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Taking a few minutes from making beats, Will.i.am has just unveiled his Puls wristband. It's a smartwatch to the rest of us, but it doesn't need to be tethered to a smartphone in order to send text messages, make calls, or send emails.
Will reiterated that it's not a watch, as smartwatches don't normally come with SIM cards, but the Puls does. It also features speakers, and a curved screen along its body, which makes it look quite stylish. The Puls also rocks 16GB of on-board flash, 1GB of RAM, GPS, a battery that wraps around the bracelet, pedometer, and accelerometer.
The Puls runs an Android OS, with Qualcomm providing a Snapdragon processor to go inside. Puls connects to the Internet through 3G, but it also connects through Wi-Fi. This means that it can have carrier plans through companies like AT&T in teh US, and O2 in the UK.
Google is laying out plans to invest $500 million into Magic Leap, and its "cinematic reality" technology. The $500 million investment hopes to see Magic Leap reach its goal, building the next big VR device.
Re/code is reporting that Magic Leap's technology can "deliver a more realistic 3-D experience than the kind offered by current technologies, including Oculus Rift, the 3-D headset". Earlier in the year, Magic Leap raised $50 million, but an injection of a half a billion dollars will surely boost things up considerably.
Rony Abovitz, the founder of Magic Leap, explains his idea of "cinematic reality", where he said: "Those are old terms - virtual reality, augmented reality. They have legacy behind them. They are associated with things that didn't necessarily deliver on a promise or live up to expectations. We have the term cinematic reality because we are disassociated with those things. When you see this, you will see that this is computing for the next 30 or 40 years. To go farther and deeper than we're going, you would be changing what it means to be human".
The first person suspected of Internet addiction related to his overuse of Google Glass has been treated - and he reportedly used Glass up to 18 hours per day and rarely took it off - becoming irritable when he wasn't using it. The problem was so bad that the patient had what was described as having a "nearly involuntary movement" of his right hand up to his head, and then tapped the area with his forefinger.
Following 35 days of treatment for Internet addiction, the patient's irritability dropped, along with less movement of his right hand to his temple to activate the device, scientists noted.
"People used to believe alcoholism wasn't a problem - they blamed the person or the people around them," noted Dr. Andrew Doan, US Navy Substance Abuse and the Recovery Program (SARP) head. "It's just going to take a while for us to realize that this is real."
Six percent of the UK population are currently using a wearable device, and that number should double to 13 percent of the population next year, according to studies. It will be a drastic increase from 2.8 million people up to 6.1 million, as more citizens become familiar with smartwatches, activity trackers, fitness bands, and other popular wearables.
The YouGov study predicts that 4.7 million people, roughly one in 10 UK residents, will use some type of wearable before the end of 2014 - a number that will be greatly helped with the release of the Apple Watch. Companies such as Samsung, LG, Apple, and other major technology brands are developing wearables to appeal to casual users.
Manufacturers will need to create innovative software that will be able to keep customers engaged - and wearing the devices - as growth is expected to accelerate.
The VR market is beginning to heat up, where we have the biggest player in the room with Oculus VR and the Rift, which has had multiple development kits, prototypes and an up-and-coming consumer version of its VR headset. But now Carl Zeiss, the infamous lens maker, has stepped up with a new VR headset: VR One.
VR One is priced at $99, and is a smartphone VR headset that is aimed at the mass market. VR One is based around the same principals of Samsung's Gear VR, which was co-developed with Oculus VR, but with a much less specific hardware requirement. The VR One will work with any smartphone that that is 4.7 to 5.2 inches, but VR One still has one big requirement: users will have to order different "drawers" to install their smartphones, to accommodate for the different sizes between the slew of handsets on the market that would be between 4.7 and 5.2 inches.
Carl Zeiss' new VR One won't be released until 2015, but it'll be priced at $99 which should have the mass market interested. The required drawers, depending on your smartphone, will set you pack $9.90 each.
Today hasn't been a nice start for wearables, with HTC announcing it has delayed its wearable until 2015, and now according to a new report, ASUS won't have much stock of its upcoming ZenWatch when it first launches.
VR-Zone is reporting that ASUS will have just 300, yes - just 300 of its ZenWatch units for its first run. The site is claiming that ASUS will launch these handful of units as an exclusive launch in Taiwan for the first batch, its home turf. Why the delay? It looks like ASUS could possibly be facing manufacturing issues, with its watchface being imbedded into a curved stainless steel chassis, with Gorilla Glass 3 stomped on top.
This curved style could be forcing ASUS to push production back to ensure it gets it first, testing out the initial 300 first before pushing them out to the world.
HTC was meant to launch its first wearable very soon, but the company has delayed the launch until sometime in 2015.
The head of HTC America, Jason Mackenzie, spoke with Re/code today, where he said: "We had originally planned to have a wearable launch in this time frame. It ended up just not being ready". The article also had Leader of the HTC Creative Labs team, Drew Bamford, chime in, where he said: "When we come to market with our product we want to make sure the product has a strong point of view and there is a really compelling reason to strap it on your wrist." He added, "We honestly don't think anyone has gotten it right".
We should hopefully hear more at the press event dubbed "Double Exposure" later on today, where we should be greeted with some new handsets, the NVIDIA Tegra K1-powered Nexus 9 tablet, and the company's new action camera to compete with the new GoPro Hero4.
The Edinburgh Airport has become the first airport in the UK to test Google Glass, in an attempt to improve service to air travelers. Employees would be able to pull up flight details and other relevant information to help assist customers as they prepare to fly out of the airport.
"We're always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the airport experience for our passengers and Google Glass trial is a great example of how we're thinking out the box," said Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport chief executive. Over the next few months we'll be able to establish whether this product is suitable for an airport environment."
If airport officials determine Google Glass isn't the right wearable for its employees, companies such as Kopin manufacture industrial wearables.
It doesn't matter what type of technology is developed, when it comes to driving behind the wheel, your attention should be focused on the road. Recent research found that drivers in a simulator using both Google Glass and a smartphone to text were equally slow to respond to their environment, posing significant safety hazards.
"While Glass-delivered messaging has benefits, it does not in any way make driving-while-messaging safe," said Ben Sawyer, lead researcher, in a University of Central Florida peer-reviewed study done alongside the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Google Glass wearers reportedly recovered slightly faster than those using a traditional smartphone, but there was less distance between their vehicle and other vehicles ahead - dropping risk perception of a changing environment. There were hopes that the head-mounted display would allow drivers to keep their attention on the road in front of them, but interacting with Glass still proves to be too distracting for drivers.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has passed the LG-VC100 smartwatch that is expected to be the Korean company's CDMA smartwatch. The smartwatch reportedly supports a SIM card and will be available in late 2014 or early 2015.
It remains to be seen if the smartwatch with CDMA will be added to LG's G Watch family or if it will become the feature of a new smartwatch product line. It's unknown which U.S. carriers would support the device, but it seems Verizon Wireless, at the very least, could be onboard.
The smartwatch market is currently booming, with multiple models launched by LG, Samsung, and other rivals - and the Apple Watch also will help draw major attention to the market.