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.
When Samsung launched the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, it only supported a very small handful of smartphones, but now the South Korean giant has expanded its reach, supporting more devices.
Samsung has extended support for its Galaxy Gear to the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. The electronics giant says that the Premium Suite software update, which will include Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, will begin its rollout in the coming weeks. The Galaxy S4 mini and Galaxy Mega will also support the Galaxy Gear in the coming months.
Google Glass Explorers have been enjoying their wearable device for a few months now, but we all knew there'd be another unit ready before it hits consumers and that unit is now here.
The Mountain View-based giant has announced a new version of Glass is coming, which will support a new line of sunglasses, feature compatibility with prescription eyewear, and also feature a mono earbud. The current Glass Explorer Edition is based on a 45nm OMAP4430 clocked at up to 1GHz and 1GB of R AM. We don't know if Google has baked in some upgraded hardware into the new Glass units, but I would say so.
We should hope that the new SoC is better on battery life, allowing for full-day use which is something that isn't quite there for current Glass units. Current Explorers will receive a one-time swap with the new hardware which will begin next month.
We've already got the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch and the Omate TrueSmart, which both look delicious, but the wearable computing market is set to soar over the next 4-5 years or so according to Berg Insight.
The projections regarding the wearable computing space is exciting, where the firm estimates that we should expect an 8-fold increase in shipments from 2012's 8.3 million units, to over 64 million units in 2017. Berg Insight analyst Johan Svanberg says that the wearable devices market will explode thanks to "a perfect storm of innovation within low power wireless connectivity, sensor technology, big data, cloud services, voice user interfaces and mobile computing power is coming together."
Now, I'm no analyst but I think we'll see the market explode thanks to a few good products, just like the iPhone helped surge smartphones and the iPad did the same for tablets. I think once Google Glass hits, the wearable computing space will be a super hot market. I can't see smartwatches taking off that much, unless we use our smartphones less and less, which I don't see happening. Wearable devices like Glass on the other hand, oh yes.
Rumors of Samsung developing Google Glass-like headwear have been running rampant for months now, and it finally appears that we have some confirmation on the device. A recent patent filing has been spotted by The Wall Street Journal that depicts a very Google Glass-like pair of glasses which are being called "Sports Glasses."
Samsung filed the patent earlier this year in Korea and was recently granted full registered status on the device. The accompanying description states that the glasses will be compatible with smartphones and will feature a pair of built-in earphones. Interestingly enough, while Google's project Glass is completely wireless, the Samsung version appears to feature a wired connection that would run down the users back and connect to the smartphone via USB.
When Samsung launched the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, everyone was surprised that it was only compatible with the Galaxy Note 3 that launched the same day. Everyone expected it to be fully compatible with the company's flagship smartphone the Galaxy S4. Today Samsung announced that it is released an update to the Galaxy Gear that brings in the next wave of Galaxy Devices.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy S4 and its variants along with the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.4 will now be compatible with the Galaxy Gear once Samsung pushes out an Android 4.3 to those devices. Samsung said that the 4.3 update will begin rolling out to US devices at the end of this month and will take a few days to fully populate to all devices.
Over the last few months we have been hearing rumors of a new smartwatch being developed by Google that would set the standard for what an Android-based smartwatch should be. While many have been calling the device the Google Gem, it appears that the company will release the device under its Motorola Mobility subsidiary.
Today a new trademark filing from Motorola has popped up that includes the name "Moto G," which many analyst are suspecting is the production name for Google's smartwatch. While I too feel that this new name has a high possibility of being tied to the Google smartwatch, it could just as well be a variation of Motorola's Moto X smartphone, or be an entirely new smartphone model all together. Only time will tell, and if past filings are any indication, we should find out what the Moto G really is very soon!
NVIDIA Editors' Day 2013 - We're here live at the NVIDIA press event in the beautiful Montreal, Canada, where John Carmack was a special guest of NVIDIA's. Carmack was up near the 4K displays and food talking with various media, and we captured a conversation about Oculus Rift.
Before I could jump in an interview him myself, he was whisked away, most likely to some underground lair where he'll be tapping away on that keyboard doing what he does best. The interview is an interesting look at one of the most knowledgable people in the industry, and I just stood there in awe of his knowledge base. I wish I could download the Carmack.iso and dual boot myself. Sigh.
I truly think Oculus Rift is going to be the future of gaming, with Rift being the first viable, consumer-priced virtual reality device we've seen, ever. The creator of Rift, Palmer Luckey, has made it to position 7 in Popular Mechanics' "10 Innovators Who Changed the World in 2013" list.
