Wearable tech failed to make a huge impact last year, but 2014 could be the year that smartwatches and fitness bands finally take off. Canalys forecasts that over 17 million smart bands will ship in 2014, following massive growth in the second half of last year. Based on the analyst’s findings, 1.6 million smart bands shipped in the second half of 2013 alone. Leading the way were Fitbit’s Flex and Force bands in the “basic” category and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear in the “smart” category. We might not have found much to like in the Galaxy Gear, but it apparently managed to knock out the smartwatch competition. With a more capable sequel, Samsung could get a huge head start as the market begins to expand. More →
Future versions of Apple’s iOS operating system may incorporate new fitness sharing technology, according to a patent uncovered by AppleInsider. The new technology will encourage users to be more competitive by allowing them to share and compare their performance in real-time with other users around the world. The patent, which was filed only three months ago, builds upon the functionality of the Nike+ iPod system, which allows a user to complete his or her workout and then upload and share the results with others. Apple’s solution, however, would allow users to share live data with other iOS users. Read on for more.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published documentation on 22 recently granted patents for Apple on Tuesday. The patents, as reported by Patently Apple, cover items including clothing technology that could be built into future running shoes, the advanced multitouch trackpads found in Macbooks, and the technology found in Apple TV. The most intriguing patent relates to Apple’s Nike + iPod product. This patent outlines a system for monitoring and controlling user exercises with a sensor inside the shoe. Unlike the normal Nike + sensors, however, the new sensors are designed to send the “tracked garment usage and detected wear patterns to the external database.” The sensor will be able to inform the user of the life of a product, and could possibly incorporate training programs using a “virtual trainer.” Read on for more. More →