Apple is widely expected to redefine the smartwatch business with its iWatch, a companion device said to include various sensors capable of measuring many health parameters and record fitness data. But Apple is not the only one working on exciting new wearable gadgets. The International Business Times has learned from a Microsoft source that the unnamed smartwatch the Windows maker is working on will also offer some advanced sensors, and it will come with cross-platform support. More →
Just like everyone else, Microsoft is also interested in smartwatches, recent patent discoveries have revealed, with a Forbes report saying that the company’s first such device will be iOS- and Android-friendly. While it’s not clear when the device would be launched, it appears that GearLive got its hands on a smartwatch prototype from a Microsoft tester. More →
“Android SmartWatch” would be a very apropos name for Google’s own smartwatch, but that’s not going to happen, as such a product already exists. Sadly for Android fans, the Android SmartWatch doesn’t have anything to do with recent Nexus smart wristwatch rumors. Instead, it’s produced by Android Watches USA, and while it can be paired with Android devices, it doesn’t even run Google’s operating system, CNET reports. Instead it runs Android USA’s own software.
Pretty much every smartwatch that has been released so far has been ridiculously ugly. Most of them feature a rectangular screen that many consider to be too large for a wrist. Both the Pebble smartwatch and the Samsung Galaxy Gear suffer from this problem. To fix this, Engadget noted that the design firm Creoir, which has worked with both Nike and Jolla, created its own concept smartwatch to prove that they don’t have to be ugly.
Popular Swiss watch maker Swatch says it’s not afraid of competing against smartwatches only with regular watches, even though more companies are creating their own such devices and other wearables that will offer smart features when connected to handsets and tablets. “The smartwatch is an opportunity for us, whatever happens,” Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek told Reuters in an interview. “If people who never used to wear anything on their wrist start wearing a so-called smartwatch, then we certainly can convince them quickly to try wearing a beautiful watch instead.” More →
It’s amazing to think that it was only four years ago that the most hyped product to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show was a new batch of 3D televisions that the consumer electronics industry had convinced itself were a potential goldmine. Fast forward to 2012 and the notion that 3D TVs would gain mass acceptance in the consumer market seemed like a cruel joke as TV manufacturers quickly shifted their efforts to developing 4K television sets while leaving 3D TV technology in the scrap heap of tech history. I bring this up because in 2014 I’m seeing a similar level of self-assured tech industry hype about another emerging brand of consumer technology that everyone is 100% certain is going to be the next big thing: Wearable computers. More →
We’re in a fascinating period when it comes to wearable computers — many in the tech industry think that they will be the next big thing, if only they can convince people to actually buy them. This means that we’re seeing a period of furious experimentation where both small startups and big-name firms are throwing everything at the wall to see what will work and what won’t. So far, the results have mostly come in the “won’t” category: Samsung’s Galaxy Gear has been panned by critics and it seems highly unlikely that Google Glass in its current form will catch on with the masses. More →
You knew it was bound to happen, and happen it has. While it apparently still has a ways to go to catch up to Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, a Kickstarter-backed company moving some 200,000 or so units in a matter of months is nothing to scoff at. To wit, Pebble‘s seeing a massive spike in developer action now that SDK 2.0 is in the wild and the watch has added full iOS 7 Notification Center support. In a bid to funnel all of that activity into a central location, the outfit on Wednesday announced that the Pebble appstore will launch “in early 2014,” and interested developers can begin submitting their SDK 2.0 Pebble apps immediately. More →
“I started by strapping yet another notifier onto my wrist, but I came away a far less stressed individual.”
It’s the Kickstarter project that has largely defined what’s possible on the service, and if you’re reading this, you’re well aware of how many millions the Pebble team raised in order to concoct a wrist-worn notification device. A device that just so happened to emerge as the term “smartwatch” was taking hold. It was something of a perfect storm, really; years ago, Fossil and Sony Ericsson tried to bring the Dick Tracy motif to the masses, but the world wasn’t yet ready. Today, we’re all ready. More →
Metawatch has hired famed Nokia and Vertu designer Frank Nuovo to work on future devices for the company. Metawatch currently sells two smartwatch designs including the Strata (pictured above) and the Frame, which retail for $179.99 and $229.99, respectively, and can be purchased directly from the manufacturer’s online store or in Best Buy stores. Nuovo is already working on a new high-end device for the company, which will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2014, Quartz has learned. Details about the smartwatch aren’t available at this time, but Metawatch CEO Bill Geiser said the device will have a new operating system version and a new display. While the Strata and Frame smartwatches have their own operating system, they work with both iOS and Android devices. More →
As the electronics market continues to shift away from standard desktops and notebooks, other devices are primed to take their place. Tablets have the upper hand for the time being, but a recent report from Juniper Research claims that wearable device shipments could reach 130 million by 2018, 10 times the amount of wearables that shipped this year. More →
If you’re not impressed by the Galaxy Gear, don’t worry — there will be plenty of other wearable computers to choose from in the coming years. The latest projections from Berg Insight estimate that wearable computer shipments will hit 64 million in 2017, a nearly eight-fold increase from the 8.3 million wearable computers the firm estimates shipped in 2012. Berg Insight analyst Johan Svanberg says that the wearable computing market should grow quickly because “a perfect storm of innovation within low power wireless connectivity, sensor technology, big data, cloud services, voice user interfaces and mobile computing power is coming together.” Berg’s press release follows below.
From what we’ve seen of the initial smartwatch offerings, the new wearable tech category has left something to be desired. Despite the underwhelming introduction to this new technology, NextMarket Insights estimates that annual smartwatch sales will grow from 15 million units in 2015 to a staggering 373 million devices by 2020. This projected growth is due to several factors, including traditional watchmakers implementing technology into their watches, and the continued rise of the “active lifestyle segments.” As stated by the company’s chief analyst Michael Wolf, “the smartwatch category can become a substantial market opportunity even with fairly modest penetration of the broader mobile and watch-wearing public.” More →