This is quite the stage for Luckey to stand on, especially as he's just 21 years old and standing on the throne of the virtual reality segment right now. Remember that the great John Carmack has stepped into the role of Oculus VR's Chief Technology Officer, and this is all happening before the Rift is even sold as a consumer product.
Samsung is already here with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and preparations for its successor, with Apple still waiting in the wings with its own iWatch. But, we have a new research note from Brian White, an analyst for Cantor Fitzgerald, who says:
As an Apple supplier, our contact offered insight into the "iWatch" and described this potential new device as much more than an extension of your iPhone but as a multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home (i.e., heating/cooling, lights, audio, video, etc.).
Now, if this happens, it would be quite a different product to what most expect it to be. This would allow iWatch users, with the compatible technology and appliances in their houses, to control lighting and temperature, all from their iWatch. There are two rumored iWatch products to arrive, with a 1.3- and 1.6-inch model, both with 320x320 AMOLED screens.
Sony's third-generation personal 3D viewing headset, the HMZ-T3W, is now available for pre-order. If you want to grab the Sony HMZ-T3W, you'll need to pre-order it directly from Sony's website, or in retail Sony stores.
The HMZ-T3W features wireless connectivity this time around, instead of wrapping yourself in cords, and some nifty dual OLED monitors that Sony state simulate the feeling of sitting 65 feet away from a gigantic 750-inch display. The HMZ-T3W is capable of streaming content from up to 7 meters away from the source.
The third-generation model no longer requires an AC power socket, as you can take a portable battery pack around with you which will share power with connected smartphones and tablets. The portable battery should be good for around three hours of wireless use, or up to 7 hours if you use it over HDMI. If you are looking at picking one of these up, you'll be hit up for $999.
Samsung has begun its marketing for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, starting with some ads during the Sunday NFL in the United States. Both TV spots are focused on the futuristic part of the Galaxy Gear, showing that technology has been a fantasy for quite sometime now.
The ads show off wrist-mounted devices in many of our favorite shows, ranging from Star Trek to Power Rangers. Yes, Power Rangers. You can view both the TV spots, above, and below.
Samsung has been really pushing the fitness side of its devices as of late, with the Galaxy S4 and its S Health apps making a big difference for those who want an it-can-do-everything device, including fitness.
There's been an unannounced Samsung device that has hit the Bluetooth certification page, which hints at the name S-Circle and a product number of EI-AN900A. There was an appearance of the S-Circle on Samsung Updates over the weekend, with others thinking that it could be a fitness-orientated device by the South Korean company.
2013 is turning out to be the year of the smartwatch, with heavy hitters like Samsung and Sony both releasing wearables of their own. If a new report is true, then both Google and Nokia will be tossing their hats into the smartwatch arena later this month. Newly leaked images of a Nokia branded smartwatch have surfaced, and Google is expected to unveil it's GEM smartwatch later this month as well.
The Nokia device that is seen in the images above can be nothing other than a smartwatch, and we fully expect it to be running some form of Windows Phone OS. Not much else is known though, but if rumors are true then we will fee the smartwatch unveiled at an October 22nd event along with five other devices. Google's GEM smartwatch is still a bit of an enigma, and the company is keeping any and all information under tight wraps. Some reports suggest that it will have dual screens, while other suggest it will look similar to Samsung's Galaxy Gear. Google is expected to launch the GEM at the Android 4.4 KitKat event where the Nexus 5 will be unveiled.
Apple seems far behind the wearable devices game, with a bunch of its competitors unveiling wearable devices, mainly Samsung's Galaxy Gear and heck, even the Galaxy Gear 2 is being teased already. This isn't even considering the awesome Omate TrueSmart, either and all before Apple has its first-gen device on our wrists.
Now we have a report that states Apple has scooped up one of Nike's top design directors, who will work on wearable devices for the company. Ben Shaffer was Nike's Studio Director of Innovation Kitchen, which might sound weird, but it's actually Nike's R&D arm that is responsible for products like the Nike FuelBand, which is a favorite of Apple's executives.
Shaffer will most likely begin working on the rumored iWatch, but the latest rumors peg it to be released late next year after some engineering problems.
Google is about to roll out Glass demos across the United States, starting in Durham, North Carolina on October 5. The Google Glass demonstration events will show off the wearable device, with the general public invited to try it out.
The Mountain View-based giant will take questions to the Glass team, so get in and ask whatever you want when it comes to a town near you! Google is moving from Durham to other cities, but there is currently no schedule or what the second city will even be. Google should take to Google+ to announce the news, but if you want to get in on the Glass Durham event, you'll have to RSVP for it now to ensure you can go and try it out.
One technology that has me excited along with the Oculus Rift is Sixense Entertainment's STEM System, which is currently on Kickstarter. Sixense had an original goal of $250,000 but they are now at $531,448 at the time of writing.
