and will hit stores late next month.
"What we did, by working with elite coaches, was bring an experience to help people set weekly goals and training plans," Paul Gaudio, GM of digital sports at Adidas said. "We took the things that have been very successful and implemented them here with the Fit Smart."
Using Google Glass can be quite troublesome at the best of times, as you're either sliding your finger along the touchpad, or speaking commands into it. MindRDR hopes to change that with its new app, but you'll need the Neurosky MindWave EEG headset, which costs around $121.
Mixing the headset, MindRDR app and Google Glass together looks incredibly intuitive, as you'll be able to control Google's wearable headset with your thoughts. Wearing both Glass and the Neurosky MindWave EEG will have you looking like even more of a robot out in public, but there are some very cool possibilities with this combination in hardware.
Google Chrome is one of the most widely used web browsers on the planet, with over 300 million active daily users, but Google wants to see its web browser working in VR. First, with its own Google Cardboard, and the Oculus Rift.
The search giant has said that its working on adding VR support for both the Rift and Cardboard, with 360-degree product shots and interactive exhibits being the drawcard for a VR browser. Google still believes that surfing the Internet in VR is still not ready for most consumers, but with some killer apps, or websites, it could be an interesting start to browsing the web in virtual reality.
Oculus VR has halted all sales of its Rift DK2 unit in China after the Facebook-owned VR startup discovered people doing "extreme" reselling. Pre-orders of the DK2 unit have also been stopped.
In a statement, Oculus VR said: "We need to make sure that we are doing what we can to make sure that resellers that are looking to flip our product for a profit are not taking stock away from legitimate developer purchases globally. Our product, in its current form, is a developer kit, meant for developers that develop VR content. We are looking into alternative ways to make sure that our development kits are getting into legitimate developer hands in China".
There's no exact numbers available, so we don't know how many Rift's were being resold. But for the company to completely halt the sale of its VR headset in a big market, this must have been quite the deal.
If you've ever wondered what the world of South Park would feel like in VR, check out this VR project that was developed by Tool. Tool explains: "We started with three goals in mind for the experiment".
The developer continues: "One, from a tech point of view, to sharpen our Unity and Oculus Rift development skills-two, from a creative point of view, to reimagine a well known story by allowing the user to experience it in the first person and-three, to finish the project in time to share with our friends at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival".
Tool are fans of South Park, but chose to build a VR demo thanks to South Park's simplistic visuals. Tool's rendition of South Park was inspired by Obsidian Entertainment's South Park: The Stick of Truth, and the intro to Season 17. The developer explains: "felt that a combination of flat cutout characters and more dimensional paper-textured buildings was the way to go".
What happens when you blend the world's of a camera strapped to your back and a VR headset on your face? Well, you can view yourself in the third-person perspective, something that a development team based in Poland has done.
The team used the Oculus Rift as the VR headset, of course, and a couple of GoPro cameras mounted above the user's head. The GoPro cameras were attached onto a 3D-printed arm, which then provided the user with a view of themselves in the third-person. mepi, the development team behind the project, used a small joystick which simulated the ability to move the camera in third person, just like it works in games.
The system is running from a basic laptop, with the joystick using an Arduino to communicate between the GoPro and mount. The system is a rough prototype according to the team, something that was assembled in just two days. The team calls this the "Real World Third Person Perspective", which seems like a pretty nifty demonstration.
Oculus VR promised that it would begin shipping its Rift Developer Kit 2 units in July, something that it has started to do. The Facebook-owned VR startup has said that "The first batch of official DK2s have left the manufacturing facility and are making their way to our distribution centers now".
This news comes from "cyberality" on Reddit. Oculus VR says that it should see half the units through distribution centers and on their way to eager Rift DK2 owners before the month wraps up. As soon as the shipment has been processed by the distribution center, DK2 owners will receive their tracking numbers.
Something more interesting, is the amount of DK2 units that Oculus VR had pre-orders on. There were over 45,000 DK2 pre-orders, which is a massive number. With this many pre-orders, manufacturing can't quite keep up, so some people wont' get their DK2 units until August. Oculus VR has told its team in China to ramp up production at its factory, something nit will continue to do until every DK2 has their headset. I've pre-ordered one myself, and was one of the first, so you can expect an unboxing video and articles written up on it as soon as it hits my doorstep.
Epic Games has been working with Oculus VR closely on the Rift, seeing its Unreal Engine 4 as a showcase demo for its VR tech. Epic Games has now teased that it has something 'cool' for the VR community coming soon.
Nick Whiting, the Lead Engine Programmer for Epic Games has teased that the developer has some "cool surprises in the coming months in the VR scene". We don't know what it could be, but as I said above, Epic Games has been working with Oculus VR on its demos as of late, with Oculus VR's DK2 unit launching alongside Cough Knight, which is one of the more impressive demos on the DK2 unit.
I'd like to see Epic Games pledge full support of Oculus VR, and VR gaming in general, but we'll have to wait and see.