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Wearable Computing Posts - Page 25

Google will release an SDK for wearable devices this month

It was confirmed by Sundar Pichar, the SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps for Google that the company will be releasing a software development kit specifically to be used with wearable devices within the next two weeks. The company requires a common set of protocols to make it easier for sensors to connect with the Android OS.

 

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By doing so, it will enable developers to create multiple types of wearable devices. The SDK should enable the developers to make wearable devices even for games and fitness trackers.

Continue reading 'Google will release an SDK for wearable devices this month' (full post)

EA CEO looks at VR as a viable option for gaming, a fourth 'modality'

EA's still fresh CEO Andrew Wilson has talked about the potential for virtual reality, where he has talked about using VR as a possible fourth "modality" of gaming.

 

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Wilson notes three types of play styles right now: "Lean Back" experiences, where a player is using a home entertainment system. "Lean In" is where the player is using either a console or PC for first-person shooters, where they're physically leaning in and concentrating on the game, and "Lean Over" which is where the player is using either a smartphone or tablet.

 

Wilson sees VR as the "fourth" way of playing, citing it as "Get In", where a gamer would use headsets or "some hologram that evolves out of your living room floor." This isn't a full confirmation that EA is supporting VR in any form, but it's great to see them talking about it. We've seen Oculus VR secure EA's former Senior VP as its new Head of Worldwide Publishing.

This concept from Balogh is what smartwatches should look like

It's no secret that I am not a big fan of smartwatches, and that I often refer to them as nothing more than a passing fad. One concept artist has all but changed my mind though. The the concept smartwatch he recently designed is both beautiful and brilliant in both form and function.

 

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Gabor Balogh posted his design up on Adobe's Behance social network for designers, and it caught the eye of the entire tech world. The design is based off of the Havanna Timepiece from Triwa, and replaces its face-plate with a concept circular display. While new concept smartwatch designs pop up every day, Balogh's ditches the common square and bulky wrist-piece for a sleek and classical, low-profile design with a modern UI that I would be proud to wear every day.

Continue reading 'This concept from Balogh is what smartwatches should look like' (full post)

Blocks modular smartwatch lets the user configure their wearable

The way it works with most wearable devices today is that you simply buy one of a few available models and go on about your day. If down the road you decide you need more features, you need to buy a new smartwatch. A group from the UK is working on a slick modular smartwatch that was inspired by Google's Project Ara.

 

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I think this is a very cool idea. The way the product works is that the user can choose from a number of blocks that contain sensors inside. These blocks let you start with a basic configuration and then add new sensors as your needs change.

 

The sensors appear to be part of the links in the bracelet of the watch. They connect simply using something akin to headphone ports you would see on your PC or smartphone. This would allow you to customize the smartwatch to whatever you will be doing that day.

Continue reading 'Blocks modular smartwatch lets the user configure their wearable' (full post)

Walk around in Seinfeld's apartment in VR thanks to Oculus Rift

If you've ever wanted to live out a Seinfeld fantasy, and you own an Oculus Rift headset, now is your chance. Jerry's Place VR is a download for the Oculus Rift, which pits you right in the middle of Jerry Seinfeld's apartment from the hit TV show.

 

 

Fans can walk around the apartment's main room, bathroom, and Jerry's bedroom using Oculus VR's Rift headset, or even just a normal PC. Greg Miller, wrote on the project's website: "Television is virtual reality in some ways. I thought it would be a novel virtual reality experience to take a place that exists in Hollywood magic and make it for the Oculus Rift as if it were real".

 

Miller worked on Jerry's Place VR for around a month, using 3D modelling software to create a near-perfect, but virtual replica. He started the project off as a way to get used to using Unity, which is a game engine that a chunk of Oculus Rift-compatible titles are built on.

Continue reading 'Walk around in Seinfeld's apartment in VR thanks to Oculus Rift' (full post)

Samsung's wearable headset would blast a keyboard onto your hand

One thing I don't like with my Google Glass is that I can't type using it without pulling my smartphone, but it looks like Samsung is working on a way around this for its own wearable device.

