Garmin Unveils The “Quatix 3” Luxury Watch

The humble watch is seen as somewhat old-fashioned compared to the digital life that nearly all consumers live these days, tech companies on the other hand, have been looking to integrate various digital features within so-called smart watches with the aim of marketing the product for the 21st century. Global GPS brand Garmin who are synonymous with Sat Navs have unveiled a new watch by the name of the Quatix 3.

Below is a quick rundown of the announced specifications.

  • Physical dimensions – 2.0” x 2.0” x 0.6” (51.5 x 51.5 x 16.0 mm)
  • Display Size – 1.2” (30.4 mm) diameter
  • Display resolution – WxH – 218 x 218 pixels; transflective MIP colour; sapphire lens
  • Weight – 3.0 oz (85 g)
  • Battery life – Up to 50 hours in UltraTrac mode; up to 20 hours in GPS training mode; up to 6 weeks in watch mode

The watch also comes equipped with a “protective stainless steel EXO bezel and buttons”.

If you happen to be a fisherman or an avid race boat enthusiast, the Quatix 3 has you covered, below is a quick summary of these targeted features.

  • Saltwater fishermen – Will have features available to them that include navigational as well as NMEA 2000 data including depth, speed, water temperature etc.
  • Sailors – Will have the option to receive data that includes a virtual starting line feature that lets you set up a starting line between 2 marked GPS waypoints, e.g., a buoy and the committee boat
  • The watch also contains an Altimeter, Barometer and Compass.

The watch is expected to be released within the first quarter of April 2016, prices are expected to be $599.99 (£420.54).

It will be interesting to see if this watch has a great appeal within the general consumer market when you consider many of the features are targeted at a specific audience. Garmin will hope this watch will be able to hold its own, it makes sense for Garmin to implement its knowledge within a new smartwatch.

Casio Showcase WSD-F10 Smartwatch @ CES 2016

CES 2016: The world of smartwatches isn’t exactly lacking in options these days, but the latest from Casio is simply one of the best we’ve seen yet. The WSD-F10 comes in four colours, green, orange, black and red, and features a dual LCD/LED touchscreen display.

Battery life is said to be 24 hours, although, with such a big and bright display, I wouldn’t have expected much more. It’s pretty rugged too, designed for your sports loving, mountain climbing adventurous side. With a built-in altimeter, barometric pressure sensor and compass, this could be the ultimate watch for getting out into the wild.

At $500 it’s not cheap, but it’s got a range of features that put most of the current crop of smart watches to shame. We can’t wait to try this out properly sometime after the show!

Omate Rise Android Smartwatch Crowdfunder Raises $50,000 in Half-an-Hour

The Omate Rise, billed as the “World’s first standalone water-resistant smartwatch with carbon Fiber bezel powered by Android 5.1” by its creators, has smashed its $30,000 goal on Indiegogo, raising over $50,000 in the first half-hour of its 65-hour crowdfunding campaign alone.

Omate is an ambitious, two-year-old startup, based in both the Mountain View in California and Shenzhen in China, and focuses on creating fashionable wearable tech, often in partnership with other brands.

The Android 5.1 Lollipop Omate Rise runs on a 3G Dual-Core 1.2Ghz ARM Cortex-A7 processor and an ARM Mali-400 MP GPU, with a 360×360, 1.3-inch innolux display.

Croundfunding options range from the Super Early Bird Developer package (SIM Unlocked + Open Source Access + Limited Edition Engraved + Free Heart Rate Monitor and Keychain. Retail Price: $398) to the Super Early Bird Partner Pack (SIM Unlocked Five (5) units SIM Unlocked + Limited Edition Engraved. Retail Price: $1,745) both available for the first 48 hours only.

At the time of writing, the Omate Rise has raised $53,963, courtesy of 246 backers, with 64 hours of its crowdfunding campaign yet to go. Omate aims to ship its first run of smartwatches by March 2016, with a full retail version following soon after.

