Walyou » Watches http://walyou.com Cool Gadgets, New Gadgets, Tech News and Geek Design Mon, 24 Aug 2015 19:39:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Rwatch R10 Is a Versatile Watch Phone for Active People http://walyou.com/rwatch-r10-watch-phone-review/ http://walyou.com/rwatch-r10-watch-phone-review/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 10:08:58 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=217266

Getting a watch phone gives active people an excuse to leave their smartphones at home while working out. Rwatch R10 is an affordable watch phone with functions that make it a great gym buddy.

1. Contents of the Box
2. Design and Build Quality
3. Connectivity
4. Menu and Navigation
5. Battery Life
6. Price and Availability
7. Conclusions

Contents of the Box

Rwatch opted to pack the R10 watch phone into a simple white cardboard box, with the company logo (and what I presume is their motto in Chinese) on the front side, and the device’s specs on the back side.

As for the actual contents of the box, there is a user manual and a USB cable for charging, besides the watch itself.

Even though people can rely on intuition to use the R10, it’s good to see that Rwatch hasn’t provided documentation solely in Chinese, and that English instructions are also available.

Design and Build Quality

The R10 seems very solidly built, but the very soft silicone strap is somewhat contrasting. Maybe a hard TPU strap would’ve worked better with the solid body of this smartwatch.

Click to view slideshow.

On the left side of the device, there is a tiny speaker, along with the microUSB port that’s used for charging. The Rwatch R10 isn’t waterproof, and yet the microUSB port is protected with a rubber cover from dust and other things that might cause it to malfunction. On the right side, there is a silver power button, which contrasts with the otherwise black design of the watch, as well as a microSIM card slot, which is also protected by a rubber cover. The power button definitely looks better on the silver version of the R10, and I really wish the manufacturer painted this to match the color of the device.

Another important aspect is the display. Rwatch equipped the R10 with a 1.54-inch color display with a 240×240 resolution. Given the 220ppi density, you won’t get to see any individual pixels unless you focus a lot. The display is protected by 2.5D glass that much like the rest of R10’s body attracts fingerprints quite easily. As for the touchscreen, it is responsive, provided that you don’t have big fingers.

Connectivity

The R10 relies on Bluetooth 4.0 to sync data with your smartphone. When using a SIM card to place calls and send texts, the watch phone uses 2G networks, but that should suffice for these purposes. Implementing 3G or 4G might have been a lot more difficult, and frankly, high speed connections are useless if there’s no software to make use of them.

Click to view slideshow.

Using a QR code that’s displayed by the phone when accessing a menu item, people can download the companion app. However, the website the app is hosted on is very slow, so I would recommend getting the app straight from Google Play Store.

The app is pretty basic, as it displays only fitness and sleep statistics, and the heart rate. While the heart rate sensor seems to work on the smartwatch itself, I never got the app to display any value. The manufacturer might have to look into that, as the heart rate monitor is one of the major selling points of the Rwatch R10.

Menu and Navigation

The menu proves the versatility and the complexity of this smartwatch. Spanning over three screens, the R10’s functions cover different needs. Unfortunately, only three functions are displayed on the main screen, when using the digital watch face: Calls, Pedometer and Bluetooth settings. A Menu button is also displayed there, along with the Connect/Disconnect option.

Bluetooth Dialing: Should you decide not to insert a microSIM card into the R10, to make it truly independent, you can always have the calls sent from the smartphone to the smartwatch over Bluetooth. While you shouldn’t expect crystal clear sound quality from this device, it is good enough to hear the other person and to make yourself understood.

SIM Card Calling and Texting: In tandem with a microSIM card, the R10 shows its true capabilities. Calling and sending texts is fairly easy, but you shouldn’t do either of these when walking on the street or when driving.
Heart Rate Monitor: This is one of the functions that has to be started and stopped manually. While the heart rate sensor works in real time, the refresh rate on the smartwatch isn’t that great, as the value is diplayed about once a second. The fact that the display doesn’t stay on when the heart rate monitor is running is also a major downside.

