According to a Forbes report, Microsoft is about to launch a wearable device in the coming weeks. The gadget will reportedly hit the shelves in time for the holiday shopping season.
Microsoft's upcoming creation will focus on tracking physical activities that include steps, heart rate, and calories burned among others. Some smartwatch functionality is also expected, though it will not be the product's main highlight. Battery life of the wearable device is tipped to be in the ballpark of two days.
HTC was rumored to release it's first Android Wear Smartwatch, or its first Smart Wearable device. According to the latest reports apparently, the company has decided not to try to compete with LG, Samsung, Motorola and others, and has scrapped its Smartwatch project.
A report published on Friday, suggests that the rising costs of producing the watch was one of the reasons behind HTC's decision to cancel it. In addition, it is believed that the watch being devised by the company lacked any innovation or special design that would allow it to challenge the competition.
The smartwatch market is becoming more and more crowded, with Asus recently joining the group. Right now, there is a heavy air of anticipation as Apple's long awaited iWatch is expected to be unveiled on September 9th. As usual with Apple, the expectations are extremely high. While it is probable that Apple's timepiece will see the light of day this coming Tuesday, the product will probably not be made available to consumers until next year.
HTC executives reveales the company's plans for a wearable device in a conversation with Re/code. In line with past rumors, the Taiwanese manufacturer confirmed that it will not enter the market for such products until next year.
According to Jason Mackenzie, the head of HTC Americas, the company originally had plans to launch a wearable in this time frame. However, the gadget is not ready for the spotlight just yet.
Furthermore, Drew Bamford, the man in charge of the HTC Creative Labs team that works on wearables, took a jab at the competition. He pointed to the media that none of the current manufacturers has gotten the wearable device concept right.
According to some rumors, HTC is working on its first wearables Smartwatch which will allegedly be called "Petra" and WILL NOT be an Android Wear powered device. Instead it will run a simple custom OS that supports Android 4.4+ and iOS 7+.
The HTC Petra sounds like a sporty smart band with IP57 and MIL-STD-810G certifications and an included footpad for more accurate step counting. The wearable will communicate with smartphones over Bluetooth though it should have its own GPS receiver. The screen will be a flexible 1.8" PMOLED with 160 x 32 resolution.
The HTC Petra ius rumored to launch by the end of March in the USA, allegedly of course. Here's the Full HTC Petra Specifications list:
- Chipset: ST Micro STM32L151
- OS: RTOS developed by HTC (No Android Wear support)
- Size: S/M/L
- Weight: 23g
- Display: 1.8" 32*160 PMOLED flexible display
- Support Bluetooth and GPS
- Charge battery via POGO Pin or USB
- Battery Life: 3days+
- Water/Dust proof rated at IP57
- Passed MIL-STD-810G, Method 516.6 test
- Alarm, Timer, Stopwatch, Music Control, Camera Shutter, sleep Analysis, Sports Analysis/ see today's schedule, weather, your phone's notification.
- Support Android phone(Android 4.4 or later), and iOS(7.0 or later).
- Package include footpad which can help to analysis steps more correctly.
- Color: Teal/Lime, Black/Blue Gray
- Expected Launch Date: (Q1,2015) worldwide release but will launch in the U.S. first.
Wearables market is still new but Samsung is still dominating it.. According to a chart made by Jeeq Data LLC that tracks which products are the top sellers in several categories at specific retailers, a bit more than one out of every three smartwatches/fitness bands that was sold by Best Buy in April was branded with the Samsung name.
More specifically, 33.94% of these devices were manufactured by the Korean firm. Best Buy offers a wide assortment of Samsung timepieces including the stand-alone Samsung Gear S, which it sells with an AT&T voice and data plan. It also sells the Samsung Gear Fit, which is a combination of smartwatch and fitness band. The Samsung Gear 2 and the Samsung Gear 2 Neo are both available, as well.
After Samsung, the soon to be public Fibit garnered 20% of Best Buy's wearable sales for the monh. And not that far behind Fitbit was Motorola. The Moto 360 accounted for 17.88% of these sales in April. And we should mention that the Microsoft Band finished fourth with a 12.73% slice of the pie. Rounding out the top five was Pebble. The Kickstarter superstar accounted for 9.39% of the smartwatch and fitness band sales at Best Buy in April.
On a daily basis, Fitbit was a steady performer for the month, while Samsung sold well during the beginning and the end of April.
"Apple - Watch Sport" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Yasunobu Ikeda
Wearable technology makes an ideal gift regardless of the occasion. Whether the recipient is a sports fan, tech buff, or fashionista, there are smartwatches and fitness trackers for most budgets. Finding the right balance of style, price, and features can be a chore so here are a few suggestions for the different people in your life:
The Sports Fan
Tech giant Apple, recently announced the latest addition to its wearable range, the Apple Watch Series 2. Built with fitness at its core, the latest watchOS is faster and smoother, and allows the device to operate more like a timepiece instead of a stunted smartphone. It's also waterproof. At £369 though, it's pricey.
