Intel has announced a safety recall for its Basis-brand fitness watches, warning consumers that the wearable could blister or burn your arm and that customers should return them immediately. Intel said it was aware of "a small number of customers have reported discomfort, blistering or burns on their wrist under the watch body".
The chipmaker is offering a full refund on the Basis fitness watches, with the recall being voluntarily for Intel, but it doesn't help Intel's image in the werable market after spending $100 million acquiring Basis in 2014. The Basis Peak is the first smartwatch the company built after it was acquired by Intel, and is capable of monitoring your heart rate, sweat output, and physical movements.
But, the Basis Peak overheats and could burn or blister the wearer's skin, which is why Intel has issued a safety recall. Intel noticed the issues last month, and recommended that Basis Peak owners stop using the product as a precautionary measure, reports Business Insider. Intel said on Wednesday that it was issuing a mandatory recall for all of the watches, and will be shutting down the Basis Peak online services by the end of 2016.
Intel said in a statement on Wednesday: "We had hoped to update the software on your watch to address the problem. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we aren't able to develop such a solution without completely compromising the user experience. As a result, we are asking that you return your Basis Peak watch and authorized accessories for a full refund at your earliest convenience. This was a tough decision, but your safety is our top priority".
Google is reportedly working on two new smartwatches that will be branded as Google, which is a big difference to the Mountain View-based search giant relying on third-party manufacturers to make Android Wear-based smartwatches.
Android Police is reporting that the above image is a "recreated image" of the primary source material, as they want to keep their source anonymous. The site also adds that the smartwatches are still under development, and may differ to what we see above. As they stand, I think they look slick.
The larger smartwatch is based on the 43.5mm "Angelfish", which will reportedly feature a heart rate monitor, GPS, and LTE connectivity so it doesn't rely on your smartphone. It has three buttons, compared to third-party Android Wear smartwatches that usually have one. We should see Google Assistant integration with contextual alerts, thanks to the additional buttons.
Even though the Apple Watch wasn't the runaway success Apple prepared the world for, the company isn't going to take the wearable game on, laying down. There's a new Apple Watch coming, and it will reportedly be coming quicker than previously thought.
According to the latest rumors, the second-generation Apple Watch will be unveiled alongside the iPhone 7, which is expected to be unveiled in September during the iPhone 7 announcement. Apple now has watchOS 3 and iOS 10 ready to go, so it would be perfect timing to unveil a next-gen iPhone and Watch next to each other.
Apple's new Apple Watch 2 should feature improved battery life, faster internals, the new watchOS 3 software, and more.
The Apple Watch hype train is nearly dead, so there's some news that might interest Watch owners - someone has installed Windows 95 onto their Apple Watch. Yeah, that's right.
Nick Lee installed Windows 95 onto his Watch, by using a modified WatchKit app that loaded his own custom code instead of Apple's foundations. The interface is super small, and while there's no mouse input, the touchscreen on the Watch can be used to navigate Windows 95 - tapping the Start menu, and opening up apps, etc.
It took an entire hour to install Windows 95, and the interface response time is pretty damn slow. Lee even used a motor to keep touching the crown so that the Watch screen won't turn off after a few seconds. So while there's not much you can do with Windows 95 on an Apple Watch, it's still a cool achievement to see - I guess?
62 year-old builder Dennis Anselmo of Alberta, Canada (pictured below) had his life saved by the Apple Watch. He was working on building a fence when he suddenly began to "feel terrible"; at first he thought he must've been coming down with a fever, but a glance at the device told him his heart rate was above 210BPM (55-75 is normal, and Anselmo usually sits at 50). At this point an ambulance was called, and paramedics determined he was having a heart attack before rushing him to the hospital where they cleared artery blockages, preventing a second attack.
"They told me that if I had gone home and gone to bed - as many people do - I would likely have had another, more serious bout in the middle of the night," said Anselmo. "Those second attacks are the ones that kill. That is a common problem."