Fitness and sleep tracking: Both these functions are achieved using an accelerometer. A gyroscope could’ve been useful, too, so that the display turns on when doing a wrist gesture. Currently, users have to press the Power button to see what time it is. Back to sleep and fitness tracking, these are done using simple estimations, so you shouldn’t expect extreme accuracy. To keep track of these over a longer period of time, you will need to use the companion app.
Compass: If you’re into trekking and don’t have any GPS software on your smartphone, a compass might prove useful. Calibrating it might take a while, but after that, it works rather accurately.
Find Phone: Assuming that you have misplaced your phone, but it’s still in Bluetooth range, you can find it using this function.

Remote Camera: Gone are the days when you had to ask someone else to take a picture of you and your friends. Now you just have to access this function from the smartwatch, place the smartphone within Bluetooth range and control the camera’s shutter remotely.
Music Playback Control: The smartphone’s music player can be controlled using the R10’s playback control function. The options are pretty limited, but as an avid music listener, I found this feature to be very useful. Besides moving to the previous or next track, you can also pause or play the current song. Another useful feature is the fact that the artist and the song title are displayed.
Phonebook and Call Log: Having the log handy can save you the time you would otherwise spend looking through the 1,000 entries of the phone book.

Battery Life

A 3.7V / 380mAh Li-Po battery keeps the smartwatch going. Of course, battery life depends on the usage patterns of each person, but without a SIM card inserted in the slot and with several notifications a day, you should expect around 2 days of use.

Price and Availability

GearBest currently sells the Rwatch R10 for $54.99, but the coupon code GBRR10 lowers the price by $9, to $45.99.

That seems a decent price to ask, considering the versatility of the watch phone and the solid built.

Conclusions

The Rwatch R10 is far from being the perfect smartwatch, as it lacks some functions. However, at this price point, the watch phone has a lot to offer. Besides the ability to take or place calls, and send text messages using an included microSIM, the R10 also sports a heart rate monitor and a compass, which definitely set it apart.

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I5 Plus Smartband Takes Simplicity to the Extreme http://walyou.com/iwown-i5-plus-smartband-review/ http://walyou.com/iwown-i5-plus-smartband-review/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 20:41:03 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=217238

While some wearable manufacturers prefer to make overly complex devices, Iwown teaches everyone a lesson in simplicity with its I5 Plus waterproof smartband.

1. Contents of the Box
2. Design and Build Quality
3. Connectivity
4. Menu and Navigation
5. Battery Life
6. Price and Availability
7. Conclusions

Contents of the Box

At a first glance, it might look like something is missing from the box, but in fact, there’s everything needed to get started. Upon opening the box, a logical question could arise: “Shouldn’t there also be a USB cable included?” Well, no, since the main part of the smartband also includes a USB plug.

Inside the box, you will find just the smartband and a user manual. Instructions on how to set it up and how to use it are available in both English and Chinese, fact that indicates the manufacturer’s desire to market this product internationally.

Design and Build Quality

The back of the Iwown I5 Plus looks a bit like it was made in a rush. Other than that, the smartband is impressively well built. The TPU band has a slot for the USB plug and two other holes for securing the main unit into place. Check out the following slideshow to get an idea about how the item looks.

Click to view slideshow.

It really would be something if all wearables priced this low were made out of so sturdy materials. The only thing that worries me is what would happen to the main unit if pressure is applied onto it while it charges. That being said, when it’s “plugged” into the bracelet, there are no chances the USB plug could ever get damaged. Add to that the fact that the smartband is IP67 certified, which means it is dust- and waterproof, and you have a rather impressive product.

Connectivity

As most wearables out there, the I5 Plus connects to smartphones via Bluetooth. In terms of operating system compatibility, it works with iOS 7.0+ or Android 4.3+.

Click to view slideshow.

