When the Fitbit Flex was released last May, it volleyed for dominance with the Nike FuelBand and Jawbone Up in the emerging category of bracelet-style wearable fitness trackers. Less than six months later, though, the Flex is already old hat. The $130 Fitbit Force takes the same basic bracelet design and adds a real miniature OLED screen -- instead of a cryptic series of notification lights -- so you can see bright, legible readouts of your physical activity. In addition to toggling through all of that data -- your daily steps, how well you sleep, how many calories you consume … Read more
The wearable-tech market -- specifically the sector concerned with health and fitness -- is a hotly contested space, with major players large and small waging wars for the wrist and shooting for the sweet spot between price point and functionality.
Basis Science, a startup that makes a high-end fitness tracker called the Basis band, has just solidified its stake in the fight with $11.75 million in additional funding to close out its Series B round at a total of $23 million, with Intel Capital coming onboard alongside Stanford University, iNovia Capital, and a slew of other new investors.
The … Read more
I know this subject never arises when Apple and Samsung are mentioned, but let's give it a tiny, experimental airing. Today's subject is copying.
Sunday, when Samsung launched two new ads celebrating its magical, revolutionary Galaxy Gear watch, some on Twitter felt an earthquake.
No, it wasn't the one centered in Oakland, Calif. (a 3.0, no worries). It was that the ad featuring Captain Kirk and Fred Flintstone talking to their watches had an alleged predecessor: the original iPhone launch teaser ad in 2007.
While several companies are jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon, it's not clear who exactly is buying these wearable picture-taking, texting, time-telling machines. Or, for that matter, if this wearable fad is here to stay.
A study released Thursday by consumer analytics firm On Device Research and telecoms analyst firm CCS Insight shows that many people have heard of smartwatches and other wearable technology, but ownership is still fairly low. The study's data is based on a survey of more than 1,500 smartphone owners in the US and UK.
"We are surprised by how many people are … Read more
About a year ago, Kickstarter project Memoto hoped to raise $50,000 toward the development of a small, wearable camera that would automatically snap photos throughout your day, the idea being to "lifelog" your experiences in searchable, shareable records.
The campaign raised $550,000.
Unfortunately, the estimated delivery period -- February 2013 -- came and went, and went, and went. But early backers are finally going to receive their cameras: the newly christened Narrative Clip (so named because of a conflict with the Memoto moniker) is scheduled to ship November 1.… Read more
"Excuse me. I just wanted to ask: did you know I was taking a picture of you with my watch?"
This is what I asked a barista at a coffee shop near work, because, moments before, that's exactly what I did. Wearing a black-and-steel Samsung Galaxy Gear on my wrist, I made a few swipes and taps on the screen that captured my subject as he was making me coffee.
"No, but I heard the sound of a camera phone snapping."
He was referring to the beep-and-snap sound effect that comes through quite loudly on … Read more
Samsung executives had spent the last few weeks before the public unveiling of Gear finalizing various colors for the smartwatch band. At first, Samsung planned only to make Gear in black and white, to ease the production process. But some key execs were convinced that it needed more variety, more splash, especially since a smartwatch is as much about fashion as it is tech. The marketing team decided to add "rose gold" and "wild orange" into the mix, while the … Read more
Now that a select few individuals had the chance to gaze through Google Glass and see what the world looks like overlaid with a computer, Google is letting anyone give the wearable tech a whirl.
The Web giant announced Thursday that it's going on tour across the US to let people try on the glasses and chat with the Glass team. The tour kicks off in Durham, N.C., on October 5. All interested people must RSVP for the event.
"We've heard lots of people are interested in experiencing Glass first hand, so we're taking Glass … Read more
Apple is getting pounded. Apparently, investors aren't charmed by the company's new iPhones, with the stock down since the September 10 announcement.
Apple's estimated 2013 price/earnings ratio is a lowly 12, compared with Google's 25, Amazon's 346, and Facebook's 87. At this juncture, Apple is more like the unloved Microsoft, which has about the same price/earnings ratio. Neither company is catching fire with investors, although activist shareholder Carl Icahn is finding Apple's stock price attractive.
While Microsoft's problem is that Windows, especially for mobile devices, isn't taking share from … Read more
One of the biggest challenges when traveling to new places is not looking like a clueless tourist while you're there. The Triposo travel belt on Indiegogo is raising funds to help make intrepid explorers look less lost when they're walking around.
The belt works by connecting with a cable to the headphone jack on your smartphone. Open up the Triposo travel guide app, select a destination, and choose the "buzz me there" option. The app communicates with the belt, which then vibrates at different spots to tell you to go straight, turn back, turn left, or turn right. … Read more