Research Firm Investigates Why Some Apple Watch Owners Are Dissatisfied

The Apple Watch received a fairly lukewarm reception and ridiculed for its extremely high pricing. Despite this, the device has sold surprisingly well and I didn’t expect this given the daily charge requirement. As with any purchase, there’s always going to be some buyer’s remorse but this doesn’t occur that often with Apple products. Perhaps, this is due to their slow price depreciation or simply Apple’s very strong brand loyalty. However, not everyone is pleased with the Apple Watch and research firm, Wristly asked 330 disgruntled Apple Watch owners to explain why they were so unhappy.

Here we can see, the majority of those surveyed felt like the Apple Watch represented poor value, and believed the device was too limiting. Additionally, battery life is another huge concern and makes the Apple Watch pretty inconvenient. The research company also asked Apple Watch owners to recommend improvements. Here is a brief selection of the comments:

“The user interface and get rid of that “crown” wheel, or improve it… and maybe stop calling it crown as it is cheesy and pretentious.”

“Thinner and more aesthetically pleasing, longer battery, better heart rate software, not requiring phone tethering.”

“Speed, waterproofing, activity tracking more in line with fit band watches, battery life.”

Unfortunately, the sample size is quite small so it’s unclear how representative these views are of Apple Watch owners. Although, it definitely seems like a flawed device and rumours indicate a second generation model could arrive sometime mid year next. If this occurs, and it’s a significant improvement, early adopts will rightfully feel aggrieved.

Newest Smartwatch From LG Cancelled After Six Days on Market

LG’s newest smartwatch, the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, has just been cancelled, after only being available on the market for 6 days. The true reason for the cancellation is not yet clear, but an LG representative went on record with Android Police that it was due to hardware issues.

LG refused to detail exactly what the issues with the hardware were, however, it was assured that use of the device was not hazardous to the user, instead providing this statement: “Late in the quality assurance process for the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, our engineers were made aware of a hardware issue which affects the day-to-day functionality of the device. After further investigation, the decision was made to cancel the rollout of the Urbane 2nd Edition LTE due to the complicated nature of the issue.”

Despite already having been on sale for six days, the removal of the device from the sites of distributors such as Verizon and AT&T have been swift, with sites either reporting errors or redirecting to other LG Smartwatches in place of the Urbane 2nd Edition LTE’s page. The watch is even conspicuously absent from LG’s own website, which is a very abrupt about-face for the company. With LG unsure as to whether the product will ever be available for sale again, it is clear they want to avoid publicity on the issue, due to their strong position as a hardware manufacturer for some Android Nexus devices. Despite this, LG is yet to issue a recall on the product to anyone who already purchased the watch, so it may be prudent for any early buyers to look into the returns policy from their provider.

The cancellation of this device is a setback for both Google and LG, who touted the product as the first Android smartwatch with built-in cellular connectivity, allowing it to make calls and receive messages even when separated from a handset. This would have opened up sales to people who don’t see the purpose of a smartwatch if it’s just another interface for your phone and not very useful when separated. The only assurance LG leaves us with is that “For now, our top priority is to ensure that only products that meet our very specific quality standards are available for purchase.”

Disney Hacks a Smart-Watch and Your Body!

In everyday life, we come into contact with hundreds, if not thousands of items. Some we knowingly touch such as our phones or our computer peripherals, but what about that spoon that we compulsively pick up every time we go into the kitchen, no just me?

Most of the items we touch are insulated, but most give off a small electromagnetic ‘noise’ which our bodies can pick up because we are pretty impressive conductors. Disney has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University and has hacked together a proof-of-concept that can pick up the noise that travels through our bodies in real-time and displays the object on the display. The group calls this innovation “EM-Sense”.

Ars Technica reports the device has been created by essentially hacking a Samsung Galaxy Gear with a host of bulky tech such as a “software-defined radio receiver” to allow the watch to more accurately determine what is being used, with a current accuracy rating of just over 96%.

If you want to try your hand at this yourself, the researchers say that the setup is something “hobbyists can replication” and will cost “under $10” (assuming you already own a Galaxy Gear).

Personally I really like this idea, but this sort of technology could be manipulated and abused. In the future, the information stored could be sold/ used by the device manufacturer to display ad’s for products, or what if the device could be hacked and it knows when you go to an ATM and determine what buttons you press on the keypad for your pin number.

Do you think this technology would be too intrusive? Let us know in the comments.

