Wearable Stories June 14, 2016

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Android Wear 2.0 went official following Google I/O and as we learn everything it’s capable of, we’re also finding out who will and will not get it. Just like with previous updates, just about everyone will be getting it, but this time around Google is dropping two models, the original LG G Watch and the 1st generation Moto 360.

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Wearable Stories May 20, 2016

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At last year’s Google I/O, the Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) announced several interesting projects. Since then, ATAP head Regina Dugan departed for Facebook and the group was moved under Google’s new hardware division. This year, Project Jacquard —  sensors embedded in fabrics — is announcing its first consumer product with Levi’s…

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Wearable Stories May 3, 2016

HTC might finally launch an Android Wear smartwatch in June

Rumors of an HTC-made smartwatch have been around for quite some time. In fact, in the build up to last year’s HTC One M9 launch, it was expected that the company would announce an Android Wear device — or smartwatch of some kind — alongside 2015’s all-metal gold-tinted flagship. Instead, the company showed off its Vive VR headset and a fitness band. Now, it looks like its smartwatch plans are close to fruition.

Wearable Stories April 6, 2016

Huawei unveils the TalkBand B3 wearable

Alongside its two new flagship phones, Huawei this morning also announced the TalkBand B3, a wearable device that sports both productivity and fitness features in what looks to be a pretty attractive package. As the name suggests, this is a band rather than a smartwatch — pretty close in form factor to the Fitbit Alta.

Wearable Stories March 19, 2016

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Update: It appears Google has shut down the eBay listing.

Earlier this year, we told you across several exclusive reports that second-generation Glass hardware was in development, namely a variant of the device reworked with the enterprise in mind. Now, a couple months after getting our first look at FCC images of the device and later an official Google patent, we now have our first look at a unit in the wild via a new eBay listing

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Wearable Stories March 13, 2016

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Earlier this month Sony announced a new R&D initiative called the “Future Lab Program” and a mysterious device simply called “N” was concurrently shown off in a YouTube video. Details on this audio-based wearable were light until today, but the Japanese company set out to fix that by heading to the capital of Texas at SXSW Interactive to take the wraps off…

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Wearable Stories November 12, 2015

Watchmaker Fossil picks up fitness wearable tech w/ $260M Misfit acquisition

Misfit, makers of popular smartphone-connected wearable fitness accessories, today announced the company is being acquired by watchmaker Fossil Group for $260 million, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Fossil plans to take the technology and integrate it into its traditional watch designs, according to the report:

Wearable Stories September 16, 2015

According to a new report out of Business Insider, Google over the summer started a new wearable technology effort called Project Aura. The group is reportedly spearheaded by Nest CEO Tony Fadell, but it’s unclear if that will still be the case when Nest becomes a separate Alphabet company. Project Aura, however, will remain within Google and not be folded into an Alphabet company.

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Wearable Stories August 20, 2015

Sony has today taken the wraps off the second iteration of its fitness wearable, the SmartBand 2, which it will begin selling in 60 countries worldwide starting in September. There’s not a ton of new stuff going on here, though, so what makes it worthy of being a successor?

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Wearable Stories April 9, 2015

Jawbone Up3 pre-orders to begin shipping April 20 after delay due to manufacturing issues

Jawbone announced this evening that it finally expects to begin fulfilling pre-orders of its Up3 fitness tracker on April 20th. The company expects all pre-orders to ship no later than mid-May. After pre-orders have been fulfilled, Jawbone will begin shipping new orders of the Up3. Pre-orders will ship in the order they were received.

Wearable Stories March 1, 2015

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HTC has announced its first wearable device this morning, dubbed GRIP and made in partnership with well-known fitness brand Under Armour. The device will use Under Armour’s UA Record system to keep track of various fitness programs… expand full story

Wearable Stories February 27, 2015

Google’s Ingress augmented reality game is on its way to Android Wear

Ingress was launched on Android in 2012, but after its introduction made its way to a few other platforms. The app has been available on iOS for a while and had a port made for Google Glass, but now the Mountain View company’s augmented reality game is officially coming to Android Wear (via Engadget) at some point next month. You’ll still need an Android phone—as is the case with most Android Wear apps—but it won’t be long before you’ll be able to play Ingress without taking that phone out of your pocket.

