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Wearable manufacturers can pitch their products to a wide possible customer base, but attracting athletes could be of major focus in the future.
Many endurance athletes already rely on heart rate monitors and GPS units, but companies hope devices that are able to track additional metrics, such as skin temperature and respiration, are appealing. The hardware is important, but companies must create appealing partnerships so that all collected data can be easily observed by active consumers.
Instead of trying to create a product to compete with trusted GPS units, wearable manufacturers may try to make clothing, shoes, sunglasses, and other athletic gear smarter.
Fitbit CEO James Park doesn't buy into long-term health care concerns over smartwatches and other wearables, despite a recent New York Times story.
The story noted that similar to smartphones, wearables could be linked to cancer, due to radiation being emitted - but Park and others believe this type of research needs to be more carefully examined.
"In general, cell phones are definitely a very different beast than the low powered wearables," Park said in a statement to TIME. "The transmit energies are orders of magnitude higher. So if people are comfortable wearing Bluetooth headsets, I think wearables are even less of a concern because Bluetooth headsets are also close to your head. Wearables are not, unless you happen to sleep right on top of your wrists."
Intel is currently undergoing its largest push into the mobile market, learning from previous mistakes after missing the first major smartphone wave a few years ago. The company has endured dropping sales of PCs and laptops, as more consumers and business workers embrace mobile - so this is an important effort for the Silicon Valley giant.
"They're determined not to miss the next big thing," said Mark Hung, analyst at Gartner. As such, Intel's Q1 revenue estimate lost almost $1 billion because of slowing PC sales, but merged its mobile and PC businesses into one computing business.
"It helps when your other businesses are performing well," said Andy Bryant, Intel board Chairman, in a statement to investors late last year. "When things are going well it gives you the time and the resolve to make the changes you need to make in other parks of your business."
When Google invested a huge $500 million into Magic Leap last year, we didn't know what would come of that - until, well, now. Take a look at the video below, and if you're not impressed, I would be heavily surprised.
The company has stated that this is a real game that the Magic Leap staff play in their offices right now, and I want to, too. It looks so good that it looks like it is something that was created as a technology demo, and isn't real right now, but with the Google-funded company promising that this is indeed real, the potential of this is quite large.
I don't think what we're seeing right here is possible with the technology we have right now, as the wearable side of things for the user would require a serious shrink from the size we have today. But, it is a great tease and a peep into the future, which is exciting nonetheless.
The wearable electronics market is booming, and some consumers and doctors are wondering what type of health impact these products could have on owners.
Considering the Apple Watch - which is expected to quickly propel the wearables market - isn't even out yet, and there has been no research into possible health-related issues, this is more of a general concern than outright risk.
"The radiation really comes from the 3G connection on a cell phone, so devices like the Jawbone Up and Apple Watch should be okay," said Dr. Joseph Mercola, alternative medicine specialist, in a statement to the New York Times. "But if you're buying a watch with a cellular chip built in, then you've got a cell phone attached to your wrist."
Fitness wearables and smartwatches might be popular among consumers, but show true potential in the health industry. The collected data could be easily passed from consumer directly to his or her medical professional, offering a more detailed look into daily physical activity.
There are concerns related to privacy and data security, especially when it comes to personal medical information, though Fitbit - and other manufacturers - are keen to work with the FDA to approve regulation.
"I think right now everyone is focused on pure consumer benefits and motivating people to change their behavior," said James Park, CEO of Fitbit, in an interview with TIME. "I think there'll be a next big leap in benefits once we tie into more detailed clinical research and cross hurdles and dialogue with the FDA about what we can do for consumers and what's regulated or not."
Smart glasses using augmented reality may not have taken off among consumers, but are still going strong in the workplace. A growing number of Fortune 500 companies are testing augmented reality, hoping the budding technology will help employees be more productive.
"It's combining the digital world and the physical world," said Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement to NBC New. "There are a lot of companies that are trying this technology out."
There is great potential for AR to be used with business leaders trying to promote the "deskless workforce," with many employees deployed out in the field. Access to hands-free, real-time data gives them increased advantage to make things happen while no longer waiting for paperwork.
Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer will team up with Intel and Google to create a smartwatch running the Android Wear OS.
"There are two operating systems: one is Apple's iOS, the other is Android Wear - who are we to invent another language at that level?" said Jean-Claude Biver, president of the LVMH Group, in a statement to BBC. "There is no doubt that we could eventually go to Apple, but why should we do a partnership with Apple, who is producing watches? On the one side they would be partners, on the other a competitor. Google is not producing watches, so the relationship is perfect."
As Google looks for new smartwatch partners, the relationship could help increase the number of Android Wear-powered smartwatches. Meanwhile, Intel is looking to fully embrace the wearable and smartwatch sectors, pushing new technologies able to power the increasingly popular consumer products.
The Apple Watch has gained a lot of attention from consumers, and around 40 percent of adult US Apple iPhone owners are interested in possibly purchasing the device, according to a poll by Reuters/Ipsos.
A previous Reuters/Ipsos survey found that 69 percent of American consumers aren't actually in a big rush to purchase the Apple Watch - but Apple hopes its first new product in years will be popular among iPhone owners.
There are more than 100 million iPhone owners in the United States, and almost 500 million across the world, so there is a huge base of potential customers.
Following the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Missouri last year, a growing number of police departments are rolling out wearable body cameras. The small cameras are designed to provide another viewpoint of interactions between police officers and the public - assuming the officers are using the wearables appropriately.
An independent analysis of the Denver Police Department indicated cameras weren't filming during many cases that required use of force. It would appear that were cases in which "officers forgot to them on" or the "situation deteriorated too quickly," so officers didn't have time.
"Police departments all over the country are saying, 'We're going to use body cameras,'" said Noelle Phillips, Denver Post writer, in a statement published by NPR. "Lots of groups are saying, 'Hey, let's consider all these recommendations, how does the technology work - and make it the best it can be.'"