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Wearable Computing Posts - Page 11

Oculus says don't shut the door of Oculus Rift on game consoles

If you thought the Oculus Rift was only for PCs and not consoles, then you should think again. During TechCrunch Disrupt, Oculus VR officials noted there have been discussions to one day bring VR to the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One game consoles.

 

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"We've talked to everyone," said Nate Mitchell, VP of Oculus VR, when asked if his company has spoken with Microsoft or Sony regarding the VR headset for game consoles. "There's a lot of people right now interested in the VR space. And we've said many times that we're interested in bringing the Rift to as many consoles or platforms as possible. Ultimately, we haven't announced any sorts of partnerships to date. But it's something we're always exploring."

 

Microsoft is developing HoloLens and Sony has its Project Morpheus, so it's unknown how receptive either company would be to Oculus VR. However, the Oculus Rift remains the best known VR headset, so it may not be a wise decision to shut it out completely in the future.

Oculus Rift CV1 to be released in Q1 2016

Since the Oculus Rift hit Kickstarter the world has been wondering when the CV1 (Consumer Version 1) would be released to the public. Well, now we know: Q1 2016.

 

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Oculus VR announced the news just now, with the hardware on the final version, as well as its price, still unknown. However, the company did say: "The Oculus Rift builds on the presence, immersion, and comfort of the Crescent Bay prototype with an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experiences, as well as updated ergonomics for a more natural fit, and a highly refined industrial design".

 

The teasing continues: "In the weeks ahead, we'll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift. Next week, we'll share more of the technical specifications here on the Oculus blog".

Samsung begins promoting the idea of wearables in the B2B sector

The wearables market seems to have captured the attention of the consumer market, but Samsung wants to remind us that the B2B market also has great potential. There is hope that wearables will be able to boost efficiency and productivity in the workplace.

 

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It is expected to take time and patience, though Samsung believes wearable technology will increase in the workplace faster than smartphones. The difference being users can quickly glance at actionable information, such as emails, text messages, and work-related alerts while remaining hands-free.

 

In a blog post, Samsung point to wearables being used in hotels, high schools, restaurants, sales, hospitals, and warehouses - an appealing aspect as more promising applications become available.

Continue reading 'Samsung begins promoting the idea of wearables in the B2B sector' (full post)

ASUS VivoWatch costs just $149, and has a 10-day battery life

Apple might have just launched its Watch, but the wearable market has been here for quite sometime, and now ASUS wants to make its splash into the wearable game with the VivoWatch.

 

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Where ASUS is going to stray from Apple is pricing, with Apple Watch starting at a huge $549, ASUS could really get some consumers on its side with its $149 price tag. At $149, ASUS has used Android Wear on the VivoWatch, but the long battery life is going to be another draw card, where it should be at around 10 days, which is damn impressive. Apple Watch on the other hand, provides users with around 19 hours of battery life.

 

The VivoWatch sports a 1.28-inch black and white touchscreen which uses an LCD panel from Sharp, but the display is somewhat unique. When you start tapping or swiping at the VivoWatch display, only part of the image moves, which extends battery life considerably. ASUS has also used a different chip inside of the VivoWatch, instead of a full blown system-on-a-chip (SoC).

 

We still have a built-in heart rate sensor, IP67 water resistance, and full health tracking within the VivoWatch, even at its $149 pricing. ASUS has event provided a "happiness index range" which monitors your happiness through various functions on the VivoWatch. The VivoWatch with its IP67 water resistance can be "submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes" which allows you to keep it on 24/7, compared to something like the Apple Watch, which needs to be removed when you're in the shower or water.

TAG Heuer's uber pricey $1400 smartwatch will be released by November

Luxury watch company TAG Heuer will release a Google Android Wear-powered device by the end of the year, sporting a whopping $1,400 price tag. The custom watch could be available in October, but shouldn't launch any later than November, according to company officials.

 

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The watch has been created with the help of Intel and Google, with all three companies announcing a partnership in March. Google is providing Android Wear while TAG Heuer will use a new Intel microprocessor to power the costly watch.

 

Following the same idea as other smartwatch manufacturers, TAG Heuer hopes the Apple Watch helps bring additional attention to the wearable market. "The more they sell, the more a few people will want something different and come to TAG Heuer," said Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer, in a statement to Bloomberg.

