This week in wearables: Google Glass, the Moto Hint 2, and a microchip to save life
Aug24

This week in wearables: Google Glass, the Moto Hint 2, and a microchip to save life

In the ever-evolving world of wearables, companies are making some serious power moves in order to keep up. Check out the biggest headlines from the week, as well as some announcements you might have missed. 1. Google Glass is being resurrected from the dead. After a brief stint in the public eye, the tech titan pulled the device in January, leaving many wondering what would happen to such an innovative idea. But most won’t be getting their hands on this new model. Google is planning to redesign the gadget to meet the needs of the workplace, not those of the average consumer. 2. If you weren’t early to the Pebble party, the long-awaited Pebble Time is now available to the public for purchase. The company hit a few snags in production, but it continues to work rapidly to fulfill the 78,000 pre-orders they received from their Kickstarter campaign. If you weren’t a Kickstarter backer, you can find them on big box stores like Amazon — or you can register for the Wearables.com Pebble Time giveaway, and win one for free! 3. Earlier this week, Motorola released the 2nd-gen Moto Hint. The first edition of this bluetooth headset fell flat right out of the gate, so it was no wonder that Motorola brought about some serious upgrades. With better audio, voice controls, and a 70 percent increase in battery life, the Moto Hint 2 has become a serious bluetooth contender in the hearables market. 4. Your dream of becoming Ironman is much closer to reality than you think. Panasonic recently announced the anticipated sales of exoskeletons that will essentially be robotic suits intended to help factory works lift and carry heavy objects. Panasonic spokesperson Mio Yamanaka believes that these “power-assist suits, will be widely used in people’s lives in 15 years.” 5. The Finnish tech powerhouse, Nokia, just might be unveiling a new VR project soon. A company event set for July 28 has many believing that the announcement of a virtual reality device will be the main attraction. Although details remain under wraps, we’ll just have to wait until next week to see how the VR world will fare. 6. NASA’s Adrian Tang and M.C. Frank Chang at the University of California, Los Angeles, have created a new microchip that aims to save the battery life of your wearables. To make a long story short, the chips will reflect wireless signals instead of using regular transmitters and receivers, essentially processing information three times faster than Wifi. This small change could mean faster, stronger devices for everyone in the near...

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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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From policing to life-logging, wearable cameras aren’t just for Glassholes
Jul16

From policing to life-logging, wearable cameras aren’t just for Glassholes

Google Glass was hated by the general public for two reasons: First, it’s about as fashionable as dental headgear; second, Glassholes make everyone around them feel uncomfortable — and not just because they look painfully awkward. I’ll never forget the first time I encountered Glass in the wild. It was the start of my workday, I was wearing a wrinkled shirt and purple bags beneath my eyes. The moment I entered the breakroom, I was greeted with, “Hey Mark, smile for the camera.” Like Garfield, I’m not what you would call cheerful before I’ve had my morning cup of coffee. Add the disinterest in being filmed to the mix, and I’m liable to create an HR report of epic proportions. Fortunately, I returned to my desk and cooled off by watching fail videos for the next thirty minutes. Then it hit me like a mountain biker’s front tire to an undetected pothole, a wearable camera can serve many purposes aside from making water-cooler interactions awkward. EXTREME content Thanks to GoPro, the Internet is flushed with first-person footage of death-defying stunts. There are also plenty of less exciting implementations of the technology available for viewing, but even those are worth a laugh. The proliferation of wearable cameras has done wonders for viral entertainment, and devices like Soloshot are pushing the industry even further. With Soloshot, users mount their GoPro (or competing product) to a smart base that follows corresponding Tags worn by the athletes. To put it in layman’s terms, it’s like having a personal cameraman. You simply set up your Soloshot camera base a safe distance from the action, strap the waterproof/shockproof tag somewhere on your person, and go about your business while the Soloshot follows your every move. You can even set it to zoom in or out as you approach the base, as long as you use one of the supported camcorders — most of which are Sony. The Soloshot system also allows you to take photo bursts by tapping the Tag 15, 30, or 45 seconds before you perform your stunt. Soloshot may be the first cameraman replacement to reach the market, but there’s another auspicious wearable hovering in the distance, literally. Nixie is part drone, part smartwatch, and all concept at this point, but the idea was strong enough to win Intel’s Make It Wearable challenge. To sum up their pitch video, Nixie is a drone with a built-in camera that folds around your wrist until you release it into the sky like a trained falcon. The device then films you as you scale a rock face, slackline, or stand awkwardly in a field with one of your closest friends....

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This week in wearables: Fitbit stocks, second-gen Apple Watch, and everything else you missed
Jun20

This week in wearables: Fitbit stocks, second-gen Apple Watch, and everything else you missed

From a great day on the trading floor to equipping the health industry with wearable tech, this week was a big one for the industry as various companies ruled the headlines. Skim the below to be well-versed on what happened this week. 1. FitBit‘s first day on the NYSE went better than we could have ever expected. Not only did the opening land the company among the top 10 market debuts of the year, but stock prices soared from $20 to $30.40. It might be time to rethink your current investments. 2. The UK-startup, Blocks Wearables, is going where no smartwatch has gone before. Their goal? To create a smartwatch that you can customize with different modules. From choosing the color of the band to deciding what functions your watch will have, Blocks will allow you to pick only the parts that you really want. 3. Intel exec, Josh Walden, has officially announced the chip mogul’s acquisition of Recon Instruments. After Intel missed the smartphone boat by a mile, it’s a smart idea for them to pick up Recon — who just so happens to be a leader in high-tech eyewear. Look out smart glasses, Intel is coming for your space. 4. The National Health Services of the UK are making huge strides in healthcare with the addition of wearable technology for patients. From skin sensors to smart clothes, the NHS hopes to implement more effective measures of monitoring health and patient information. 5. AT&T added 6 new wearable devices to its in-store and online selection. Bringing the running total up to 30 devices, the company is getting the hang of how the Internet of Things seems to work. Although the Apple Watch has yet to hit AT&T stores, you can check out new gadgets like the Misfit Flash and Mio Fuse while you wait. 6. Rumors are quickly spreading that the second gen Apple Watch will support a camera for video chatting. With the Wi-Fi capabilities coming out with the new watchOS, the Apple Watch will be even more independent from the iPhone, and a front-facing camera could potentially allow you to leave your phone at home entirely. There is plenty of time for these rumors to be dismissed, but until then, we’re keeping our hopes...

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Intel acquires Recon Instruments, enters smart glasses game
Jun19

Intel acquires Recon Instruments, enters smart glasses game

In a recent blog post, Intel exec Josh Walden announced the chip mogul’s acquisition of Recon Instruments, a Canadian sports company leading the high-tech eyewear game. The move comes following a reorganization of Intel’s operations that included the development of the New Devices Group, an operation specifically aimed at advancing wearable devices. The plan is to integrate Recon into this operation while still maintaining sales of their products and developing new ones. Although Intel remains on top as the world’s biggest chipmaker within the PC industry, CEO Brian Krzanich has mentioned that the company’s failure to integrate into the smartphone market will not be repeated with wearables. Considering Intel’s purchase of smartwatch maker Basis and smart bracelet partnership with MICA and Opening Ceremony over the past year, we can see how the acquisition of Recon is just the next logical step in the wearable tech game. “We at Recon believe this is also a tremendous opportunity that will lead to amazing things, just as much for us as for our customers” announced the company. Let’s hope this is as good a move for...

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