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Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said his company will release the Swatch NFC smartwatch this summer, and there are already 20,000 units ready for launch. The connected watch isn't designed to be a smartphone on your wrist, but will be able to support wireless payments and other mobile functions.
"We will launch it in the US, China and Switzerland," Hayek said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "We have 20,000 already in stock and we are very optimistic about the watch."
Hayek didn't disclose what impact the Apple Watch has had on the company, but Swatch's effort to join the smartwatch market should be a telling sign. I think it's a good move by Swatch - as the Apple Watch and other smartwatches won't take the high-end market - but will pressure the lower-end Swatch target market.
One thing that unites all wearables would have to be their lackluster battery life, but it looks like researchers over at Microsoft's WearDrive project might have solved this.
The researchers are using a RAM-based system that doesn't rely on a battery, something that would save battery life in wearables. The way this works is by pairing the wearable with a smartphone through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, with the more energy consuming apps processed on the smartphone, instead of on the wearable where it consumes the important battery life.
Microsoft's WearDrive energy saving system was tested on an Android-powered smartphone, with the researchers noting that there was a "negligible" impact on smartphone battery life, while there was a 300% improvement on battery conversation on the werable. The we arable was also 800% faster than normal application runtimes, which is a huge achievement. The WearDrive also deactivates when it's out of range of a paired smartphone.
The new version of Google Glass will be powered by an Intel Atom processor, thanks to the detectives over at 9to5Google. They've reported that the new version of Google Glass will be called 'Enterprise Edition', or just 'EE'.
The updated Glass will feature a bigger prism, which is the little part of the wearable device that you look into, while Intel will provide an Atom processor. The larger prism is very welcomed, as it will help reduce eye strain and allow larger Now cards to be placed in front of your vision, while the Intel Atom processor will provide improved performance and better battery life.
Additionally, heat management has been improved, and thanks to the Intel Atom processor and its increased battery life, you should get through more of the day with the new Glass. Google has also reportedly developed an external battery pack for Glass, which I can't see many people using. Where are you going to install an external battery pack? On your ear? The new Enterprise Edition will also feature 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band Wi-Fi.
When Apple launched its Watch back in April, the world stood still waiting to see just how huge the sales of Apple's first wearable would be. Well, while they might have started off with around 1.5 million Watch units sold, at an average of around 200,000 per day, those numbers have dropped, considerably.
According to Slice, Apple Watch sales have completely bottomed out to less than 10,000 per day, reports MarketWatch. More than two-thirds of the Apple Watch units have been the cheaper "Sport" version of Apple Watch, which has a starting price of $349. The more advanced models start at $549, but the sales numbers on those are much lower. In the United States, just 2,000 of the $10,000+ "Gold Edition" Watch have been sold.
What does this mean for the Watch? Well, it means that Apple didn't quite revolutionize the smartwatch market like it thought it would, and that Apple fans have swooped in, either purchased or looked at the Watch and decided against it. Either way, it doesn't bode well for the future of Apple Watch.
The first iteration of Google Glass was good, but not great, and while we've known for a while that Google is working on a second version of its ambitious wearable, the first real news on the new Glass is here.
Droid Life has found a submission to the FCC that shows that Google looks to be working on a new version of Glass, with the only information on Glass 2.0 shared is that the FCC ID is 'A4R-GG1' and that it supports various Wi-Fi bands and Bluetooth. The documents also show that Google is using the 2014 E-Label act, which means it can hide the FCC labels away instead of plastering them on the device itself.
With smartwatches becoming more common, LG has just unveiled its latest battery from its battery arm, LG Chem. The company has started shipping hexagonal-shaped batteries that promise 25% more capacity than circular batteries.
These new batteries will provide an additional four hours average use, without having smartwatch owners having to go into low-power mode, or the smartwatch completely running out of juice. LG has said that it's working on more unusually-shaped batteries, something that will continue to add more battery life into the wearables.
The Apple Watch brought attention to the smartwatch and wearables market, but it looks like initial demand for the watch is dying down.
If you're thinking about purchasing an Apple Watch, you'll be happy to know there are plenty of them available to choose from. Even though some estimate 13 million to 20 million units have sold, the hyped Apple wearable isn't seen as a necessity.
"The initial demand for the Apple Watch looks lackluster," said Brian Blair, managing director at Rosenblatt Securities, in a statement on CNBC's "Power Lunch." "It's not clear what the killer app is. It's nice to get notifications, but it's a nonessential product."
The wearables market is growing, and while analysts can't agree on what the future holds for the evolving market, Intel isn't going to sit on the sidelines and wait it out. Intel recently announced it purchased Recon Instruments, a company known for creating connected eyewear for athletes.
"Going forward, we'll continue leading the smart eyewear category for sports, and we'll be able to bring our technology and innovation to completely new markets and use cases where activity-specific information, delivered instantly, can change the game," said Dan Eisenhardt, co-founder of Recon, in a blog post.
So far in 2015, Intel introduced the Curie hardware model, a new system-on-chip (SoC) designed for wearable products, while also announcing a partnership with Oakley. The company didn't stop there, as Intel will also work with Google and TAG Heuer in the smartwatch market.
If you want to pre-order the Pebble Time smartwatch, you can get it at Best Buy for $199.99. The Best Buy online store has the device, supported by most Apple iOS and Google Android devices, available in three different colors: white, black, and red.
Pebble didn't disclose an official launch date, but the Best Buy website says consumers will begin receiving the products on July 20. Those who contributed to the Pebble Time Kickstarter effort already received their watches, and Pebble is ready to expand sales to anyone interested.
"We're seeing pretty strong demand. We're just focused on making awesome products and getting them into people's hands and on their wrists," said Eric Migicovsky, CEO of Pebble, in a statement published by CNBC. Pebble remains committed to its "grassroots" strategy in regards to marketing, as the company matures.
There are plenty of smartwatches, fitness bands and other wearables that we can choose from, though it looks like manufacturers are still fighting to get casual consumers to spend.
There are a few different barriers that must be addressed, such as the following: lack of persuasive uses, no killer apps, limited functionality, and style, according to a recent Business Insider Intelligence consumer survey.
When asked why they don't have interest in a smartwatch, 51 percent of those surveyed said they simply don't see the point of owning one. Perhaps providing a killer app could help woo new users, and that would essentially kill two birds with one stone.