The companion app, called Zeroner, is about as simple as the smartband itself. However, judging by the 2.3/5 score it has on Google Play Store, I’d say that most people aren’t happy with it, with the most cited reasons being bugs, connectivity issues with various smartphones, and loss of data after unexpected resets. Fortunately, I didn’t experience any of these problems, and the overall experience was very pleasant.

Right after launching the app, you need to set up an account using an e-mail address and a password, to make sure that your statistics get synced, should you want to pair the smartband with another device.

Menu and Navigation

If it’s versatility you’re after, Iwown’s I5 Plus might just be up your alley. Navigating through the menu is done by swiping to the left or to the right, while confirming a selection is done by pressing the touch screen for three seconds. Here are some of the things it can do.

Display time and date: There is no way to manually set the time and date, but the smartband syncs these details when getting paired with your smartphone using the companion app. To see the current time, you either have to tap the display or do a wrist gesture, as you would if you wore a conventional timepiece. On the other hand, to see the current date, you need to swipe up or down when the time is displayed.

Sleep and fitness tracking: Using the included accelerometer, the I5 Plus can tell when you’re sleeping (moreover, it can distinguish deep from light sleep), and when you’re moving around. When it comes to fitness, it counts calories, number of steps and distance. Of course, no fitness tracker out there is extremely accurate, so these are more like estimations. To make sure sedentariness doesn’t get to you, you can set sedentary reminders or move alerts, as Iwown calls these.

Push caller ID and notifications: When your phone rings, the caller ID will get displayed on the smartband’s screen. Similarly, when you’re getting notifications from certain apps, they are transmitted to the I5 Plus, provided that the Bluetooth connection is not broken. According to the Zeroner app, you can be alerted using vibrations whenever you’re getting a text, or when receiving messages on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or Skype. You’ll have to enable notifications for each of these apps in Zeroner.

Alarm clock: This is yet another feature that’s handled using the companion app. You can set up as many alarms as you want, and you can even establish a pattern for them, depending on the day they fire up.

Battery Life

The I5 Plus allegedly features a 75mAh battery that should keep the smartband up and running for up to a week. The manufacturer recommends charging the device for half an hour prior to using it. From my experience, the battery can last a week, but that will depend a lot on how the smartband is used. Setting up a lot of alarms and getting a ton of notifications will cause the battery life to drop dramatically.

Price and Availability

At $16.36, which is as much as it costs on GearBest, the I5 Plus competes against Xiaomi’s Mi Band. On the upside, this one has a display, but the lesser companion app and the poorer battery life rank it lower than Xiaomi’s wearable.

Conclusions

Iwown’s I5 Plus packs quite a few features for its small price. That makes it a good choice when compared to its mainstream counterparts, considering that the latter cost a few times more. It remains to be seen how and if this smartband stands the test of time, but so far, the

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Albert Clock Helps Kids Get Better at Arithmetic http://walyou.com/albert-clock-arithmetic-equations/ http://walyou.com/albert-clock-arithmetic-equations/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 20:20:30 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216926

When it comes to learning anything, we’re better off if we start at the earliest possible point in time. We are taught the numbers and how to read a clock before arithmetic, but why not combine the two?

Axel Schindlbeck and Fred Mauclere figured out that telling the time shouldn’t be an easy task. With that thought in mind, they proceeded to designing a clock that poses arithmetic problems whenever you want to know what time it is. The hours and the minutes are each displayed as simple math problems, and luckily for us, the designers decided to do away with the seconds. Those would have required extremely quick reactions, and in the case of the younger crowd, that might have led to frustration.

“Had Albert Einstein owned such a clock, he probably would also have become a brilliant mathematician,” points out Axel Schindlbeck, the product designer. “We think of life as a way to learn, and we love to experience the world that surrounds us in a playful way. We believe in kids – small ones and big ones as well – and we believe in the importance and the benefits of Science. We want to develop intelligent products that can have a positive influence on our everyday life, by changing our ways to see the world!”