Google Glass competitor from Allwinner will cost just $199

Google Glass was quite the product, and while it didn't receive widespread use or universal praise, I personally thought it was a great device on the market. For one, it was something completely new - there's nothing quite like it, and if it was done right, it could turn into something very useful.

 

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Well, it will soon have a competitor from Chinese manufacturer Allwinner. Allwinner hasn't named its wearable yet, but they have said that it will be a Glass like device, with a much better price of $199, compared to the $1500 asking price of the Google Glass Explorer Edition. Allwinner is really talking up its wearable, saying that it will be able to outperform Glass in both price, and performance categories.

 

Inside of the Allwinner wearable, we'll find their own A33 processor, with Taiwanese design firm Coretronic provided the design work on the device. It will look quite similar to Google Glass, but cost nearly 1/10 of what Mountain View was charging. It will feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but right now there is no release date for Allwinner's Glass competitor.

Analyst: Apple will find a way to 'iron out' problems with Apple Watch

An issue with the Apple Watch's taptic engines has slowed the wearable's rollout, but Apple will resolve the problems and move on, according to an analyst. This is the first new product under CEO Tim Cook's leadership, so expect reported problems to be thoroughly investigated.

 

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"Apple always has produced a phenomenal product. They are driven to produce a high-quality product, so I think they will iron out all these issues and bring a quality product to market," said Ivan Feinseth, analyst and chief investment officer at Tigress Asset Management, in a statement published by CNBC.

 

The popular Silicon Valley company is closely watched by consumers, analysts, and the media, typically fixing issues with its products sooner rather than later. Analysts still believe millions of Apple Watch units will be sold this year, helping give a major boost to the wearables market in 2015.

Watching the wearables market? Get ready for 'disappearables'

Trying to predict what is next for wearables is extremely difficult, but as technology advances at a rapid rate, it seems likely we'll have to get ready for "disappearables." It could be less than five years when sensors are so advanced that "hearables" can be used to fit products directly into your ear, and then disappearables will be right around the corner.

 

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Smartwatches will lead the wearables market over the next three years, and hearables will be next, accounting for around $15 billion of a $30 billion market. The wearables market still needs time to become more mainstream, but hardware manufacturers and app developers have time to work on their products before launching publicly.

 

It looks like disappearables will have an immediate impact in medical and fitness tracking, but there are plenty of other options available. Using machine learning, disappearables could recommend physical changes to help make people healthier - and to make access to technology even easier.

'Major defect' found in Apple Watch and its taptic engine

With the Apple Watch now getting to consumers and strapping onto their wrists, news is coming out that not only are there supply constraints that are hurting Apple Watch sales, but there is a major defect in the taptic engine of Watch.

 

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The Wall Street Journal is running with the report, saying that the taptic engine - which causes the Watch to vibrate, or "tap" when users receive notifications or alerts, is experiencing problems. One of the two suppliers of this particular part has faulty hardware, and some of that faulty component has found its way into batches of Apple's Watch.

 

AAC Technologies Holdings, which is based in Shenzhen, China, has been making the taptic engines for Apple, but they've found that they "break down over time". This has forced Apple to throw away Watches that would've otherwise been okay, something that has caused availability times to bounce by a few months. Availability on the Apple Watch is now June for all models and configurations, which could be a result from the taptic engine issues.

Microsoft blows minds with its HoloLens demo at Build 2015 conference

Build 2015 - Microsoft has kicked off its Build 2015 developers conference, where the world has gotten a deeper look at HoloLens. HoloLens, if you haven't read about it yet, is Microsoft's holographic headset, which acts as an augmented reality visor with some impressive results. Check it out:

 

 

The company has said that what you see in the video above with resizeable 'holograms' is something you can do with any Windows 10 Universal application, meaning you can pin calendars, pictures, e-mail, or even a movie to your 'wall' inside the HoloLens, and continue to work and play around it.

 

Once the app is there, you can overlay a hologram on top of a physical object, and make tweaks to it without having to sit back at your desk and tap away on your keyboard. The applications that will benefit from HoloLens, in my opinion, is going to be extensive. This is one of the most exciting technologies right now outside of the Oculus Rift and HTC/Valve Vive VR headsets, and most surprising of all: it has come from Microsoft.

Continue reading 'Microsoft blows minds with its HoloLens demo at Build 2015 conference' (full post)

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