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The Google Glass wearable could be losing support from early adopters and supporters, as Google pushed back a consumer launch. Wearables have a great opportunity for business and military use, but widespread consumer adoption could prove difficult, especially if developers are jumping ship. Nine out of 16 Glass app makers recently said they have dropped Glass-related projects, with three others shifting from consumer to business focus.
"We are completely energized and as energized as ever about the opportunity that wearables and Glass in particular represent," said Chris O'Neill, Google Glass Head of Business Operations. "We are committed as ever to a consumer launch. That is going to take time and we are not going to launch this product until it's absolutely ready."
Whether it's Glass or some type of wrist-worn wearable, the entire wearables market receives a lot of media attention - and analysts expect the industry to develop its success in the coming years. However, software and hardware developers must be ready to invest time and money into wearables, knowing that an immediate return on investment (ROI) is unlikely.
The latest episode of South Park, if you haven't already watched it, has Cartman using the Oculus Rift. Cartman gets stuck in virtual reality, resulting in Kyle having to 'go into' VR to 'get him out'.
The compilation video above shows you all of the parts of the episode that involve the Oculus Rift, and I'm hoping that the guys and girls at Oculus have seen the episode, realizing they've just made the mainstream (even more so than they already have) hitting an episode of South Park.
Samsung is now offering developers a new wearable, Simband, which is built from the company's Gear S smartwatch. Simband offers things a little different, providing developers with a slew of sensors on the health tracker.
Simband is just one part of it, with SAMIIO being the software platform to drive the hardware side of things. The South Korean electronics giant is opening up a public beta of its platforms, to all developers to tinker around with. But don't mistake this for a product launch, because it's not - Samsung isn't selling Simband just yet, as it's just a piece of hardware for developers to work with, and build apps for.
Developers can pull the sensor array out, which is inside the band of the Simband, for their own custom boards, too. Samsung provides a massive amount of measurement options, such as: electrocardiogram (ECG), bio-impedance, (bio-z), photoplethysmogram (PPG, using those fancy LED lights on the band), galvanic skin response (GSR), accelerometer, and skin temperature. Samsung has also thrown a bunch of supplemental material on its site Voice of the Body.
Samsung is finally detailing its Oculus-powered Gear VR headset, which will be available next month in two different models. First, the Gear VR "Innovator Edition" will be priced at $250 and will include a Bluetooth controller, while the Gear VR on its own will be priced at $200.
Both of the Gear VR headsets require Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, which is around $750 on its own. For owners of the Note 4 already, the Gear VR should be a great accessory, priced at 'only' $200.
Sony has just opened up orders for its new SmartWatch 3 on Google's Play store, with a price of $249.99. Until today, Sony was only teasing the Android Wear-powered wearable as "coming soon".
For those in the US, the SmartWatch 3 has been available through Verizon Wireless, but now it's open to Google Play, many more people can purchase it. Sony aims at more fitness on its Android Wear-powered SmartWatch 3, with a built-in GPS included - something that's a first for Android Wear.
Sony has also made its SmartWatch 3 waterproof, so you can wear it all day and night; rail, hail and shine, without worrying about it getting damaged.
After months of allowing competing smartwatches take over the US market, Taiwanese giant ASUS has launched its sleek ZenWatch in the country. The wearable is being sold right now through Best Buy, at $199.
The ASUS ZenWatch features a beautiful 1.6-inch, curved Super AMOLED display, a Qualcomm processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of on-board flash storage. The entire thing is encased in stainless steel, with a beautiful leather strap - making it look more like a watch than some of the competing devices.
There's over 100 watch faces available from ASUS, as well as a feature that locates your smartwatch quickly by tapping the ZenWatch. Google Play won't be available at launch, but ASUS has promised that it will be coming in an update.
Children under six years of age should not watch 3D content, and access for adolescents up to 13 years old should be limited, according to the French-based Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) group said.
"In children, and particularly before the age of six, the health effects of this vergence-accommodation conflict could be much more severe given the active development of the visual system at this time," the group said in a statement.
When Nintendo released the 3DS in 2010, there were safety warnings that children under six could have their eyesight damaged from using the device. However, as 3D technology becomes more common, health experts are again becoming concerned of potential long-term vision damage among users.
Google Glass has proven to be an appealing wearable for some consumers, but there is an elephant in the room that is now receiving more attention: potential vision problems suffered by wearers. It's not the software that could be doing it, instead it's the physical frame structure of the glasses that limit peripheral vision - and creates safety hazards.
"But I almost got into a car accident when I was driving with it. And the device was even turned off at the time," said Dr. Tsontcho Ianchulev, clinical associate professor in the ophthalmology department at the University of California, San Francisco, and lead author of the study.
Dr. Ianchulev explained how they used a rather simple, yet effective way to study how Google Glass impacted the vision of wearable owners.
Oculus VR gets all the headlines when it comes to VR, but Avegant has just secured itself $9.37 million in series A funding, which was lead by Intel Capital, NHN Investment and... Snoop Dogg. Yes, the rapper. Avegant says that the injection of funds will "help carry Avegant through its manufacturing milestones".
Avegant has an interesting HMD in the Glyph, as it is a head-mounted display that has built-in over-ear headphones, something where the headphone band can be tweaked down to position something the company refers to as a "virtual retinal display" in front of users' eyes. It is let down by its 45-degree viewing angle, but the company is pushing it as a unique display tech device, with a portable form-factor.
At the Intel Capital Global Summit, it was announced that Avegant had raised an additional $9.37 million in series A funding, an investing roun that included Kaiwu Capital, Crunch Fund, 500 Startups, DN Capital, Calvin Broadus Jr., and the Michigan Angel Fund. Avegant's final design of the Glyph will be shown at CES 2015, where we will hopefully get some hands-on time with it.
Everyone is wondering when Oculus VR will launch their consumer Rift headset, with its current broad ETA being 'sometime in 2015'. But after his speech at the Web Summit 2014 in Dublin, Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe said that the Rift is months away from a consumer launch, not years away.
He said: "We're all hungry for it to happen. We're getting very close. It's months, not years away, but many months. We've gone out there and set this bar and said, 'We want to get it right.' We don't want it to be four or five years. We're eager for this to happen". Many months could still see it being released late next year, and during an investors meeting last week, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and owner of Oculus VR said that the Oculus Rift could only be "meaningful" as a computing platform if it sold 50 million to 100 million units over the next 10 years.