wearables

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  • Shaquille O'Neal talks Fitbit, Google Glass and smartphones at SXSW

    by 
    Sarah Silbert
    Sarah Silbert
    03.10.2014

    This is Shaquille O'Neal's second SXSW, and this year he stopped by Austin to talk about wearables. In a panel with Rick Valencia of Qualcomm yesterday, Shaq touched on the importance of activity trackers in keeping us fit. He's personally a fan of Fitbit, which he uses to help meet the goal of 10,000 steps per day, though he told us he's all for any device that keeps users active and motivated. We had a chance to pick his brain about wearable tech in general -- he's all for Google Glass -- and asked him about the other gadgets he relies on when he's on the road. (Spoiler: he carries both an Android handset and an iPhone.) See what else caught his eye at SXSW 2014 in our video interview.

  • If you've got the SADs, this sunlight-tracking wearable could help cure it

    by 
    Joseph Volpe
    Joseph Volpe
    02.25.2014

    There are wearables to track your exercise activity, food consumption and sleep habits. There are even wearables that want to be smartphones-lite. But never before has there been a portable tracker for daily sunlight exposure. That's a niche GoodLux is looking to fill with its SunSprite, a solar-powered, Bluetooth 4.0 wireless device with a Harvard Medical pedigree that's launching today on Indiegogo. And it's gone everywhere with me this past week in Barcelona as I've raced in and out of conference halls to cover Mobile World Congress.

  • BlackBerry currently has no plans for a wearable device

    by 
    Brad Molen
    Brad Molen
    02.25.2014

    Wearable devices seem to be a hot trend in the wireless industry right now, but BlackBerry isn't taking the bait... at least, not yet. When asked about his company's plans at Mobile World Congress, CEO John Chen was very straightforward in confessing that he has no current plans for bringing a wearable device to market. That doesn't mean it won't happen down the road at some point, of course, but it's clear that this particular market segment isn't really an area of interest or focus right now -- considering the company is working hard to bring out fresh devices and is in the midst of getting back to becoming profitable, and it appears that BlackBerry doesn't believe that such a device would really make a dent in its bottom line yet.

  • Samsung Gear 2 smartwatches coming in April with Tizen OS and better battery life

    by 
    Brad Molen
    Brad Molen
    02.22.2014

    Even in an industry known for evolving at an impossibly quick pace, it's rare for a product to be replaced in just five months. If you've read our review of Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch, however, it probably makes sense why the manufacturer would want to antiquate it as soon as possible -- while an interesting concept, the wearable was clearly half-baked. This morning, Samsung is starting off Mobile World Congress by announcing the Gear 2 (shown above, right) and the camera-less Gear 2 Neo (above, left), both of which (the company hopes) will address most of its predecessor's pain points when it arrives in stores worldwide this April. The absence of Galaxy branding is no typo, by the way; the new Gear will run on the Tizen operating system, a platform which Samsung has been investing large amounts of money and resources into. It's not the company's first device running that OS -- that honor goes to the NX300M camera -- but regardless, it's hard to know exactly how different the user experience will be on a Tizen-powered smartwatch instead of an Android-based one. According to Samsung, we can expect a battery life of 2-3 days (two to three times better than the first Gear's one-day life), an "enriched application ecosystem" and some sweeping changes to the external design. Check out the gallery below and join us after the break for more details.

  • The little-known iPhone 4sandal

    by 
    Mike Wehner
    Mike Wehner
    02.21.2014

    I have no idea where these are from or if they are somehow an officially licensed product (I'm betting not), but either way, it's a mighty strange thing to put on some summer footwear. [Photo credit: Daniel Hoherd]

