Google potentially working w/ BLOCKS smartwatch team to build cross platform Project Ara modules

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The BLOCKS smartwatch platform was unveiled a few months ago, and it’s still very much in development. But the company building the modular wrist-worn computer recently had a chance to sit down with the Project Ara team at Google, and it seems that the Mountain View corporation might be interested in working with the team to bring the best of the market’s modular devices together in harmony.

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Withings debuts Activité Pop smartwatch, brings an affordable splash of color to the original

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Withings announced its new Activité Pop smartwatch today during CES. While the original model will set you back $450, the new “Pop” version will only cost you $150. For that much lower price you’ll gain the same fitness-tracking functionality of the original, including compatibility with the Health Mate mobile app. Oh, and an eight-month battery.

A secondary hand on the face of the watch provides a simple way to quickly check how much of your daily exercise routine you’ve completed. The Activité Pop can measure many activities, from running to swimming, and even monitor your sleep cycle. It even has a silent, vibration-based alarm to help you wake up.

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Upcoming 2.3 Pebble update brings actionable Android Wear notifications and more

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Pebble users have been left in the dust this year as Android Wear has taken hold over the smartwatch market–and offered some functionality that Pebble and other companies haven’t yet implemented. Today, Pebble has announced that they’re taking a step toward bringing their smartwatch offerings up to par with Wear, showing off a new upcoming software update that’s going to add actionable notifications and slew of other great features.

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Standalone Moto 360 leather and metal bands now available for $29.99/$79.99

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Motorola announced earlier this month that it would soon begin to offer interchangeable leather and metal bands for the Moto 360, and today, those accessories have gone up for sale. A standalone leather band for the Moto 360 runs $29.99 and is available in either cognac (brown), stone, or black.  Metal bands cost $79.99 and are available in light and dark finishes.

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Samsung to launch 3G-connected Gear S smartwatch in United States next week

Samsung Gear SSamsung on Thursday announced that it will be launching the Gear S smartwatch in the United States on next Friday, November 7th. The first 3G-connected smartwatch was originally announced in August and features a 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display, 1.0 GHz dual-core processor, network connectivity, 300 mAh battery and more.

The Gear S essentially doubles as a fitness tracker, with a myriad of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart rate monitor, ambient light sensor, UV sensor and barometer. The smartwatch is based on Samsung’s own Tizen software platform, a clear differentiation over Samsung’s other smartwatches and Android Wear. Read more

LG announces global rollout plans for its G Watch R smartwatch

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LG announced today that its new G Watch R is going to be launching during the beginning of November in select markets, including France, Italy, Spain and the UK. The company plans to introduce its new round smartwatch to additional territories like Asia and North America soon after, but it didn’t give an exact time. After much speculation, LG unveiled the G Watch R last month during IFA in Berlin, allowing us to get a little time with its new smartwatch.

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Google apparently aiming for tight control of Android Wear as crowdfunding campaign closed down

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Google appears to be aiming for tight control over its Android Wear smartwatch platform as it asked crowdfunding site IndieGoGo to take down a campaign for a budget smartwatch, Com1, reports Android Police.

Com1 used stock images of Android Wear and the Android Wear trademark in its campaign page, which was taken down by IGG under the premise of an intellectual property infringement complaint by Google shortly after the campaign launched.

Since Google is known to have a relaxed attitude to use of its imagery, the motivation here appears to be control which companies are able to launch Android Wear devices …  Read more

LG-made 3G smartwatch passes through the FCC

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LG appears to be working on a new smartwatch, according to a set of recently discovered FCC documents. While it’s unclear if this device will run Google’s Android Wear operating system, the filing revealed that it will feature support for CMDA 3G network connectivity, meaning that it won’t necessarily need to be tethered to a smartphone for a data connection, however 3G isn’t exactly blazing fast.

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Samsung reportedly developing PayPal-powered smartwatch for mobile payments

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Wether it be Android Wear or Tizen calling the shots, Samsung already has a lot of smartwatches on the market and it’s rumored that the South Korean electronics maker is currently working on a new high-tech timepiece that can process mobile payments. According to Business Korea, this unannounced smartwatch will reportedly rely on a fingerprint scanner to verify its wearer’s identity, and will use a payment processing platform developed by PayPal.

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