TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
If you're not a celebrity or part of the 1%, you probably haven't received your Apple Watch Edition yet. Sure, you might have slapped down over $10,000 for Apple's first wearable, but consumers are only beginning to receive their expensive new Watch in the last few days.
Now that it's here, we have an unboxing video that you can check out above, which shows off the external packaging Apple has used. For $10,000+, the packaging is virtually identical to that of the stainless steel Apple Watch, except for the 18-karat gold casing and unique band on the side of the Watch.
Inside of the Apple Watch Edition box, we have the colored leather-covered box that features the MagSafe connector, with a color-matched cleaning cloth with the word 'Edition' embossed into the material. The very first time you boot up the Watch Edition, a description onf the Watch's hardware materials will appear, as you can see in the image above.
Chip manufacturer ARM and humanitarian aid group UNICEF are teaming up to deliver wearables in developing countries. ARM and UNICEF hope to increase education and improve health standards in countries that are in need of assistance.
As part of the Wearables for Good Challenge, manufacturers and designers have the chance to help create low-cost, efficient and sustainable wearables and sensors. Both ARM and UNICEF will work together to choose which countries should receive immediate help, with trials expected over the next year.
"It feels to me like the pace of innovation has increased, the cost of innovation has come down and we are in a world where people want to partner," said Simon Segars, CEO of ARM, in a statement to CNET. "So if some good comes from this, then that will be great."
An Android Central reader has noticed that after updating his smartphone to Google Maps to version 9.9, a "near-fully functional Google Maps app had suddenly appeared on his Wear watch as well", reports Engadget.
The Google Maps app reportedly works just like its smartphone counterpart, with the "OK Google" voice command intact. With the app not being an official release (for now), it's not totally perfect yet, with an example of opening the Google Maps app on your Android Wear smartwatch forcing the Google Maps app on your smartphone to open, too.
We should hopefully see an official Google Maps app on Android Wear unveiled at Google I/O later this month.
Apple Watch owners might be receiving an update to their wrists shortly, with the company pushing out the 1.0.1 update which is said to improve performance "across the board" according to Engadget.
The update to Watch will also help with third-party apps on your iPhone, which took a considerable amount of time to launch until this new patch. Engadget reports that the "difference isn't dramatic" in their experience, but "it is there". Siri voice recognition is improved with the new Watch update, as well as fitness data calculation such as calories and distance.
The interface now supports seven additional languages, including Brazilian Portugese and Turkish.
There is extremely high interest in the Apple Watch smartwatch in China, helping drive sales of the wearable, according to a survey from UBS. The company previously estimated there would be 40 million Apple Watch units sold during the company's fiscal 2016, but has decreased that number down to 31 million units.
"It's finding that Apple continues to be extremely strong, the stickiness is very clear, and it's China, China, China," said Steve Milunovich, managing director at UBS, in a statement on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "We're finding that Apple's retention rate is very strong in China, and we're also finding that actually Apple Watch interest is highest in China relative to the other five countries that we surveyed."
Prior to the global launch of the Apple Watch, analysts expected China would have a major role in selling Apple Watch units. Consumers are frustrated with supply problems related to the Apple Watch, with eight percent of consumers claiming they may purchase a watch model.
Professor John Rogers, materials scientist from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, hopes his team's Biostamp prototypes prove to push biometrics to the next level. Using the Biostamp, they can monitor and identify stimulation functions, such as firing neurons.
Before the Biostamp and other competing sensors, researchers would need to use complicated and bulky helmets with large amounts of heavy electrodes. These helmets could only be worn for a limited amount of time, in a controlled environment, though the Biostamp could eliminate these hurdles.
"The history of electronics is about getting closer to the individual," Rogers recently said in a statement to CNN. "At first it was a computer down the hall, followed by a desktop, then a laptop, a phone in your pocket and a watch on your wrist. Now it could be electronics integrated the skin, bioelectronics, and fully implantable devices. To go fully into the realm of integrated electronics makes sense to me."
It looks like Google is expanding its Google Glass team, which is now working on "smart eyewear and other related products". The Mountain View-based giant is hiring a slew of new people to expand its products and services.
With Google going on a hiring spree, we could expect Google Glass 2.0, or a totally new Glass to be unveiled at Google I/O at the end of the month. The company has been posting job listing ads for its Glass team, something that has included an Audio Hardware Manager, a Human Factors Designer, an RF Systems Engineer, and a Hardware Automation Engineer (Manufacturing).
Google has said that it is working on a new version of Glass for consumers, but we haven't heard much about it lately, until now. The new description for the Glass team teases: "The Google Glass division is a world-class team focused on the cutting edge of hardware, software and industrial design. It is charged with pioneering, developing, building and launching smart eyewear and other related products in line with Google's ambitious and visionary objectives".
All eyes are currently on the Apple Watch, but it looks like Samsung could have an answer to the Digital Crown with its upcoming smartwatch dubbed 'Project Orbis'.
Samsung's new smartwatch will reportedly feature a 1.18-inch circular display with a resolution of 360x360 (305PPI), a 2G data connection and Samsung's own Tizen OS. Project Orbis will also include various sensors like GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, heartbeat sensor, pressure sensor and a magnetic sensor.
Project Orbis will have something that stands out however, with a metal bezel that can be turned to navigate throughout its operating system. The rotatable bezel can be used to not just navigate the UI, but adjust the volume, zoom in and out of photos, and much more. Samsung is expected to call Project Orbis the Gear A, which should be unveiled with the Galaxy Note 5 at IFA 2015 in September.
Luxury watch manufacturers already had to deal with slowing sales, largely caused because of the euro, and it looks like the Apple Watch could cause further financial stress.
"That watch business, which was great for the last six years, was slowing down before the [Apple Watch]," said Jan Kniffen, retail consultant, and CEO of J. Rogers Kniffen Worldwide Enterprises, in a statement published by CNBC. "This is the nail in the coffin, the new Apple Watch. I don't think it's taking over the world. But it's a negative to those sellers."
Kniffen also said the true market could be for watches from $300 up to $600, and Apple has two models that fit into the price range.
The growing activity tracking company Fitbit has today announced plans to float on the stock exchange, in a $100 million IPO.
In documents submitted to the New York Stock Exchange, via TechCrunch, the company has announced it's sold through 20.8 million devices since its inception in 2007. The company has also demonstrated significant growth with over half of its lifetime sales made in the last year, with revenue for 2014 at $745.4 million, a huge leap from $271.1 million in 2013.
Fitbit is upfront about the challenges it faces in a competitive environment, even naming the Apple Watch in it's registration statement, but noting that they "believe we compete favorably with our competitors on the basis of these factors as a result of our leading market position and global brand, advanced and proprietary sensor technologies, software-driven online dashboard and mobile apps, our motivational and social tools, and our premium software offerings" and kicks Apple with "our singular focus on building a connected health and fitness platform, coupled with a leading market share, has led to our brand becoming synonymous with the connected health and fitness category."