  • The best (and worst) iWatch concepts

    by 
    Mike Wehner
    Mike Wehner
    02.17.2014

    Apple might possibly launch a wrist-wearable smart device this year that could maybe be fitness and health focused, but that's about as much as anyone cares to guess at this point. The almost complete lack of verifiable information regarding the device -- which has been unanimously tagged the "iWatch" -- means that talent concept artists have had an absolute field day with the idea, creating gadgets that range from mild to mind-blowing. Here are the good, the bad, and the ugly iWatch concepts that the web has come up with so far. Designer: ADR Studio Verdict: It's one of the more modest iWatch concepts and definitely has the "iPhone shrunk for your wrist" feel to it. I wouldn't be against a smartwatch like this, though I have a feeling battery life would be abysmal. Designer: Esben Oxholm Verdict: It's definitely got the Apple look. It's sleek, simple, and sexy without being flashy. The curved glass seems like a cracked screen just waiting to happen, and the rigid design will limit its mass appeal, but it would have plenty of fans, too. Designer: Anders Kjellberg Verdict: This one looks like it could appear on a store shelf tomorrow, but it also feels a bit like something you'd see with a Casio logo. The concept features a FaceTime camera and access to apps like Maps, but it really doesn't look like an Apple product. Designer: Pavel Simeonov Verdict: I could definitely see Apple going with the long-screen route, which makes this concept feel pretty solid. The in-band camera seems like wishful thinking, as does the edge-to-edge display, but if the mythical iWatch went with a design like this, it would definitely shake things up. Designer: Federico Ciccarese Verdict: This one is a bit pie-in-the-sky, given its massive screen and what is essentially a full iPhone feature set, but there's no denying that it's gorgeous. It seems like it would get scratched up pretty quickly, but that's the price you pay to wear a smartphone on your wrist. Designer: Nickolay Lamm Verdict: Now this is an interesting idea. As Lamm states on his site, he used ideas from Apple's own patent for "spiral navigation" for the UI, and it's certainly unlike anything that currently exists. A circular screen is a risky proposition, and might turn some people off, but it's certainly unique. Designer: Federico Ciccarese Verdict: Wow! Originally designed as an iPhone 5 concept, this one looks like a cross between an iPhone and one of those face-huggers from the Aliens movie franchise, but it's certainly got a futuristic appeal to it. It doesn't look particularly comfortable, but having an iPhone attached to your wrist at all times might make up for that. [Header Image Credit: Federico Ciccarese]

  • Wearable tech deals of the week: 2.14.14

    by 
    Billy Steele
    Billy Steele
    02.14.2014

    If you've been considering a wearable purchase, but are unsure about parting with the requisite funds, today's gaggle of discounted tech may finally urge you to commit. There are activity trackers and the Galaxy Gear that's currently marked at 50 percent off waiting on the other side of the break. With a price drop that like, you'll want to decide quickly as the offer won't last long. Just window-shopping? No worries. Join us and add the gadgets you're shopping for to your Want list; every time there's a price cut in the future, you'll get an email alert!

  • Nintendo working on non-wearable health monitoring tech

    by 
    David Hinkle
    David Hinkle
    01.29.2014

    Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed the company is looking into non-wearable health monitors during a financial briefing in Japan today. New details on this venture, Iwata said, would be revealed this year, with a planned launch for Nintendo's fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. Iwata said, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, that Nintendo's main theme for the next 10 years will be enhancing the quality of life through entertainment. Health is a large part of that, and Iwata even called out the cadre of wearable health devices already available on the market as evidence of the sector's importance to consumers. Still, this is an especially odd direction granted Nintendo's inability to launch its first foray into health tech, the Wii Vitality Sensor. The Vitality Sensor was announced in 2009 and was designed to monitor the users' heart rate while playing games. Nintendo cited a problem with Wii Vitality Sensor prototypes reading a small percentage of users as the reason for canceling it.

  • Switched On: The next steps for digital wellness, part two

    by 
    Ross Rubin
    Ross Rubin
    01.29.2014

    Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. The last Switched On discussed many of the limitations of today's fitness monitors and how input regarding other lifestyle variations could create a more complete picture of how we control our health. But there are other health factors that change infrequently and can have a profound impact on our well-being.

  • Google hacked together some pretty underwhelming games for Glass (video)

    by 
    Timothy J. Seppala
    Timothy J. Seppala
    01.29.2014

    While Google Glass may still be in its infancy, gaming on the wearable is practically in the zygote stages. To help change that, developers at the search giant have cobbled together some games in an effort to "inspire" developers. That said, what Google is offering doesn't seem too different from what we've seen out of other teams. There are five diversions in total (including a Fruit Ninja clone, as well as tennis and a matching game), but there isn't anything particularly exciting about them. For example, Balance tasks you with keeping a stack of shapes from falling off of your skull via Glass' baked-in accelerometer. Clay Shooter, on the other hand, has you yelling "pull!" to line up the target with your eyepiece's crosshairs, and shouting "bang!" to shoot the pigeon -- sure to be a big hit in crowded areas. Still, if you're curious what official Glass games look like, we've embedded video after the jump.

