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Google building two Android Wear Smartwatches integrating Google Assistant

By |July 7th, 2016|PRODUCT RUMORS, Smart Watches, SMARTWATCHES|

Speaking to Android Police, a reliable source has told us that Google is currently building two Android Wear devices – possibly Nexus-branded – for release some time after the latest Nexus phones are announced. One watch will be larger, sportier, and more fully-featured (LTE, GPS, heart rate), the other will be smaller and lack the aforementioned mobile data and GPS.

This rumor a confidence level of 9 out of 10;We are extremely confident Google is in the process of prototyping these in-house Wear devices, and have confirmation of their existence from multiple sources. We are subtracting a point from our confidence because of the ongoing development occurring for these devices, and the possibility that they may change or that one or both may be cancelled (or delayed), as well as the fact that we are unable to share our primary source information for this post.

There also remains some ambiguity about the codenames I will use for these watches, and whether or not these names are currently being used, so consider them nothing more than easy ways to refer back to either device at this point.

The evidence

As I said, we are unable to share any direct evidence of the existence of these devices at this time. However, because of the quality of our source, we feel confident in publishing information about these devices, including descriptions of their respective appearances. To ensure we are clear on one thing before we start: the hero image of this post is 100% a fabrication [hopefully obviously, because my talentless ass made it] and has no resemblance to either watch. So, let’s get started.

Both watches have full circular displays. We do not believe either will have “flat tires.” Let’s start with the larger watch, which we believe to be codenamed Angelfish.

Angelfish bears some resemblance to the current Moto 360 and LG’s Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, but is distinct from both. The design has visible lugs, with a smooth housing shape that curves where the watch band meets the body. It does not have the stark circular “puck” shape of Motorola’s 360, nor the rather angular lugs or multi-piece design of the Urbane LTE. This gives the watch a subdued but sporty look. Angelfish has three buttons. Looking at the watch face, one large circular crown button is centered along the right side of the body, with two smaller and shorter circular buttons above and below it. It is unclear what these secondary buttons are for at this time, though you are free to imagine the possibilities.

Angelfish is quite thick, at over 14mm in cross-section (around the same as the Urbane LTE), likely owing to a larger battery necessitated by its LTE-ready chipset. The watch’s diameter is allegedly 43.5mm, making it substantially smaller than the “large” 46mm Moto 360, but still a bit bigger than the standard 42mm edition. We believe it will come in a matte dark gray finish that may be called “titanium,” but it’s unclear if other colors will be available. Angelfish will have GPS, LTE, and a heart-rate monitor, giving it the ability to be a true “standalone” Android Wear device. Remember,Google announced standalone Wear apps at I/O with with Wear 2.0.

The second, smaller watch is codenamedSwordfish. Speaking generally, Swordfish is reminiscent in basic shape to the Pebble Time Round, of course lacking the Round’s obviously massive screen bezel, and also using a different button arrangement. But the overall style of the body and especially the lug design are, in my opinion, quite similar. That said, because it doesn’t have the internal screen bezel, the portion of the body surrounding the watch face is larger, and the shape is more gentle and rounded than the Pebble.

Swordfish has a single button centered on the right-hand side of the body, with a more delicate and Apple Watch-like design. The center of the button cap appears to be polished metal, with the bezel of the crown being ridged. Aside from appearing more “raised” out of the body because of the watch’s circular shape, the button really is quite similar to the Apple Watch’s crown. Swordfish is smaller and thinner than Angelfish, with a body diameter of 42mm and a thickness of just 10.6mm – 0.8mm thinner than the current Moto 360. Granted, it still doesn’t have anything on the 7.5mm Pebble Time Round in this regard. Swordfish will allegedly be made available in three colors: silver, titanium, and rose gold. Swordfish lacks LTE or GPS, and it’s unclear if it has a heart rate monitor (we are leaning “no”).

It appears that, oddly, the larger Angelfish device will not support Google’s interchangeable MODE watch bands, because the design of the lugs and band won’t allow for it. Swordfish, on the other hand, will definitely be compatible with MODE bands.

