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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.

ASUS ZenWatch Available at Best Buy on November 9th for $199

By |November 10th, 2014|Companion |NFC, Consumer Wearables, News, Smart Watches, SMARTWATCHES|

Press Release for 2014/11/07
ASUS ZenWatch Manager, Remote Camera, and Wellness smartphone apps available now on the Google Play store

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Fremont, CA (November 7, 2014) – ASUS today announced that ASUS ZenWatch, its first wearable device powered by Android Wear and produced in partnership with Google, will be available at Best Buy on November 9th for $199, and is coming soon on Google Play. ASUS ZenWatch is an exquisitely-crafted watch that pairs seamlessly with an Android™ 4.3+ smartphone to provide relevant and useful information when it is needed most, and serve as a personal wellness manager.

ASUS ZenWatch follows the tradition of fine watch craftsmanship with its stylish, detail-focused design and use of high quality materials. Its curved Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 display and case that follows the contour of the wrist, combined with a premium, stitched-leather strap with unique clasp, results in a design that is both comfortable and elegant. With a standard 22mm changeable strap and a selection of instantly-changeable watch faces, ASUS ZenWatch is easy to customize to fit anyone’s personality or sense of style.

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As a smart companion for Android phones, ASUS ZenWatch provides timely information at a glance and lets wearers get things done with a simple touch or voice command. ASUS ZenWatch brings some of the great features of ASUS ZenUI to an Android wearable for the first time. Users of ASUS smartphones can enjoy seamless integration with ASUS ZenUI on their phones, and experience exclusive ASUS ZenUI apps like What’s Next and Do It Later in ways that are more convenient and powerful than ever. Other apps add additional functionality to ASUS ZenWatch, including Remote Camera, which displays the smartphone viewfinder on the watch, letting wearers easily take selfies and other creative photos.

Combining sophisticated sensors with all-day comfort, ASUS ZenWatch is also a personal wellness manager that tracks a variety of wellness statistics, such as heart rate, step counts, and relaxation levels to help wearers keep their lives in balance and achieve personal fitness goals.

Fine watch craftsmanship
Employing the attention to detail and level of craftsmanship found in luxury watches, ASUS ZenWatch brings the tradition of fine watchmaking to Android wearables. The durable stainless-steel case features an attractive layered design composed of a striking rose-gold-colored band inset between two steel layers. The case is curved for increased comfort and a stylish look, and the watch face is covered with a layer of curved glass that increases usability by providing a smooth surface for easy and responsive swiping gestures.

ASUS ZenWatch has a universal fit that comfortably accommodates a wide range of wrist shapes and sizes. Its soft, genuine stitched-leather strap provides all-day comfort and features a unique clasp design that makes ASUS ZenWatch easy to put on and remove. The standard 22mm strap is easily changeable, letting wearers create a unique look for their watch by choosing a strap in their preference of color, style, and material.

Complementing its physical design, ASUS ZenWatch comes with a selection of instantly-changeable watch faces to fit any style, mood, or occasion. Wearers can use ASUS ZenWatch Manager on their smartphone to pick a watch face and customize its color and the information it displays, and change the watch face directly from ASUS ZenWatch. ASUS ZenWatch offers over 100 watch face combinations that, together with its changeable strap, provide endless personalization options.

Smart companion
ASUS ZenWatch is compatible with all smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher, and provides wearers with a convenient window to view incoming calls, messages, notifications, and other important information, as well as get straight answers to spoken questions, without having to remove their phone from their pocket or bag. All Android smartphone apps will show updates on ASUS ZenWatch, and many apps are creating new experiences to take full advantage of Android Wear.

When paired with the ASUS ZenWatch Manager smartphone app, ASUS ZenWatch provides enhanced smartphone integration, the ability to configure watch faces directly from the phone, and advanced features including ASUS ZenUI integration, Watch Unlock, Cover to Mute, and Find My Phone. Two additional features, Remote Camera and Presentation Control are available by using ASUS ZenWatch with the ASUS Remote Camera and ASUS Remote Link smartphone apps.

ASUS ZenWatch also integrates seamlessly with ASUS ZenUI on ASUS smartphones and comes with wearable-optimized versions of exclusive ASUS ZenUI app such as What’s Next and Do It Later. What’s Next is an intelligent schedule manager that displays the next important task or event such as appointments — including time and location changes, as well as cancellations — weather updates, and birthday and anniversary reminders for important contacts. Do It Later reminds wearers of items on their to-do list at just the right time. New email, text message, and missed call notifications are all seamlessly integrated with Do It Later, so wearers can create reminders to read and reply to messages, and return calls right from ASUS ZenWatch.

Watch Unlock turns ASUS ZenWatch into a universal key that lets wearers quickly unlock their phone or tablet simply by touching the watch face. Watch Unlock provides a balance between security and convenience by helping wearers protect their personal information, without always having to type a password or PIN into their device.

Remote Camera opens up new photographic opportunities for wearers by displaying their smartphone’s camera viewfinder remotely on ASUS ZenWatch. This is useful for group photos, letting the photographer compose the photo, release the shutter, and check the final result while being included in the shot. Remote Camera also frees wearers to take photos from creative angles where the viewfinder would be difficult to see, such as when holding the phone overhead at a concert or other crowded event.