Named after the aforementioned famous physicist, the Albert math clock assumes you (or your kid) know which arithmetic operations go first. To make things a bit more difficult, the equations change every minute, which means that the hour doesn’t stay the same. On top of that, to accommodate kids with harder operations, the difficulty increases progressively, thus forcing the lil’ Padawan to focus even more on solving them.

The Albert digital clock for kids is currently listed on Kickstarter, where its developers are looking to raise €23,000 (approximately $25,500). Right now, the project is half way there, but there are 23 more days to go, so the campaign has great chances of being successful. Kicktraq statistics indicate that the pledge level trends towards €34K, which is great news for the people behind Albert. Unless you’re willing to wait till February 2016 to get the Albert clock you’ve paid $136+ for, you can donate $1.14 and get the mobile app version of it, which surely isn’t as fun.

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No.1 Sun S2 Shows Its Tricks on a Round Dial http://walyou.com/no-1-sun-s2-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/no-1-sun-s2-smartwatch/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 20:30:34 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216799

In a world dominated by smartwatches with square or rectangular dial, No.1 Sun S2 may look unusual, but it has plenty of interesting specs to leave a good impression.

No.1 gained its place under the spotlight by making copies of popular smartphones and smartwatches. That may not be the best way to become popular, but now that the company has proceeded to manufacturing more original devices, people might actually start looking at it with different eyes. Sun S2, as its latest smartwatch is called, is a waterproof wearable with a round dial and plenty of useful features that make it a great alternative to its more expensive counterparts.

When using a chronograph watchface, No.1 Sun S2 can be easily mistaken for a conventional timepiece. However, the MT6260 chipset and its many functions make anything but conventional. The name of the device comes from the design of the frame, with pieces that look just like the rays of a stylized sun.

As many other wearables, Sun S2 relies on Bluetooth (3.0, in this particular case) to synchronize the phonebook, display phone call reminders and dial. On top of that, the smartwatch can display all sorts of notifications. The manufacturer also included a remote control function, both for the smartphone’s music player and camera. If you’d rather use the smartwatch’s camera instead, the manufacturer equipped it with a 1.33MP snapper that should prove sufficient in emergency situations.

Fitness tracking is an important part of using wearables, and with the help of the included heart rate sensor, No.1 Sun S2 does more than just counting your steps and calories. Such sensors can help people find out the heart rate zone they’re in at a specific moment during the workout. This piece of information is vital for optimizing exercises in order to achieve specific goals.

As mentioned before, Sun S2 can be used as a remote control for the smartphone’s music player. I really hope that this means it’s also compatible with custom music players (a la PowerAmp), and not just with Android’s default one. Hopefully, the included 350mAh battery is sufficient for controlling music playback for a couple of days.

No.1 Sun S2 can be purchased for $54.99 on GearBest, or for $52.59 if you apply the coupon code GBSS2 during checkout. The store is also offering a leather band, besides the metallic one that comes installed.

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Mifone W15 Makes a Decent First Smartwatch http://walyou.com/mifone-w15-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/mifone-w15-smartwatch/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 20:58:29 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216671

If you’re new to wearables and would rather take baby steps than go straight for the most expensive and feature-rich model, the Mifone W15 is a decent way of putting notifications and fitness stats around your wrist.

1. Contents of the Box
2. Design and Build Quality
3. Connectivity
4. Menu and Navigation
5. Battery Life
6. Price and Availability
7. Conclusions

Contents of the Box

The white box the Mifone W15 comes in is as basic as the smartwatch itself. Users will find inside everything they need to get started. On the front side of the box there is an oval window the smartwatch can be seen through, along with icons detailing its functionality. Truth be told, the company making this smartwatch could use some proper copywriters, as the last line of the description doesn’t sound right, even though it gives an idea about what the smartwatch can do.

