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Timex is stepping into the smartphone market and it's with a product that isn't like most of the others on the market today. Timex's entry into the smartwatch market is called the Ironman One GPS+ and it doesn't need a smartphone to offer GPS and data connectivity. The watch is targeting runners and uses GPS for speed, distance, pace, and other work out details.
There are a lot of GPS watches aimed at runners on the market today that can offer that sort of tracking. What sets the Timex offering apart is that it has internal GPS and doesn't require the runner to have a smartphone with them while they run to gather the data.
The watch has its own connection to the AT&T 3G cellular network and the first year of data on the watch is free. It's unclear what exactly you can do with that AT&T data connection. Timex will sell the watch for $399.95. It's unclear what the price for data after that first year will be. A version of the watch with an integrated heart rate monitor will sell for $439.95.
After just a few days on Kickstarter, Cyberith has reached its goal of $250,000 for the Virtualizer. The Virtualizer still has 26 days to go, so we could see this be another large Kickstarter success story.
The Virtualizer is "an award-winning locomotion device for Virtual Reality that allows the user to move freely in virtual environments. Step inside the game and become one with your character". It is one of the biggest talked about devices that is coming soon, especially when the world's of the Virtualizer and the Oculus Rift combine.
Cyberith had 150 of its 'Virtualizer Early Bird' pledges up for offer, at $699, with them now all gone. There were also 750 of the 'Virtualizer Standard (Full Package)' that were all sold out, priced at $799 each. The $949 pledge, which is known as the 'Virtualizer HT (Early Bird)' still has 56 left of 150. There are plenty of other levels available on the Virtualizer Kickstarter, but with its $250,000 funding goal met and 26 days to go, I think we might see this edge closer to $500,000 without a problem.
A number of owners of the LG G Watch have noticed that the gold contacts on the back where the watch attaches to the charger have been causing skin irritation. LG has now reportedly begun to roll out an OTA fix to address the problem; the software on the watch will go from KMV78V to KMV78Y.
It sounds odd for an OTA update to fix an issue causing skin irritation, but it can. The irritation comes from the result of galvanic corrosion caused when sweat mixes with a running electrical current between two metals.
The update is designed to disable the current when the G Watch isn't in the charging dock. The update should stop this irritation and eliminate any issues for many users. The OTA update won't help those with pins that are corroded.
The smartwatch market is hopping right now with Samsung producing several different smartwatches and a number of other products available as well. The wearables market is growing and rumors continue to suggest that Apple is getting into the market with its own product. HP has teased a new smartwatch that it will be offering designed by Michael Bastian.
The watch is the result of cooperation between HP and the luxury marketplace Gilt.com and will launch later this year. Gilt brought in Michael Bastian to design the watch while HP is heralding the tech behind the wearable. Not much in the way of details are available on what hardware the watch will use.
What we know at this time is that the software on the watch is going to power a round screen. Wearers will be able to use the watch to control music and see notifications from their smartphone. Reports indicate there will be three different strap options. Pricing is unknown at this time.
When OnePlus launched its One smartphone earlier this year, most were wondering when the company would release something else - were they working on the next version of One (Two?) or a wearable? Well, BGR India has an exclusive look at the OneWatch from OnePlus, something the company is reportedly close to launching.
The OneWatch will be build from some high-end materials, something that includes titanium for screen borders, leather for bands, and sapphire for the OLED display's cover. OnePlus kicks it up a notch with the OneWatch though, with Qi wireless charging capabilities, a circular screen like the beautiful Moto 360 smartwatch, and a curved battery. We should also see the OneWatch arrive with a user-configurable physical button on the side.
We don't know if OnePlus will use Android Wear on the OneWatch, or whether it'll feature a customized version of Cyanogen mod. OnePlus levied the custom Android-based OS for its One smartphone, so it might do the same with the OneWatch, too. The biggest selling point of the upcoming OneWatch will be its price, with OnePlus pricing its One smartphone incredibly cheap, at under half the price of the competition, with similar, if not better specifications inside of the One smartphone.
Apple seems to be stumbling over itself to get the iWatch production started, with another rumor coming from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says that the company will start mass producing its iWatch in the second half of November, instead of in September like previous reports have stated.
Kuo has now cut his iWatch shipment projections down with this news, down from his previous estimate of 5 million, to 3 million. Kuo doesn't know why there is a delay, but he did say that the company is having issues producing enough sapphire displays for the iWatch, which will see around half the amount of iWatches shipped this year featuring standard glass displays.
iFixit have given the new Oculus Rift DK2 unit its teardown treatment, revealing what makes the DK2 provide one of the best VR experiences known to mankind. Inside of the DK2, iFixit found that Oculus VR is using not just the Galaxy Note 3 panel, but Oculus VR has either sourced them directly from Samsung, or is buying up Note 3s as it still has the Samsung branding on it - inside of the DK2 itself.
The screen itself is Samsung's 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920x1080, or 960x1080 per eye. Oculus VR have overclocked this panel up to 75Hz, from the default 60Hz on the Note 3. Remember that Oculus VR has a partnership with Samsung, which would explain the use of the Note 3 panels inside of the DK2.
Considering the rumors of the Note 4 sporting a 5.7-inch 2560x1440 panel, this is what I think we'll find in the CV1 (the retail release) of the Oculus Rift. The rest of the iFixit teardown on the Oculus Rift DK2 unit is an interesting watch, and if you don't have time for the video, there's a slew of pictures you can flick through here.
VR is really picking up steam, and with this, NVIDIA is putting some effort into the R&D of high-resolution screens for VR devices. The company is researching cascaded displays, using low-res displays, but many of them, to provide a high-res image.
NVIDIA has used two normal 7-inch 1280x800 panels (which is identical to the one used in the Rift DK1 unit), layering one of these panels on another, which allows one pixel on the top layer to lie above the quarters of four different pixels on the layer beneath it. A single backlight is used to illuminate both layers of the "Cascaded Display".
The company has also created some software which allows for the pixels on the front LCD to turn on and off, which allows just a particular quarter of the lower pixels to be shown. On its second pass, the front panel will change the displayed pixels, while the rear panel changes its colors. This allows for the quarter pixels to be displayed, which provides us with a higher resolution image.
For those of you with an Oculus Rift, you might want to grab the just-released Oculus SDK version 0.4.0 beta. The new Rift SDK includes some great new features, starting with DK2 support obviously.
The new SDK includes an Oculus Runtime that is installed separately from the SDK itself. The runtime package includes the Oculus Config Utility, service and drivers. We also have the star of the show, an Oculus Display Driver under Windows, something that routes the rendering output directly to the Rift headset, offering up an option to mirror this display output in a window.
There's also a new Health and Safety Warning screen that will display in front of you once an application starts up. You can grab the new Oculus SDK 0.4.0 beta package from the Oculus VR developer website, which requires a login.
Oculus VR has started shipping its Development Kit 2 unit of its VR headset, the Oculus Rift. Oculus VR had tens of thousands of orders of the Rift DK2 unit, with many placing their orders at around 8 AM PDT, with a first come, first serve basis being placed on shipping.
The Oculus VR developer forums are filled with many happy gamers and developers who have had their DK2 units shipped, but some aren't so happy as they ordered a little later than some others, so their DK2 units haven't been shipped yet. I personally ordered my DK2 unit at 4:06 PM PDT, and my order is still unfortunately pending, so I'm guessing I'm in the second batch of shipments, hopefully.
Oculus VR will be shipping out a huge 10,000 units this month, with over 45,000 orders on its DK2 unit being placed.