If you're using a "smart" wearable device because it's fashionable rather than practical (and the current crop of smartwatches have a pretty tenuous grasp on the idea of practicality anyway), then why not just wear an old-fashioned watch or bracelet and deal with the arguable inconvenience of reaching for your phone on occasion? These and other questions might be answered by the Android app for MICA, an Intel-branded wearable that puts fashion over form. Read More
Combining metallic alloys with natural or synthetic threads, Google's ATAP and its industrial partners have created Jacquard yarn. Named for Joseph Marie Jacquard's inventions, the yarn is the basis for ATAP's Project Jacquard, an effort to make it easy for textile makers to weave interactive surfaces into everyday textiles like clothes and furniture. These surfaces would ultimately control things like mobile devices, and perhaps evolve into experiences and functions of their own. Jacquard yarn allows these new surfaces to either be plainly visible or completely hidden from the user so, just like regular yarn, designers can decide exactly how a surface will appear - or not appear, as the case may be. Read More
If the LG Watch Urbane just isn't fancy enough for you, the manufacturer is going to up the stakes. LG just announced the Watch Urbane LTE on its home turf of South Korea, ostensibly to have something to compete with Samsung's Gear S. The Watch Urbane LTE includes the capability to make voice calls, essentially turning it into a wrist-mounted cell phone. It would be the first Android Wear device with stand-alone voice capability... if it were running Android at all. According to LG's (translated) press release, the Urbane LTE is using a proprietary operating system, just like the Tizen-based Gear S. Read More
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.
The Pebble Time gets new hardware goodies like a color e-paper screen and microphone, enabling an experience that's more in line with what smartwatches have become over the last couple of years. Read More
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. 9to5Mac reports that the device will be thinner and come with a completely redesigned software experience, a Cortex M4 processor, and a 6-axis gyroscrope. Read More
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.
The project began two years ago when the project lead, Se-hoon Lim, and 4 other engineers from the smartphone and washing machine divisions came together with the goal of an early warning system. Read More
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. Sony is really only promoting the module at this point - it's not a finished consumer product. Sony is a huge OEM parts provider, after all, so this gadget is more of a proof-of-concept for Sony's corporate customers. Read More
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).
This update could well affect Android Wear devices' battery life, and prepare the platform for future capabilities, some of which will come in the OTA mentioned above. Read More
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.
The FCC's tests and documentation vary from device to device, but in this case we get external and internal photos and a copy of the Smartband's user manual. Read More
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.
Inside the phone is an impressive collection of specs: Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 13MP rear camera with an impressive 8MP front-facing cam, and a big 3,080mAh battery. Read More