TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
The smartwatch market is about to receive a major promotional push courtesy of the upcoming Apple Watch release - but casual consumers may want to wait a year or two before choosing a smartwatch, according to a reporter from the Wall Street Journal.
Early adopters are going to have the chance to help mold how manufacturers package future watches, helping determine what features they want the most. It will take time for hardware and software options to become standardized, as smartwatches are still relatively new to the consumer market.
"Right now there is tremendous innovation in [display technology for smartwatches]," said David Singleton, director of engineering for Google's Android Wear, in a statement to the WSJ. "Next year's technology will be a step change from lat year's. And, if you asked me which will dominate in five years, I couldn't tell you which will."
Lockheed Marting has been developing the F-35 fighter jet for what feels like forever, but it could be the helmet that the F-35 Lighting II pilots will be wearing is the most interesting part of the fighter jet.
The helmet itself costs a huge $400,000, with teh fighter jet itself being one of the "most complicated weapons systems ever developed" reports The Washington Post. The helmet allows the pilot to see through the plane, so that when they look down, instead of seeing the floor of the F-35, they see the ground beneath them. If they turn around, they'll see the sky or the enemy flying behind them.
This is all thanks to the F-35 having six cameras embedded into the skin of the aircraft, so that when the pilot turns their head in a particular direction, they're actually just looking through that camera. The camera captures the imagery, blasting it to the projector inside of the headset. The helmet is pretty much a glorified augmented reality headset, allowing F-35 pilots to see things on the ground that they would not normally see, or would have to fly past and turn back around to get a better view.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Motorola is working on a successor to its Moto 360 smartwatch, as it was one of the most popular Android Wear-based wearables when it was released last year.
Motorola is reportedly working on a successor to the Moto 360, something that has a codename of "Smelt", with Smelt running Android 5.1, and featuring a 360x360 resolution display. But what does "Smelt" mean? Well, according to Phandroid, Smelt is described as a "small silvery fish" which falls in line with the other codenames of the previous Moto 360 smartwatches.
After you've shelled out $10,000 for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, you'll want to have some high-end protection for it, right? Be prepared to spend another $999 for the AppleCare+ protection on that $10,000 smartwatch.
The AppleCare+ protection for the Apple Watch Edition will add another year to the two-year technical support you'll receive, and accidental damage cover for up to two incidents. We don't know how much Apple will charge for repairs to Watch under their AppleCare+ plan, but if it's anything like the accidental damage claims with the iPhone, it should be around $79 or so.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has said in his recent research note that Apple Watch sales in the opening weekend should reach over one million units.
These one million future Watch owners include all preorders and launch sales, but it doesn't include walk-in customers, so this number could be much higher. Munster's numbers are coming in from his prediction of loyal customers who are keen to get their hands on Watch from their orders on April 10. He also expects Apple to sell around 300,000 units in the first 24 hours, which will be an 8% attach rate on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus preorders.
Munster believes that Apple will sell 8 million units over the entire year, which will have Apple secure $4.4 billion or so in revenue. We should expect units to reach 40-50 million by 2017, which will account for around 10% of Apple's projected revenue for the year. This would mean that 8-10% of iPhone users will be wearing a Watch in the future.
Alcatel is honoring its effort to announce a product at CES and make sure it gets to consumers quickly, as the Onetouch Watch is now available for pre-order. The wearable officially goes on sale April 30, and will be available for just $149.99.
The device, supported by Google Android and Apple iOS, will allow for users to track their steps, calories, sleep metrics, and heart rate tracking. Some basic phone functions will also be included when the watch is paired to a smartphone.
There seems to be optimism among wearable manufacturers for the upcoming Apple Watch launch. It will help draw attention to smartwatches, with plenty of competing products available. Alcatel hopes to cater to interested consumers with a cheaper product than the Apple Watch.
VR is a hot topic right now, with Impression Pi hitting Kickstarter with a funding goal of $78,000 and bursting through it in just four days. At the time of writing, they have $145,000 raised with 37 more days to go.
Impression Pi sees a slew of technologies built into the VR headset, with the mobile VR HMD featuring 3D gesture input, position tracking and AR overlays. It features custom-designed sensing hardware, computing unit and advanced algorithms. The 3D gesture control side of things collects the image of your hands and their movement, and generates 3D gesture modelling. From there, you have full gesture control for mobile VR devices.
The position tracking will see the Impression Pi using "unique techniques" designed to track your head position, inside-out. The AR overlay will use its dual camera module to capture everything around you, overlaying this with VR images and virtual objects. This includes collision detection capabilities, and a warning-based obstacle system when it detects objects in the real environment.
When dropping $10,000 for Apple's first wearable, you'd want to feel special, wouldn't you? Well, Apple is explaining its Apple Watch Edition to its employees with high praise.
The company explains that the Apple Watch Edition is "the ultimate expression of extraordinary craftsmanship, incredible innovation, and design driven by functionality and end use... technology becoming seductive, with desirability not necessarily defined simply by a price tag or elitism, but rather meticulous focus on usefulness and utility rooted in beauty".
Anyone who purchases the Apple Watch Edition will secure themselves longer, private appointments - where you can have your own try-on table separate from those peasant Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport wearables, where the purchasing process can last up to one hour. This try-on station will include a pair of stools for you too, with a nice try-on mat "like ones found in jewelry stores". The list goes on, and we're not even joking. Spending $10,000 will get you:
Longer, Private Appointments: Apple plans to complete in-store Apple Watch Edition purchases during special appointments within a dedicated, private Apple Watch Edition try-on area. The Apple Watch Edition will have its own try-on table separate from the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport, and the purchasing process will last up to one hour, including 30 minutes for simply trying on the highest end Apple Watch. (There will be 5 to 15-minute appointments for the other models.)
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has largely been hands-off in regards to regulation of the upcoming Apple Watch smartwatch wearable.
Silicon Valley companies are interested in providing wearables and other technology that encroaches on health care - and the FDA is offering feedback when appropriate. However, Apple Watch and other solutions are still in their infancy, so the FDA won't need to intervene in the immediate future.
"We are taking a very light touch, an almost hands-off approach," said Bakul Patel, associate director for digital health at the FDA, while speaking with Bloomberg Business. "If you have technology that's going to motivate a person to stay healthy, that's not something we want to be engaged in."
The wearables market is evolving as new vendors, devices and consumer knowledge help push the industry forward.
Manufacturers will ship 45.7 million units this year, a 133.4 percent growth from 19.6 million units year-over-year, according to the IDC research group. In addition, shipment volumes will reach 126.1 million units by 2019 - as more consumers show faith in adopting wearables.
"The explosion of wearable devices was clearly led by fitness bands, which until recently commanded prices that provided comfortable margins, but those days are changing," said Ryan Reith, program director of the IDC worldwide quarterly device trackers program. "The price of these fitness bands have come down so significantly in some markets that smartphone OEMs are now bundling them with smartphones at little cost."