The back of the box has a stylized watch drawn on it with a big smiley face. I assume that’s Mifone’s way of telling customers that it’s a smartwatch with personality. On the lower left corner, Mifone placed a QR code that doesn’t take users to its website (assuming that the company even has one, in the first place), but instead displays a description of the product.

Included in the box are the watch itself, a USB to microUSB cable for charging the device (there are no data transfers involved), and a user’s guide written in Chinese and English. Considering that some Chinese products don’t come with any English documentation (take Xiaomi’s most products, for example), it’s great to see that this one does.

Design and Build Quality

There is a clear contrast between the front and the back of the watch. The touchscreen is covered in 2.5D sapphire glass, and despite the thick bezel, everything looks quite elegant. The metallic part of the watch’s body complements the display quite nicely. What seems out of place there is the plastic bottom, but given this product’s price, I’m sure that making the whole body out of metal would’ve made it a lot more expensive.

A screen protector is pre-applied on the 1.44-inch display, but I’d suggest removing it. Not only does it have bubbles, but it also makes swiping a bit more difficult. Besides, there’s no point in using a screen protector, especially since the sapphire glass display has an oleophobic coating that even keeps fingerprints away. The only thing you may worry about is dust, but that certainly isn’t such big of a problem.

On the right side, the smartwatch has a microUSB port for charging, a power button for turning the device on/off or for getting it out of standby, and five holes for the speaker.

The manufacturer takes pride in having created an anti-allergic strap from the European food-grade standard material (TPSiV). The strap looks nice and feels very durable, the only detail that could be adjusted being the locking mechanism.

On the back, the device has a metal piece with the company’s logo, along with a hole for reseting the smartwatch, should it become unresponsive.

Overall, build quality is good, but replaceable straps and a back that doesn’t feel cheap could have made it even better.

Connectivity

Mifone W15 relies on Bluetooth 3.0 to convey notifications and carry phone calls to iPhones, Windows Phone and Android devices.

The above images include the pairing process and the permissions the smartwatch has when communicating with the smartphone.

Menu and Navigation

Mifone advertises 10 functions for this smartwatch, but navigating through the menu could have been easier. When out of standby, the wearable displays an analog clock face, as seen in the below picture.

Another option is to have time displayed in a digital format, as exemplified in the following image. While this may look less classier than the analog face, it does have its perks, as it provides quick access to the pedometer, and to Bluetooth options. Taping on the clock gets you to the menu, which has the options listed below.

Bluetooth: In this menu section, users can turn Bluetooth or or off, and can manage connections to smartphones.
Settings: From here, users can change time and date, switch between the two included languages (English and Chinese), reset the pedometer, pick the type of notification (ring or vibration). On top of that, restoring settings and taking the smartwatch back to factory mode is possible from here.
Step: Mifone W15 also works as a pedometer, and takes into account the number of steps, the distance and the burned calories. In my experience, this wasn’t very accurate, as even slight arm movements triggered the counter.

Call: A log of dialed, missed and received calls is provided here. While some of the smartwatch’s other functions don’t require Bluetooth connectivity, this one does. When connected over Bluetooth, the device can be used for answering or rejecting calls. Call quality is decent, but speaking on a wearable takes away from the privacy.
Phonebook: Assuming that the smartwatch is connected to a smartphone, the latter’s phonebook will be synchronized with the wearable, for quick access to contacts. However, navigating through the phonebook may prove difficult, especially if you have a great number of contacts.
Music: The manufacturer advertises the smartwatch as a remote for the phone’s music player. However, I was only able to play music on the smartwatch itself, and the included speaker, while not bad, won’t blow any minds. Besides, you need to take into account the fact that you might disturb others.