  • Recommended Reading: The Internet of (insecure) Things and the fight for wearable disruption

    by 
    Billy Steele
    Billy Steele
    01.25.2014

    Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books dealing with the subject of technology that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read. The Internet of Things Is Wildly Insecure - And Often Unpatchable (1,218 words) by Bruce Schneier, Wired Pocket!function(d,i){if(!d.getElementById(i)){var j=d.createElement("script");j.id=i;j.src="https://widgets.getpocket.com/v1/j/btn.js?v=1";var w=d.getElementById(i);d.body.appendChild(j);}}(document,"pocket-btn-js"); The race for the connected home has been on for sometime now, and with each passing month, it seems a new arsenal of gadgets pops up. Recently, issues surrounding the security of those internet-enabled devices have come to light -- including the ability to hack those units to shoot out a crop of spam emails. As Bruce Schneier writes, locking down that new washer or smart fridge is a lot easier said than done thanks to the lack of patching options for the exploited vulnerabilities. As you might expect, Schneier begins to lay out a worst-case scenario that he says is inevitable unless we force "embedded system vendors to design their systems better."

  • Avegant's Glyph headset live on Kickstarter for $500

    by 
    Timothy J. Seppala
    Timothy J. Seppala
    01.22.2014

    We've been telling you about the Avegant Glyph for awhile, but now you can finally plunk down some bills to get one yourself. Thanks to Kickstarter, beta-testing the device for its designer isn't without its own set of perks. For instance, 500 of the earliest backers at the $500 tier can snag a unit with their choice of colors for the device's LED ring and HDMI cable. If you miss that limited window, however, you'll still have your choice of three colors for the headset itself at the same price -- just not the accessories. Unlike the versions we've demoed up to this point, Avegant promises that the unit you receive will be lighter and more comfortable overall. Sadly, the battery life is still pegged at around three hours.

  • The future of beauty school is Google Glass

    by 
    Christopher Trout
    Christopher Trout
    01.18.2014

    At least according to L'Oreal. The hair care giant (and purveyor of giant hair) just announced Matrix Class for Glass, which gives clients and beauty school students a stylists-eye view of your head. The three-part program includes a video series of in-depth beauty tutorials shot with Google's wearable; Matrix Eye for Style, an "exclusive" salon experience provided by George Papanikolas, who will record sessions with the headset; and a series of lessons for beauty professionals given by be-Glassed hair care superstars. This isn't the first or last time L'Oreal has taken advantage of the wearable; it used Glass to document Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Madrid late last year and has plans to release a Glass app sometime in 2014. It might seem like an odd coupling considering most glass holes are more Super Cuts than Vidal Sassoon, but L'Oreal says there's an intersection between the early adopters of fashion and tech. According to a study done by its partner at Fashion Week, Nurun, "The futuristic nature of Google Glass appealed to the fashion-forward, tech-savvy audience..." When we start seeing years-old issues of Wired replacing copies of Southern Hair at Truvy's, we'll believe it.

  • Traffic ticket for driving with Google Glass gets dismissed in court

    by 
    Mat Smith
    Mat Smith
    01.16.2014

    Pay attention to the road. At least, until the cars are able to drive themselves. That's the rule, and it was probably one of the reasons why Google Glass early-adopter Cecilia Abadie got ticketed for donning the wearable at the wheel. It was a second citation, alongside speeding, although it was dismissed by San Diego Court Commissioner John Blair, noting that: "There is no testimony it was operating or in use while Ms. Abadie was driving." However, he did say earlier that Google's wearable did however, fall "within the purview and intent" of the state's ban on driving with a monitor. This particular case might have been dismissed on lack of evidence, but we reckon those wider implications (and resultant legal tussles) are far from over.

