And what they are like to use
It goes on sale April 24 and ranges from $349 to upwards of $10,000+ READ ARTICLE
Apple gave more details about its upcoming smartwatch, the Apple Watch, at a press briefing in San Francisco Monday. Some six months after unveiling the device, CEO Tim Cook filled in many of the blanks, such as how much various versions will cost and how long the built-in battery will last.
Cook revealed more about the device’s price. The Watch, which comes in three distinct lines and various metals, is the most customizable device the company has ever sold. The entry-level Watch Sport will cost $349 and $399, depending on the size of the body, 38 millimeters or 42 millimeters. The mid-tier Watch collection will range from $549 to $1099. The top-of-the-line Watch Edition will retail for $10,000 and up. Cook said the later device will be available in limited quantities and only in certain stores.
Apple will begin taking Watch pre-orders on April 10, and is planning to offer a preview program to let customers try the devices on in stores. The Apple Watch will go on sale April 24.
Cook also reviewed the device’s major features, including receiving and making phone calls, reading email, making wireless payments, controlling the music on a connected iPhone, and tracking exercise. Apple’s CEO touted features that let two Apple Watch owners send each other animated messages and imprints of their heart beats. Many of those features had been presented last year.
The Apple Watch will be able to run third-party apps, much like iPhones and iPads, and the firm showed off a few new examples. Kevin Lynch, the company’s vice president of technology, demonstrated a weather application powered by The Weather Channel. Another, messaging app WeChat, works on the Watch much like it does on a smartphone, allowing users to send one another text and images. Other apps included Facebook’s Instagram, ride-hailing app Uber, music app Shazam, and a ticketing system for American Airlines.
Lynch said the Watch connects to a user’s iPhone over both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, meaning the phone doesn’t necessarily have to be in close range of the watch to provide data connectivity.
Cook for the first time showed off the company’s Apple Watch iPhone software, which will allow users to download apps for the device and configure their wearable via their phones.
He also addressed the Watch’s battery life, one of the device’s biggest unanswered questions. He said the device would last 18 hours on a single charge.
Cook showed a video of former model Christy Turlington using the device. She wore the Watch during a half marathon she ran for charity in Africa. She spoke about how the device tracked her run, including distance and pace. In a departure from previous Apple presentations, Turlington then came on stage wearing the device to give a testimonial. “We want to the Apple Watch to help you prepare for your next marathon,” Cook told her.
Apple will reveal more details about its latest device on Monday, March 9+ READ ARTICLE
The Apple Watch is arguably the company’s biggest launch in years.The upcoming wearable, expected to go on sale in April, is the first all-new product category for Apple since the introduction of the iPad in 2010. Some six months after unveiling the device, CEO Tim Cook is getting ready to take the stage and give the world more details. On Monday in San Francisco, Apple is holding a “Spring Forward” event, presumably to update press and consumers about the device’s imminent launch. Until then, here’s everything we know so far:
The event is Monday, March 9 at 10AM PST / 1PM ET. As it usually does, Apple sent out invites to the media ahead of time with a little tease about the subject matter at hand. “Spring Forward,” as the invite reads, is a joke about the recent time change and telling time.
It’s not just technology, it’s a piece of jewelry. As TIME’s hands-on with the Watch last year made clear, even more so than an iPhone or iPad, the Watch is a luxury item the company wants people to display on their bodies proudly.
Jonathan Ive is really into it. Apple’s chief designer was recently profiled extensively by the New Yorker. He went on at length about the gadget’s design and “integrity.”
Tim Cook is also excited about the device. No surprise, this is the first all-new product the company has release since Cook became CEO. He’s been traveling the world, letting details of what the Watch can do slip to Apple Store employees he’s briefed.
It runs apps much like an iPhone. Though it packs less processing power, the Watch will run apps from a variety of software developers just like other iOS devices. Many of them have been toiling away in a secret lab on Apple’s campus to get ready.
Seriously, it does a lot. For a full list of features, check out this compendium.
Apps use touch and scroll. The device has highly sensitive touch screen as well as a so-called “digital crown” for scrolling through longs lists. This is what some of the apps will be like to use on the device.
