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It looks like both Acer and ASUS are preparing to enter the wearable device market, according to a report from Focus Taiwan. ASUS' chairman, Jonney Shih, said on Tuesday at ASUS' end-of-year party: "We will put our entire design thought into it. There are actually many challenges in this area, and I don't think products that lack special features will be useful. We'll try to replace your watch by all means". ASUS will most likely debut its smartwatch at Computex 2014 in Taiwan, in June.
What about Acer? It will launch its wearable devices in the second half of the year, with the company working on a wearable device that will have an option for a necklace-style piece.
Focus Taiwan adds that the wearable devices market will grow to $20.6 billion by 2018, with 191 million units shipped worldwide.
Google today confirmed its Google Glass will support prescription glasses, which has been the most requested feature by potential customers. As Google prepares to publicly launch Glass on a wide scale before the end of the year, providing prescription and additional fashion models will help entice customers that were sitting on the fence.
"This marks the next phase in the evolution of Glass as we move towards a wider consumer launch later in 2014," Google noted in a recently posted FAQ.
Vision care insurance provider VSP will also include Glass prescriptions, anticipating wider adoption of the next-generation wearable product. The Titanium line will include curve, split, bold and thin frame shapes, available for $225 each. Google is teaming up with Maui Jim to include Glass sunglasses, and consumers can expect to pay $150 for the sunglasses version.
As wearable electronics are expected take off over the next few years, Google hopes to help mold the industry as an early adopter of the technology. Partnering with insurance providers, sunglasses makers, and traditional glasses frame manufacturers should help give consumers a wider variety of different products to choose from.
Back in 2013, we saw wearable tech really take the center stage and bloom into an entire new industry, with smart watches, exercise bands, and even smart glasses launching. 2014 is poised to take wearable technology to the next level, and if a new product being developed in Japan is any indication, wearables are going to get much more personal in the very near future.
Pictured above is the "True Love Tester" bra, a piece of smart lingerie that is designed to thwart off sneaky companions who might try to unhook its clasps covertly while its wearer is distracted. Unfortunately, that task is much harder with a smart-bra than it is with traditional underwear. The True Love Tester bra features sensors that feed back information on its wearers heart rate to a smartphone which analyzes the data and will only release the clasps if the heart rate signature indicate "true love."
The accompanying app is able to discern from other strenuous, heart rate elevating activities such as running, shopping, eating spicy food, or even getting frightened while watching a scary movie. While this all sounds cool, the app does not simply release a locking mechanism on the bra, it apparently flings the cups open with much gusto, which means that technology like this could provide for some interesting scenarios when worn in public with ones significant other near by.
A new report from the Korean Times is suggesting that we might see Samsung release a direct competitor to Google's Project Glass before the end of the year. The report states that an unnamed Samsung official has confirmed that the company is currently working on a smart glasses product similar to Google Glass, and that it could arrive as early as September of this year pending any delays.
With smart glasses quickly becoming bigger than smart watches were in 2014, Samsung would be crazy to overlook the potential they have to brand yet another wearable electronic with its Galaxy brand. The Korean Times report states that Galaxy Glass would feature functionality almost identical to that of the Galaxy Gear, and would connect to a users smartphone and would let users make calls, search the internet, and record video. This is of course very similar to Google Glass, and I would not rule out a lawsuit down the road from either company claiming IP violations. Either way, competition in the smart glasses world is only a good thing for the consumer, and could drive down the currently sky-high prices.
Digital media experts who met in Hollywood late last week talked about the future of the porn industry, where movies and clips could be shot on wearable devices, such as Google Glass.
Thousands of people from multiple industries met at the W Hollywood Hotel for the XBIZ 360 conference, an event focused on the behind the scenes of the adult film industry. Owners from production companies were able to meet from people all across the world, where many of them agreed that the adult film industry has evolved into a corporate culture.
Miles Long, a director and cinematographer, was at XBIZ 360 on a panel to talk about the adult film industry, and whether it should embrace Ultra HD technology. He said: "It was great to have an intellectual conversation about this. I like this more than the tradition-style conventions".
One of the more important discussions held was a demonstration on how adult films could be viewed, and produced on a device like Google Glass. Porn superstar James Deen was on deck, showing how Google Glass can be used to shoot porn from a performer's point of view. I think we're going to see porn push ahead with Glass, and other wearables, as will other markets as they embrace the new point of view shooting style.
Everyone reading this knows that both the MPAA and Hollywood studios are quite nuts when it comes to piracy, and today we are finding out just how crazy they are. While attending a showing of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at an AMC movie theater in Columbus, Ohio, a man wearing Google Glass was removed from the theater and detained by the FBI for allegedly recording the movie.
The pair of Google Glasses were fitted with prescription lenses and the electronic side was completely switched off during the movie, but that did not stop a badge wielding official from removing the pair of glasses from the mans face followed by escorting him out of the theater. Once outside the man was met by several mall cops and the FBI who detained him and his wife in separate rooms and began demanding answers as to why he was recording the movie.
"About an hour into the movie, a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says 'follow me outside immediately'. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops," the man said in an interview.
A California woman ticketed for reportedly driving while using the Google Glass eyeglass device recently had the ticket thrown out. Driver Cecilia Abadie was given a ticket under a citation that requires the officer to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Google Glass was on and being used at the time, but the officer wasn't able to offer definitive proof.
Abadie was initially pulled over for speeding by the California Highway Patrol in San Diego, California, when the officer noticed her wearing the Google Glass headset.
As smart glasses become more prevalent, this is an issue that could occur in states across the United States in the future. Legal analysts believe this ruling is important but won't set a future precedent as courts and lawmakers will try to ensure this type of future behavior is limited.
We've learnt quite a lot from Valve's developer-only Steam Dev Days conference, with VR being the focus of the second, and last day of the event. Oculus VR's founder, Palmer Luckey, was a key guest for its VR discussions, where he teased the future of VR.
Luckey said: "Valve's VR tech is the best virtual reality demo in the world right now". This is quite a statement from Luckey, considering his company just received $75 million in Series B funding for Oculus Rift. The specifications of what Valve and Oculus expect from a consumer VR headset for 2015 are very, very promising:
Feasible 2015 consumer HDM
- 20ms motion-to-last-photon latency
- 3ms pixel persistence
- 95 Hz refresh
- 110-degree FOV
- 1K x 1K resolution per eye
- High-quality, well-calibrated optics
- millimeter-accurate resolution translation
- quarter-degree-accurate rotation
- volume of roughly 2 meters cubed
Valve is holding its Steam Dev Days event, where it has invited developers to talk all-things Steam, but this includes virtual reality (VR), too. Valve showed off a VR prototype headset, to demonstrate where it wants to push VR which left people who used it blown away.
A few developers used it, and were blown away with the results. We have two tweets from David Hensley, who went to the Steam Dev Days, and their impressions should excite you. Hensley teases "It's going to be hard to go back to my #oculus dev kit after experiencing #valve's #vr demo. Kinda like playing an xbox then 8bit Nintendo".
Google hasn't released its wearable device, Glass, just yet, but the Mountain View-based search giant is already teasing another wearable project: a smart contact lens with metal uses.
There's a very tiny wireless chip and glucose sensor, which are pegged between two layers of contact lens material. Google is reportedly also already working on embedding tiny LED lights for notifications, too. Before Google moves further with this new wearable project, it is in talks with the FDA and other partners - so this is a while off yet, folks.