Both watches will offer Google Assistant integration with contextual alerts. Exactly what that integration entails, we aren’t certain, but given Sundar Pichai’s comments about Nexus devices receiving more exclusive software features, we’re left wondering if these watches will get functionality other Android Wear devices won’t.

Google may also be working on a brand-new style of watch faces for these devices that will allowmuch quicker access to notifications, information, or media controls for apps or functions that you commonly use. This will likely be via the new app watchface integration announced as part of Wear 2.0. These quick-access functions would sit below the watch dial, presenting things like your current playback location in a song, the number of unread messages in Gmail, Hangouts unread counts, time in another time zone, the amount of time until your next calendar appointment, your number of steps, and more.

Microsoft SmartWatch Rumored to Launch in Weeks

By |October 19th, 2014|Companion |NFC, News, PRODUCT RUMORS|

A Samsung Gear S smart watch on display at a trade fair on September 5, 2014

(Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

image

Microsoft is gearing up to launch a wearable device within the next few weeks, Forbes has learned. The gadget is a smart watch that will passively track a wearer’s heart rate and work across different mobile platforms. It will also boast a battery life of more than two days of regular use, sources close to the project say.

That could put it ahead of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch and Moto 360 which both need to be charged around once a day. The wearable will hit stores soon after launch in a bid to capture the lucrative holiday season, a timeline Apple was reportedly targeting before it delayed its own Watch to early 2015.

Forbes first reported in May that Microsoft was working on a smart watch that drew on optical engineering expertise from its Kinect division, and which would sync with iPhones, Android devices and Windows Phones. It is unclear what Microsoft will name the device, or what it will cost at retail.

A wearable would mark the company’s first foray into a new device category under CEO Satya Nadella. Wearable tech is still uncharted territory, despite offerings from Samsung and the forthcoming Apple Watch. It’s a market predicted to be worth $7.1 billion in 2015.

Going cross platform is also consistent with Nadella’s drive to make his company’s product offerings available “across all devices”. His launch of Microsoft Office for the iPad in March marked a move away from the company’s Windows-only vision under Steve Ballmer.

The latter strategy would probably be unwise today, now that Windows Phone has just 2.5% of the global smartphone market, according to IDC. On the upside, Microsoft can now target its wearable at more customers than the Apple Watch, which will only work with iOS devices.

With a battery that lasts more than two days, Microsoft could get a leg up on big-name competitors who have entered the wearables space. Battery life is frequently cited as one of most important factors that consumers consider when buying a smartphone, yet the topic was conspicuously glossed over at Apple’s Watch announcement last month. Apple CEO Tim Cook has since revealed the gadget will have to be charged every night, just like the Gear and Moto 360.

Motorola’s Moto 360 smart watch also has a continuous heart rate monitor and has been praised for its stylish design, but the battery tends to last for just 24 hours based on various reviews. Some wearables like the Pebble and Jawbone Up24 boast batteries that last for days or even weeks at a time, but that becomes impossible when a device features a color display like the Apple Watch or Gear.

When it comes to battery life, Microsoft may benefit from its historic expertise in software, allowing it to create sensor integrations that boost the device’s power train efficiency.

Microsoft’s history of launching new hardware is a mixed bag. Its Zune music player wasn’t the success it could have been, and prospects for its Surface tablet still look hazy. But when Microsoft introduced the Kinect for the Xbox 360 in 2011, it became the fastest-selling consumer device on record.

Microsoft’s legacy in machine learning through Microsoft Research could also point to a future business model for a health-tracking device — that is, if it chooses to exploit its close ties with enterprise customers. The company could, for example, promote its wearable gadget and any accompanying cloud-based software as a service for helping to cut healthcare costs, by tracking and incentivizing healthy behavior among workers.

