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The mobile market is not immune to trends and fads, and sometimes they can run counter to established norms. At first users wanted the smallest phone on the market. In the prehistoric pre-smartphone era some phones were so small they were almost impossible to dial. Smartphones changed that trend, and initial small versions have given way to phablets. Once again, bigger has become better. Cicret looks to solve the problem for us all with the largest useable screen packed into the smallest device possible. It seems a bit counter-intuitive, but the design is genius.
The Cicret Smart Bracelet debuted on Indiegogo and just finished its round of funding. The Smart Bracelet looks like a simple bracelet but has an embedded memory card, processor, accelerometer, vibrator, USB port, Bluetooth functionality, and Wi-Fi. The most important components consist of a pico-projector and an array of 8 proximity sensors. The projector beams the screen down onto the users forearm, and the proximity sensors track fingers to allow device interaction. The video below is simply amazing.
TZOA is a new project on Kickstarter, that is hoping to raise $110,000 to fund its wearable enviro-tracker. TZOA "measures your personal air pollution and UV exposure in real-time using advanced sensor technology", according to its Kickstarter page.
It will arrive as a small round tracker that has sensors on it that keep an eye on air quality, UV light, humidity, and temperature. All of this data is fed to a companion smartphone app to quantify the environment around you. From within the app, you can find out the quality of the local air, and upload this data to a crowdsourced pollution map of your town. That last bit, is a very nice trick.
The team is still in the early stages of building TZOA, with a projection production run starting in summer 2015. A $135 pledge on their Kickstarter page will secure you one of the first TZOA sensors off the production run.
Apple has updated the site for its Watch wearable, giving the world a much more detailed look at its first wearable. We get a look at pretty much every angle of Apple's upcoming wearable, form the top, side, the lush corners and most of all; the features.
The company has split the site into seven different sections; Timekeeping, New Ways to Connect, Health & Fitness, Design, Technology, Gallery and Films. All of which are filled with information on Watch, and a different story to be told. Check out the Apple Watch website for a super-detailed look on Apple's first wearable.
We've just received confirmation that Razer's new smartband, the Nabu, is finally confirmed for release - coming next week, first to the North American market, followed by the rest of the world soon after.
We've covered the Nabu's specifications and features before. As quoted by Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, the Razer Nabu is designed to work as "a cross between a smartwatch and a fitness band. It's a wearable device focused on helping you live smarter."
According to email contact between Razer's Australian promoters, Surprise Attack, the Razer Nabu release will begin next week. Coming at a price of $99.99, this new technology offering has been tested by "500 of Razer's most loyal fans" whom were given the ability "to buy the bands earlier in the year for a single dollar".
Sony is reportedly working on a new watch that utilizes e-paper, and could be released as early as 2015, as the Japanese electronics company restructures and shuffles focus on select technologies. The watch face and wrist band will be made of e-paper and the surface area will be able to display time and its appearance can be modified.
Instead of being a next-generation smartwatch, Sony hopes that the watch will include style alongside functionality.
"The innovation program is very important, but it will take time and require some risk taking," said Sado Nagaoaka, Hitotsubashi University professor. "It's not that Sony ran out of new ideas, but rather, it's taking too long to restructure, and gigantic losses have starved new businesses of funds."
The unfortunate incident between officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, which left Brown dead and many people rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, has become a prominent platform in the promotion of body cameras. A growing number of police agencies are deploying wearable cameras, typically clipped to an officer's uniform, as a method to record officer interactions with members of the community - and a way to help provide insight into deadly encounters.
"The findings suggest more than a 50 percent reduction in the total number of incidents of use-of-force compared to control-conditions, and nearly 10 times more citizens' complaints in the 12-months prior to the experiment," according to a Police Foundation-commissioned study.
Department of Justice officials and other law enforcement experts share similar findings - and believe the use of body cameras could help prevent future incidents like in Ferguson. Civil liberty groups say the videos would help prevent officers from abusing their authority, while law enforcement groups mention citizens would be less likely to falsely accuse officers of wrongdoing.
As buildings in Ferguson, Missouri, remain ablaze from a night of chaos related to news that Darren Wilson, the police officer that killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, wouldn't be indicted, the Brown family wants officers to begin wearing body cameras.
Here is what the family said following news the officer wouldn't be indicted: "Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. A growing number companies are now interested in developing wearable body cameras, and due to a growing number of high-profile incidents across the country, there is a more lively debate if police agencies should adopt their use.
Meanwhile, there are so many fires in Ferguson, fire crews are having trouble to respond to all of them, especially as vandals continue to pose significant safety threats.
Jeri Ellsworth has taken to Twitter to announce that the Technical Illusions team is finally shipping their first pair of castAR glasses. You might remember the startup took to Kickstarter to raise $1 million, spearheaded by ex-Valve engineers Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson.
The AR glasses feature active shutter glasses, a camera for input and a projector that displays 3D images onto a surface. The company caalls the device "the most versatile AR and VR system" but it has more strength in its AR side, with its VR side not working until you buy the optional clip-on. We should hopefully have a pair in the coming months, so keep checking back here at TweakTown.
Hexoskin has added to its product lineup by announcing the Artic Smart shirt, the first cold weather biometric smart shirt in the world. The Arctic Smart Shirt is made of Merino wool, providing heat insulation, breathability and body metrics. The shirt will be released next month and ship with a $199 MSRP.
The Arctic Smart Shirt can monitor heart rate, step count, sleep duration, calories burned, along with heart rate recovery, heart rate variability, breathing rate, breathing volume, activity level, acceleration, cadence and much more.
"Athletes train year-round and we wanted to create the ultimate base layer that would allow them to train smarter even in the cold weather months," said Pierre-Alexandre Fournier, Hexoskin CEO and co-founder. "With the addition of the Arctic Smart Shirt, we yet again prove that we can continue to grow as a company and provide smart garments to our customers that live up to their needs for information, style and comfort."
Pebble's smarwatch has just received a version 2.8 firmware update that has seen 80 languages supported alongside notification support for Android applications.
Looking at Pebble's website, you can see their comprehensive list of languages on offer and how some of them are displayed on your handheld interface. But the most exciting update here comes in the form of Android notification support. Available for use with both iOS and Android systems, Pebble was missing the crucial ability to tee up with your Android phone, pushing notifications from this device handily to your wrist watch. Fixed in the latest update, we wouldn't be surprised to see Pebble stocks rise a little in the coming weeks.
Pebble's Vice President of Software Engineering, Kean Wong, released a statement saying: "This new app has been the culmination of months of work by our fantastic Android team to re-build our Android app, focused on notification improvements, increasing stability and performance, and providing a solid platform for the long roadmap of great new features we have planned. Full notifications support, is a significant improvement-one we'll build on to provide more amazing notification features soon."
Their 2.1 Android app will be a phased roll-out on Google Play as according to Pebble staff - take a look to see if you've been granted the new capabilities.