The nice thing about a United States design patent, as opposed to a more common utility patent, is that it doesn't actually have to work. Hell, it doesn't even have to make sense - it just has to be a mostly-new idea that's concrete enough to put into a technical doodle. So it is with Design Patent D726,140, awarded to LG by the US Patent and Trademark Office last week.
Apple has a big event scheduled to kick off whenever the hour, with folks looking forward to learning more about upcoming MacBooks and the Apple Watch. The latter will be a first-generation device, Apple's long-awaited debut into the wearables market.
But forget about that product for a moment and remember that, whatever the headlines, Apple's watch will hardly be the only decent smartwatch in town. Google has just released a short commercial showing consumers that Android Wear is a thing and that its watches are cool.
Watch the video below. Watch it several times if you need to. Try to figure out what it's trying to promote. A remote and exclusive European ski resort? An auction house for classic Mercedes cars? Champagne intended only for use in questionably phallic gestures? Nope, it's Huawei's Watch. That's not a typo, it's actually called the Huawei Watch. Let's... um, watch.
The design of the Android Wear device looks more or less like the Moto 360, with its metal housing and thin bezels but without its signature "flat tire" screen cutout.
When the time came to unveil its second generation smartwatch, Pebble returned to the crowdfunding site where everything began. Setting the bar low, the company only wanted $500,000 to call the Pebble Time project, the name of its new watch, a success. Within half an hour, it had already reached a million dollars. Now the project sits over $10.5 million with 29 days left to go.
Can a grown-up company return to the kiddie pool of Kickstarter funding to help with its new product? Of course it can - this is how development works now! This morning the makers of Pebble announced Pebble Time, the company's second generation of Pebble hardware, launching exclusively through a Kickstarter funding campaign (like the record-breaking original two years ago). The company hit its modest $500,000 goal less than half an hour after posting the page.
You have seen the LG Watch Urbane in promo pictures along with its announcement, but you were probably still wondering if the watch really looks that good from all angles. Well, it does. Exhibit A:
Sexy! With the G Watch R, LG pulled off a watch that looks sporty and cool — mine always turns heads because people never realize it's a smartwatch until it starts buzzing and I interact with the screen. But the Urbane is taking it to another level of class and sophistication.
Pebble's website is currently home to a big countdown clock that is tracking the hours between now and 10AM EST tomorrow, February 24th. At that time, the company is expected to unveil information about new hardware and software.
Today we've caught a glimpse of both. The company briefly hosted this image on its servers before taking it back down.
The image shows a black, rounder Pebble with a color display. The four buttons used to navigate the on-screen interface—one on the left and three on the right—remain present on this updated model.
This weekend's poll asks a simple question, but it's an interesting one nonetheless, I think: do you prefer your smartwatch round or square?
The Moto 360 and G Watch R remain the only announced Wear devices with round displays. And, despite their coolness, circles have their downsides - they're unabashedly less efficient when displaying text, especially in a computing world that has been designed around quadrilaterals since the earliest monitors; there are so many interfaces that simply aren't optimized for a circle.
You might not know it if you don't regularly peruse the less-traveled sections of your local electronics store, but Garmin and its competitors have been making impressively sophisticated GPS watches for years. They only escaped the "smartwatch" label because the buzzword hadn't been invented yet. Now Garmin, like Timex, is approaching the smartwatch from the other end, adding more and more features onto a design that's been present for quite a while.
This year's Consumer Electronics Show will kick off next week, and many tech companies are ready to show off their gadgets. Alcatel OneTouch plans to attract attention on the show floor with its line of affordable phones and watches. But this time the price isn't the biggest draw.
The Alcatel OneTouch PIXI 3 series of handsets offer screens ranging from 3.5 to 5 inches. The smallest will only support 3G, while the 4", 4.5", and 5" options should handle 4G LTE as well.