Alarm: Users can set several alarm, and whenever one of them is triggered, the smartwatch will vibrate. I found the vibration to be quite loud, which means that it’s guaranteed to wake you up, but it might also wake up the person you’re sleeping with.
Rec: The watch also includes a microphone that can be used for recording sounds from the user’s immediate vicinity. Playing back the recorded audio is only possible on the watch, as transferring the files is not possible. Keep in mind that the device only has 128MB of internal storage, so you might want to delete some recordings before making others.
Stopwatch: This function is pretty self-explanatory. It will undoubtedly come in handy for people who enjoy running and beating records.
Help: In case users don’t have the device’s manual handy, the Help section in the menu will help them get started. Instructions on how to navigate through the menu and how to pair the smartwatch to a smartphone are provided here.

Battery Life

Even though the manufacturer claims that charging the smartwatch takes three hours, from my experience, I’d say that the charging time is a bit over two hours. The 405mAh keeps the device working for almost two days, so you won’t have to worry about charging it every single night.

Price and Availability

GearBest currently sells the Mifone W15 smartwatch for $39.99. The coupon code GBMIFONE lowers the price to $32.99, which really is a very decent price for a wearable with so many features.

The wearable is available in black, sapphire blue, orange, chocolate and purple. Mind you, not only the color of the strap differs from one version to another, but also the plastic back of the watch.

If it’s diversity you’re looking for, the Mifone W15 can provide you that, at least as far as color options are concerned.

Conclusions

Considering its price, the Mifone W15 is a decent way to get started in the world of wearables. The build quality has some impressive aspects (2.5D sapphire glass, metal frame), as well as some details that could have been improved (a metal back and the ability to switch straps). Changing the way users navigate through the menu could also use some improvements, as that can become frustrating at some point. Also, it would have been great if the smartwatch really acted as a remote for the smartphone’s player, as advertised. For a bit over $30, that might be a lot to ask for, but I’m sure people wouldn’t mind paying a few dollars more to get that functionality. Users need to realize that at this price, their expectations should not go though the roof.

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U Watch Ux Wearable Acts as a Gym Buddy http://walyou.com/u-watch-ux-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/u-watch-ux-smartwatch/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 16:30:18 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216600

Knowing the heart rate zone you’re in while exercising can help you achieve your goals, and wearables such as U Watch Ux are far more convenient for this task than chest strap sensors.

U Watch Ux may not have the most inspired named in the world, but what it lacks in that department, it makes up for in functionality. You won’t be able to install apps on it, but its companion app is available on both Android and iOS, thanks to the MTK2501 chipset it’s based on.

The photoelectric heart rate sensor helps gym enthusiasts to figure out if they should increase the pace or just take it a bit slower.

U Watch Ux includes NFC connectivity, besides the typical Bluetooth 4.0, but it’s only there for pairing the smartwatch to the phone, and not for wireless payments. Instead of enabling Bluetooth, going through the settings and finding the smartwatch, users only have to keep the two devices close to each other and they’ll get paired right away.

If you don’t own a selfie stick, but would still like to make in the final picture with your friends, you can use this smartwatch’s remote camera function for triggering the shutter.

The Ux comes in a durable stainless steel shell that will be offered in several different colors, along with matching or contrasting straps. Since it’s not that unusual for members of a couple to have different color preferences, it’s great to see that the manufacturer has offered a few options.

It’s important for a watch to be sturdy, especially if you intend to use it at the gym, but that’s not the only aspect that makes the U Watch Ux great as a gym buddy. Its heart rate sensor will help you better assess your performance, and that definitely is an important element, if you want to progress. Correlate that with the pedometer functionality and the visual cues provided by the companion app, and you’ve got one of the most affordable wearables for active people.

GearBest currently sells the U Watch Ux for $60.52, a lot less than what other manufacturers charge for their smartwatches. Even better, you can get it for $53.99 if you apply the coupon code GBUX during the checkout procedure.

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SensorWake Alarm Clock Fills the Room with Scents http://walyou.com/sensorwake-scent-alarm-clock/ http://walyou.com/sensorwake-scent-alarm-clock/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 20:25:48 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=216559

Using aromas to wake people up is not a new concept, as alarm clocks emitting coffee or bacon scents were launched not long ago. SensorWake is looking to provide a bit more diversity, though.

