BARCELONA, March 2 — Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei yesterday launched its first smartwatch, a round-faced device that works with Android phones, joining a crowded market weeks before the introduction of the highly anticipated Apple Watch. At an event tied to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the firm unveiled its Huawei watch line in classic, business and sporty versions, while at the same time across town, Korea’s LG Electronics launched a similar round-faced model.
BARCELONA: Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei on Sunday launched its first smartwatch, a round-faced device that works with Android phones, joining a crowded market weeks before the introduction of the highly anticipated Apple Watch. At an event tied to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the firm unveiled its Huawei watch line in classic, business and sporty versions, while at the same time across town, Korea’s LG Electronics launched a similar round-faced model.
TAIPEI–Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) could turn to a second mobile operating system for future smartwatches in order to achieve longer battery life, leaving behind the Android Wear system used on its current ZenWatch, company CEO Jerry Shen (沈振來) said. Shen confirmed however that Asustek will use Google Inc.’s Android Wear in one of its second-generation ZenWatch models before any possible future changes occur.
Although Sony Mobile Communications, LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility and Asustek Computer have launched Android Wear-based smartwatches, Samsung Electronics, HTC and some China-based makers are likely to release comparable models running on their own platforms initially, according to industry sources.
Game development in Southeast Asia is still at a relatively nascent stage, and many studios choose to focus on what’s simple and fast to complete – mobile games for smartphones. Singapore-based studio Dreamrocket, on the other hand, has tried something new with Dragon Laser, a game for smart watches. According to the studio, it’s “easy to pick up, yet challenging to master,” and users are guaranteed to smile every time they break their previous high scores.
A new rumor suggests Apple might have contracted Samsung to be the primary manufacturer for the S1 chip, the processor inside the upcoming Apple Watch. Apple reportedly has acquired 3,000 to 4,000 12-inch wafers every month from Samsung, in an attempt to have sufficient hardware units before the launch in spring, according to ZDNet. Each 12-inch wafer has 700 processors, meaning Apple will be grabbing 2.5 million new processors every month. By the time the Apple Watch launches, Apple should have a healthy supply of available processors.
Asustek Computer has launched its Android Wear-based smartwatch, the ZenWatch in Taiwan, priced at NT$5,990 (US$188). Company CEO Jerry Shen pointed out that monthly production capacity for ZenWatch is about 50,000 units, but it is insuffcient to meet the demand. The company plans to launch the second-generation ZenWatch in July 2015 and has been expanding its capacity in order to satisfy strong demand, Shen noted.
Following a pilot production at the end of 2014, Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook Air is expected to enter mass production in the first quarter of 2015, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. And with the Apple Watch also beginning production at about the same time, Apple’s supply chain players have started accelerating their supplies of related components.
The NSW Police Force will train 1000 officers across 16 locations to use a new fleet of body-worn video cameras in order to improve evidence gathering and encourage officers to be on their best behaviour. The NSWPF expects that at any time around 242 cameras will be worn by officers on duty across the state. It has gone to market to buy a first installment of 267 devices – giving it a 10 percent leeway for repairs – plus the storage, searching and authentication system that will back up an inevitable flood of information the devices will produce.
Sony has unveiled its own eyewear device in an attempt to take on Google Glass and other augmented reality alternatives. The big difference between the two eyewear devices is Sony has made it available for all types of glasses, while Google Glass only works with its own design or that of official third parties. Currently, the name for the eyewear device is SmartEyeglass Attach! Sony has not revealed price or launch dates.
Goodpatch, the Japanese design firm turning heads in Tokyo, has a new tool for designers and developers. Prott, the startup’s new prototyping tool (also available in English) can now be used to design apps for the Apple Watch. They are not the first team to release a prototyping tool. Take a look around and there are a number of alternatives. Prott’s Apple Watch support is notable for being developed in a three-hour design sprint. Also, leading firms like DeNA, IDEO, and Yahoo Japan are all paying customers of the prototyping service.
TAIPEI–Sony Mobile said Tuesday that its new SmartWatch 3 will be available on the local market soon, as the Japanese company is set to introduce for the first time in Taiwan a wearable device that runs on Google Inc.’s Android Wear operating system. The SmartWatch 3 is expected to hit local stores in mid December, carrying a price tag of NT$8,990 (US$290).
Xiaomi already shipped over one million Mi Bands since the device went on sale on August 18 to November 28, according to the fitness tracker’s official Weibo account. At its peak, it sold 103,000 in a single day. To put that into perspective, only about 3.3 million fitness bands and activity trackers were sold between April 2013 and March 2014 in the US, according to the NPD group (h/t Recode).
AIA Group, the largest insurer in Hong Kong, and business incubator Nest teamed up last month to launch an ambitious accelerator programme dedicated to entrepreneurs and start-ups focused on health-care-related wearable technology. “This is a first for Asia. We are saying it’s harder to get into this programme than getting into Harvard, but those who get in will have a support system like no other in the region,” Simon Squibb, the founder and chief executive of Nest, said.
With the now-fledging wearables market set to explode thanks to Apple’s upcoming smartwatch, many hardware startups are looking for creative ways own wristband real estate. Taiwan’s JoyRay is hedging its bets youngsters with Jumpy, a smartwatch for kids that’s currently raising funds on Kickstarter.
China-based electronics maker Fenda Technology recently announced it has been selected by Lenovo as a qualified supplier for the vendor’s wearable devices, which implies that Lenovo is poised to start mass producing a wearable device in the near future, according to a Chinese-language Sina.com report. Fenda declined to provide further details about the cooperation.
Japan-based component maker Murata Manufacturing has showcased its latest wearable devices at China Hi Tech Fair Elexcon 2014 and is planning to release one stop solutions to assist its clients to enter related markets. Commenting on the wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) industries, the company believes that both are still growing and have strong potential in the future.
The Asus Zenwatch features a 1.63-inch Amoled display with 320 x 320 pixels screen resolution and 278 ppi pixel density. It comes with a Snapdragon 400 SoC clocked at 1.2 GHz and 512 MB of RAM. The Zenwatch has 4 GB of internal storage. According to reports, Asus will hold a local event that already has a countdown timer and two teaser photos. The first photo shows the lower part of a smartphone with a metallic finish and a red band.
For parents, the world outside the safety of home can be a scary place. Work and other commitments make it impossible to monitor children once they have left the nest, but a new wearable from NTT Docomo – announced this morning in Tokyo – seeks to ease their worries. Docotch is a wristwatch-like device that allows parents to track their child’s location and communicate in the case of danger or natural disaster. It utilizes 3G connectivity, GPS, and Bluetooth – as well as air temperature and humidity sensors – to pinpoint a wearer’s location.
The Chinese government already has direct access to the online activity of the country’s netizens, and that access is about to get even more pervasive through a new wearable technology from China’s top search engine. The newly-launched BaiduEye prototype was unveiled yesterday at the Baidu World 2014 conference. BaiduEye does not need a screen and users can give commands to BaiduEye by gestures like circling an item in the air with a finger or picking up the item to realize recognition and analysis of the item.