 

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According to Galaxy Club, which has unearthed a new patent filing from Samsung, the company has been experimenting with the idea of using its wearable device to blast out an augmented reality keyboard onto users' hands in order to type out messages. You can see from the image above that the patent sees the device blasting out the QWERTY keyboard onto users' hands, leaving thumbs free to type on the augmented reality keyboard.

 

While this looks good on paper - or, on screen - I personally don't think this would be practical in any form. It might be nice for other functions of Samsung's Glass-like device, but for typing? Keep on keeping on, Samsung.

A woman was assaulted and robbbed at a bar for wearing Google Glass

A woman in San Francisco made a complaint that she was assaulted by some Google Glass haters at Molotov bar. The situation escalated to a point where she was verbally and physically assaulted, then robbed.

 

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Sarah Slocum was flaunting her Google Glass to her friends while she was around the bar, when a few people didn't like seeing the wearable tech in their face. Slocum, who is a tech blogger said, "OMG so you'll never believe this but... I got verbally and physically assaulted and robbed last night in the city, had things thrown at me because some *** Google Glass haters."

Continue reading 'A woman was assaulted and robbbed at a bar for wearing Google Glass' (full post)

Japanese researchers testing 'Earclip-type wearable PC' prototype

Researchers in Japan have made an 'Earclip-type Wearable PC' which can be controlled by blinking or the 'click' of a tongue. Currently the prototype is being tested.

 

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The wireless device weighs 17 grams and is equipped with Bluetooth, GPS, Compass, Gyro-sensor, barometer, speaker and a microphone. What's being said by many commentators is that this device could be the 'next big thing' in wearable technology. The device uses a microchip and has data storage. The design of the Earclip PC was inspired from a traditional 'ikebana' flower setup. Kazuhiro Taniguchi of Hiroshima City University said,"We have made this with the basic idea that people will wear it in the same way they wear earrings."

Continue reading 'Japanese researchers testing 'Earclip-type wearable PC' prototype' (full post)

Freescale introduces MCU that is smaller than a golfball dimple

Freescale Semiconductor introduces the smallest ever ARM based microcontroller (MCU) they made for embedded devices for Internet of Things Market: Kinetsis KL03. The MCU is as smaller than a golf ball dimple.

 

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Rajeev Kumar, director of worldwide marketing and business development for Freescale's Microcontrollers business said,"When size is no longer a barrier to incorporating microcontrollers into edge node devices, we can start to redefine what's possible for the Internet of Things. We see the miniaturization of MCUs as a key driver of IoT evolution. With the groundbreaking form factors of the new Kinetis KL03, systems designers for edge node products now have the technology they need to develop entirely new product categories capable, quite literally, of changing the world."

Continue reading 'Freescale introduces MCU that is smaller than a golfball dimple' (full post)

Was this the ill-fated Nexus Gem smartwatch from Google

Last year we heard lots of rumors and saw several leaks surrounding a Google Nexus-branded smartwatch, but nothing ever came to fruition and the Nexus smartwatch never appeared. Today website, Android Police, has posted leaked photos which are said to be of the ill-fated Nexus wearable, but I remain skeptical. If true this had to have been a very early prototype or proof-of-concept type thing and nothing near a finished Nexus product.

 

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The images depict a smartwatch that appears to be very bulky in design with a band that better fits a $10 Timex watch from the 90's rather than a ultra-modern intelligent wearable that one would expect from Google's Nexus division. The band does have one cool feature though in the form of a built-in USB data and charging port. Little clues are available to say for certain that these leaked images are the Nexus GEM though, and even the single image of the device powered on shows little useful information. Even the menu item "3 Bit Mode Apps" is useless as a deep Google search turns up nothing.

 

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We do know that Google and LG are working together to bring a Nexus smartwatch to the market, but this device is most certainly not it. It does somewhat resemble Motorola's ACTV sports watch though, and could be an early prototype of that device, or even a fresh prototype of the smartwatch it has confirmed its working on right now. Whatever the case, lets hope that the end result of both Google and Motorola's upcoming wearables are more refined this this as they have some stiff competition from LG and Samsung to contend with.

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