It will be highly customizable. The Watch comes in multiple metals like gold and aluminum with a variety interchangeable straps. This configurator lets enthusiasts see what the different combinations will look like.
It will be expensive (possibly very expensive). Apple said the basic model would start at $349 last fall. But estimates for higher-end models made of more luxurious materials range anywhere from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands. One after-market company is already promising a $75,000 version.
All the kinks haven’t been worked out. One of the most intriguing revelations in a recent Wall Street Journal story was that the company started out with some grand ambitions about what the Watch could do in terms of monitoring users’ health. But challenges during development forced the company to scale the first version back.
Battery life will be an issue. Cook claimed his Watch lasted a full day on a charge. But, just in case, it will come with a low-power mode simply for telling the time.
You can wear it in the shower. Or so CEO Tim Cook has said.
It will have plenty of competition. Google is pushing its own version of wearables, but so far they haven’t proven very popular.
It’s going to add a lot of revenue to Apple’s bottom line. The company’s stock is likely to benefit even from relatively modest sales.
The company's first wearable can do much more than the average smartwatch
Read more: 5 Things to Expect from Apple’s Watch Event
New device can also vibrate
A scarf is probably not the first kind of “wearable device” you think of, but Microsoft may change that. A research group at the company has developed a smart scarf that can heat up or vibrate via a smartphone app, MIT Technology Review reports.
The scarf is comprised of hexagonal modules made of felt and overlaid with copper taffeta. One of the modules has Bluetooth functionality in order to communicate with your smartphone. Some of the modules heat up and others vibrate, but they can be rearranged in any order to alter the heat distribution of the scarf.
Researchers told the MIT Technology Review that they’d like to add cooling functionality to the scarf, as well as a music player. The device could even worth with other biometric devices to adjust the scarf temperature based on a person’s mood, perhaps boosting the heat when the wearer appears to be sad.
For now, the scarf is just a research project. A paper on the device was presented at a conference on human-computer interaction at Stanford University on Sunday.
Google's Glass Explorer program is coming to an end
Google is pressing the brakes on its Google Glass rollout.
The company will stop selling the smart glasses to individual customers through its Explorer program after Jan. 19, according to a post on Glass’s Google+ page. The company will continue to support its Glass at Work initiative, which aims to sell the glasses to enterprise customers.
Glass is also moving out of the Google X research lab to become its own independent unit. It will be headed by Google executive Ivy Ross, who has been leading the Glass team since last summer. That team will now report to Nest CEO Tony Fadell, though Glass is not actually becoming a part of Nest, most well-known for making smart home equipment.
Google Glass, which has seen its official release delayed multiple times, has courted its fair share of controversy thanks to privacy concerns over its use. Google released a guide on how to avoid being a “Glasshole” using the wearable device, which can take pictures, record video and look up content on the Internet using voice commands.
Google offered no timetable for when a new version of Glass would be available to the general public. However, the Wall Street Journal reported in December that a new version of Glass with a processor developed by Intel would launch sometime in 2015.
Forget New Year’s resolutions. Your body needs these right now.
The holidays are here and — along with good tidings of comfort and joy, of course — they bring stressful shopping trips, overeating, late-night Elf on the Shelf antics, and a general abandonment of usual fitness routines.
But as you button up the year’s end, you don’t need to fall apart. These five connected fitness devices can help you stay on track before you get sidelined by the season’s trappings:
Fitness bands and smart watches are on everyone’s list this year, but you might be better served to pick this one up early, rather than letting it sit all wrapped up for a month. The $199 fitness and sleep tracking watch has a few sensors that will not only help you survive the holiday, but be able to view the month-long flurry as a time to thrive.
In addition to the usual step and calorie counting, Peak also monitors body heat, sweat dissipation, and heart rate (take that, shopping stress!) without a chest strap. So when you’re running from store to store looking for that Snow Glow Elsa doll, you can honestly declare it a workout.
And then a month from now, when life gets back to normal, this Android and iOS-compatible watch can also automatically track your sleep (without having to tell the device you’re down for the night) and set gradually increasing fitness goals, so you can make next year your best one yet.
