Wearable Computing & Fashion News - Page 34
In a little over two weeks from now, Samsung will unveil its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at its Unpacked event being held at the IFA 2013 conference in Berlin, Germany. Today, thanks to website GigaOm, we now have an idea of what hardware the Galaxy Gear will feature.
The report states that Samsung has managed to cram a 2.5-inch flexible OLED screen, a dual-core processor, and an unknown amount of RAM into the small wrist package. The report says that "decent" battery life can be expected from a lithium-based battery and that a camera alongside speakers will be embedded into the device's wrist strap. Other sensors rumored to be on board include an accelerometer, a gyroscope, Bluetooth 4.0, and some form of gesture support.
The report went on to say that Samsung will offer incentives to developers to offer apps for the smartwatch through its proprietary app store rather than posting them on Google Play. Over the last few weeks, I've done a lot of thinking about smart watches, and while I feel that there definitely cool, I honestly see them as a passing fad. By this time next year or the year after, I suspect we will look back and wonder why we all spent so much money on smart watches.
Today, website VR-Zone is confirming the existence of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Gear smartwatch. A newly released report says that Samsung will launch the Galaxy Gear on September 4 at the 2013 IFA show in Germany.
VR-Zone says that the Galaxy Gear, model number SM-V700, will function as an accessory to Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets and will feature a flexible display. A recently filed patent says that the device will feature a power button, menu buttons, a USB port for data transfer and charging, and a capacitive back which will sense heart rate and other biometric data.
The patent went on to describe the Galaxy Gear as a "wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band, or bangle capable of providing access to the Internet and for sending and receiving phone calls , electronic mails, and messages." While no official confirmation has been released, VR-Zone is usually spot on with their predictions and as such, I to fully expect to see the Galaxy Gear unveiled at IFA 2013.
Google Glass users receive monthly updates to their wearable device, with the latest "XE8" update including new Google Now cards, new voice commands, and a better video player application.
The new voice actions on Glass include "post an update" and "take a note" which work well with applications like Path and Evernote, letting Glass users use these services much easier, and more on-the-go thanks to wearing the device, and using your voice to add notes. The new Google Now cards include Reservations and Events, Movies and Public Alerts, as well as more commonly-used Now cards like Weather, Sports and Traffic.
These cards will now be shown to the left of your timeline, and will become available as needed after the update has pushed to your Glass unit. There's a new Volume card in the settings, hashtag in captions and a new "send a birthday message" card available in the XE8 update.
One thing that stays common between early adopters of Google Glass is its not-so-great battery life, but designer and inventor, Kevin Alan Tussy, has an idea that could triple the battery life of Google's wearable device.
His idea is called PWRGlass, which is an external battery pack that would be sold as an optional accessory to Glass. PWRGlass isn't anywhere near ready, with the only form it exists in right now is in a computer, as a 3D render. But, as it stands, it features a 2000mAh lithium-ion battery that is built into the sunglass band-like design.
There would be a microUSB connector on PWRGlass, that would allow a user to recharge both the PWRGlass, and Google Glass, at the same time. The designer is also working on a second device that would give Glass an injection of storage from its on-board 12GB.
A new report this morning is suggesting that Samsung is ready to beat Apple to the punch on releasing a smartwatch. Patently Apple is claiming that Samsung will show off its very own smartwatch in September ahead of the annual IFA trade show which is held in Berlin, Germany.
Dubbed the "Samsung Gear," the smartwatch will be shown off during a press conference in which we will also see the Galaxy Note III unveiled. Although the report cites no sources, we do know that Samsung is developing a smartwatch, and we've even seen leaks of the device's supposed interface. If Samsung does debut the Gear a little over a month from now, it will beat Apple in the smartwatch race by more than a year, which puts it in a very good position for market dominance.