Such “wellness” services are already being shopped by a host of health tracking startups like Pact Health, StickK, WellBe and Jiff, but larger tech firms have yet to jump into the market

Galaxy Gear S GSM Smartwatch carried by AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint

By |October 12th, 2014|Consumer Wearables, News, PRODUCT RUMORS, Standalone|

Samsung Gear S smartwatch coming to four American carriers this fallstylish_0

 

 

Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch will hit US shores sometime this fall. According to a succinct press release, the device will be available through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Android Central reports receiving an email from T-Mobile that states the Gear S will be available through the company’s Equipment Installment Plan, with more details to follow in October.

The upcoming smartwatch features a curved Super AMOLED display, 3G connectivity, and customizable screen clock faces. On top of the usual panoply of sensors, the Gear S also comes outfitted with the Tizen operating software and can be paired with the Samsung Gear Circle headset, a Bluetooth accessory that allows users to receive calls or listen to music wirelessly.

via Samsung Gear S smartwatch coming to four American carriers this fall | The Verge.

Preorder Samsung Gear S from Unlocked Mobiles – Price

By |October 12th, 2014|Consumer Wearables, News, PRODUCT RUMORS, Standalone|

Preorder Samsung Gear S from Unlocked Mobiles UK

 Samsung unveiled the standalone Gear S smartwatch at IFA in Berlin back at the beginning of September.

The UK based Unlocked Mobiles is now taking preorders for the watch priced at £334.98, with shipments scheduled to start on October 24.

The Tizen powered Gear S has a 2 inch curved AMOLED display and supports 2G as well as 3G wireless networks. The smartwatch also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. It comes with a 1GHz processor and 512 MB RAM. Samsung boasts that the 300 mAh battery will last for up to two days.

If you want to read more about the Gear S, click here.

Folks, what do you think about this watch that connects to 2G and 3G networks? Is it something you will shell out £334.98 for? Let us know in the comments below.

via Preorder Samsung Gear S from Unlocked Mobiles – Price.

Samsung Gear S: wearing the most powerful smartwatch yet | The Verge

By |October 12th, 2014|Consumer Wearables, News, Outside Sources*, PRODUCT RUMORS, SMARTWATCHES, Standalone|

Samsung Gear S: wearing the most powerful smartwatch yet

 

Another attempt to figure out what a wearable should be Samsung’s shown itself to be entirely unafraid when it comes to smartwatches. It’s willing to try any size, any spec, any combination of features in an attempt to figure out what consumers want in a wearable. Its latest try, the Gear S, is a combination of Samsung’s newest and best ideas — and a couple of ideas it’ll soon leave by the roadside as well.

The Gear S is not designed to replace your smartphone, I’m told. It’s designed to let you leave it at home, though, or in the other room. Its built-in connectivity means that even when it’s far away from your phone it can still send and receive messages, and get turn-by-turn directions. The Gear S runs Tizen — Samsung says the Gear Store has 1,000 apps in it — and can do almost everything without a phone. The Gear Manager app still requires your phone, and you’re not exactly going to want to send emails on the tiny QWERTY keys on the Gear S, but this device generally has no need for your smartphone.

The watch itself is impressively made, with a 2-inch curved OLED display that looks great from any angle. Waterproof, black or white, thick and heavy, it’s like a larger Gear Fit. A much larger Gear Fit. It’s designed to curl around your wrist, and it’s long enough that it does exactly that; it doesn’t feel like a watch so much as a cuff. It’s a computer on your wrist, and it feels like one. The big, thick bands that come with the device make it feel even larger, but thankfully the Gear S has swappable bands so you can slim it down a little.

In a few minutes of using it, the Gear S felt fast and responsive. Its 1.0GHz processor is clearly up to the task of swiping through notifications, and even tapping out quick responses and tracking steps. It’s also remarkably more powerful than your average smartwatch, able to actually read entire emails and see all your workout and sleep information in one place. This is the rare smartwatch that’s truly independent, not always punting you back to your phone. Samsung offers a handful of nice-looking watchfaces, a heart-rate sensor, and a battery it claims will last two days.

