Swatch Boss Describes Apple Watch as “Interesting Toy”

Luxury Swiss watchmaker, Swatch has derisively referred to the Apple Watch as an “interesting toy” and not a “revolution” in timekeeping. The company’s chief executive, Nick Hayek discussed Apple’s wearable product line in a Swiss newspaper. According to Hayek, Swatch considered making their own smartwatch but cancelled the project after hearing the battery limitations on the Apple Watch. Apple’s premium device requires daily charging which makes it a fairly inconvenient proposition.

It’s not surprising to see this public outcry from Swatch, as their CEO has been critical of Apple for sometime. Obviously, they now see Apple as a new competitor in the wearables market and perhaps concerned about the future of hand-made, mechanical timepieces. However, I agree with Hayek’s argument, and the Apple Watch feels like a toy compared to traditional, Swiss watches. Of course, any Apple product will always have a market and interest from certain consumers but the Apple Watch has become a device to ridicule Apple’s pricing strategy.

Wearable technology is becoming a lucrative market and Apple believes their can offer a legitimate alternative to Swiss watch companies with years of history behind their name. Frankly, this comes across are fairly arrogant and I think the Apple Watch in the long-term will be a difficult device to sell to the mass-market.

Thank you Sky News for providing us with this information.

Habey Release the Swiss Army Knife of Mini-ITX Motherboards

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of Habey before, most people haven’t. They have however been in the business for quite some time and probably longer than some of our readers have been alive, so they know a thing or two about creating solutions for embedded and small form factor systems. Their newest product, the mini-ITX motherboard dubbed the MITX-6670 is somewhat of a swiss army knife of the small form factor with a lot of onboard functions and even more upgrade functions.

As a base, you’ll get a mini-ITX motherboard with a passive cooled Intel Baytrail quad-core J1900 processor running at 2.4GHz and two SO-DIMM slots for up to 8GB total DDR3 memory. There are two onboard Intel LAN port and there is an onboard header for an optional POE module. You can connect two SATA drives or two mSATA drives, but not both at once. The selection is made by jumper and one of the mSATA ports support full size where the other only allows half-size mini-PCIe.

But it doesn’t stop here as you can customize even more. There is a default PCIe x1 slot, but the really cool feature is the onboard header that allows you to expand with what you, may it be an extra HDMI port or a DisplayPort connector instead.

The built-in iGPU supports HD resolutions and the Realtek ALC892 chip powers the audio part. There’s also support for a Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) and you can even insert a sim card for 3G, 4G, and LTE connectivity.

MITX-6770 Features

  • Dual Intel I210/I211 Gigabit EthereEthernet
  • Built-in Ethernet port pin-header ready for POE (Power over Ethernet) setup
  • HDMI + VGA and LVDS/HDMI/DP/eDP add-on interface card options
  • Dual mSATA SSD support with easy jumper selection
  • Build-in Infineon Trusted Platform Module and 8-bit GPIO
  • Realtek ALC892 high-performance 7.1-channel HD Audio
  • Low power, fanless passively cooling

Habey’s MITX-6770 has a manufacturer suggested retail price starting at $159, which actually isn’t much considering the features you get and compared to other available boards with fewer features and functions.

Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Fly Around the World

The solar-powered Solar Impulse 2 is about to take off on a journey around the world after years of planning. The aircraft has been designed from the ground up with the latter mission in mind, having over 17,000 solar cells line in its wings which supply a series of electronic motors and charge four on-board lithium batteries.

The aircraft is said to be designed in such a way as to be endlessly powered by solar energy and thanks to its batteries, the plane is said to be able to fly day and night. The trip is going to take around 25 days split into 12 legs, starting and ending in Abu Dhabi.

Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg are the project’s organisers, who stated that energy efficiency testing is the main objective here. While this project seems to be a step towards testing how renewable energy could help fly planes in the near future, Piccard and Borschberg stated that the project is more of a publicity stunt rather than a technological milestone.

Gathering more information on the plane itself reveals that it boasts only one seat with a built-in toilet, with no heating or oxygen. In terms of food provisions during the flight, “dehydrated and vacuum-packaged” seems to be the key description of what the pilots should expect. No wonder the trip has been broken down into smaller chunks.

Summing it up, the aircraft has a long way to go in order to compete with the more comfy Boeings and Airbuses everyone is accustomed to. However, the project does reveal the potential of renewable energy and its impact in the near future. If the project will come to be a success, industry scepticism regarding future powered solar planes might dissipate and debates regarding its future could reopen.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information