Six smartwatches to watch in the second half of 2015, from Samsung Gear S2 to Tag Heuer Carrera 01
Aug26

Six smartwatches to watch in the second half of 2015, from Samsung Gear S2 to Tag Heuer Carrera 01

With continuous improvements to sensory and PFOE technology (print, flexible, and organic electronics), the wearable tech market is expected to rise all the way through 2018. Now that the first half of 2015 has come and gone, we took a look at some of the most anticipated smartwatches being released before year’s end. From incredible second generation models to surprising first time players in the smartwatch game, we gathered six of the most discussed upcoming smartwatches on the web today. Some will be out by the end of summer, but all of them will be here by Christmas. Let’s hope you’ve been good this year. Samsung Gear S2 (Orbis) Samsung is expected to introduce a highly anticipated new edition to the Gear family. On August 12, the Samsung Gear S2 (code named Orbis) was announced as the first circular interfaced smartwatch that the company has created. It will feature 360×360 resolution, 4 GB of data storage, and use AMOLED technology. Rumors have suggested that the new watch will cost more than the Samsung Gear S, which would put it above $350. Asus ZenWatch 2 When the Asus ZenWatch was released last year, it seemed like another knock-off smartwatch at first glance but quickly became a top performing device. The second generation is expected to be released later in 2015 and focuses on customization. The Asus ZenWatch 2 will have two sizes, three colors, and 18 different straps to showcase your unique personality. It will maintain a digital crown, metal charger, and the standard water resistant feature. The watch will come equipped with curved Gorilla Glass and AMOLED technology. Moto 360 2 The Moto 360 may have been one of the most aesthetically desirable watches in 2014, but the hardware wasn’t. The Motorola second generation could move past that hiccup with the implementation of an upgraded Snapdragon Processor and a 360×360 resolution. The Moto 360 2 is expected to gyroscope, barometer, accelerometer, and a heart rate monitor. The new watch is expected to work along with the first generation Moto 360, rather than replace it. Motorola said it will hold a press conference at IFA on September 2nd. Tag Heuer Carrera 01 Swiss watch designer Tag Heuer is jumping into the wearable tech arena with its first-ever luxury smartwatch. The information on this product is a closely kept secret, but we can report that Tag Heuer is working with Intel and Google on the watch. It will be built to last a lifetime, which would be the first for any smartwatch, and the first to have upgradable parts. The smartwatch is expected to be priced at $1,400 and available this October. Breitling B55 Connected Breitling is...

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Samsung Gear S2: Everything We Know So Far
Aug18

Samsung Gear S2: Everything We Know So Far

Last week, Samsung teased the world with a brief glimpse of their upcoming Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch. It is intended to be the new Apple Watch rival, and unfortunately, that intention came across as all too blatant. Whereas the Samsung Gear S was rectangular and plastic, the Gear S2 is round and metallic. In a surprising move, instead of running on Android Wear, the new smartwatch will use Samsung’s proprietary Tizen OS. This renders the smartwatch interface customizable and sleek, with the UI featuring round movable icons denoting apps (sound familiar?). In lieu of a Siri, the new Samsung smartwatch will have a voice assistant to compensate for the absence of a keyboard, meaning function will be almost wholly voice controlled. For the fitness-oriented, the Samsung Gear S2 will also harbor an integrated heart rate sensor as well as the ability to pull in fitness-tracking data in real time (hopefully through its own GPS tracker and not via synced smartphone- a question we will have answered in a couple of weeks). The big secret about this smartwatch though is its control method. A rotating bezel, just like you’d find on an analogue watch, is the Gear S2’s answer to Apple Watch’s Digital Crown. The built-in method of scrolling through apps, features, etc. will provide that “old-school” function and feel to an otherwise voice controlled Internet-integrated watch. Despite the choice of mirroring the Apple Watch, the Samsung Gear S2 is nonetheless an exciting new product for Samsung as well as the smartwatch wearables market at large. It will be especially interesting to see Tizen at work and learn what improvements have been made to an OS largely called “half-baked”. Furthermore, you’ve got to give it to Samsung for giving users such a drastically different aesthetic and functional upgrade from it’s previous Gear smartwatch. We’ll bring you further details when Samsung gives it’s press conference at IFA 2015 in...

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This week in wearables: Experimental apps, new Android Wear, and Samsung’s teaser
Aug14

This week in wearables: Experimental apps, new Android Wear, and Samsung’s teaser

