Apple Hires Ben Shaffer Nike Fuel Band

Apple reels in Nike Fuel Band designer to help with wearable computers

By on September 27, 2013 at 2:20 PM.

Apple reels in Nike Fuel Band designer to help with wearable computers

Apple’s about to get a big boost in the wearable computing department. 9to5Mac reports that Apple has hired top Nike Fuel Band and Flyknit shoe designer Ben Shaffer to work on the company’s upcoming wearable computing devices such as the long-rumored “iWatch.” This isn’t the first time that Apple has hired a design expert who worked on Nike’s fitness-tracking Fuel Band wrist accessory as earlier this year it hired fitness expert and one-time Fuel Band consultant Jay Blahnik to help work on its mobile accessories. Ties between Apple and Nike have traditionally been strong, especially since Apple CEO Tim Cook sits on Nike’s board of directors.

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HTC Mini+ Release Date

HTC’s newest accessory is a phone for your smartphone

By on August 30, 2013 at 11:30 PM.

HTC’s newest accessory is a phone for your smartphone

Have you ever wished that you didn’t have to use your smartphone to make phone calls? If so then HTC is hoping you’ll throw down $50 for the HTC Mini+, a new accessory that connects with your HTC smartphone via Bluetooth and lets you make calls while you use your smartphone for surfing the web. HTC says that the new smartphone phone also features a “hands-free remote camera control lets you take pictures from your phone at a distance” and that it “even doubles as a TV remote control, and pairs with select HTC devices to operate multimedia streaming through your HTC Media Link HD.” If accessories like this start to catch on, we might see Nokia release a separate camera to go with the Lumia 1020 so you won’t have to waste your device’s 41-megapixel camera taking pictures.

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Microsoft Keyboard Touch Screen Trends

Microsoft researcher sees keyboards slowly fading into a niche accessory

By on August 29, 2013 at 8:30 PM.

Microsoft researcher sees keyboards slowly fading into a niche accessory

Microsoft has always placed a lot of importance on hooking things up to a keyboard — witness Steve Ballmer’s prediction that the iPhone would flop because it lacked a physical keyboard or the company’s decision to make a click-in keyboard an integral part of its Surface tablet. But PCWorld reports that Microsoft’s own principal researcher Andy Wilson knows that keyboards are now past their prime and will be relegated to niche status going forward. More →

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Samsung Printer Stereo Smartphone Dock

Samsung brings its gadget spam philosophy to the world of printers

By on August 29, 2013 at 2:30 PM.

Samsung brings its gadget spam philosophy to the world of printers

Gadget spam: It’s not just for Samsung smartphones and tablets anymore. Samsung on Thursday unveiled three concepts for new printers that it says “will push the boundaries of innovation in the printing industries” by letting you use your printer as both a stereo and a smartphone dock, among other things. More →

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Apple Samsung Smartwatch Analysis

Broadcom CEO wishfully thinks Apple, Samsung won’t dominate smartwatches

By on August 28, 2013 at 7:00 PM.

Broadcom CEO wishfully thinks Apple, Samsung won’t dominate smartwatches

Sure, Apple and Samsung are completely dominating the smartphone industry right now but that doesn’t mean they’re also destined to dominate the burgeoning market for wearable computers, right? In an interview with AllThingsD, Broadcom CEO Scott McGregor said that even though “there are like two companies that make half of all the smartphones on the planet,” he thinks that “wearables are going to be different” because there will be much more potential for niche wearable computing products. Among other things, McGregor notes that there are “dozens of digital watches being funded through Kickstarter, with wearable products serving niches such as Boston commuters or pet owners who want to track” their pet’s exercise habits. More →

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Featured
Jawbone UP Vs Fitbit Flex

Giving up on Jawbone’s UP

Giving up on Jawbone’s UP

By on August 15, 2013 at 12:05 PM.

The Jawbone UP is the best fitness tracker I have ever used. There is no close second. While similar wristband and app combos do some things as well as the UP, none offer a complete package that can match what Jawbone has created. The band itself features a great design that stands out from the crowd. It’s also water resistant and the battery outlasts every comparable device. The accompanying iPhone and Android apps are absolutely gorgeous and extremely well made, and I have yet to find a rival offering with a more intuitive software design. And yet despite all this, I have given up on the Jawbone UP and switched to a rival band with a vastly inferior user experience. More →

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Samsung Smartwatch Galaxy Gear

Samsung’s smartwatch will likely be called the Galaxy Gear

By on August 5, 2013 at 6:45 PM.