Originally thought to be slated for a July 15 launch, Sony has now confirmed that we will see its SmartWatch 2 released to the public on September 9, 2013. This launch date actually aligns closer with Sony's original plans for a September / October launch. This means that Sony will have beaten all the major manufacturers to the punch in releasing a next-generation SmartWatch.
Sony says that the SmartWatch 2 has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is far more feature-rich than its predecessor. The new watch features a 1.6-inch LCD, Bluetooth 3.0, micro-USB charging port, and near field communication connectivity. This will allow the SmartWatch to quickly pair with other devices through just a single touch. If that weren't enough, the SmartWatch 2 is both dust and water resistant and carries an IP57 certification.
With Samsung's upcoming smartwatch rumored to still be months away from release, and recent developments that have put Apple back to seeing their iWatch released in late 2014, Sony could have a winner on their hands. At a pricing point of $150, which is far less than any high-end analog watch you will find on store shelves today, I think that this new offering from Sony will fly off the shelves.
It appears that the rumors of an Apple iWatch arriving this year are holding less credence than we originally assumed. Recent reports suggest that Apple is still in the hiring phase for design engineers as well as electrical engineers to take on the project. Apparently the delays and additional hires are because there are some pretty tough engineering problems that need to be solved before the project can move forward.
In a recent report from the Financial Times, we have learned that Apple has been in an "aggressive hiring phase" for the last few weeks and that this is an indication that Apple has stepped up the development on the iWatch platform. Sources close to the matter also state that Apple has been experiencing some "hard engineering problems that they've not been able to solve" leading the bosses to believe that its in-house engineers are just not up to the task of designing wearable technology.
All of this leads up to the fact that we most likely will not see a smartwatch from the Cupertino-based company anytime this year. While 2014 is still an option, these recent developments lead me to believe that it will be 2015 or 2016 before Apple creates a design that they deem acceptable to launch to the public. With so many companies readying launches for this year such as Samsung and Sony, and with the Pebble already on the market, I think that Apple may be a little late to the party this time.
According to Dell's Global Vice President of Personal Computing, Sam Burd, the company could be looking at wearable computing. Burd says that Dell are "exploring areas in that space."
Burd was talking with The Guardian about how the company could be part of the new market for wearable computing where we already have Google, Sony, Pebble, Samsung and Apple. All of those companies have either teased their devices, shown them off (Google Glass) or are rumored to release a wearable device later this year. He adds:
There are challenges in cost, and how to make it a really good experience. But the piece that's interesting is that computers are getting smaller. Having a watch on your wrist - that's pretty interesting, pretty appealing.
The next couple of years are going to be filled with many different wearable technology devices being released, but most thought that Apple would be the first to the market with the most popular smartwatch - it seems we were wrong, as Foxconn have beaten Apple to the finish line, kinda.
Foxconn showed off their new smartwatch during a recent shareholders meeting, with the smartwatch capable of connecting to an iPhone wirelessly and displaying incoming call information as well as Facebook posts. The Foxconn-built smartwatch also had the ability of monitoring the wearer's heartbeat, respiration and other vital statistics.
If the device reports that your heartbeat is beating too fast, it can offer you steps on how to get it down. This news is important as Foxconn are one of Apple's closest partners, and if they've got a smartwatch out now, which seems pretty capable, what are Apple going to be saying behind closed doors right now?
Google Glass is slowly making its way into the mainstream, but this week during Wimbledon, pro tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands will don the wearable computing from Google. Mattek-Sands ranks as position 58 in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).
She will be wearing Google Glass at Wimbledon this week in London, something Google announced a few days ago now. Mattek-Sands is in the Glass Explorer program, which saw a handful of people around the world receiving the wearable product. Google have said that Glass is both comfortable and unobtrusive, weighing no more than a pair of standard sunglasses. Considering pro tennis players are moving from left to right so fast, even a couple of hundred grams would make a big difference - even more so with the money at stake here - so this is a big, and most of all, positive move for Glass.
Google has said that Mattek-Sands is already benefitting from Glass, elaborating: