Samsung's forays into Wearable technology for the consumer market haven't been very groundbreaking, and a few never even touched down. Perhaps the secret was to aim higher than heart rate trackers and smartwatches. A small team at Samsung has been working in the company's Creativity Lab (a.k.a. C-Lab) developing a headset capable of observing brainwave patterns for signs of a stroke. Not only could the system help millions of people each year to prevent a crippling or fatal stroke, but the technology may have applications for monitoring the heart and brain for many other conditions.
Google Glass still isn't lighting up the world almost two years after release, but it looks like at least one major electronics corporation has taken notice. Sony's primary production division announced its new Single-Lens Display Module today. It's a wearable device that's remarkably similar to Glass in basic structure, with the major difference being that it can be attached to any normal pair of glasses or sunglasses.
Don't pull out your wallet just yet.
With a big OTA expected to hit Android Wear devices starting around October 15th, Google has just published what might be a preparatory update for the Android Wear companion app. Taking the app up to version 1.0.2, the update adds about 3MB to the APK's file size. Google hasn't published a change log quite yet, but we can already tell from a cursory teardown that the new version brings with it an update to Google Play Services for Wearables (a package sent to the watch from the app) - version 6.1.11 (up from 5.0.91).
It's amazing that more than a decade after the rise of "gadget blogs," gigantic international corporations still don't tick the little "confidential" mark when submitting their gadgets for certification by the Federal Communications Commission. Keep it up, folks, it gives us peeks at upcoming hardware like the Lenovo SW-B100 Smartband. This wearable was previously spotted going through the Bluetooth SIG's series of tests, and rumored for an IFA debut, which didn't happen.
Xiaomi has been making waves in the expanding Chinese smartphone market thanks to solid hardware and customized Android software. The company's 4th-generation flagship, the Mi 4, looks like a definite step up. While the 5-inch 1080p screen matches the Mi3, the design is... well, let's call a spade a spade, shall we? It's a big iPhone. Between the segmented metal band, the specifically rounded corners, and the edge-mounted speakers, it's pretty clear that Xiaomi was going for a particular look.
We have heard tell (from Forbes) that Google is preparing a new service called Google Fit, supposedly for debut at I/O, where the company is expected to also announce partnerships with certain wearables manufacturers. The report says that Google Fit will provide developers with APIs to plug into the service, and that the overall goal is a second take at the quantified health data space.
With Apple recently unveiling HealthKit, the iron is hot.
According to a new exclusive from Forbes, Google is working on preparing a service called Google Fit. Forbes says the service will aggregate and manage health and fitness data collected from sources like wearables and fitness trackers, and it will offer new APIs to developers for integration with the service.
According to Forbes, it's unclear whether Google's HealthKit competitor will debut with the next version of Android, but evidently the company is set to unveil the service, along with new partnerships with wearable manufacturers, at this year's I/O conference (which for those keeping count is just under two weeks away).
A couple of months ago, we posted one of our early Google Search/Now rumors, and it was something of a long range rumor compared to others. While things like parking reminders, proper timer management, and bill pay reminders have already seen their public release, the ability to set contact-based reminders ("remind me when I'm with this person"), hasn't come forward yet. But it will likely appear very soon with a new feature in Android called Nearby, which will allow new interactions between you and nearby people, places, and things.
You couldn't swing a dead cat at Mobile World Congress back in February without hitting a smartwatch or a fitness band. (Not that you would want to. Barcelona probably has some kind of municipal ordinance against dead feline hurling.) After teasing us with the companion app, Sony has finally released the Smartband SWR10 in the US. This screenless Bluetooth activity tracker will cost you a C-note on Sony's online store, and it should be showing up at other retailers soon.
There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.