Worlds First Braille Smartwatch Also Lets You Read Ebooks

All the way back in 2013, we reported on a mobile phone being created by an Indian start-up that would be the world’s first braille phone. Now in the world of wearable tech, say hello to the first braille smart watch.

Dot, as it is titled, is the world’s first braille watch. On their website, the startup based on South Korea have three simple goals. 1% of books are translated to braille while e-braille readers cost upwards of a whopping $2000. These reasons contribute to almost 95% of blind people giving up learning to read braille, meaning that braille users are often unable to read books or any digital messages.

To combat this the group are making the Dot not only affordable (with a target price of under $300), able to display e-books, able to provide help in learning braille, all while being in the form of a smart watch providing everything from a messenger, alarm and more.

The Dot looks just like any other smart watch, expect the active braille technology that allows the dots to protrude from its face to provide you with your favorite stories and tales while on the go.

With clear goals and a piece of technology that can revolutionize people’s lives the Dot could quickly come something that is not only wanted by, but also given to blind people to help support them in an ever more technical world.

Thank you Dot for providing us with this information.

You Could Have Been Wearing A Nokia Smart Watch

Wearable tech is a big thing at the moment. From Google Glass to the Pebble Watch, companies are looking for more and more ways to bring technology to everyday life without having to make you carry that extra device. A recent image on a Tumblr blog shows that a company which may have thought of bringing you a smartwatch is Nokia.

“Moonraker”, as it was codenamed, was shown on a Tumblr blog which has since been removed. The blog is run by a Microsoft employee Pei-Chi Hsieh, and like much of the internet was quickly grabbed and shared before the images could be removed. The watch itself seems to look very similar to a lot of others on the market, with interchangeable colour bands letting you choose the look based on how you feel on the day. They even had an interesting idea with “live tiles” which would provide a glimpse into the apps on the watch, such as text messaging. If that sounds familiar it’s because it’s the same as Metro that the Windows 8’s start menu uses.

The images, however, were reporting as more than just concept art created to show off what could be made, the images were actual marketing material and a prototype was even reportedly shown off at Mobile World Congress in 2014. This all fell apart in April 2014 with Nokia’s acquisition by Microsoft, who decided to focus on the Microsoft Band Fitness Tracker.

Sadly there doesn’t seem to be any plans to bring the device into the world. Instead, it will remain as a prototype in a warehouse somewhere, waiting for its chance.

Thank you The Verge for the information.

Asus Reveal ZenWatch 2 @ Computex 2015

Asus are out in force at this years Computex, with their new Selfie phone, their new tablets, desktop systems and a whole lot more. However, one thing that really caught my attention was their new ZenWatch 2.

Just like the original, it will feature Android Wear and even has a relatively similar design. The real interesting thing, however, is that the watch comes in a choice of sizes, with a 49mm stainless steel case and a 45mm option. The larger one comes with a 22m interchangeable strap and the smaller with an 18mm strap.

We’ll bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.

Haier’s Smartwatch Could Help Keep Children Safe

Unveiled during the IFA Global Press Conference, this innovative smartwatch concept was created by a Chinese company named Haier. Equipped with a GPS and with a cellular communication option, the smartwatch could help keep children safe by allowing their parents to know exactly where they are at all times. The piece also features a microphone, a speaker and limited control options that restrict the child to contacting only the parent’s phone number.

An accompanying mobile app can be used to set safe areas such as schools and home streets. When the user leaves a safe area, a series of notifications are sent to the parents smartphone. The basic display shows the hour, the date, the signal power and a battery meter. Charging is done via a microUSB port located at the side of the watch.

Haier plans to start selling the watch in Europe in September, and the expected price tag is €99. Personally, I think that it’s a cheap price to pay for peace of mind and safety. The company also has a separate version for seniors in the works, which will cost €129 and will become available in December.

What do you think about this smartwatch concept?

Thank you Electronista for providing us with this information.

Nearly 1 Million US Apple Watch Pre-Orders on First Day

According to digital commerce data company Slice Intelligence, almost 1 million US consumers have pre-ordered the Apple Watch. The report, released by Slice on Sunday, estimates that 957,000 people pre-ordered Apple’s smartwatch on Friday, based on e-receipt data collected directly from consumers. Each order was for 1.3 watches, spending $503.83 per watch.

