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Wearable Computing Posts - Page 1

The Pebble Smartwatch joins forces with Android Wear

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.


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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.

Continue reading 'The Pebble Smartwatch joins forces with Android Wear' (full post)

TAG Heuer plans to compete in smartwatch market, create partnerships

TAG Heuer plans to jump into the smartwatch market to compete with Apple and other competitors, as the wearable market accelerates. The company started on its wearables industry about four months ago, creating several partnerships, while also exploring potential acquisitions. TAG Heuer plans to wait until it has a working product to present to the public, which could take until late 2015 at the soonest, the company says.


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"Smartwatches represent a challenge to the Swiss watch industry that is comparable to the appearance of quartz technology," said Guy Semon, Tag Heuer general manager. "We cannot ignore this tsunami that is coming closer."


The smartwatch market should increase in popularity next year, as more tech companies and watchmakers dive into wearables.

Fitbit refutes accusations new Charge design causing skin irritation

Fitbit denies the materials that compose its Charge fitness wearables are behind reports of skin irritation. Fitbit has told customers they shouldn't be worried about Charge, with a small number out of thousands users complaining of any skin irritation - but after a large number of reports related to the company's Force, there is increased concern.


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The Force wearable was held together with an adhesive that was behind the wearable discomfort, but Fitbit switched things up and started using screws to hold the housing and band together.


"The reactions we are seeing with Charge are not uncommon with jewelry or wearable devices that stay in contact with the skin for extended periods," Fitbit said in a statement to TODAY. "According to our consulting dermatologists, they are likely from sweat, water, or soap being held against the skin under the device, or from pressure or friction against the skin and should resolve quickly when users take a break from the device, usually within hours or days."

Growing debate over police body cameras, as many questions remain

The debate regarding the use of police body cameras rages on across the country, as numerous jurisdictions continue to evaluate potential benefits and risks of using them. Supporters hope it will help keep police officers on their best behavior, while also making criminals think twice before engaging in an altercation with police.


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Some of the benefits of deploying body cameras worn by officers include being able to resolve complaints from the public, using footage in future training efforts, and providing additional evidence in legal cases.


"In addition to these benefits, a recent study suggests that the mere presence of [body worn cameras] may even serve to prevent negative interactions by modifying police officer and citizen behavior," according to a study from the Department of Justice. "As a result, the use of these devices may lead to enhance police accountability, as well as improved police-community relations."

Continue reading 'Growing debate over police body cameras, as many questions remain' (full post)

Oculus VR teams up with Runtastic for VR workouts and fitness

Oculus VR has teamed up with Runtastic for some upcoming VR-based workout and fitness applications. Runtastic will reportedly use the Oculus Rift, allowing users to use the VR headset to transport them to exotic locations around the world for their workout.



Runtastic is only running with a prototype application at this time, but the developer is aiming for a totally hands-free experience. Within the VR world, users will see their virtual trainer, and a heads up display that will show them real-time stats and other details. I think the idea of a VR workout is incredible, as people could choose to work out on the Moon, on the beach at sunrise or sunset, or on the side of a cliff. It will open up a new world of app development for wearables and workout 'maps'.

Continue reading 'Oculus VR teams up with Runtastic for VR workouts and fitness' (full post)

Panasonic wants to release Powerloader robotic suit in 2015

Activelink, a Panasonic subsidiary, will reportedly release its Power Loader robotic exoskeleton suit to the consumer market sometime in 2015. The unique technology will range in price from $5,000 up to $7,000, and can help the wearer by aiding in moving heavy objects and conducting manual labor tasks. The company wants to manufacture up to 1,000 of these custom suits over the next year, and will increase production based on demand.


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Previous versions of the Power Loader exoskeleton aids humans in lifting up to 220 lbs., and run up to 5 miles per hour, according to Activelink. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery that helps power a motor.


These type of robotic exoskeletons are being developed by governments and militaries - but there is a major development push being embraced for consumers.

Rumor mill says mass production of Apple Watch starts in January

A rumor out of Taiwan indicates the Apple Watch will enter mass production starting in January, with Quanta Computer reportedly prepared to manufacture up to 24 million units during the first year. Quanta is stepping up employees from 2,000 up to 10,000, and should be extremely busy trying to keep up with orders.


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Final pricing of the Apple Watch hasn't been published, but entry-level pricing begins at $250.


The wearables market is gaining steam in the United States, and the Apple Watch is expected to drive the industry to new heights. Microsoft, Samsung, LG and Motorola already have smart watches available on the consumer market, but Apple is predicted to quickly dominate all rivals.

Researchers studying confrontations with police via body cam footage

In addition to providing an enhanced view of police interactions with the public, there is another benefit of police officers being equipped with body cameras: researchers will be able to study video and audio footage to help create more realistic training scenarios for officers. Researchers from UCLA will pull video and audio material from up to 100 officers at an undisclosed police agency.


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"While we focus attention on things that escalated all the way to extreme outcomes, we know a lot less about other events," said Jeff Brantigham, an anthropologist from UCLA, in a statement published by the MIT Technology Review. "Things that went down a dangerous path and ended up being okay. Why did it end up that way? That would provide a huge benefit in terms of training."


The Obama Administration has promised $75 million in funding for body cameras, as many police departments across the country show interest in deploying them.

Report: Smart wearables will blend in as normal accessories by 2017

The smart wearables market is growing at a rapid pace, and it won't take too long before these high-tech products are "completely unobtrusive" to the eye, according to Gartner. By 2017, 30 percent of consumer smart products will no longer be eye-sores that owners don't want to wear on a frequent basis.


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"Already, there are some interesting developments at the prototype stage that could pave the way for consumer wearables to blend seamlessly into their surroundings," said Annette Zimmermann, Gartner research director, in a statement.


Even though consumers are still curious about the market, there is a strong push to help ensure smart wearables blend in - as prices drop and technology increases - should only help the market mature even faster. Companies already are working on smart contact lenses and smart jewelry, catering to new revenue streams that tech companies sometimes miss.

Wearables market will receive strong boost in the business world

The wearables market is still growing, but could end up being a major emerging technology - especially in workplaces, as businesses embrace them for employees. A third of companies in Europe plan to roll out some form of wearable technology in 2015, according to a survey from IT and systems monitoring company Ipswitch.


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The French (34 percent) and German (33 percent) governments should lead wearable adoption, ahead of the UK (25 percent) and other European Union countries. Even if companies don't provide wearable products to employees, many of them - led by the Apple Watch - can benefit from increased demand.


Analysts are still unsure what to make of the wearable market for consumers and business employees, only simply saying that it will see tremendous growth over the next few years.

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