It makes sense considering the nature of the game, as the basic premise is that you’re exploring the real world while creating virtual missions, and defending and attacking portals. While using the smartphone works fine, it makes a lot more sense that users would be able to simply glance down on their wrists to play the game—hence why a Google Glass version of the game was put together as well (although that version is no longer available). Head over to the Google Play store to get the latest version of Ingress.

 

Wearable Stories February 12, 2015

Google patents the craziest wearable yet: keeps you clear of friends if you smell …

Android Wear may not have been the success Google had hoped, and Google Glass may be “paused,” but it seems the company has another idea for a wearable up its sleeve–literally. If you’ve hit the gym hard and not had time for a shower, or are just sweating from rushing around the city, Google has a plan to ensure you don’t bump into any of your friends or colleagues while you’re a smelly, sweaty mess.

The NY Daily News reports that the company has been granted a patent for a portable fan attached to your body which detects exertion and sprays a fragrance to reduce body odor. Just in case that doesn’t do the trick, it connects to social networks to find out where your friends and contacts are, and provides a route to your destination that ensures you don’t run into any of them along the way.

A device is provided which includes an activity sensor, a communication portion, and a route suggesting portion. The activity sensor can detect physical activity of a user of a device. The communication portion may provide access one or more social networks via a communication network, in which the device may communicate with a social network of contacts. The route suggesting portion may provide an alternate route to travel such that the predicted odor may not offend others that are socially connected to the user and that travel the same routes as the user.

Google CFO Patrick Pichette recently talked of the need to make tough decisions to cancel projects; we suspect this one may not be too tough a call …

Wearable Stories February 10, 2015

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A new leak from Upleaks indicates that HTC’s upcoming smartwatch, which was previously rumored to be coming in early 2015, is codenamed “PETRA” and will sport a 3-day battery along with support for both Android and iOS devices.

The device will reportedly feature a custom operating system built by HTC, not Google’s wearable-focused version its own mobile OS, Android Wear. The software will allow the watch to operate with both Android and iOS devices, targeting a broader market than most Android-only smartwatches.

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Wearable Stories January 5, 2015

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Sony just kicked off its press conference at CES 2015, and one thing for the company will be showing off during the event is a new stainless steel designed SmartWatch 3. The SmartWatch 3 was originally released in October of 2014, but Sony has taken the opportunity at CES to give it an updated, more high-end design.

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Wearable Stories August 26, 2014

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Glass may be getting closer to being a full-blown consumer product, according to a few changes to the product’s terms of sale. Although the search giant recently made its high-tech eyewear available to the public, it’s widely referred to as still in beta. About a week ago, Google revamped its sales terms for Glass, adding an updated “Prices and Taxes” section.

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Wearable Stories May 26, 2014

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Samsung unveiled a handful of new wearable devices earlier this year, but according to some recently discovered patent filings, the company still has some more ideas in the pipeline. First discovered by SammyToday, Samsung has recently filed for a plethora of patents relating to a new wearable device that strongly resembles the Moto 360 and its circular design. The patents detail a plethora of features about the device, as well as some basic mockups of its design.

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Wearable Stories April 14, 2014

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Google will soon open its Glass explorer program to all US residents for one day only, however a recent patent application from the search engine kingpin might make you reconsider making a purchase tomorrow. Spotted by the folks at Patent Bolt, Google has filed a patent application for a micro camera component to compliment its recently announced smart contact lenses.

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Wearable Stories January 8, 2014

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Samsung’s entry into the world of wearable tech may not have been terribly successful, with dreadful reviews and reportedly poor sales, but the company seems undeterred, promising more wearables this year, reports re/code.

“2014 is actually going to be a really big year,” said Dennis Miloseski, head of studio for Samsung Design America. “We are planning some products around the launch of our flagship devices.”

Samsung’s US design team does appear aware that the company needs to work a lot harder on the aesthetics as well as the functionality …  expand full story

Wearable Stories December 30, 2013

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As the clock ticks away to 2014 and with just a few days separating us from the start of CES, a new competitor is throwing its hat into the smartwatch category. Archos, a company that doesn’t quite elicit the same name response as Samsung or Apple will be “unveiling a selection of smartwatches starting at under £50 or $82 US dollars.”