Customers ordering the Apple Watch Sport spent an average of $382.83 per unit, while those ordering the Apple Watch spent $707.04. Absent from the report, though, are pre-order figures for Apple’s premium model, the Apple Watch Edition.

The Slice report says that out of the two sizes – 38mm and 42mm cases – the larger size was the most popular. Stainless steel was the most desirable finish, accounting for 43% of orders, while space grey aluminium took 40%, silver aluminium was 23%, with space black trailing behind with 3%. The most ordered band for the watch was the black sport band, which was ordered 49% of the time.

The forthcoming Apple Watch is, by all accounts, beautiful but superfluous, but is set to become the must-have fashion-tech item of 2015. The Apple Watch becomes available in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and the US on 24th April, with each country accepting pre-orders now.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

Apple Watch Reviewed

Reviewers have gotten their hands on the new Apple Watch – the company’s first unique hardware in five years, launching this coming Friday – and the consensus is a firm thumbs up. The Apple Watch is entering an already competitive market, populated by a family of Android Wear devices, such as the Samsung Gear, and by all accounts it blows away the competition, returning Apple’s mantle of creating the must-have device.

Joshua Topolsky from Bloomberg suggests the Apple Watch has an addictive quality, and that it was even designed that way, saying, “Yes, all these new functions, notifications, and tapping do make the Apple Watch very distracting. In some ways, it can be more distracting than your iPhone, and checking it can feel more offensive to people around you than pulling out your phone. The watch wants and needs you now, as its insistent taps make painfully clear. And to see what the Apple Watch wants and needs, you must physically move it into view. If while you’re talking to someone, you check your regular watch, it can feel as if you’re sending a not-so-subtle “let’s wrap this up” message. With the Apple Watch, factoring in the animated wrist-whip and the length of some of the notifications you receive, it’s downright rude.”

But Re/code’s Lauren Goode claims that the device is likely to appeal only to existing iPhone users, as the watch is made to complement it. Goode writes, “From a technology standpoint, it is an extension of the iPhone. And just like the smartphone, it starts to change your habits over time.”

A common theme across reviews is that the Apple Watch is the pinnacle of smartwatch technology, but doubts remain about just how useful smartwatches are as a concept. Nilay Patel of The Verge sums it up well, writing, It is one of the most ambitious products I’ve ever seen; it wants to do and change so much about how we interact with technology. But that ambition robs it of focus: it can do tiny bits of everything, instead of a few things extraordinarily well. For all of its technological marvel, the Apple Watch is still a smartwatch, and it’s not clear that anyone’s yet figured out what smartwatches are actually for.”

It may not be as intuitive as Apple’s other products, a quality the company is famed for, but Farad Manjoo of The New York Times reckons that learning the device’s interface is worth it, writing, “Unlike previous breakthrough Apple products, the Watch’s software requires a learning curve that may deter some people. There’s a good chance it will not work perfectly for most consumers right out of the box, because it is best after you fiddle with various software settings to personalize use. Indeed, to a degree unusual for a new Apple device, the Watch is not suited for tech novices. It is designed for people who are inundated with notifications coming in through their phones, and for those who care to think about, and want to try to manage, the way the digital world intrudes on their lives.”

Not everyone had positive things to say about the smartwatch, however. The Verge bemoans its speed, calling the Apple Watch “kind of slow.” The reviewer adds, “There’s no getting around it, no way to talk about all of its interface ideas and obvious potential and hints of genius without noting that sometimes it stutters loading notifications. Sometimes pulling location information and data from your iPhone over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi takes a long time. Sometimes apps take forever to load, and sometimes third-party apps never really load at all. Sometimes it’s just unresponsive for a few seconds while it thinks and then it comes back.”

So, the verdict is in: the Apple Watch is a great piece of tech, but is as superfluous as other smartwatches, might deter current Apple users with its tricky interface, and is suffering from early software niggles.