  • Intel's Mike Bell on what's wrong with wearables, and how he plans to fix it

    by 
    James Trew
    James Trew
    01.10.2014

    If there's one buzzword that sums up CES 2014, it has to be wearables. There has been everything from cameras to earbuds. Not to mention a veritable deluge of smartwatches, wristbands and fitness trackers. Even Intel is in on the game, bringing us some of the show's most memorable wearable tech: the baby onesie, a smart mug concept, an earpiece and even a watch of its own. There's a good reason why Intel is investing in wearables, though -- and his name is Mike Bell. He's the general manager of the New Devices Group at Intel, and he thinks wearables are a massive opportunity. One problem though: He also thinks we're currently doing it wrong. To that end, he's tasked with shaping Intel's wearable future, which, if all goes well (for him), will be our wearable future too.

  • Lumus turns its military-grade eyewear into a Google Glass competitor (video)

    by 
    Alexis Santos
    Alexis Santos
    01.10.2014

    Lumus has long developed heads-up displays for the US military, but now it's using a developer kit called the DK-40 to bring its HUD tech to wearables outside the battlefield. The contraption's first stop was the CES show floor, so we couldn't resist putting our fingerprints all over it. The key feature of the DK-40 is the "optical engine", which eliminates the need for a thick piece of glass to house a substantially sized prism. For the most part, the lens is transparent, but refracting light can occasionally catch the prisms and remind you (again) that it's not run-of-the-mill eyewear. And as if one display wasn't enough, the firm says it's possible to add a second one for the left eye. Folks with eyesight issues can attach a pair of prescription lenses that rest on the nose grips, but the firm is also developing a version where the medically prescribed glass will be bonded to the lenses.

  • Neptune's Pine isn't a smartwatch; it's a smartphone that sits on your wrist

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    01.08.2014

    When designing a smartwatch, the general trend is to start with a basic timepiece and add features until physics or budgets get in the way. That's not the approach taken by 19-year-old Canadian Simon Tian when he developed the Pine by Neptune. Instead, he took to Kickstarter with the idea of just shrinking a last-generation smartphone down to watch-size proportions. The result isn't really a watch in any sense of the word, but considering that the Pine raised eight times its goal on Kickstarter, there's clearly a desire for this sort of hardware. We got to spend some time with it at CES and want to share some impressions with you.

  • Intel outs smart earbuds that track your run and your heart rate

    by 
    Alexis Santos
    Alexis Santos
    01.06.2014

    We're here at the opening CES keynoted by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, and the parade of wearables has just begun. The firm's head honcho has just unveiled a pair of smart earbuds that can track your heart rate (and display it on a companion app), keep tabs on your running and get their power from your device's headphone jack. There's no word on price, but it's set to arrive sometime this year.

  • Sony outs the 'tiniest' gadget it's ever made: Core, a wearable built for life-logging

    by 
    Timothy J. Seppala
    Timothy J. Seppala
    01.06.2014

    Sony just unveiled a new modular wearable -- comprised of a Core sensor pack and a SmartBand bracelet -- at its CES press event. Core tracks your movement and activities using a companion LifeLog app that uses that information to suggest personal highlights based on your daily communications and activities. What's more, the tech giant says you can don the NFC-powered Core in additional ways, too: as a pendent or inserted into a footpod in a shoe, for example. Folks digging the standard implementation won't be saddled with merely one or two colors like many other wearable bracelets either, as you can see above, a whole host of colors is on the way. For now, we don't have much more information about Core's capabilities or its internals, Sony Mobile CEO Kunimasa Suzuki said that his team is working with various partners on more hardware (additional clips and band designs) and software features, and we'll learn more about the plans for the Core platform later this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

  • Harman integrates Google Glass into smart mirror concept, eyes safer driving with wearables

    by 
    Billy Steele
    Billy Steele
    01.06.2014

    Automakers and in-car infotainment outfits have begun to make a play for Google Glass alongside vehicles and tech. Hyundai has already outed plans for using Google's headset for unlocking doors, and now Harman is looking to enhance driver safety with the device. At CES, the audio and infotainment company will show off its advanced driver assistance services (ADAS) engine, One Harman, integrated with Glass. The smart mirror concept leverages the ADAS tech and cameras in order to analyze real-time data, map lanes and calculate potential road hazards. Warnings and alerts can then be sent directly to the driver's headset, allowing the focus to remain on the open highway. Of course, Harman will still have to sell lawmakers on the new safety regimen before it can become a mainstay.