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Wearable Stories November 19, 2013

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As Samsung beats back rumors of poor Galaxy Gear sales, it made me wonder what buyers really want to see in their ideal smartwatch? The world may be waiting to see what Apple unveils in the wearables category, but that hasn’t stopped companies like Sony, Qualcomm, and Pebble from trying to capture just a small sliver of this up and coming market.

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With a reporting yesterday indicating that Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch had “flopped” with only 50,000 units sold, the manufacturing giant is refuting that report. However, even as Samsung speaks to the media regarding the Galaxy Gear as a successful product, there is some confusion about whether or not the company has “shipped” or “sold” 800,000 units …

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Wearable Stories November 18, 2013

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Update: Samsung wasted no time in refuting this report with a statement provided by an exec that claims the company has “sold” more than 800,000 units. Hit this link for the full update.

A new report courtesy of Business Korea indicates that Samsung’s Galaxy Gear has fallen well below initial sales expectations. According to the publication, Samsung’s first go at the smartwatch market has sold less than 50,000 units and is moving only 800-900 units per day.

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Wearable Stories October 23, 2013

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Samsung could see itself getting priority access to new glass technologies after taking a 7.4 percent stake in Gorilla Glass maker Corning and simultaneously signing a 10-year supply agreement.

The net effect of a complex series of share swaps and cash investments, allied to a long-term procurement commitment from Samsung, is a $2B deal that will enable Corning to boost its R&D investment, accelerating the pace of development of new types of display.

With closer cooperation between the two companies, Samsung may prove well positioned to gain access to those new technologies ahead of the rest of the market …  expand full story

Wearable Stories March 22, 2013

Im Watch (Android wristwatch 001)Update: The Korea Times reports that LG too is developing a smart watch and even testing products similar to Google Glass:

A source familiar with the matter told The Korea Times Friday that the Yeouido-based firm’s development of the next-generation watch, along with an innovative smart product similar to Internet giant Google’s Glass, was part of its long-term strategy to keep its competitiveness in the volatile information technology (IT) industry

While Apple and even Samsung have been at the heart of the rumors that new smart watch devices could be the products to keep an eye out for in 2013, Google too might try its hand at bringing a wearable computer in wristwatch form. According to a new report from The Financial Times, citing “a person briefed on the project,” Google’s Android unit is working on a smart watch platform of its own:

Google’s latest venture into wearable technology was more an attention-seeking gimmick than a serious new venture. But with the search giant ploughing significant resources into Google Glass, which embeds a screen, camera, microphone and other sensors into a pair of futuristic spectacles, it’s another indication that Google is serious about moving from the digital to the physical.

While Glass is being created in its X Lab, home to experimental “moonshot” projects such as the self-driving car, Google’s smart watch is being developed by its Android unit, according to a person briefed on the project

The fact that the device is reportedly being developed by Google’s Android unit, and not its experimental X Labs like Google Glass, could be an indication that Google plans to bring its watch product to the masses sooner rather than later. FT’s source also confirmed that the project is separate from the recently announced smart watch project from Samsung that is rumored to run a new operating system called AltiusOS and not Android.

Bloomberg reported in February that Apple had around 100 product designers working on its smart watch, and many analysts expected the product to be released by Apple as early as this year. Today’s report from FT doesn’t provide many details on what exactly Google has planned, but it’s a sign that Google isn’t betting on Glass as the be-all and end-all of wearable platforms. The report did note that Google is developing its smart watch “to act as an extension to the smartphones using” Android.

Wearable Stories June 24, 2011

Richard DeVaul, a PhD. scientist from MIT with a focus on building wearable technologies, was snared from Apple this month by Google.  At Apple he was rumored to be working with SVP of Industrial Design, Jonny Ive in Apple’s secret labs building the next big thing.

Besides his having knowledge of the inter-workings of Apple, it is also interesting that DeVaul is a hardware person who has focused on building wearable products for the past decade.  Google has been a software company for all of its existence, but more and more it appears that it will enter the hardware business…but probably in smart accessories rather than phones.

He’ll likely join two former Danger hardware experts in a new Google lab called Google Hardware where his Job Description of “Rapid idea evaluation and prototyping for new projects at Google. ” seems to fit in with Joel Britt and Matt Hershenson are doing.

I wrote about DeVaul’s transition to Apple at Computerworld 18 months ago, excerpted below:

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