Google to announce ‘Nexus’ smartwatch in March, to be released in June at Google I/O

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CNET is reporting that Google is set to announce a smartwatch next month, manufactured by LG (who also manufactured the two most recent Nexus phones). The device is described as the Nexus of smartwatches, with Google controlling the design of software and hardware.

Although Google will announce the product in March, the watch will not be released until June at Google I/O. As 9to5Google reported last year, Google’s smartwatch will revolve around Google Now’s assistant features with voice playing a major role in how users interact with the product.

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Samsung unveils new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, ditches Android for Tizen

Following a pair of leaked images this morning, Samsung has just taken the wraps off of two new Gear smartwatches, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo. The difference between the two models is the lack of a camera on the Gear Neo. As rumored earlier this month, both of the models have ditched Android in favor of Samsung’s Tizen operating system.

According to Samsung, the switch to Tizen will offer many improvements to the end-user. First off, Tizen is much less power intensive, which means battery life has improved to 2-3 days, according to Samsung—much better than the one day life given by the original Gear. Tizen will also offer an “enriched application ecosystem” to the user.

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Opinion: Will the spring launch of Amazon/Nexus/Apple TV signal the beginning of the end of live, broadcast TV?

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Streaming TV is heating-up. Amazon looks set to launch its TV box in March, we’re expecting Apple to announce a new Apple TV box in April, and Google is reputed to be not far behind with a Nexus-branded box.

So-called cord-cutting – people who give up their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming content over the web – is growing in popularity. Mobile TV viewing on tablets is increasingly common.

All of which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of live TV … ?  Read more

Amazon’s long-rumored Roku-like TV box to launch next month?

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Image: digitaltrends.com

Amazon’s TV box, which the company is believed to have been working on for around a year, is to be launched next month, according to unnamed content distribution sources cited by re/code. It had originally been expected to be launched in time for last year’s holiday sales.

People I’ve talked to who are partnering with Amazon believe the company is aiming for a March rollout [...]

Sources tell me Amazon’s box will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, which is also not a surprise — Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets use a “forked” version of Android …  Read more

Google announces ‘Project Tango’ Android prototype w/ advanced 3D space and motion sensors

Google today announced “Project Tango,” an experimental effort that will see a prototype Android phone equipped with sensors for advanced motion and space tracking to a limited number of developers. The sensors embedded in the hardware will allow 3D scanning to map environments and the ability to track the full 3D motion of the device to open up new opportunities for developers from indoor navigation to gaming experiences. Here’s more on the hardware from Google’s new Project Tango website:

Project-Tango-Android-ATAPOur current prototype is a 5” phone containing customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment. These sensors allow the phone to make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second, updating it’s position and orientation in real-time, combining that data into a single 3D model of the space around you…It runs Android and includes development APIs to provide position, orientation, and depth data to standard Android applications written in Java, C/C++, as well as the Unity Game Engine.

The prototype includes a 4MP camera, 2x Computer Vision Processors, integrated depth sensing, and a motion tracking camera.

Developers will be able to sign up starting today, but Google will only hand out around 200 units of the device initially. The project is lead by the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, the same team behind Project Ara and one part of Motorola that Google did not sell to LenovoRead more