Here Are the First 24 Apps Available for Apple Watch

With just two  weeks until the Apple Watch is officially released, the excitement is mounting. Feeding that excitement now is the recent appearance of apps for the Watch in the App Store. Here is the list of the 24 apps first available in the App Store courtesy of 9to5Mac, with added descriptions by Fortune.

Now knowing what we get to start out with when the device is available, which app are you looking forward to most?

Vector Smartwatch Says it Can Offer a 30-Day Battery Life

The Vector Smartwatch has been revealed at the annual luxury watch fair in Switzerland. The company stated that it will release the watch in two variants, a Luna round face and Meridian rectangular face. However, the most interesting thing about it is not its appearance, but its battery endurance.

Vector has announced that its smartwatch battery can last for 30 days. This however, is subject to a lot of debate, since nobody can believe a smartwatch can last that long during prolonged use.

The company is said to have former Timex CEO Joe Santana and ex-Nike Designer Steve Jarvis on board and although they haven’t revealed much about the gadget, it is said to give the user the ability to display messages on-screen, dismiss them with a flick of the wrist and even works with IFTTT commands.

In terms of compatibility, the Vector is said to be able to pair up with iPhones, iPads, Android and Windows devices. The smartwatch is expected to be released late this summer and come with a $340 price tag for the Luna model with brown leather strap or black nylon and a $199 price tag for the Meridian black nylon strap.

There are other models featuring stainless steel straps, but expect the price to match the quality of the material.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Google Teams with Intel and Tag Heuer to Make Luxury Smartwatch

Google has announced a partnership with Swiss timepiece maker Tag Heuer and computer component creator Intel to build a luxury Android Wear smartwatch.

Tag Heuer is one of the biggest watchmakers in the World, famous for sponsoring Formula 1 racing and making analogue chronographs. Though, since the watch will no doubt be digital, it’s safe to assume that Tag Heuer will be handling the aesthetic side of the device, with Intel providing its innards. This is backed up by a report from Retuers that say the watch will be a “digital replica of the original Tag Heuer black Carrera, known for its bulky, sporty allure, and will look like the original.”

Google’s luxury Android watch announcement comes in the wake of the $10,000 gold Apple Watch, but David Singleton, Google’s director of engineering for Android Wear, says that talks between Google and Tag Heuer have been ongoing for a year. Singleton adds that the watch will “focus on the quality and performance that are expected from Tag Heuer” and will be priced accordingly. No price or release date has yet been mooted.

Source: The Verge

Huawei Accidentally Leaks its Own Smartwatch in an Ad

Chinese manufacturer Huawei has just accidentally leaked its smartwatch, one due to be revealed at Mobile World Congress. Leaks happen all the time, with products from Samsung and HTC leaking just this past week. Often, these leaks can be caused by an individual’s sneaky efforts to make things public. Well in the case of Huawei, it seems whoever was in charge of their ads, leaked this new device by accident.

Android Central discovered the ad, which doesn’t really reveal anything in the way of specs, but it does give us two pieces of information – it runs Android Wear, and it looks rather nice. It certainly looks better than competing devices from Samsung, and could probably even surpass the Moto 360 in terms of its aesthetics. It also appears that they’ve taken a page out of Apple’s book. If you weren’t aware of Huawei, you might look at that ad and think it was for a conventional watch manufacturer. With the smart suited man and the well presented watch, it seems that the company is aiming for fashion as well as technology.

We’ll be sure to hear all at Mobile World Congress this week.

Source: Gizmodo

Pebble Time Smartwatch Smashes Kickstarter Goal in Minutes

Smartwatch maker Pebble decided to return to its old stalking ground, Kickstarter, to raise funding for its new wearable device, the Pebble Time, and the $500,000 goal was decimated in a matter of minutes.

First time around, Pebble raised $10.3 million on Kickstarter, a new record. The Pebble Time is already up to $6 million on its first day, from nearly 30,000 backers. With 31 days left to run, the device is set to decimate the record set by its predecessor.

The most notable update to the Pebble Time, apart from its colour screen, is its streamlined notification system. Instead of being hidden in the respective apps, all notifications are listed in chronological order, and can be navigated via the ‘Past’, ‘Present’, and ‘Future’ buttons on the side of the watch.