Tiny wearables like Fitbug Orb are great for tracking motion, but it’s up to you to actually do something with that information. This $49 sensor not only keeps an eye on steps taken, calories burned, and sleep logged (and syncs this data with an iOS app), it also integrates with KiQplans, which are weight loss programs that combine your movement data with fitness activities and nutrition tips to help you actually slim down.
With 12-week, $19 regimens like Beer Belly Blaster and Goodbye Baby Bump, KiQplans are a good way to turn the most wonderful time of the year into an end-of-the-year, data-driven boot camp. Just make sure to stay away from the figgy pudding.
If you’re the kind of fitness freak who won’t get shaken out of his or her routine, then this is the wearable for you. The first fitness tracker aimed at measuring strength, this $189 arm band links with an accompanying Android or iOS app to monitor not just your activity but your output. Pairing with your smartphone via Bluetooth, the app and device lets gym rats set strength, power, speed, and muscular endurance goals. Then, within the app, the user selects from a list of pre-programmed exercises, sets a weight load, presses a button on the armband and starts pumping.
After each set the app reviews velocity and power of each rep, as well as the resting time between, and can even recommend to going up or down in weight the next time you do that exercise. And when the workout is over, a progress tracker gives a session summary in full detail. It’s about working out smarter, not necessarily harder.
Just like Santa, Sense sees you when you’re sleeping, and knows when you’re awake. And it knows if you slept bad or good, with proximity, ambient light, particulate, temperature and humidity sensors, so you’ll learn to sleep good for goodness’ sake.
This $129 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT-connected bedside and pillow-mounting combination sensor can help you to learn about your sleep, from patterns that you go through naturally, to disruptions in your environment that might be interrupting your shuteye. Its microphone detects your snoring and a small speaker wakes you up with gentle, gradual sounds.
But most importantly, the sleep sensor’s Android and iOS app learns your sleep cycles, so it can wake you up when you’re in a light level of sleep near to when you wanted to be awake, rather than at a specific time when you might be off in Never-Neverland.
It doesn’t take much to use this Internet-connected scale — literally, you just have to stand there. But by tracking weight as well as body composition data like fat mass and body mass index, this app-synced device can be more helpful than even the most sophisticated fitness trackers.
Still, loaded with sensors, it’s not like this smart scale isn’t trying. Able to automatically recognize up to eight individual users, track heart rates, and even monitor indoor air quality, it can give you a well-rounded picture of your overall health. And paired with Withings’ Health Mate app (and more than 100 other partner apps), it can help you gradually meet weight-related goals — so you won’t have to ask for elastic-waist lounge pants for Christmas this year.
It's Microsoft's new foray into the wearables market+ READ ARTICLE
Microsoft is joining the parade of tech companies flooding the crowded wearable health space with a big bet that it can make its way not only to consumers’ desks and laps, but onto their wrists, too.
Microsoft Band works much like a Fitbit or a Jawbone Up: throughout the day, it tracks your heart rate, steps, calories burned and the quality and length of your sleep. It contains a GPS device, so it tracks distance traveled, too. The Band feeds data back to your Microsoft Health app, which works on Microsoft phones as well as Android and Apple.
The Band does things some other wearables can’t: it notifies you when you receive a text message or a call and allows you to monitor your email. It also lets you interact with Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant, Cortana, provided you have a Windows Phone. Microsoft also touted Microsoft Health’s coordination with its HealthVault program, which can share information with doctors. And at $199, The Microsoft Band is considerably cheaper than the cheapest Apple Watch will be when that launches early next year at a $349 starting price.
“We don’t think there’s any other device with this level of functionality,” Yusuf Mehdi, a Microsoft vice president, said according to the New York Times in a demonstration of the device on Wednesday. Microsoft released the Band after it apparently leaked early in some app stores.
The big question for the Microsoft Band is whether it’ll hold users’ interest. In a recent survey, PricewaterhouseCoopers found about a third of respondents said they no longer use their wearable device or do so infrequently just a year after purchasing one.
The athletic brand and tech giant may come together in the near future+ READ ARTICLE
For those looking for wearable tech that’s significantly less nerdy than Google Glass and the Apple Watch, you may not be looking for long.