Cover to Mute lets wearers easily mute an incoming call by placing their hand over the face of ASUS ZenWatch, helping them avoid situations where a ringtone would disturb others. Cover to Mute can also be used to silence alarms. Find My Phone helps wearers find their phone when it is misplaced by ringing it remotely. Alternatively, ASUS ZenWatch Manager on the smartphone can be used to find a misplaced ASUS ZenWatch by making it vibrate and flash.

Presentation Control enables ASUS ZenWatch to be used as a remote control and time manager when giving a business presentation or lecture. Wearers can move between slides, keep track of their progress, and keep an eye on the elapsed time all from ASUS ZenWatch, helping them to give polished, effective presentations.

Wellness manager
Comfortable to wear everywhere and built with sophisticated sensors, ASUS ZenWatch is a full-featured wellness manager that helps wearers maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Using the built-in biosensor, ASUS ZenWatch measures relaxation levels, and then provides wearers with an easy-to-understand relaxation score based on the results. Depending on the score, ASUS ZenWatch provides useful short tips on how to increase relaxation and reduce stress to improve wellness. Relaxation scores are recorded in the ASUS ZenUI Wellness app, so wearers can track their relaxation levels over time.

While wearers use ASUS ZenWatch throughout the day, the Wellness app tracks and displays a variety of health-related stats, including steps taken, calories burned, heart rate, activity duration, exercise intensity and relaxation level. The stats are presented as an informative timeline and weekly summary view that lets wearers know at a glance how active their lifestyle is.

Wearers can set activity goals — such as a target number of steps to take in a day — and then monitor these goals on ASUS ZenWatch as well as in the Wellness app. The summaries include attractive graphs that are easy to interpret and analyze, and can be used to progress towards future fitness goals.

ASUS has also partnered with Jawbone to bring its revolutionary UP system to ASUS ZenWatch. UP is an activity tracker and smart coach that helps wearers be more active. UP counts steps taken during the day and lets wearers log their diet and sleep. With this information UP presents wearers with simple lifestyle adjustments they can make to improve their health and fitness.

Availability & Pricing
ASUS ZenWatch will be available at Best Buy and BestBuy.com on November 9th for $199, and is coming soon on Google Play. ASUS ZenWatch Manager, Remote Camera, and Wellness are available now on the Google Play store.

SPECIFICATIONS
Processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 processor with 1.2GHz CPU
Operating System Android Wear
Memory & storage 512MB RAM
4GB EMMC
Display AMOLED 1.63-inch, 320 x 320, 278ppi touch display
Cover Lens 2.5D curved Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Sensors 9-axis sensor, Biosensor
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0
USB Port Micro USB on charging cradle
Audio Built-in microphone
Battery Li-polymer 1.4Wh
Water Resistance IP55
Colors Silver and rose gold color layers
Brown leather strap
Size 2.04 x 1.57 x 0.29-0.37 inch
Weight Body: 1.76 oz
Strap: 0.88 oz

Specifications, content and product availability are all subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors.

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About ASUS
ASUS is a worldwide top-three consumer notebook vendor and maker of the world’s best-selling, most award-winning, motherboards. A leading enterprise in the new digital era, ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s digital home and office, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, displays, desktop and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia devices, wireless solutions, networking devices, tablets and smartphones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 4,256 awards in 2013 and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with its Eee PC™. ASUS has more than 12,500 employees around the globe with a world-class R&D team of 3,800 engineers. Company revenue for 2012 was approximately US$14 billion.

PR Contacts for North American Market:
Tammy Lin
Public Relations
Tammy.t_Lin@asus.com

Christine Yin
Public Relations
Christine_yin@asus.com

SmartWatch 3: On Sale on Google Play $249 with Android Wear

By |October 19th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Gerald Lynch – Gizmodo UK

Ahead of IFA, there were rumours that Sony was to release a third SmartWatch that would still be running on the company’s own wearable operating system. On the basis of our experience with previous efforts, that would have been a very bad idea indeed. Thankfully, the real deal SmartWatch 3 that’s just been launched at the Berlin show is indeed running Google’s Android Wear smartwatch OS.

Despite the naming, it’s actually Sony’s fourth generation SmartWatch device being unveiled, and it shows. Fully waterproofed to an IP65/68 rating, its minimal design shares some similarities with the new Xperia Z3 range, right down to the display tech used. Packing in a 1.6-inch 320 x 320 resolution squared-off LCD screen and powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core ARM A7, it has what Sony’s calling “Transflexive” display technology to boost contrast levels in harsh ambient lighting, meaning that it shouldn’t be a washed out chore to look at in direct sunlight.

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This core face piece can be popped out of its strap, and replaced inside other sold-separately rubber straps of a variety of colours. The stretchy band, finished off with a folding metal clasp, still feels very much like a “smartwatch” rather than “a watch which is and looks smart”, which may mean those waiting for a more subtly-styled connected timepiece will still want to hold out for the circular Motorola Moto 360.