This isn’t quite what a smartwatch could be, but it’s closerThe Gear S will be available in October in Korea, though its US fate is still very much uncertain. And this almost certainly isn’t the pinnacle of smartwatch design, for Samsung or the market at large. It’s still too big for most people, and still a little awkward to use. But curved screens feel ever more like a good idea, and it’s exciting to see wearables become more and more independently functional. There’s a lot for Samsung to take away from its latest adventure in smartwatches — and a lot left to improve upon.

Photos by Sean O’Kane, who also contributed reporting.

 

Hint: Use the ‘s’ and ‘d’ keys to navigate

 

via Samsung Gear S: wearing the most powerful smartwatch yet | The Verge.

LG's VC100 3G Smartwatch will Compete with the Gear S

By |October 12th, 2014|News, PRODUCT RUMORS|

LG to Launch 3G-Connected Smartwatch

lg 3g smartwatchA new gadget known as the LG VC100 has been spotted around the halls of the FCC, which might be the glimpse of first 3G-connect smartwatch by LG.

LG has listed it as a “smart watch with CDMA”, and there is no mention of whether the watch will belong to the G Watch family or it marks the birth of a new clan of smartwatches by the South Korean multinational electronics company.

Considering 3G connectivity, this standalone smartwatch is surely entering the arena as the recently announced Samsung Gear S smartwatch’s competitor.

If we take a look at the rudimentary image (below), it looks like a rectangular shape with fairly rounded corners. Also, it seems a touch smaller than the rival Gear S.

lg 3g watch fcc

The filing doesn’t mention if there will be a GSM variant on the loose soon. If we can extract anything from the filing, we can extract it from the model number which suggests that the VC100 might make its way to Verizon or Sprint in a CDMA variant. According to an unidentified source, the watch has been found listed in a database with other Verizon devices.

It’s not clear at this point what kind of hardware is under the hood, or what kind of software will it run. LG’s previous smartwatch, the LG G Watch runs Android Wear, but standalone smartwatches are currently not supported by Google’s platform.

FCC documents also suggest that there is a headset jack and a USB port, probably for charging the watch.

Does the idea of a 3G-connected smart watch-phone by LG fascinate you? Or would you prefer any of the companion smartwatches? Join the discussion by having your say in the comments below.

via LG’s VC100 3G Smartwatch will Compete with the Gear S.

Staples Brings New Brands, Features and Wearable Technology to Home/Office Automation Platform, “Staples Connect” | Business Wire

By |September 9th, 2014|News, Outside Sources*, PRODUCT RUMORS, Uncategorized|

Major Expansion of Stores and Devices

After a limited launch in the fall of 2013, Staples is adding Staples Connect in-store displays to 500 retail locations. All compatible devices are already currently available for purchase on Staples.com and through all of Staples’ in-store kiosks. These devices – the most widely supported list in the industry, with 35 existing hardware partners – include an extensive variety of top brand name manufacturers including Lutron, Philips, Honeywell, First Alert, Yale, Kwikset, Schlage, Leviton, Cooper, GE, D-Link, , Radio Thermostat and dozens of others, representing close to 150 individual smart devices for the home or office.

“Staples Connect offers the best-in-class home and office automation solution, with the widest array of product and services from the most trusted brands,” said Mike Edwards, executive vice president, merchandising, Staples. “Our in-store expansion shows that Staples is committed to providing our customers the newest tech offerings and innovations, like Staples Connect, so they can make more happen in their business and at home.”

Widest Array of App Platforms on the Market

Powered by software from smart home technology company Zonoff, Staples Connect has the most supported App platforms in the industry, with apps currently available on native iPad, iPhone, Android, and web browsers via HTML5. In addition, the Staples Connect App is now also available for Windows 8 and will soon be available on Samsung Smart TV’s.

