Posts tagged with: Wearables
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    Less than 24 hours after Fitbit officially announced a pair of long overdue new entry-level wearable devices at seemingly reasonable $100 to $150 prices, Amazon quietly (and incredibly) decided to undercut the activity tracker manufacturer’s pre-order rates. These are the retailer’s own Fitbit Charge 2 and Flex 2 listings, mind you, and Amazon will take care of delivery when the products arrive, with no shady third-party sellers involved. What’s the catch then? Well, we wouldn’t exactly call it a catch, but while Fitbit expects to start shipping the second-gen Charge “within a ...

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    While Fitbit certainly knocked one out of the park when taking the wraps off its first “smart fitness watch”, the Blaze, which helped the global wearable king retain its crown and beat analyst estimates for both sales numbers and profits, the older, more basic Flex and Charge continued to contribute to the company’s stellar financials. Released way back in May 2013 and October 2014, the two entry-level activity trackers get their long overdue sequels today, though as suspected, the list of major changes is quite small. The Fitbit Flex 2 and Fitbit Charge 2 fortunately take a page ...

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    While it was hardly surprising to see Tag Heuer charge a whopping $1,500 for its rookie “Connected” smartwatch effort, we have to admit we weren’t expecting a similarly premium, equally overpriced timepiece from Garmin. After all, the Swiss watchmaker and fashion accessory producer’s name is synonymous with luxury goods, but the American multinational technology company remains known for GPS navigators and robust athlete-focused wearable devices first and foremost. Then again, the newly launched Garmin Fenix Chronos borrows the “full multisport and navigational toolset” from ...

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    Samsung, delivering software at the speed of sound. Dull, throbbing noise through thick layers of foam and lead. Like, seriously, this would've been useful way before the time when you're about to launch the next iteration of your Gear S lineup. Great. It looks like Koreans are starting to pair up their Gear S2 and Gear Fit 2 wearables to their iPhones. It's part of a beta test of iOS compatibility that Samsung promised would happen for the S2 by mid-January. Well, lucky you, Verizon customers. You were the only ones that almost got it. But this program should spread it to everyone (we ...

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    Worn by “the world’s greatest athletes” at the recently concluded Summer Games in Rio in a very shrewd publicity stunt that likely doubled as a mighty convenient pre-release beta trial, the Visa-powered NFC Ring finally seems (just about) ready for primetime and the contactless-paying masses. No need to continue carrying around a bulky smartphone or wearing an expensive smartwatch on your wrist to conduct easy, secure on-the-go transactions. This sleek, low-profile yet stylish and affordable patented smart ring should start shipping worldwide “by December 2016”, with pre-orders ...

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    Acer is just one of many already confirmed IFA 2016 exhibitors, and although we know the Taiwanese company plans to unveil its “new and exciting holiday season lineup” in Berlin, Germany on August 31, it’s going to need something special to stand out from the pack. Preferably, not special weird, like last year’s Predator 8 and 6 gaming-centric tablet and phablet that never amounted to much in terms of post-release buzz and, presumably, sales and profits. But alas, Acer’s most distinctive new product on display next week might well be another addition to the Predator family. This ...

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    T-Mobile and Sprint are delivering "optimized" unlimited data plans. What does this mean for your phone bill? We've spent some time with Google's Duo video chat. Will this pull people from Facetime? Plus we went hands on with the new Honor 8 at the launch even in San Francisco, and it seems we have yet another premium budget phone to compete against Oneplus, ZTE, and Alcatel. Make sure you're charged and ready for episode 214 of the Pocketnow Weekly! Watch the live video broadcast from 2:00pm Eastern on August 18th (click here for your local time), or check out the high-quality audio ...

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    Fitbit can’t really hope to snatch Apple’s wearable profit crown away anytime soon, as it remains focused on selling activity trackers at between $80 and $150, and pseudo-smartwatches for around $200, but copiously dominating the fledgling market in terms of volumes is no small feat either. To consolidate this leadership position, and keep the likes of Xiaomi or Garmin at bay, a couple of low-cost fall 2016 hardware releases have essentially been confirmed a little while back, and today we get to see the upcoming Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 in the flesh. Well, more or less, as ...

