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Earlier this week, Samsung released their long awaited and highly anticipated Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The new companion device is designed to augment Samsung Galaxy devices and provide the end-user with a much more rich and immersive "smart technology" experience. TweakTown's Johannes Knapp is at IFA 2013 and got to go hands on with the new device.
At the moment, the Galaxy Gear only works with the newly launched Galaxy Note 3, but Samsung is promising functionality with many of their Galaxy-branded products in the future. The Galaxy Gear features a 1.63-inch 320x320-pixel Super AMOLED display that is surrounded by a brushed aluminum frame. A 1.9-megapixel camera is embedded into the rubberized wrist strap, and the device is powered by an 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM to keep things running nice and smooth.
The Galaxy Gear runs a highly modified version of Android 4.3 and is said to more closely resemble Windows Phone rather than any of Samsung's Android-based skins. Samsung says that the device will feature 70 optimized apps on release day. If you're interested in getting your hands on a Galaxy Gear before anyone else, head over to Verizon and pre-order yours today.
Qualcomm has just stepped into the smartwatch game, announcing its Toq smartwatch at its Qualcomm Uplinq 2013 conference. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs announced the smarwatch, which featured a Mirasol color screen that can be viewed outdoors in bright sunlight.
Toq features wireless charging capabilities through WiPower LE, which is a nice touch. Qualcomm's Toq will display notifications, and it should feature applications of its own. The Toq can also control music playback and play locally to wireless headsets, but it's also capable of screening calls and showing a bunch of different watchfaces.
Qualcomm does it a bit different with Toq and its Mirasol display, which never turns off. Even with it never turning off, Toq can last multiple days between charge. Qualcomm will release a limited amount of Toq smartwatches in the next couple of weeks, with stock building up in the coming weeks.
Today, Samsung announced its highly anticipated Android-based smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear. The smartwatch features a 1.63-inch 320x320 AMOLED display that is framed in brushed aluminum. Unlike the many leaks we saw leading up to the launch, the device does not feature a curved screen and uses Bluetooth to connect to a Galaxy smartphone rather than the reported NFC that was previously rumored.
The device runs Android 4.3 and utilizes Bluetooth 4.0 to conserve energy. Samsung says that there are over 70 apps to choose from. They can be installed using the smartwatch's Galaxy Gear Manager app. 4GB of built-in storage is available alongside a 315mAh battery. Samsung says that the Galaxy Gear will be available in early October and will retail at an MSRP of $299.
Google hasn't launched its wearable computing device, Glass, just yet, but the Mountain View-based giant is reportedly set to launch a dedicated Glass App Store for the wearable device.
Google has confirmed to Marketing Land that it will indeed support Glass by providing the Glass App Store, after it was reported over the weekend through a first-person Glass user essay in the New York Times. The Times' author, Clive Thompson, wrote: "The company says an app store is coming next year, when Glass is available to the general public."
We don't know much more than this, but it's good to see that Google won't just be dumping Glass apps in the usual Google Play Store, but will instead open up an entire shop for Glass.
It looks like Oculus VR could have some competition in the VR space, with Sony rumored to unveil a virtual reality headset at the Tokyo Game Show later this month that would work with the PlayStation 4.
CVG and Eurogamer are both reporting the news, and according to reports Sony had plans to reveal the headset at GamesCom, but decided to hold off at the last minute. The reports also state that the Japanese electronics giant is torn between offering its VR headset as an optical add-on, or as a key part of the PS4 that will set it apart from its main competitor: the Xbox One.
CVG and Eurogamer's sources have said that at least one developer, Evolution Studios, is working on providing support for the VR headset with its DriveClub game. DriveClub is Sony's latest first-party racing sim, and a PS4 launch title. Evolution Studios is reportedly incorporating support for the VR headset that would simulate the vehicle's cockpit.
Sony isn't letting it's competitors have all the glory in pre-IFA announcements, with the Japanese giant announcing its latest refreshed head-mounted display, the HMZ-T3.
Sony's HMZ-T3 is its third iteration of the wearable device, with some very nice improvements to be had. The company has improved the clarity of the dual OLED displays through both lens and software adjustments, but the same 1280x720 resolution stays the same unfortunately. There's a bigger viewing sweet spot and multiple new specialized screen options for both gaming and movie watching.
One of the better features introduced with the HMZ-T3 is the ability to plug in an Android device through micro-HDMI/MHL. The HMZ-T3 has ports for both full-sized and micro-HDMI cables, which is an great new feature going into the future.
We're just days away from Samsung unleashing its Galaxy Gear smartwatch to the world at IFA, but Venture Beat has had a quick look at the upcoming Galaxy Gear smartwatch ahead of the ev ent.
One of VB's sources showed them a prototype of the Galaxy Gear, a prototype which was sent to developers and a few close partners of Samsung. Keep in mind that because this is a prototype, and Samsung of course has high levels of security around its smartwatch, that this won't be the final design of the Galaxy Gear, but it'll be awfully close.
Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch is part smart device, part fashion accessory, part camera and a health monitor. It features Bluetooth that will connect with all of Samsung's Galaxy S family of devices, but we might see it capable of connecting with all Android-based devices too. The Galaxy Gear also features Wi-Fi, allowing it to connect to the Internet and check your e-mail.
An Ohio-based surgeon has used Google Glass to live stream a knee surgery to his colleagues, a great demonstration on how the wearable device would change the medical world as we know it.
Dr. Christopher Kaeding, a surgeon at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, was performing knee surgery on a 47-year-old patient's injured knee ligament using Glass. Kaeding wore Google Glass during his procedure in order to show his live point-of-view to people at a remote location. His colleagues and several medical students watched the surgery, live, and from Kaeding's point-of-view from different locations within Columbus, Ohio.
Kaeding said in a news release: "To be honest, once we got into the surgery, I often forgot the device was there. It just seemed very intuitive and fit seamlessly." Glass' potential for the medical world goes far beyond the operating theater, as it can be used for remote observation and collaboration with colleagues anywhere in the world.
Google acquired smartwatch maker WIMM Labs back in 2011, who is working with the company on a new smartwatch. WIMM Labs released the WIMM One smartwatch a few years ago that ran a modified version of Android, so this could be the future for Google's smartwatch.
The WIMM One featured its own micro app store, that included apps such as a calculator, compass, photo gallery and an app that treated the smartwatch like a remote control for your Android device. Twelve months ago, WIMM Labs stopped sales of its WIMM One smartwatch, deleted its Twitter account and posted the following note on its website:|
During the summer of 2012, WIMM Labs entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship for our technology and ceased sales of the Developer Preview Kit.
We of course know that this is because Google scooped the company up, now we just have to wait for the Mountain View-based giant to show its hand, pun intended.
PAX PRIME 2013 - Oculus Rift has been garnering much attention and widespread support from the media and general public alike. At PAX Prime, the Oculus VR booth was being mobbed by attendees, much like what happened at Game Developers Conference back in March and at E3 back in June.
As you can see, the booth is completely wrapped by attendees waiting to try out the new HD version of the Oculus Rift. Our very own Anthony Garreffa tried out the HD Rift at PAX AU and fell in love. He went home and ordered the dev kit. A little later, we'll have an article about the next piece of virtual reality technology.