TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
The Apple Watch has given the smartwatch sector and wearables industry a boost, but there is still plenty of work left to be done, according to a survey from UserTesting. In its survey, 38 percent of users said they would recommend it, while 35 percent were passive and 27 percent had negative experiences.
Watch owners seemed most frustrated by third-party apps that have proven to be rather clunky - and despite the Apple Watch showing great potential - there are significant performance problems that must be addressed.
"These survey results are not overwhelming," said Michael Mace, VP of mobile at UserTesting, in a statement published by Forbes. "If Apple wants people to get excited and recommend heavily, it needs to get additional hooks. Third-party apps will be the best way."
There are plenty of smartwatches and other wearables hitting the market, but most consumers just don't seem interested enough to buy them, according to a report from eMarketer. Industry forecasts look good, and consumer awareness of wearables is increasing, but trying to convince us to actually purchase a wearable remains difficult.
"Even though the Apple Watch has had early sales success, consumer survey data suggests manufacturers, specifically their marketing teams, have significant work to do in convincing the average person that a smartwatch is as worthy of their time and money as tablets proved to be," said Cathy Boyle, analyst at eMarketer, in the report.
Boyle also admitted that it's difficult trying to gauge the current wearables market, as more products hit the market - and what is categorized as a wearable also tends to change. Even with consumer doubt at the moment, it looks like the future still looks good for manufacturers creating wearables. In February, the Gartner research group said there was 38 percent year-over-year growth - and that trend will likely continue in the future.
Additional models of the Apple Watch will be available for purchase in retail stores starting on June 26, in a move that Apple hopes will increase sales at its retail stores. In addition, the Apple Watch will be released in Spain, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland and Taiwan on June 26.
"The response to Apple Watch has surpassed our expectations in every way," said Jeff Williams, SVP of operations at Apple. "We're also making great progress with the backlog of Apple Watch orders."
Even though Apple hasn't issued public numbers related to Watch units sold or shipped, company officials said the demand has outpaced current supply levels. S&P Capital IQ analyst Angelo Zino told Reuters that it'd be "plausible" for 30 million Apple Watch units to be shipped in 2016.
Do you want an affordable wearable? Forty percent of wearable devices are priced at less than $100, as the market quickly evolves.
The top five wearable manufacturers based on Q1 2015 market share: Fitbit (34.2 percent), Xiaomi (24.6 percent), Garmin (6.1 percent), Samsung (5.3 percent), and Jawbone (4.4 percent).
"As with any young market, price erosion has been quite drastic," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst of Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. "We now see over 40 percent of the devices priced under $100, and that's one reason why the top 5 vendors have been able to grow their dominance from two thirds of the market in the first quarter of last year to three quarters this quarter."
Computex 2015 - We haven't seen too much about smartwatches since CES Las Vegas back in January, but ASUS has been working on a new model since then - the ASUS VivoWatch.
Featuring a 128x128 resolution, low power consumption and Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the internals boast a 3-axis accelerometer, optical heart rate sensors with "ASUS VivoPulse technology," Bluetooth 4.0 and up to 10 days worth of battery life with 'normal operation' taking place - ASUS claims this beast will charge in only 1-2 hours.
Wrapping up the feature list is a water resistance rating of IP67, a standard 22mm strap size and a small 50g weight.
Computex 2015: Ahead of Computex, Acer announced three new wearables for its Liquid lineup, introducing the Leap Active, Leap Fit and Leap Curve. Using the touchscreen display, you can operate any of the new additions with just a few finger swipes.
The Liquid Leap Active has been created for younger, socially active users - tracking physical activities throughout the day, and sleep patterns each evening.
The Liquid Leap Fit is similar to the Active, but includes a heart rate sensor, tracking the wearer's heart rate monitor. A built-in stress sensor also identifies periods through the day when you're most stressed.
Computex 2015: Connected technology designed to support the Internet of Things (IoT) will receive a large amount of attention during Computex 2015, organizers in Taipei believe. Even though it has taken a few years for manufacturers to work out the kinks, many of the 1,700+ exhibitors in Taiwan should have smart tech products available to visitors.
"Smart living and wearable technology remain the focus, but visitors will find more mature products," said David Liu, from the Taipei Computer Association, in a statement to AFP.
IoT products have been demonstrated at past Computex shows, along with CES and CeBit, but this year has seen a flood of better established offerings.
With Google I/O 2015 now over, one of the more interesting things that the Google ATAP team unveiled was Project Soli. Project Soli is a Kinect-like system that is also similar to Leap Motion, where it will eventually see gesture-based controls to Android wearables.
Project Soli uses a "broad beam radar to measure doppler image, IQ and spectrogram" reports Engadget. The chip itself recognizes movement, velocity and distance, which can all be programmed to change the input based on that distance. This will see gesture-based controls on mobile devices in the near future, with hand motions that would be quite natural, something that Technical Program Lead from ATAP, Ivan Poupyrev, explains as: "What we propose is that you use a hand motions vocabulary".
The Project Soli chip itself features a 60Hz radar spectrum, going nuts at 10,000 frames per second. The final chip will feature everything required to be plug and play, including the antennas. ATAP says that the device can be made to scale, and that they are still working on finalizing the board. The team has already gotten the device from the size of a pizza box, to around the size of an SD card in just 10 months time. Project Soli will hopefully be rolled out to developers later this year.
Apple recently pushed out Watch OS 1.0.1 to the Apple Watch, which looks to have watered down the heart rate monitor on Watch compared to when it first launched with v1.0 software.
Before the v1.0.1 patch, Watch was recording the heart rate of Watch wearers every 10 minutes, but post-patch, it is no longer being recorded anywhere near as frequent. Apple has updated its website, where it has said: "Apple Watch attempts to measure your heart rate every ten minutes, but won't record it when you are in motion or your arm is moving". The original v1.0 software did not differentiate between a Watch user and their arm being still, or moving.
Watch owners thought that the original software was recording their heart rate details without problems, but post-patch, users are up in arms over the new heart rate monitor. Some are questioning whether Apple baked in the change to safe battery life on Watch, but at the cost of the heart rate monitor not being as accurate as the original OS when it launched not too long ago.
Financial institutions are gearing up for a growing number of their customers using various forms of mobile payments while shopping. During the Wearable World Congress in San Francisco, executives from MasterCard, Capital One and PayPal discussed how each company is embracing the market - and watching to see what products and services emerge.
"As we look at the future, consumers are clearly interacting with a whole host of new devices that extend beyond plastic or the devices in their pocket," said Stephane Wyper, VP of startup engagement at MasterCard. "How do we enable all of those connected devices to be payment devices?"
As the number of wearables reach the market, they could play a major role in how payments are made - moving away from the idea that just smartphones will be used for transactions. The use of smartwatches and other wearables, which keep owners connected, provide new opportunities for banks and credit card companies.