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    There’s not much a pair of upcoming second-generation Apple Watch models are expected to radically change about the original, with essentially the same design and form factor in tow, slightly enhanced activity tracking, and even standalone cellular connectivity likely shelved until next year. Naturally, Cupertino’s long-term goal of saving users’ lives by improving the wrist-worn gizmo’s health and currently pseudo-medical features remains just that: a noble, potentially lucrative but distant dream engineers and software developers are working hard behind the scenes to bring closer ...

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    Meizu is one of China’s top ten smartphone vendors, according to some market reports, and while retaining its skepticism about a large-scale US expansion, as well as showing no interest in following Huawei or Xiaomi’s suit with PC releases, it’s dead set on branching out into wearables and VR hardware before long. In spectacular fashion too, it appears like, as opposed to the timid first steps of a few domestic rivals, which continue to keep pricing, marketing and expectations low for modest fitness bands and empty, handheld-connecting virtual reality containers. If one of two ...

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    Jawbone's back in the news again for a wrong reason: someone close to the company is telling dirty secrets about how the fitness bracelet maker played ball with a partner company. The Information reports that Jawbone notified that company that it wold not make a payment due this month. Other sources say that Jawbone has been shopping itself out to potential acquirers as well. This falls on top of poor sales and a Hail Mary decision to reduce inventory and assembly and focus on a medical-grade band. Its creditors are tearing down its stock's value while Fitbit notched a legal win in a ...

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    You had to have known this was coming. After all, smartwatches are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to intelligent wearable technology, with forward-thinking companies, both large and small, recently dabbling in smart shoes, belts, shirts, glasses, various headgear, and so on and so forth. A number of (mildly) intelligent smart bag prototypes were also funded on Kickstarter and tested by a handful of startups, with tech giant Hewlett-Packard now on the verge of breaking such an accessory into the mainstream landscape of smartphone, tablet and laptop-charging carry-ons. ...

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    The US Patent and Trademark Office is chock full of little treasures. Here's one from the "Apple v. Samsung" file that was filed in January and published yesterday by the Korean company. "The band for adjustment may be coupled with the band for fixing through a structure [...] through a magnetic attracting force, or through a hooked ring or hooked member," the patent reads. Okay, while all of those figures and that mechanism are definitely grabs at the Apple Watch's design, that is not the pertinence of this patent. In fact, the use of that design is not only excusable, it's competition at ...

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    You may have forgotten all about this, or never heard the news in the first place, but a couple of years back, Intel plunked down a reported $100 million to acquire a startup called Basis Science. The move was part of a larger expansion effort into the world of wearable device production and distribution, though it turned out to be a catastrophically bad investment. Not only did the Basis Peak fitness watch fail to amass the mainstream popularity of Pebbles, the Apple Watch, Samsung Gears, Fitbits or even wellness-centric wrist-worn Garmin gadgets, also ending up costing its designers and ...

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    Well, this is a bitter disappointment. But it’s probably our fault for getting our hopes up, despite Xiaomi’s obvious intentions of limiting expectations and keeping pre-release buzz to a minimum here. No words on Google Daydream compatibility in the MIUI forum post officially previewing the very first Xiaomi VR headset, or on the product’s dedicated webpage, while the design is just as minimalistic as that fugly leaked pic from a few hours ago suggested. We’re looking at an almost primitive device, closer in appearance to Google Cardboard viewers than any of the two consumer ...

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    The prospect of owning a pair of mixed reality head-mounted smartglasses before most of your friends even find out what this futuristic technology is all about might sound appealing to some everyday PC consumers, but coughing up $3,000 on a developer-centric product will probably turn out to be a pretty bad investment. Unless you’re keen (and able) to help shape and evolve the Windows Holographic platform running on the unpolished Microsoft HoloLens, in which case you may have already signed up for your super-costly test drive several months back. But if you haven’t for one reason or ...

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    The smartwatch market is shrinking, with both Apple and Google’s Android Wear hardware-making partners to blame for their delay in renewing last year’s designs, but the wrist-worn tech industry remains kind and giving for at least one key player, veteran and trendsetter. It’s a shame Fitbit seems to be stepping into the limelight only once every 90 days, as its sales results and quarterly earnings scores have yet again beaten analyst forecasts. Surely, the company must now be thinking about building buzz around two mystery products due out at IFA Berlin early next month. Before these ...

