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This morning Samsung released sales numbers on its Galaxy Gear smartwatch and the numbers are a bit impressive for a device that has seen a not so favorable welcome. Samsung says that it is managed to sell more than 800,000 Galaxy Gear units in the short two months that the device has been for sale.
In a statement, Samsung said "It's the most sold wearable watch available in the marketplace...and we plan to expand its availability by expanding mobile devices that work with the Gear." Several industry analyst including former New York Times tech reviewer David Pogue said the figures released today are "inconsistent and frustrating," and that sales figures should actually be in the 50,000 range. These claims are based on earlier media reports that suggest as much as 30-percent of the devices were returned to Best Buy due to unsatisfied customers.
2013 has undoubtedly been the year for wearable technology as many of the major players in the industry have released smart devices including fitness tracking bands and smartwatches. While many of these products feature a Qualcomm processor or other technology, it appears that the mobile processing giant will be releasing its own smartwatch in just a few weeks.
Dubbed the Toq, the new device from Qualcomm features an ultra-low power Mirasol display that is designed to give the device a exceptionally long battery life despite the fact that its display is always-on. Qualcomm says that the inclusion of this display will enable the device to have "multiple days of battery life" and will be brightly visible in even the brightest of sunlight.
The Qualcomm Toq will connect to smartphones via Bluetooth 4.0 and will display call information as well as text messages and calendar alerts. Additional apps for weather, stock tickers, and music playback will be featured for download as well. Qualcomm will bundle a pair of wireless earphones with the device as well that will showcase the companys WiPower LE wireless charging technology. The watch will also be charged using this technology as well. The Toq will release on December 2nd and will retail for $350.
It looks like Apple's iWatch could arrive in two separate sizes, at 1.3 and 1.7 inches. The former will be aimed at women, with the latter being aimed at men. The news is coming from NPD DisplaySearch analyst, David Hsieh.
The Korea Herald reports: "Apple's wearable iWatch is expected to come with a 1.7-inch OLED display for men's watches and a 1.3-inch OLED screen for women, David Hsieh, DisplaySearch's Vice President of the Greater China Market, said at a conference today in Taiwan, citing Apple sources. It is yet to be confirmed whether the displays will be flexible but sources said it was a possibility, since Apple will want to upstage Samsung's Galaxy Gear."
Will you be waiting in line for the iWatch? I think Apple needs to really pull a rabbit out of its hat with its wearable computing, as it will be competing with Google Glass next year.
Zepp's 3D motion sensor helps you get better at golf, baseball, or tennis. The Zepp sensor will probably be pretty useful for people that take their training seriously. The device can attach to a racket, bat or a glove and will collect data from the swings you take and show you on your smartphone through Bluetooth.
Zepp can tell you stuff like the speed and power, angles, hip rotation from your swings, and even your shot type for tennis. Zepp's 3D motion sensors are now available from zepp for $150 or from Apple and Verizon on the 19th. The device comes with the sensor, app, and the mount.
Jawbone releases the new Up24 and it looks promising. The Up24 is Jawbone's first sleep and fitness tracker that works wirelessly, as opposed to the older models of the UP. Jawbone didn't add wireless Bluetooth capabilities in the previous models because they said it would make the product's hardware chunkier and reduce battery life. The new Up24 however uses a Bluetooth Low Energy radio that doesn't affect the battery really, and gives the device seven days of use. The Up24 is still water-resistant and approximately the same size as the previous model.
Along with the Up24, Jawbone has also released the 3.0 version of their iOS app. It'll now contain some features only usable by the Up24 but is still mostly compatible by the current UP model. You can now wirelessly use the app to activate a vibrating smart alarm, instead of having to plug it in to your smartphone. If you forget to put it into sleep mode it will also now estimate how much sleep you got using its new sleep recovery tool. The device also includes an activity log that will show you your sleep, food, and fitness.
The Jawbone Up24 is now on sale for $150
Google will be hosting a hackathon in San Francisco later this month, with the event being the 'next phase of the Glass Developer Platform.' There's a limited number of applicants, but it should be a good chance for developers to get their hands, or eyes on with the Glass unit itself.
Developers can get knee-deep in some Glass SDK, which will be like striking gold for developers. Once the Glass SDK arrives, developers will be able to build applications that both work offline, and have direct access to Glass hardware. We should be able to see much more in the coming weeks, with the Glass hackathon taking place in San Francisco on October 19.
Google Glass is nearly here, with Rochester Optical announcing that it has hired Tim Moore, who will bring custom prescriptions, fashion and sport lenses that will work with Google's wearable device in early 2014.
If you're looking for some prescription-friendly Google Glass support, this is what Rochester Optical will be delivering. Google will only be providing a simple pair of sunglasses, or clear protective lenses (non-prescription). It's good to see third-party support this early in the game (pre-launch!) and I'm incredible excited about getting some Glass on my head in the near future.
It's not often that find a watch that I would consider wearing on my wrist every day, but the Oscilloscope Watch project on Kickstarter is something I would wear every day! The Oscilloscope Watch has all the features of a modern watch combined with all the features of the popular Xprotolab (Oscilloscope, Waveform Generator, Logic Analyzer, Protocol Sniffer, Frequency Counter).
The Oscilloscope Watch is powered by an 8-bit XMEGA microcontroller that is programmed in C or Assembly and can be hacked by anyone with basic embedded electronics programming knowledge. The device is said to have a battery life of 12 hours when in Oscilloscope mode, but could last more than 30 days when in watch mode.
The current prototype features a high-contrast OLED screen, but depending on battery life in the production model, this could change to a 1.28-inch e-paper display that features a very high refresh rate. The projects founder, Gabriel Anzziani has set the funding goal to $60,000 and with 11 days left, he needs to raise another $9,000 to meet that goal. I feel that this is an awesome project and a pledge of just $99 will land you an Oscilloscope Watch, so what are you waiting for?
We reported that Oculus Rift was headed to Android, but it has been confirmed that there will only be one Oculus Rift unit that will be capable of pushing virtual reality goodness out to your Android-based device, or PC.
There were people that believed that there would be two consumer units, one that was capable of delivering VR to mobile, and another for PC. But Oculus VR has come out and confirmed that the single consumer Rift device will be capable of doing VR on both platforms. Oculus VR CEO, Brendan Iribe told Engadget: "I don't think it's going to require that full Kepler capability. I think we'll be able to deliver on an even earlier chip set than that. I think people will be pretty surprised with what set of devices we're able to make this work on. We are focused on just a few right now, basically just to stay focused so that we can deliver a great experience on a couple devices first. Then over time we'll have that span out."
If there's one piece of tech that I want, but simply can't get my hands on, it's Google Glass. There's a few friends on my Facebook list who own them, and while I've considered mugging them for the wearable unit, it wouldn't work anyway.
Well, Explorer Edition owners can now buy Glass accessories. One of which is a clear visor for the Glass redesign and is in stock ready to ship. Other accessories that aren't quite ready yet are the earbud, charger and a carrying pouch, which will be available soon. There's not a lot of accessories, but it's good to see Google already selling these, all before the consumer editions go on sale.