If you insist on making the Apple Watch your gym buddy, buy the Nike+ version; it's lighter than the Series 2, better ventilated, and comes in a range of bright, sporty colours.
Alternatively, try the FitBit Blaze. At £144.99, the Blaze was the most popular wearable device in a poll conducted by Voucherbox where value for money was concerned. It's oddly shaped and did nothing to revolutionise the FitBit range but it comes feature-packed with a heart-rate monitor, GPS, and built-in workouts.
For smaller budgets, there's also the FitBit Charge 2 at £118.40. The popular Garmin Forerunner 325 is more expensive than both FitBits (£232) but runners may appreciate the emphasis on their favourite activity.
"Individual in a Suit" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by flazingo_photos
The Garmin Vivomove (£146) and the Huawei Watch (£239) are perhaps the closest you're going to get to classic design in an affordable smartwatch. However, if price is no object, the Tag Heuer Connected can be yours for £1,100. It's nothing too special - the transflective LCD screen is quite poor in comparison to the display on Huawei and Apple models - but it's a definite icebreaker at parties.
The Samsung Gear S2 is another option at £252. Visually, there's nothing particularly exciting about the Samsung (it has a more ‘sporty' feel than the Garmin and the Huawei) and something like the Motorola Moto 360 (£192 on Amazon.co.uk) is probably a safer option for a formal event, depending on the finish you choose.
"3297" (CC BY 2.0) by hardloperhans
The Budget Buyer
The less expensive wearables tend to be fitness trackers almost exclusively, and lack features such as GPS and informative screens. However, with prices on previously premium models falling, there's no reason why a budget wearable should feel like a consolation prize. The caveat is that you may need to choose between features, price or looks on some models.
If you're looking for something stylish with a low profile, the Jawbone Up2 at around £30 is a good-looking option. The Jawbone UpMOVE at £25 is a little heavy on the plastic but includes all the features of its bigger brother, with the exception of calorie tracking.
The UK-only Archon at £29.99 is arguably one of the more sophisticated budget wearables out there. It's similar to the Jawbone Up2 feature-wise but works as a smartphone companion too, letting you know when you've got an incoming call. The Razer Nabu X (£49.99) can also receive smartphone notifications but it lacks a screen.
A company based in Tokyo, Anicall, has developed a wearable for your dog that is actually functional, rather than be a gratuitous adornment and waste of money. Called Shiraseru Am, which means "tell" in Japanese, this wearable will monitor your pet's behavioral data.
Shiraseru Am informs users of the behavior, feelings, and health status of pets. Integrated with a smartphone app, it will keep pet owners updated on how a pet spends its day at home while the owner is away.
The device stores a pet's behavioral data in the cloud and lets an owner understand its behavioral patterns via artificial intelligence-based technology. Prior to shipping, Anicall's team members have been studying cats and dogs to verify behavioral data, while the company's neuroethologic scientists are conducting behavioral analyses.
We have seen many wearable devices for pets but Anicall is outstanding because it allows the acquiring of data and verifying of behavioral patterns as a one-stop solution consisting of a mobile app and a wearable device.
Today, Google announced, through Android Developer website, its New Android Wear Platform... Yes, a wearable version of Android OS that's starting with Smart Watches with a Google-Now-like User Interface (UI) which based on graphical content cards that view information request by the user, like what you have now on your Android smartphone Google search App.
Google Wear Demo
Browsing the new "wear" section on the developer website reveals even more information on the upcoming platform than what's in the consumer-facing videos. After reading through the developer site, a rough image of Android Wear begins to take shape.
There are 3 major functions of Wear: a Google Now-style "homescreen" with a scrollable list of cards, a rich-notification system that alerts you to information from your smartphone, and a series of contextual tools that pop up during certain activities (Call, Hangouts). All of these functions flow together when necessary, and they depend on a smartphone, if only for the data connection in some cases.
Some cards with more information are paginated, allowing you to swipe to the right to see expanded info or an action, like replying to an email or checking in for a flight. The previews on the developer page show square and circular watches with full-color screens.
According to the developer documentation, ANY Android phone or tablet app will be able to send rich notifications to an Android Wear device. These will look a lot like the cards in the Context Stream: short snippets of relevant information, with an optional photo backdrop. Again, you'll be able to swipe to the right to see expanded information. An action button will let you perform commands on your phone without actually touching it, usually via voice, though the full capability of these actions hasn't been revealed yet.
Check out this Android Wear Video demonstration from Google Dev.Bytes Below.
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