“Every day consumers are using their Windows 8 devices to engage with their favorite apps and games in new and unique ways,” said Todd Brix, general manager, Windows apps and Store, Microsoft Corp. “Today Staples is offering consumers the ability to manage their home or office environment from their tablets, laptops and PC’s with a new app for Windows 8.1.”

First Retail Platform to Support Wearables

With the Staples Connect in-store rollout, Staples is debuting an enhanced wearable technology experience, with a wide selection of brands, like Samsung and Polar. Select tech wearables available at Staples, including smart watches and lifestyle trackers like UP24 by Jawbone, will be able to control other integrated devices such as thermostats, shades, cameras, and doorbells. For example, users will be able to turn on the lights or open the blinds by turning off sleep the mode on their Jawbone UP.

“Every day, UP24 helps millions of people better understand how they sleep, move and eat, getting them engaged in their health and thinking about the lifestyle decisions they make every day,” said Travis Bogard, vice president of product management and strategy at Jawbone. “Our integration with Staples extends the possibilities of what UP24 can do for you, delivering a stronger, smarter ecosystem to make your daily experiences even more frictionless.”

Additional Staples Connect Hub Options

Staples also announced new options for its Staples Connect Hub, with a reduced price of $49.99 for the critically acclaimed Linksys hub, and a new hub, manufactured by D-Link, available in the fall. The D-Link hub, which will retail for $79.99, adds support for ZigBee and Bluetooth LE (low energy), alongside all the major wireless protocols found in the current Linksys hub which includes WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Z-Wave, and Lutron Clear Connect™. With the Staples Connect apps and the new hub’s expanded protocols, users can control and connect an even wider range of devices from the most trusted brands in the industry.

“We’re excited to be a part of the Staples Connect initiative and the impressive set of solutions here for connecting today’s digital consumer,” said Albert Ling, executive vice president of sales and marketing, D-Link Systems. “The Connected Home Hub is a powerful piece of networking hardware working seamlessly with the Staples Connect app for a stellar user experience enabling control over a wide variety of devices.”

via Staples Brings New Brands, Features and Wearable Technology to Home/Office Automation Platform, “Staples Connect” | Business Wire.

MIT Graduates Invent Wearable Sensor Detecting Children's Head Injuries

By |September 8th, 2014|News, PRODUCT RUMORS, Sensors, StartUps|

The wearable sensor instantly alerts parents and coaches when a child receives a hard blow to the head that could cause a serious injury.

 The Jolt Sensor, founded by Ben Harvatine and Seth Berg, was originally an engineering lab project at MIT that was inspired by a concussion suffered by Harvatine during wrestling practice.  The condition was not immediately detected by doctors and became worse as Harvatine’s brain was exposed to additional impacts.

The duo realised this problem was prevalent among young athletes, who lack adequate sideline technology and medical personnel to identify and evaluate dangerous head impacts as soon as they happen.  “Through the ensuing hospital visits and months of recovery, the same thought kept crossing my mind – how could this have been prevented?” Harvatine said in his Kickstarter video.

“Many athletes like myself continue to play without realising they’ve been concussed, so there needs to be a way to alert parents, coaches and athletes of dangerous impacts as soon as they happen.”

The Jolt Sensor is a tiny 1.37in smart wearable clip that can be attached to any type of athletic headgear. The sensor vibrates to warn an athlete if it detects that the person’s head is accelerating in a potentially dangerous way.

The Jolt Sensor also makes use of Low-Energy Bluetooth technology to wirelessly send an alert to an accompanying iOS and Android smartphone app held by the parent or coach on the sidelines.  The technology enables information to be sent to devices that are up to 50m away, which means it is strong enough to be used on the pitch or court.  The sensor is waterproof and protected by soft silicone rubber. It comes with a micro-USB port and a battery that lasts several weeks on a single charge.

Jolt has just launched its Kickstarter campaign and has already had 132 backers pledge $11,840 (£7,129) within 24 hours, out of the $60,000 goal it hopes to achieve.