This week was a busy one, but we’ve pinpointed the important stories that you need to know. Take a look at what you might have missed. 1. Google announced a new website that will showcase experimental applications designed for Android and Android Wear devices. There are already 20 apps running including Inkspace by Zach Lieberman and Landmark by Anthony Tripoldi, with more to be added. Hopefully these experiments will help perfect the user experience while perfecting some useful applications. 2. Self-described futurist and media-appointed influencer, Tim Moore, dropped in to discuss his thoughts on the “tipping point” of wearable tech. From smartglasses to mobile payment, he talks about everything that the future of wearables has in store. 3. Cloud software giant, Salesforce.com, has announced 20 brand-new partner apps to be released for the Apple Watch. They are teaming up with companies like Bracket Labs, Financial Force, New Voice Media, and more to help the workplace become a little more hands-free. Lindsey Irvine, head of Salesforce Wear, said the company’s strategy is to “make those devices more than just gadgets and can make them into real business tools.” 4. Remember when Fossil got really excited to create their own line of wearables? Well, the initial hype is over after a less-than-satisfactory second quarter performance by the clothing company. Although they never named the Apple Watch specifically, it’s pretty easy to guess which devices are being blamed for the slump in traditional watch sales. Despite this, Fossil CEO, Kosta Kartsotis, still supports “smarter watches” and says that the company is still on track to release tech products in the near future. 5. Android Wear V1.3 started rolling out this week, introducing a new Device to Debug program and a couple new apps, but has yet to release the much anticipated “interactive watch faces” to the market. Android has promised the “Together” feature of these new faces will allows users to interact when their watch face matches another’s watch. This update sounds pretty cool, so we’re hoping it comes sooner rather than later. 6. Samsung just released a teaser for its new Gear S2 smartwatch. This new, round watch will come complete with a heart rate monitor, messaging, calendar, a running app, and more. The interactive watch faces and sleek design just might put the Gear S2 on top of the Apple Watch. Come back next week for more...

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Surprise! Samsung files for more wearables patents than anyone
Jul01

Surprise! Samsung files for more wearables patents than anyone

Good news for the few of you who haven’t switched to Apple yet. Lux Research announced on Tuesday that Samsung is the leader in large technology companies filing for wearable technology patents. According to the research group, 41,301 patents for wearable technology were issued between 2010 and May 2015. Of the top 15 tech companies, Samsung filed for four percent of those patents. 77 percent of filed patents were from groups unaffiliated with the top 15 tech companies. Samsung was one of the first tech giants to get into the wearable market when it released the Galaxy Gear smartwatch back in 2013.  Since then, the company has released an entire line of Galaxy Gear products ranging from smartwatches to virtual reality. The research group also noted that the growing sector of printed, flexible, and organic electronics has been a hot area. 140,926 PFOE patents have been filed with Samsung leading the pack again at 10 percent total patents filed. “Flexible electronic components create the possibility of conformable, adaptable and immersive wearable devices that can seamlessly fit into everyday life,” said Tony Sun, a writer and research analyst at Lux Research. “However, the lack of overlapping patents between PFOE and wearables indicates a need and opportunity to develop and apply these technologies specifically for wearable electronic devices,” he added. The company’s research and design team is currently cooking up a whole batch of PFOE products that could be out as early as 2016. A Samsung smartwatch with gesture control and a smartphone you can strap to your arm are just a few of the PFOE products in the works. The study conducted by Lux Research exposed a surprising separation between PFOE products and wearables. Only 651 patents were filed that have overlap between the two kinds of technology. While the future for PFOE and wearable tech looks promising, it may be a little while before we start to see a surge in overlapping...

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Samsung debuts ARTIK family to propel IoT development
May13

Samsung debuts ARTIK family to propel IoT development

Imagine a car that knows how to adjust to your preferences before you’re in it, or a home that can create the environment you require before you even open the door. The internet of things (IoT) sometimes feels like an abstract idea, but Samsung is moving the dial closer to making a world of connected devices, like the above, a reality. The intent behind the electronics company’s new open platform, ARTIK, is to accelerate the development of smart devices and it’s comprised of a family of three modules optimized for IoT. Each ARTIK module fits a powerful processor within a small form factor, but important to the wearable tech industry will be the smallest member of the ARTIK trio, called ARTIK 1. ARTIK 1 is the size of a skittle (12mm by 12mm) and earns the bragging rights for qualifying as the world’s smallest IoT module. It includes a 9-axis motion sensor and Bluetooth low energy connectivity. Now, recall for a moment that most smartwatches on the market — save for the lofty promises coming from Swatch’s headquarters — can only hold a charge from around 18 hours (Apple Watch) to an approximate 10 days (Pebble Time). With ARTIK 1, a smartwatch could last three weeks on a single charge — even while being kept in on-mode and paired to a smartphone. Samsung says the next module in line, ARTIK 5, “has the best performance and storage for its size,” featuring a 1 gigahertz dual-core processor and on-board storage. They envision it will be used in “smart home hubs that need streaming video or high computation.” And finally, the ARTIK 10 is powered by an octa-core processor and is “as powerful as a smartphone and renders high-resolution video.” Point being, it could drive a home server or personal cloud. Samsung will sell ARTIK to other companies in hopes of raising its earnings and, of course, spurring more IoT development. It will also now require that Samsung product divisions use ARTIK technology, which could give a helpful nudge to improve its smartphone business which has been somewhat cannibalized by competitors like Xiaomi. ARTIK 1, 5, and 10 address security starting at the hardware level with Samsung’s exclusive Secure Element. To “nurture a vibrant community that values rapid innovation,” ARTIK has opened the Alpha Developer Program where a limited group of developers who want to test new ideas for IoT alongside the ARTIK product team. Applications are now being...

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