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With a two day battery life, the watch will be compatible with any Android device running Android 4.3 or newer — not just Xperia phones. And it’s got a few unique features too — 4GB local storage will let you use it as a music player without needing a phone to beam them from first, while a built in GPS sensor will let runners track their routes without having a phone jostling around in their pockets. As with other smartwatches, the SmartWatch 3 can also be used as a shutter trigger for a connected phone’s camera.

Coming at some point in “the fall” (that’s autumn to you and me), expect to pay around $250.

Smartwatch Wars: The Apple Watch versus Android Wear, in screenshots

By |September 11th, 2014|Apple, Companion |NFC, News, Outside Sources*, Smart Watches|

No one has really figured out what a smartwatch should look like yet, but one thing is for sure: Google and Apple have taken vasty different routes to getting a computer on your wrist. To show just how different, we put together this gallery of similar screens from the Apple Watch and Android Wear.

They should be easy enough to tell apart: the Apple Watch is the square one, while the Android Wear screenshots are all from the Moto 360 and therefore (mostly) round.

Android Wear Vs. Apple Watch   a ScreenShots Showdown

While we know just about everything there is to know about the Moto 360, the Apple Watch isn’t actually a released product yet, so we’re going off our best educated guess for some of these. We had to swipe pictures from Apple’s promotional images (which sadly weren’t a super-high resolution), and it was up to us to crop them into a “screenshot.”

Display Specifications – What are they?

Apple hasn’t released specs for the screen, and where exactly the bezel stops and starts in many of Apple’s promotional shots is up to interpretation. By our calculations, though, and by using enlightening images like this, it looks like the Apple Watch has a 4:5 aspect ratio.

The Watche’s Operating Systems

The watch OS (we don’t know the operating system’s name yet) usually has a black background picture on a black bezel, so to maximize screen space, Apple often puts UI elements right against the edge of the screen, allowing the bezel to act as the “padding” that would traditionally be in a well-designed interface.

Enlarge / Density.  Apple/Ron Amadeo

 

Information Density, What is it?

Of course one is round and one is square, but the biggest difference between the two platforms is information density. Google seems content with only a few lines of text OR one button per screen, while Apple seems to want to pack as much into a single screen as it can. It’s almost the complete opposite of what you would expect from the two companies: Google built an airy, picture-heavy OS, while Apple built a more powerful, denser OS with an all-black motif.

Fitt’s Law in Full Effect

Fitt’s law is in full effect here. Google’s huge one-per-screen buttons will be easier to hit in a hurry, but getting to the one you want will require more scrolling. Apple doesn’t require as much scrolling, but tapping the smaller buttons will take more aim and care.

The APPLE WATCH OS

Apple’s watch OS is so dense it has added a side-mounted jog dial (a “digital crown” in Apple-speak), which will let you “tab” through screen options. This means targets don’t need to be large enough for touch, and allows users to interact with the screen without covering it. Ironically, smartphone Android supports touchscreens, d-pads, keyboards, mice, trackballs, video game controllers, and nearly every input method on Earth, but none of that made it to Android Wear, which only supports a touchscreen.

More App-Centric Approach

Apple is also taking a much more app-centric approach, putting apps on the main screen, just like on a smartphone. Google’s watch OS is primarily notification driven, with the “app drawer” buried several screens deep into the OS, or hidden behind a verbal “start [app name].”

Apple rarely demoed voice commands—all of its apps and features seem usable with tap or jog dial input—while Android Wear depends on voice input for many features.

Google stated Happy & Expected Android Wear Response

By |September 8th, 2014|News, Smart Watches, SMARTWATCHES, WEARABLE DEVICES|

Sounds like Google is Happy with the turn of Most EVERY Smartwatch mfg. to Android Wear OS.  

On a blog posted early this Sept month, Google stated they’d expected the such STRONG Android Wear adoption and we agreed.

Android Wear, moving forward like clockwork” by Google, Inc’s Blog

“First, we’re bringing offline music playback and GPS support to Android Wear. Go for a run or bike ride with your Android wearable and leave your phone at home. You’ll be able to listen to music stored on your watch via Bluetooth headphones. And if your watch includes a GPS sensor, you can track your distance and speed too.

The second update will enable downloadable watch faces, so you can customize the visual design of your watch’s home screen to show the information you want to see most—like your calendar or fitness sensors. Developers will soon be working on watch faces, making them available on Google Play. “

Google continued to go on by listing the upcoming smartwatches harboring the new ‘Android Wear OS’

“We’re also continuing to work with manufacturers to bring you even more watch options, with different shapes, styles and sensors.

  1. The Asus Zen Watch, coming later this year, includes a bio sensor, so you can keep tabs on your fitness and relaxation levels throughout the day.

    The LG G Watch R uses a circular display, includes a heart rate monitor, and will be available later this year.
    Last, but not least, we’re happy to welcome Sony to the Android Wear family with the Sony SmartWatch 3. It uses a transflective display for easier readability in sunlight, includes a GPS sensor, and will be available later this year.

    The Moto 360, the first Android wearable with a round display, is now available for sale in the U.S.

Read the complete version of Google September 5, 2014 post by following this link on their blog at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/android-wear-moving-forward-like.html