The Band 2 from Microsoft is one of the most advanced, if flawed, fitness trackers around, and its price was already decent considering the wealth of sensors it packs into its moderately svelte body. But Microsoft is discounting it to $175.
The $175 price is only for a limited time and won't last forever. But if you do decide to drop the cash down, you'll get a small OLED display attached to a small battery with a gyro meter, barometer, heart rate sensor, UV sensor, VO2 sensor, accelerometer and a GPS for good measure. The strange proportions and the bulk from sensors placed on both sides might take some getting used to, and the battery might only last around two days, but it's a far cry more advanced than the usual bands.
There's certainly a lot of competition lately with fitness bands, many offering some surprising value for the money, and of course, there's the addition of sensors to the burgeoning smartwatch segment making them excellent alternatives. But the lines are being blurred, though. The price reduction of the Band 2 might signal a more permanent price-cut coming in the future, or it might be a sign that we're to see a new Band product from Microsoft in the near future.
Designed to appease those who love both adventure and technology, Garmin has announced the Vivoactive HR and Vivofit 3 smartwatch models, set for release sometime in March or April this year.
The Vivoactive HR comes packed with up to eight days of battery life, an always-on touchscreen that can be read in full sunlight, a 24/7 heart rate monitor and plenty of features for those who are looking to take it golfing, cycling, swimming or more. This watch is able to track pace, distance, intervals, speed, calories and more, depending on what sporting or action function you want it for.
The much smaller Vivofit 3 allows for functionality with Gamin's Move IQ, a daily activity tracker. Designed as a thinner model, this product is able to automatically recognize when you are running, riding or swimming, utilizing Gamin in Connect to sync your activity throughout the day, stored for later consideration.
Wearable computing is just becoming a little more insane. If you told me 15 years ago that I could be carrying a computer in my pocket, strapping one to my wrist and even having the option to slide one on my finger - I would have called you quite mad. In comes 2016 and Gizmodo has just told us that researchers in Australia have developed the basic technology needed for a smart contact lens.
Developed by RMIT University and the University of Adelaide, this new technology is a stretchable nano-scale device that can be used to manipulate light, allowing it to be fully transparent yet still alter light for the person looking through it. While not a full smart device itself just yet, this is the first (and a major) step towards technology being further incorporated into the lives of many.
Wondering how it works? Adelaide University's Dr Withawat Withayachumnankul stated that "With advanced techniques to control the properties of surfaces, we can dynamically control their filter properties, which allow us to potentially create devices for high data-rate optical communication or smart contact lenses." He further explained that "The current challenge is that dielectric resonators only work for specific colours, but with our flexible surface we can adjust the operation range simply by stretching it."
One of the first things people think about when VR is talked about; would be the fact that people will eventually 'live' in the virtual world - which is no different to spending 12-18 hours a day playing any form of games (mobile/PC/console).
Well, one artist has spent 48 hours inside of the HTC Vive, reporting a nausea-free VR experience. Thorsten Wiedemann, the founder and artistic director of the A MAZE Festival, told VICE: "I had no physical problems, no burning eyes, killing headaches or nausea". This was after 48 hours inside of the HTC Vive, for an art project called 'Disconnected' earlier this month. In the 25th hour, Wiedemann had a panic attack which nearly caused him to drop out, but he powered through - and all went well.
Wiedemann said that spending considerable time in VR will be common in 2026, where he said: "normal that you jump into VR to meet your international friends in Social VR Rooms and go on crazy adventures together. But a long trip will be still special and could be understood as a controlled drug experience".
Samsung is getting in on the gold rush with a special gold version of its Gear S2 Classic New Edition smartwatch. Pre-orders are on now in Europe for €480 ($520). If it's cheaper than you expected, that's because the watch is merely gold-plated with a stainless steel body, not solid gold.
Apple recently launched a solid gold version of its Apple Watch for $10,000, and Huawei is coming out with a gold Nexus 6P for $500, a rose-gold watch with Swarovski crystals, and a MediaPad N210 gold tablet (pricing on the latter two is to be announced). If you're a tech geek into bling, now's a great time to be alive.