Even though some smells could be classified as generally pleasant by most people, not all of us have the same olfactory preferences. With that in mind, Guillaume Rolland set up a startup called SensorWake, with the sole purpose of helping people wake up in a cloud of their favorite scent.

Swiss fragrance manufacturer Givaudan created the aromas found in SensorWake’s cartridges. The French startup has decided not to make any extreme choices, so they picked several scents that should please everyone. These include, but do not resume to: peppermint, ginger, espresso, hot croissant, chocolate, peach and strawberry candy.

Some might find these choices nauseatingly sweet, but I definitely wouldn’t mind waking up in a room that smells like ginger. I find that particular scent to be very refreshing, exactly what people need in the morning!

The uppermost image also has a cartridge with dollar scents, so that should teach Vespasian a lesson.

The cartridges will get empty after about 60 uses, so I imagine that this scent alarm clock will have a lot in common with printers.


While it may sound pleasant to wake up surrounded by an aroma you love, I find this to be a source of disappointment. I mean… what to good to smell espressos and croissants right after opening your eyes in the morning, if it’s not the real deal? Sure, this might motivate you to get up and spend some money to get a real espresso and some real croissants, but that doesn’t change the fact that the reactions resemble a sine wave.

SensorWake has turned to Kickstarter to help its scent alarm clock make the jump from merely a concept to a real thing. At the time of writing, backers had pledged more than half of the funding goal, which was set at €50,000 (US$54,570) by the developers. Since the early bird spots are long gone, you will have to back the project with at least €80 ($87) to get a SensorWake alarm clock in November 2015. If you’re a heavy sleeper, you might want to reconsider purchasing such a gadget.

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Google, Intel and TAG Heuer Team Up Against the Apple Watch http://walyou.com/google-intel-tag-heuer-android-wear-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/google-intel-tag-heuer-android-wear-smartwatch/#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 20:46:32 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=215708

What do a search giant, a chip manufacturer and a Swiss watch maker have in common? Well, not much, besides all of them wanting to show Apple how wearables are done.

Come to think of it, each of these three companies can play a great role in the creation of a smartwatch. Google has plenty of experience with its Android Wear platform, while Intel has just dipped its toes into the wearable tech industry, but as the world’s main chip maker, knows a lot about hardware. TAG Heuer, on the other hand, is one of Switzerland’s most popular luxury watch makers, and the only one of them who knows how to design a head-turning timepiece.

David Singleton, the head of Android Wear development for Google, stated that “When I think about the watch, it’s always been a marriage of beauty and utility. We’re going to do that with our partnership.”

What’s completely ironic is the fact that not long ago it was rumored that TAG Heuer engineers are helping Apple to develop its smartwatch. As you can clearly see, Google, Intel and TAG Heuer want to prove Cupertino that delivering a smartwatch in a golden case and sticking a $10K price tag to it does not make it a luxury wearable, by any means.

“The difference between the TAG Heuer watch and the Apple Watch is very important. That one is called Apple, and this one is called TAG Heuer,” pointed out Hublot’s CEO Jean-Claude Biver. “Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility. Our collaboration provides a rich host of synergies, forming a win-win partnership, and the potential for our three companies is enormous.”

Another ironic thing is that if until now many celebrities endorsed Apple and its products, now there are quite a few who advise people against buying an Apple Watch, gold edition or otherwise.

Then again, Biver, the head of luxury brand conglomerate LVMH Group’s watch division that also includes TAG under its vast umbrella, called Apple’s Watch a “fantastic product, an incredible achievement,” and the “biggest threat for watches priced at less than $2,000,” despite having an exactly opposite opinion not long ago. All this suggests that TAG might join this partnership simply for the financial benefits.

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Pebble Time Puts a Color e-paper Display on Your Wrist http://walyou.com/pebble-time-color-e-paper-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/pebble-time-color-e-paper-smartwatch/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 19:03:47 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=215360

Gadget lovers didn’t mind that the original Pebble was already two years old when they voted it as yesteryear’s best smartwatch. It was functionality they were after, not bells and whistles, and that’s exactly what they are going to get with Pebble Time, as well, just with a color e-paper display.