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    Back when we reviewed the OG Samsung Gear S in 2014, we called the thing more smartphone than smartwatch, which wasn’t necessarily a compliment. The 2015 sequel addressed many of the form factor-related and UI complaints, but health enthusiasts still found the Gear S2 flawed, especially in its Bluetooth-only, non-3G, non-GPS-including configuration. Samsung may have taken note again, and even after releasing a robust and powerful Gear Fit 2 activity tracker, it reportedly decided to integrate several new fitness-centric features and technologies on the upcoming Gear S3. Possibly dubbed ...

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    Back when the Microsoft Band 2 was marked down to $175 (from an ill-advised list price of $250) for the second time, with an unusually distant expiration date, we speculated the deal could become permanent, seeing as how a sequel should be drawing near. Even if Redmond decides for some reason to extend the wearable’s upgrade cycle, and hold up the Band 3 until spring, heated competition in both the fitness tracker and smartwatch spaces must prompt frequent discounts. Surprisingly enough, the manufacturer is back charging an absurd $250 for the sensor-rich band in all three sizes. But ...

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    When’s the last time Samsung released a product with a really cool name? When did the company even try to think outside the box and concoct an original moniker rather than attach bland Max, Pro, Active, Ace, Neo or, yes, Edge suffixes to base, established brands, as well as combine random letters with incremental digits? Instead of racking your brains to answer that, consider the following labels – Gear Blink, Odyssey, Gear S3 Frontier. Pretty eccentric, memorable brand names, and while we’re not certain Samsung will ever actually use them, they’re at least being considered. ...

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    In confirming curved screen smartphones could appear on its product roadmap somewhere down the line and denying laptop entry plans, but dodging questions about an interest in wearable devices, Meizu practically betrayed an imminent smartwatch announcement. It seems this might take place as soon as August 10, i.e. a little over a week after the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 “unpacking” and well ahead of the oft-rumored Gear S3 IFA coming-out party in early September. Decent timing, though the success of the intelligent timepiece hinges more on its commercial schedule, plus stuff like premium ...

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    Let’s be honest, no one could have predicted the rampant, record-breaking success of Pokémon Go, a “freemium” augmented reality mobile game that’s ambitious in concept but ultimately simplistic in its execution. Not Niantic, not Apple or Google, and certainly not Nintendo, which isn’t making as much money here as investors originally assumed. While various analytics firms claim the “catch’ em all” global phenomenon is about to wind down, the companies involved in its development and promotion can probably expect to milk the 1995-created media franchise for a few more ...

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    Online chatter about Microsoft looking to beef up and consolidate its multi-factor authenticator services dating as far back as January finally spawns an official announcement today, previewing some big changes coming to security-enhancing apps for your Microsoft account and Azure AD on August 15. No more separating the two… in a few weeks, as the “best of both” worlds is combined into a single product supporting enterprise and consumer “scenarios.” Dubbed simply and fittingly Microsoft Authenticator, the revised app aims to maintain the “highest level of security” while ...

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    Whether we’re talking low-cost, smartphone-enabled virtual reality products like the Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard or LG 360 VR, or much pricier, fancier and higher-end PC or console-supporting PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive devices, there’s something not quite right and intuitive about all early VR hardware pieces. The aforementioned have reliance on a separate gadget in common, which a number of companies are looking to eliminate or cut back on to start with. Focused on growing and maturing the Daydream platform, Google likely paused its standalone VR headset-building ...

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    Samsung Gear S3 rumors are still thin on the ground, despite the Galaxy Note 7 “unpacking” event and IFA Berlin inching closer, with the Gear S2 of course unveiled at the previous German trade show in September 2015. Whether a sequel is in the pipeline or not, it’s nice to see the OG treated to its third incremental software update, previewed by tipsters very recently, and made official and fully detailed on the OEM’s newsroom portal earlier today. While iOS support remains on hold, Android users willing to pair their compatible smartphones with the Tizen wearable should rejoice ...

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