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.
After releasing a teaser earlier in August, electronics manufacturer Asus officially revealed the ZenWatch, its first device in the category of wrist wearables. Asus, which is based in Taiwan, made the reveal on Tuesday at the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin electronics show in Germany. The smartwatch runs Android Wear, Google’s Android operating system designed for smart watches and other wearables. ZenWatch is similar to other devices and sports a simple rectangular watch face.
Sony revealed two new wearables at IFA on Wednesday: the SmartBand Talk and the SmartWatch 3, the firm’s first Android Wear device. The SmartWatch 3 comes with a 1.6-inch 320×320 transflective display, which is a bit more resolution than its predecessor had. It also comes with GPS and, like the SmartBand products, it comes with a life-logger application.
BERLIN: South Korean giant Samsung unveiled the next generation of its pioneering “phablet” and “smartwatch” gadgets at the IFA consumer electronics fair on Wednesday (Sep 3) in a bid to keep ahead of arch-rival Apple. It also surprised technophiles with a virtual reality headset, the Samsung VR. As media hype builds over the Apple’s latest launch next week, Samsung pulled out all the stops to push its own new Galaxy Note 4 at a special event held two days before the IFA officially opens its doors.
TAIPEI — Taiwanese chip maker Himax Technologies Inc. has announced that subsidiary Himax Display Inc., which supplies micro-display panels to Google Inc., will team up with French firm Optinvent SA to develop advanced smart glasses. Himax Display and Optinvent, a producer of the patented ORA Smart Glasses that feature a “see-through” display so as not to obstruct regular vision, will undertake the partnership to develop next-generation augmented reality glasses, Himax Technologies said in a statement Tuesday.
Despite related components already entering into production, Apple’s iWatch is still unlikely to become available until 2015, as the device is still under engineering verification testing (EVT) stage and has to still go through production verification testing (PVT), according to sources from the upstream supply chain. The sources pointed out that a product will need to first pass the PVT stage before entering to mass production, and between the EVT and PVT stages, Apple could still be change its design.
South Korean consumer electronics giants, Samsung and LG officially unveiled two new smartwatches on Thursday (28 August) – S Gear and G Watch R respectively. Samsung’s new S Gear wristwatch flaunts a big 2.0-inch super AMOLED screen and run on the company’s proprietary wearable platform Tizen. One striking feature of the S Gear is that it can act as a standalone calling device without being paired to a smartphone.
LOS ANGELES, Aug 23 — Thanks to a proliferation of devices launched since the start of the year, Samsung has grabbed 80 per cent of the global market. The latest data from independent analytics company Canalys, shows that smartwatch shipments totalled almost 2 million units in the first six months of 2014 and that Samsung has managed to snag an 80 per cent share. And if the data, which is based on shipments rather than sales to consumers, are taken at face value, then Pebble is in a distant second with roughly 10 per cent of the market, with Sony back in third place.
Toshiba’s take on wearable technology offers no global positioning system, heart rate sensor, or an LED or LCD display to tell a user what’s happening. The only sensor the smart band has is an accelerometer. Toshiba’s smartwatch is dropping everything unnecessary for it to do its basic job, which is to monitor the wearer’s activities and send information to a paired mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet. This data can be inspected and analyzed at a later time.
China-based Xiaomi has recently released a smart bracelet priced at CNY79 (US$12.79) and the price point is expected to affect other vendors’ pricing for wearable devices they plan to release in the near future, according to some market watchers. Most vendors are using Samsung’s pricing for its Galaxy Gear and Fitbit series as references for their wearable product prices. However, they may need to readjust them in orders to compete against Xiaomi’s device. The Galaxy Gear 2 is priced at US$269 and Fitbit US$99.
SHANGHAI, July 25 — Displaying its smart glasses for the first time in prototype form in its native China yesterday, the company is hoping to attract developers’ and manufacturers’ attention ahead of an official launch in October. Lenovo wants to make its take on smart glasses, called the C1, the central hub of the connected home or office of tomorrow.
It can be tough getting the attention of airport gate staff. Soon they might have an additional distraction: smartwatches. Japan Airlines (JAL) on Wednesday demonstrated how some of its staff at Haneda airport in Tokyo are using Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 to locate and communicate with each other. JAL officials said smartwatches could help improve the efficiency of how and where airport staff are assigned, and improve passenger service. Attendants at two gates in the airport’s Terminal 1 building were sporting the smartwatches during the demonstration, which involved actual flights to domestic cities.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is bringing its low-price strategy to wearables, and offering a smart wristband that will sell for a mere US$13, the company announced on Tuesday. “I believe this wristband will very soon become the world’s best selling wristband,” said Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun during a product launch. Called the Mi Band, the device is meant mainly to be a fitness tracker with a 30-day battery life. But when worn, the wristband can also automatically unlock the user’s smartphone when in close proximity.
TAIPEI–When Asustek (華碩) Computer Inc.’s first smartwatch debuts to the world, it will be an innovative product with the right balance between launch timing, technical feasibility, price and form factor, company Chairman Jonney Shih (施崇棠) vowed Thursday. Answering reporters’ question at the Taiwan Economic Summit in Taipei, Shih said Asustek has learned a lot about such “trade offs” between perceptual and rational factors during the design process.
Expect more wearables, robots and even electric cars to come from manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group, as the Taiwanese company tries to reinvent itself as a broader technology service provider. While Foxconn now mainly manufactures products for vendors like Apple and Sony, the company is hoping to seize on new opportunities emerging in the market. “When a typhoon comes, even a pig can fly,” joked Foxconn’s CEO Terry Gou at its annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday.
Wearable device shipments are expected to surge in the third quarter as most vendors have decided to launch devices during the quarter. Vendors which originally planned to release products in the first half, have also postponed their plans as they wait for the market or product designs to mature, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Vendors including Apple, Samsung Electronics, Epson, Sony, Acer, Asustek Computer and Adidas have already prepared or launched wearable devices for the third quarter. Upstream chip supplier Qualcomm will also join the competition with devices.
TAIPEI — Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc., an Apple Inc. supplier for MacBook laptop lines, could become the main assembler of Apple’s rumored wearable device, the “iWatch,” according to U.S. brokerage Morgan Stanley. The iWatch, which is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, is expected to contribute more than 10 percent of Quanta’s sales in the October-December period on shipments of 10 million units, Morgan Stanley said.
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc will start mass production of Apple Inc’s first smartwatch in July, a source familiar with the matter said, as the US tech giant tries to prove it can still innovate against rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The still-unnamed watch, which Apple followers have dubbed the iWatch, will be the company’s first foray into a niche product category that many remain sceptical about, especially as to whether it can drive profits as growth slows in tech gadgets.
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s leading personal computer maker Acer announced on Friday that it will debut its first wearable device at the upcoming Computex trade show before shipping the products later this year. Liquid Leap, a one-inch touch-screen smartband with fitness tracking, phone and SMS notification and music control, will be sold together with the Liquid Jade smartphone in selected markets from the third quarter, Acer said.