The main advantage of a Pebble over other smart wearables, such as the Samsung Gear or Android Wear, is compatibility with both iOS and Android devices, though not all features are supported by both devices.

Pebble Time is due to ship to Kickstarter investors in May this year, with retail model becoming available soon after.

Source: Ars Technica

Android Wear Hacked to Work with iPhone

Android Wear, Google’s Android OS for smart watches, has been hacked to work with an iPhone. Currently, Android Wear only supports Android itself and no other OS. Well, developer Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh managed to work around that, and has actually got the two opposites talking to each other.

iOS contains a feature called Notification Center Service (ANCS) that is designed to send notifications to third-party fitness trackers and other similar devices. Using this, Mohammad connected the iPhone via Bluetooth to a Moto 360 smart watch that runs a special app to make this all work.

As the video shows below, Mohammad gets notifications popping up on his watch just a few seconds after they appear on his iPhone. While this is pretty interesting, it doesn’t mean an iPhone can exploit the full features of Android Wear. Not yet anyway. Google has said the Android is only supported “for now”, so iOS support may well happen someday.

Source: The Verge

Smart Wearables Being Banned in Schools

With the ever-growing popularity of smart wearables, comes ever-growing uses for them. One latest trend is cheating during exams. Something that was once innocent has schools thinking twice about what a watch can do.

As reported by BuzzFeed, universities are simplifying this by banning all watches during exams. One London City University official stated it “wouldn’t be practical” to have professors checking each individual students watch, making sure it was analog and not a smartwatch.

Source: Tweaktown

First Apple Watch Apps Demoed

With the Apple Watch rapidly approaching, we’re beginning to see a number of Apple Watch apps being demoed by various developers. While many of the major developers are keeping many of their plans under a shroud of secrecy, one developer, Todoist, makers of the popular to-do app of the same name, gave screenshots and video of their under-development app to MacRumors

Their work offers an interesting insight into life with an Apple Watch.

“Once inside the main Todoist app, the user can access their Inbox, Projects (and full task lists within each project), Labels, Filters, and a ‘Today’ view showing all tasks for the day, as well as overdue tasks. When you tap on a task to get the detailed view, you will be able to see the task’s associated labels, its due date, its priority level, and you will be able to either “complete” or “postpone” the task directly from the watch. If you don’t want to complete or postpone the task, you use the watch’s microphone to explicitly assign a time/date to the task (this feature is still in development).”

Apple released the first SDK for the device a few months ago, but was limited in giving us non-developers any idea as to how the device would function. Well now, thanks to this video and the efforts of developers like Todoist, we can start to get a feel for it. There is no doubt however, the real verdict will only be made once we’ve had one on our wrist.

Source: MacRumors

 

Tim Cook – Apple Watch to be Released in April

One tiny note nestled in with Apple’s Q1 earnings announcement on Tuesday, was the news that the Apple Watch will now ship in April. While many of the rumours suggested a March launch, Cook said that it will indeed be coming in April.

Was this the plan all along, or has the watch been delayed? Well many of the rumours have pointed towards exactly that. While the device was usable at their event in September, Apple only showed working units to a select few journalists, suggesting even then that things were still under development.

The biggest issue now though is battery life. Apparently the company has been working hard to get the battery life as high as possible, aiming to get at least nightly charges out of it, something which has apparently been achieved by a margin.

We’ll have to see for ourselves when it does finally arrive in April.

Source: MacRumors

Rumours of HTC Smartwatch Reveal Alongside One M9 Launch

Invites have been sent out for an HTC press conference in Barcelona on 1st March (above), at which it is rumoured that not only will we get our first glimpse at the new HTC One M9 flagship smartphone, but also a smartwatch, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s sources reveal that the One M9 will have a 20-megapixel rear camera, and UltraPixel front camera, and will be available in grey, gold, and silver, with units shipping not long after the press conference.

Earlier rumours suggest the HTC One M9 will feature a 5-inch full HD display, octacore 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor, 20.7-megapixel rear camera, 13-megapixel front-facing camera, 3GB RAM, and Android 5.0.1 Lollipop.

Though details are scarce, the smartwatch is said to be born of a partnership between HTC and American sportsware company Under Armour.