 

Backers will receive the Jolt Sensor if they pledge $75 or more and the startup hopes to ship the devices in April 2015. The wearable sensor instantly alerts parents and coaches when a child receives a hard blow to the head that could cause a serious injury.

via Two MIT Graduates Have Invented A Wearable Sensor To Detect Head Injuries in Children’s Sports | Wearable Technologies.

Asustek confirms voice control, price band of Android Wear watch | Tech | FOCUS TAIWAN

By |August 28th, 2014|Companion |NFC, News, PRODUCT RUMORS, Smart Watches, SMARTWATCHES, WEARABLE DEVICES|

Asustek confirms voice control, price band of Android Wear watch

image

2014/08/28 16:15:37

Taipei, Aug. 28 (CNA) Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. confirmed Thursday that its upcoming ZenWatch — a smartwatch powered by Google Inc.’s Android Wear system — will come with a voice recognition feature and an under-US$199 price band.

Asustek CEO, Jerry Shen, told a media briefing that the ZenWatch, which is due for launch Sept. 3 in Germany ahead of the IFA electronics trade show, will initially pack English-enabled voice recognition when it goes on sale in October.

Chinese language support for the watch’s voice control is expected to be released by the end of this year, depending on Asustek’s third-party developer of the feature, Shen said.

The smartwatch will have only one size and will cost less than US$199 when it hits stores in the United States and other selected markets from October, he added.

The ZenWatch can be used alone or paired with Android phones, including Asustek’s low-cost ZenFone models, to enable more functions, Shen told reporters without elaborating.

In early August, Asustek claimed that its smartwatch had been “well-received” by Google, which selected Asustek as one of its hardware partners for the Android Wear initiative in March, as the new watch looks better than competitors’ products but comes with a relatively low price tag.

Android Wear is a version of Google’s popular Android operating system and is designed specifically for wearable devices. The U.S. search giant said it is working with several hardware manufacturers and chipmakers to build new devices based on Android Wear.

(By Jeffrey Wu)

ENDITEM/J

via Asustek confirms voice control, price band of Android Wear watch | Tech | FOCUS TAIWAN – CNA ENGLISH NEWS.

Asus confirms SmartWatch annoucement for IFA

By |August 28th, 2014|Companion |NFC, Consumer Wearables, News, PRODUCT RUMORS, Smart Watches, SMARTWATCHES, WEARABLE DEVICES|

The manufacturer Asus has released the first teaser sketches of its upcoming Smart Watch.  The Taiwanese want to introduce the Smart Wearable on 3 September at IFA.
Photo: Asus
The manufacturer Asus has released the first teaser sketches of its upcoming Smart Watch. The Taiwanese want to introduce the Smart Wearable on 3 September at IFA.For friends of Smart wearables the upcoming IFA gradually to the event of the year:
After LG and Asus has now officially a SmartWatch announced for the electronics show. Besides various teaser sketches , on the social channels in the group Facebook and Twitter had presented no details of the surname, the equipment or the technique of Asus Smart Watch is currently known, however.

Smart Wearable: Asus also now comes with a Smart Watch for the IFA in Berlin.  Malteser sketches on Facebook and Twitter provide an outlook on the design of the smart clock.

Smart Wearable: Asus also now comes with a Smart Watch for the IFA in Berlin.
 Malteser sketches on Facebook and Twitter provide an outlook on the design of the smart clock.
(Source: Asus)

The sketches show a slightly curved, slimline housing which is to be made ​​according to the observations made ​​of stainless steel. Unlike LG’s G Watch R and Motorola’s Moto 360..

Asus does not follow the trend of round display – the display seems to be curved rectangular and also easy. The bracelet is as classic analog watches leather.

No information is yet available to the inner workings of the Smart Watch. Since Asus but with its tablets and smartphones recently introduced the Zenfone series on Android is operating system, the use of is Google’swearable operating system Android Wear close.
More details will probably be known only to the IFA, where Asus will introduce the SmartWatch on 3 September.

via Asus provides SmartWatch at IFA ago – com! professional.