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Wearable Computing Posts - Page 5

Nate Mitchell from Oculus will speak at Disrupt NY about all things VR

The super-awesome, always-smiling co-founder and VP of Product for Oculus VR, Nate Mitchell, will be talking about all things virtual reality at TechCrunch Disrupt NY next month.

 

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With unconfirmed reports that the Rift might not make it this year, or if it does it might be in very short supply, Mitchell might be able to give us a clearer picture of what Oculus VR has planned for the world. We should also expect Mitchell to hopefully tease possibly input methods for the Rift, such as controllers, gloves, joysticks and more.

 

I'm sure we won't see too much with E3 2015 right around the corner, but we can wish, right?

Google send mystery device through FCC, the next version of Glass?

Google might not be pushing along with the first generation of its Glass product, but it looks like the company is still working on something Glass-like, by sending in a new "smart BLE" device through to the FCC for approval.

 

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The A4R-CAP1 device has a few things that let us know it's a new wearable, such as the digital FCC label below looking just like the Glass interface cards, something that you see when you swipe across. This shows us that we should expect a touchstrip of some kind, just as Google Glass featured.

 

We could see another device that uses Glass-like navigation, but I think we're going to see the next iteration of Glass shown off at Google I/O in a couple of months time, what do you think?

Samsung's refreshed Gear VR for the Galaxy S6, S6 edge on sale May 8

With the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge handsets now on the market, Samsung is preparing the release of its new Gear VR Innovator Edition headset.

 

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The new Gear VR will work with the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge handsets, with pre-orders now open. Samsung will be releasing it as the "Gear VR Innovator Edition for S6" and will be made available through Samsung's own website, and through Best Buy in the United States starting on May 8.

 

The previous iteration of Gear VR worked only on the larger Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, and retailed for $199. The new Gear VR will be priced at $199, too.

Facebook: "Oculus is very much in the development stage" still

We're four months into 2015, and we still don't know when the Oculus Rift is coming out. But during Facebook's recent earnings call, where we found out 1.44 billion people use the social network each month, the company said: "We have not announced any specific plans for shipment volumes in 2015 related to Oculus". The last time we had a play with the Oculus Rift, was the Crescent Bay prototype at CES 2015 earlier this year.

 

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The statement came from Facebook CFO David Wehner, who added: "Oculus is very much in the development stage, so it's very early to be talking about large shipment volumes".

 

With competition heating up in the VR space thanks to the likes of Sony and its Project Morpheus headset, but more so with HTC and Valve with their Vive headset, Oculus VR might not have the dominance in the VR industry that most thought they did previously. Things could change very quickly, and I think they will, which is why I'm hoping is the reason behind Oculus VR being so quiet about it all.

NPD: Smartwatch ownership will start to pressure fitness trackers

In the United States, smartwatch ownership will reach nine percent of adults by 2016, putting increased pressure on fitness activity trackers, according to The NPD Group. Activity tracker ownership will peak at 32 million users by the end of 2016, after four years of significant growth.

 

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"The smartwatch will clearly begin to take a bite out of the activity tracker market moving forward," said Eddie Hold, VP of Connected Intelligence at The NPD Group. "The fact that the health and fitness apps on smartwatches are a key marketing focus will help draw consumers away from the simpler trackers."

 

A whopping 40 percent of fitness tracker owners stop using their selected device within six months - and with the rise of the smartwatch - will force a drastic evolution of fitness trackers.

Continue reading 'NPD: Smartwatch ownership will start to pressure fitness trackers' (full post)

Poll: Six percent of Americans plan to purchase Apple Watch

Around six percent of adults in the United States plan on purchasing the Apple Watch smartwatch, a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

 

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A specific breakdown found that nine percent of men and less than four percent of women find the Apple Watch interesting - indicating Apple could sell around 15 million units, assuming survey respondents actually follow through.

 

Tech industry analysts previously provided a great number of estimates, ranging from 10 million up to 32 million units sold in 2015 alone.

Continue reading 'Poll: Six percent of Americans plan to purchase Apple Watch' (full post)

Crytek's VR demo "Back to Dinosaur Island" from GDC 2015 is amazing

Crytek was showing off a demo that was impressing everyone at the Game Developers Conference last month, but it has only seen the light of day outside of GDC 2015 just now.

 

 

The "Back to Dinosaur Island" VR demo is embedded above, and was shown off at GDC 2015 on the Oculus Rift to showcase Crytek's impressive VR technology inside of its CryEngine. The environment and attention to detail on the dinosaurs is pretty impressive, with Crytek Producer Fatih Özbayram taking to Twitter to describe the demo:

 

"Our demo has a variety of interactions. One of them is the interaction with a Hollywood feel T-Rex which mimics your head movements. The narrative [of] our demo is you being a baby dinosaur sitting in the middle of a nest of other dinosaur babies about to hatch. We've chosen dinosaurs as we wanted to nod to the origins of Crytek".

Continue reading 'Crytek's VR demo "Back to Dinosaur Island" from GDC 2015 is amazing' (full post)

IBM, Johnson & Johnson want wearables to give doctors more data

IBM and Johnson & Johnson are working together to create a new generation of virtual coaching solutions and services, aimed at making people healthier - and ensuring doctors are more easily able to view medical data.

 

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Johnson & Johnson wants new health and wellness offerings to help joint replacement and spine surgery patients, using data collected and stored in the IBM Watson Health Cloud.

 

"Healthcare providers and hospital systems are actively trying to make their approach to care more consumer-centric and to understand their patients in new ways," said John Kelly, SVP of solutions portfolio and research at IBM.

Continue reading 'IBM, Johnson & Johnson want wearables to give doctors more data' (full post)

ASUS goes for battery life with fitness focused VivoWatch smartwatch

The upcoming VivoWatch from ASUS is shaping up well, teasing a 10-day battery life according to the latest reports. ASUS is aiming for fitness users with the VivoWatch, a change from the usual market demands for a fashionable, but simple Watch.

 

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The VivoWatch features a stainless steel body, IP67 dust and water rating, a heart-rate monitoring sensor that also tracks sleep, and a black-and-white display with a separate colored indicator bar below it. The display is probably one of the very big reasons ASUS touts a 10-day battery life, but with it concentrating on fitness, that would help with battery life, too. The ASUS VivoWatch doesn't need to worry about doing anything fancy, which is great for long lasting battery life.

 

Other sources are reporting that the ASUS VivoWatch will feature smartwatch-like functionality, such as notifications, and more. The biggest point of the device is going to be the price, so we'll have to see if ASUS prices the new VivoWatch competitively or not.

Apple Watch should help boost interest, sales of rival smartwatches

The Apple Watch has drawn intense media attention and interest from consumers, but people not interested in spending $349 - or more - have plenty of alternatives they can choose from. The overall smartwatch market is still extremely small, but with a growing number of vendors stepping up to release products, there is great hope that consumers will begin adopting wearables in the future.

 

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"Apple (has) left room for the competition with their fairly high price," said Nick Spencer, senior practice director of ABI Research, in a statement published by CNBC. "I think this enables the consumer scenario of, Apple has launched a smartwatch, therefore I need one, but don't want to pay $349, so I'll buy a (cheaper) Android watch instead."

 

There were more than 5 million smartwatches shipped in 2014, with Samsung selling 2.15 million units - and no other competitor selling more than 1 million - and those numbers are expected to accelerate in 2015. The launch of the Apple Watch, however, has brought new attention to the smartwatch market, and could help bring even more attention to the market.

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