Source: BGR

Start Your Hyundai With Your Android Wear Watch

Remember that scene in the James Bond film ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ where Q shows Bond how to control his car with his phone? Well Hyundai is promising something similar except with your watch. I say similar, but while the watch app can do a lot of what Bond’s phone could do, you can’t remotely drive it.

You can however use the Blue Link app to start your engine, turn on your lights and sound your horn among other things. You’ll also be able to unlock its doors and locate your car on a map. The app and its features have already been available as an Android phone app, but this marks the first time any manufacturer has brought such features to a watch.

The new app also takes advantage of Android Wear’s voice features, so you could ask it to “lock my car,” or “start my car” for example. The app will debut at CES.

Source: The Verge

Apple Watch Now Available… From 1995

Apple’s new watch isn’t meant to be on sale until “early 2015”, but as MacRumors points out, you can get your hands on one right now. One from 1995.

Yes, Apple has made watches before (even called “Apple Watch”) but this was no way to keep in touch or pay for your groceries. It merely told the time, in a very zany fashion. These ‘stylish’ watches were given away as a free gift to those who upgraded to Macintosh System 7.5.

Now you might be wondering why Apple would need to give away a free gift to sell something. Well in 1995, Apple was not the Apple we know today. The company was crumbling, both in terms of its product line and its finances. After years of poor CEOs (John Sculley, Michael Spindler, and Gil ‘Bozo’ Amelio) following the ousting of Steve Jobs in 1985, it’s not at all surprising that Apple felt inclined to sell tat like this to keep afloat.

The watches have now gone on sale after the distributor found he had some left over stock. You can get them for $99-$129 – with the cheapest featuring minor imperfections and the most expensive being marked as “flawless”. You can get one at originalapplewatch.com.

Source: MacRumors

 

iOS 8.2 Beta 2 Now Available

iOS 8.2 Beta 2 has been released to beta testers.

The update, which should be available to testers now, arrived just a day after the release of iOS 8.1.2 to the public. That just brought some bug fixes, but it’s believed iOS 8.2 will bring a whole lot more. Rumours suggest that this will be the version to include support for the long-awaited Apple Watch, due out early next year. This is probably true considering 8.2 includes support for Apple’s WatchKit. This is the SDK released to developers just a few weeks ago, and allows them to build apps for the device.

Although, Apple has yet given them full access to the hardware, only giving them access to the features which allow interactivity between the iPhone and the watch. It’s not yet known when Apple will give full access, but it’s generally believed that this will be early next year – when developers can finally have access to the hardware itself.

Source: MacRumors

Data Sent Between Smartphones and Smartwatches Vulnerable to Hacking

Researchers from security firm Bitdefender have discovered that data sent between smartphones and smartwatches is susceptible to hacking. The transmission of calendar entries, text messages, and biometric data between devices is done via Bluetooth with a six-digit encryption, but are sensitive to a ‘brute force’ attack in which every possible number combination is tried until the encryption is unlocked.

Bitdefender performed a proof-of-concept hack to access a Samsung Gear Live smartwatch, paired with a Google Nexus 4. The Bluetooth encryption was easily brute-forced using existing and readily-available decryption software. Once hacked, the researchers were able to monitor all data sent between the two devices.

The trial has exposed a common security flaw in six-digit encryption, hopefully motivating smart device manufacturers to up their game in future.

Source: Ars Technica

The Sony E-Paper Watch Revealed

Remember that Sony Watch we reported on a few days ago? The one that’s made with ‘e-paper’?  Well it has since been revealed. It turns out that it was in the public eye all along, as part of a crowdfunding campaign for a sort of secret part of Sony.

The FES Watch, as it’s known, has been designed by a company called Fashion Entertainments, now known as a subdivision of Sony. That company is part of Sony’s efforts to come up with crazy and innovative products, separate from their main product lines.

The watch itself, which will be available to supporters on the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake after May next year, is completely covered in this ‘e-paper’ technology, that allows it to display simple differences in band styles, watch faces and more. It’s also said to last 60 days on a tiny button battery and reacts to the gestures of your wrist.

 

It’s not yet known when or if Sony will sell it widely, but it’s certainly an interesting concept.

Source: The Verge