Bear in mind that the e-paper display is not the only thing Pebble Technologies have changed over their basic model, but this is definitely the main new feature. Other significant differences include a slimmer case, the addition of a microphone, and buttons that react what the owners of the classic Pebble are used with. The changes in hardware are also reflected in the software of the smartwatch.

The included microphone can be used for replying to notifications. In no time, all Pebble Time users will look like spies and secret agents, with the mention that they surely won’t wear tuxedos at all times and they won’t invariably order shaken Martinis. In addition to that, Pebble Time comes with a timeline UI, user being able to see past, present and future notifications at the press of a button.

In good ol’ Pebble fashion, the company turned to crowdfunding to help the color e-Ink smartwatch make the jump from a concept to a mass-produced device. Since their first smartwatch made history on Kickstarter, Pebble Technology used the same platform for this project. Needless to say, the initial funding of $500,000 has been reached within a few hours since the campaign’s beginning, and at the time of writing backers had pledged over 9 times that. Early birds had the chance to secure a Pebble Time for $159, while regular backers can get one for $179. It should be noted that the color e-paper smartwatch will be available in three versions differentiated by the color of the wristband.

The estimations on Kicktraq are absolutely ridiculous, currently trending toward $136,443,872. I doubt it that this trend will continue until the end of the campaign, but chances are that Pebble Time will break the record established by its predecessor and possibly even the one set by the Coolest Cooler last summer.

All in all, Pebble Time seems to push all the right buttons, proving that wearable tech companies don’t need to launch golden smartwatches to keep users happy.

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Burg 12 Smartwatch Flies Solo in Terms of Communication http://walyou.com/burg-12-watchphone/ http://walyou.com/burg-12-watchphone/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:59:05 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=196206

The battle between smartwatches should be won by the ones that don’t rely on smartphones to place and answer calls. The Burg 12 watchphone would be one of the best contenders in that case.

In the future, we’ll all look like secret agents, talking into our wrists as if only our grandparents are worthy of using full-fledged smartphones for communication. Of course, that’ll only happen until we somehow get the speakers and the microphone into our own skin, fact that’ll do away with the lousy battery life of current wearables. Until then, we’ll have to do with smartwatches that can place and receive calls, as rare as these are. Frankly, I think there are more no-name Chinese brands than big players making such devices. With an office in Hong Kong and the other one in Guangzhou, China, it would seem like Burg fits in the first former category, but you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Founded by lifestyle designer Hermen van den Burg, this company wants to make itself known in the world of wearable tech, and so far has done so with the help of a few watchphones.

Burg 12 is not exactly the only watchphone around, as Samsung Gear S and Neptune Pine are also built in that manner. However, this one has an important advantage over both of those wearables: its $200 price tag. The dust- and waterproof circular case encompasses a square 240 x 240 pixel 1.5″ touchscreen display, and that could very well qualify as a differentiating factor, as well, since displays usually follow the shape of the case.

In terms of battery life, the Burg 12 is said to run up to three days on a single charge, and provides up to three hours of continuous talk time. I couldn’t possibly stand staying 3 hours with the wrist close to my mouth, which is why I assume that Bluetooth connectivity will also be available, thus enable people to use Bluetooth headsets for talking.

To sweeten the deal, Burg offers a $25 prepaid SIM card for this watchphone, so you can start phoning people right after buying the wearable, supposing that its battery is not empty. Even though it works on its own just fine, it’s also compatible with iOS and Android devices, should you wish to pair it with one.

Be social! Follow Walyou on Facebook and Twitter, and read more related stories about the Windows 8 Watch Phone that’s Dick Tracy-worthy and the Samsung Gear S smartphone that packs a 3G modem for calls and texts without a smartphone.

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