The developer has added a new stretch goal to its Kickstarter campaign, which would see them add STEM support for both Android and iOS devices if they reach $700,000. There's another 17 days for this to happen, so we should see them hit this goal quite easily. The Kickstarter campaign reads: "An updated Sixense software development kit will support Android 3.2 or higher and iOS 6 and higher, allowing STEM System developers to bring Sixense motion tracking to a huge installed base of mobile devices."
It also adds: "Our video above shows a virtual camera application for which we've heard a lot of requests. The STEM System running on Android and iOS will enable applications like the virtual camera, or even the ability to turn a mobile device into a VR head-mounted display."
I think that 2014 is going to be the breakout year for virtual reality, with kick-ass products like the Oculus Rift which isn't even close to a consumer launch yet. But, now we have Vision Sensor hitting IndieGogo, which the team give a description of "creates new seeing capabilities for the Oculus Rift."
Vision Sensor is basically augmented reality for the Oculus Rift, which sees two sensors and a sensor attachment cover strapped to the front of an Oculus Rift Developer Kit. It features a resolution of 1280x480 at 60FPS, and weighs just 75g so that it doesn't feel too heavy with the Rift, and Vision Sensor on your head.
The team at Vision Sensor say that there are 3 new possibilities to add to the user experience, with the first being an Immersive AR Experience. The second is Intuitive Operation (Mixed Reality) and the final possibility is Regaining Lost Vision. The first, lets you be in the world of Oculus Rift, but still stay in the real-world through augmented reality.
Intuitive Operation allows your fingers and hands to become an interface, replacing the traditional mouse and keyboard (or controller/Razer Hydra). The final part is regaining your loss of vision when the Rift is on your head and in front of your eyes.
For those of you who were looking at buying the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, you might want to just hold off on that as there's rumors that the South Korean company is working on the Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch for a release early next year.
Korean language news site, Daum, reports from unnamed industry sources that Samsung is already working on a second-generation Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Daum is reporting that the second-generation Galaxy Gear smartwatch would work on a larger range of Samsung smartphones, compared to the first-generation Galaxy Gear which will only work with the Galaxy Note III smartphone at launch.
It's a bit worrying that Samsung would launch a second Galaxy Gear so close to the first-generation unit, but this just makes Omate's TrueSmart "Smartwatch 2.0" device stand out much more.
Today, Garmin announced the launch of two new items to its Forerunner line of GPS smartwatches. The new Forerunner GPS 220 and GPS 610 running watches take Garmin's involvement in wearable technology to an entirely new level.
Both of these wearable GPS's act as a personal coach by alerting you of your distance traveled, lap times, and even recovery times needed before attempting another strenuous run. Both models feature color screens, with the 620 being touch-enabled. The 620 also predicts your race time and gives you personalized oxygen consumption estimates. When combined with Garmin's HRM-Run technology, the 620 is able to measure how long your foot is on the ground rather than in-flight, which lets you compare your time per step to previous events.
"Whether running indoors or out, Forerunner 620 and 220 will change the way runners look at training," said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. "Advanced features in the 620 such as recovery advisor, VO2 max estimate, race predictor and stats on running economy, combined with connected features and training plan options found in both the 620 and 220, make these watches must haves for runners of all levels. To keep runners motivated the watches also notice if runners hit any personal records on that run, like their fastest mile, 5k, 10k, half or full marathon or their longest run to date."
The finalists of VR Jam 2013 have been announced, which was a joint venture between Oculus VR and IndieCade. If you're lucky like me and own an Oculus Rift headset, you can download 14 of the 20 finalists' submissions, with two dragon simulators to try out.
On September 19 the winning team will be announced, where they will receive a $10,000 grand prize as well as a trip to the Oculus HQ. The winning team will also win a trip to the IndieCade Festival which takes place between October 3-6, where they will have a showcase exhibition of their game. For the full list of finalists, we have:
- Alone - Bryan Cohen
- Chick Walk - Kevin Tsang
- Ciess - Edward McNeill
- Don't Let Go - Yorick van Vliet
- Dragon - Morgan Jaffit
- Dreadhalls - Sergio Hidalgo
- Dumpy - Brian Schrank
- Elevator Music - Julian Kantor
- Epic Dragon - Aurelien Kerbeci
- Komorebi - Fernando Ramallo
- Lost Route - Sergey Brezhnev
- Nostrum - Robert Yang
- Private Eye - Jake Slack
- Roleplayer - Joerg Pressel
- Shiny - Janina Woods
- Sight Line - Tomas Mariancik
- Specter Seekers - Ryan Anderson
- Stargazer - David Kalina
- TimeRifters - Doug Wolanick
- Virtual Internet Hacker - Lau Korsgaard