Samsung’s smartwatch will likely be called the Galaxy Gear

With Samsung rumored to unveil its first-ever smartwatch in less than a month, we now have a very good idea of what the new device will be called. Dutch website Galaxy Club has spotted a trademark filing for a new line of devices called the Galaxy Gear that the company describes as “wearable electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band or ban.” This is the second time we’ve seen the upcoming smartwatch referred to as the “Gear,” so it looks as though Samsung has now made a final decision on the name for its smartwatch. Earlier rumors have indicated that Samsung will release the device on September 4th alongside its Galaxy Note III.

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Garmin PND Market Analysis

Zombie apocalypse: Supposedly dead Garmin outperforms leading smartphone vendors

By on August 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM.

Zombie apocalypse: Supposedly dead Garmin outperforms leading smartphone vendors

Apple posted a 20% profit decline in its spring quarter. Personal navigation device (PND) vendor Garmin just delivered a comparatively mild 7% earnings decline. If anyone had forecast this outcome two years ago, he would have been branded as a lunatic. Or possibly a dark prophet of apocalypse: “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see; And I beheld, and lo a PND vendor that was supposed to be dead outperformed the most profitable smartphone vendor in history in annualized profit trend comparison.” More →

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Motorola Job Posting Wearable Computing

Job posting hints Motorola will delve deeper into wearable computing

By on July 22, 2013 at 8:15 PM.

Job posting hints Motorola will delve deeper into wearable computing

With just about every big tech company planning to release a smartwatch over the next year, it’s not surprising that Google-owned Motorola is looking to get more involved in what many believe is the next big market for mobile computing. TechCrunch spotted a new job posting showing that Motorola is seeking someone to “provide strategic leadership, champion innovation and institute best practices to create a new world-class wearables design group within Motorola” that will presumably create wearable computers to compliment the company’s smartphone lineup. Give that parent company Google has been working on wearable computing devices of its own, including Google Glass and a rumored smartwatch, it will be interesting to see what sort of different tack Motorola takes when it designs its own next-generation wearable computers.

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Smartwatch Shipment Projections 2014

2014 projected as a breakthrough year for smartwatches

By on July 16, 2013 at 10:45 PM.

2014 projected as a breakthrough year for smartwatches

Although smartwatches aren’t likely to be the “next big thing” along the lines of smartphones or tablets, they are likely to have a big breakthrough in 2014 when Apple, Samsung and others will likely release their own wearable computers to the world. The latest research from Canalys projects that smartwatches “are set to explode by the end of 2014″ when vendors will ship more than 5 million units, a 900% increase from the number of units Canalys expects vendors to ship this year. Canalys says that many of the smartwatches released next year will have important new features including “glanceable information, integration across sensors and hooks into web services” that will make them far more desirable to consumers than early smartwatch models. Canalys’s press release follows below. More →

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Microsoft Surface Watch Prototype

Microsoft reportedly testing ‘translucent aluminum’ Surface Watch

By on July 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM.

Microsoft reportedly testing ‘translucent aluminum’ Surface Watch

The smartwatch race is on. The Verge reports that Microsoft has moved production of its own smartwatch from its Xbox division to its Surface division and is now testing out a prototype for watch that’s made with “an expensive ‘translucent aluminum’ that is said to be three times harder than glass.” The Verge also says that “Microsoft is testing prototypes with a modified version of Windows 8, with a focus on integrating the device with other Windows-powered devices.” With Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and Google all working on wrist-mounted computers of some type, it looks as though 2014 is shaping up to be the year of the smartwatch and it will be interesting to see which tech company will be the first to market with its device.

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Apple iWatch Release Date Late 2014

Apple reportedly goes on iWatch hiring spree

By on July 15, 2013 at 8:35 AM.

Apple reportedly goes on iWatch hiring spree

Apple is gearing up for a launch of its iWatch in late 2014 by “aggressively” hiring talent to develop it, unnamed sources tell The Financial Times. While it’s not surprising that Apple is looking to add talent for its iWatch launch, the reasons for its hiring spree are: The Financial Times’ sources say that Apple’s current team has been encountering “hard engineering problems that they’ve not been able to solve,” which is why they’re looking for outside help from people with experience in wearable computing. The timing of the hiring suggests that the iWatch won’t be ready for primetime for at least another year, The Financial Times suggests, which potentially puts Apple at risk for getting beaten to market by rival smartwatches from Google, Samsung and Microsoft.

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