Walyou » Watches http://walyou.com Cool Gadgets, New Gadgets, Tech News and Geek Design Mon, 02 Mar 2015 20:55:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 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.

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Retro DC comic book watches for heroic wrists http://walyou.com/retro-dc-comic-book-watches/ http://walyou.com/retro-dc-comic-book-watches/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:00:02 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=196198

DC super heroes are amongst the most classic icons of classic 20th century America, and ever since we started talking smartwatches, so seem the regular old watches. So what happens when you combine DC heroes and watches? Pure magic, let me tell you.

This set of watches come via ThinkGeek, who are asking for $29.99 a piece. They’re based off of classic comic book covers from the late 30s and early 40s, and feature DC heroes’ Batman and Superman from Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), and Action Comics #10 (March 1939), an early first appearance for Superman. These are officially licensed watches made out of first class materials, so if they interest you at all, head over to ThinkGeek to check them out.

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Wellograph Watch Displays Fitness and Health Stats Using an Infographic UI http://walyou.com/wellograph-watch-health-stats-using-an-infographic-ui/ http://walyou.com/wellograph-watch-health-stats-using-an-infographic-ui/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:45:18 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=195085

Some manufacturers of wearables seem to think that a smartwatch doesn’t need to have a gazillion functions, so long as it looks nice. That’s surely the case with the Wellograph Watch.

Take HP’s MB Chronograph, for example. That wearable doesn’t even have apps, so there’s no way it could have an extensive functionality, not to mention that its design isn’t exactly otherworldly. The tech giant hasn’t understood that it needed to bring something new to the table in order to stay relevant and sell its product. Wearables don’t even need to have a display to perform a task flawlessly, and the Articheck Assure is a clear example of that. Back to smartwatches, though, Wellograph manages to integrate a simplistic range of capabilities in a sleek-looking timepiece featuring an unusual way of displaying things: on an infographic UI.

Don’t expect the Wellograph watch to do much. It’ll monitor your activity, heart, number of steps taken each day (which, as you know, should be north of 10,000 if you want to live long and prosper), and your world records in terms of speed. Just kidding, the wearable also comes with a stopwatch, should you decide to use it for running, swimming, or other sports where speed matters.

It’s funny how Brian M. Wolfe of AppAdvice thinks the Wellograph won’t win any design awards, seeing how it was actually nominated for the 2014 CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards.

That being said, this $349 smartwatch has a sapphire crystal display. On the software side of things, it features a firmware that’s updated regularly, which means that new features are provided frequently.

It works equally fine with Android, iOS and Windows Phone smartphones, so you shouldn’t really worry about its compatibility. The week-long battery life is about as much as the one of the improved Pebble. Bear in mind that the Pebble smartwatch has an e-paper display, while this one is a 1.26-inch low-power rectangular LCD with integrated backlight. The bulky design also brings the Pebble Steel to mind, so I’m going to subtract some originality points from there. At least the Wellograph charges wirelessly.

Given the small number of functions, Wellograph’s price will definitely seem steep to most people. If you’re willing to sacrifice that for great design, then I won’t blame you.

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iWatch Android Wearable Will Be Launched Soon, But Not by Apple http://walyou.com/iwatch-android-wearable-by-probendi/ http://walyou.com/iwatch-android-wearable-by-probendi/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:30:57 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=180646

Apple Watch was expected to be launched under a different name, but it looks like the Cupertino company was forced by circumstances to give up on the iWatch name. Still, it looks like a smartwatch using this name will be launched soon.

The iWatch could never have been an Apple product, as this name is trademarked in Europe, and doing so would have inevitably resulted in lawsuits and many millions of dollars in damages. Because of this, Apple took the safe route and used a very generic name for their wearable, while renouncing on their dream to use the i on each of their products.

Daniele Di Salvo, CEO of Probendi, is a 50-year-old Italian entrepreneur whose Dublin-based software development studio holds the trademark for the iWatch name for computing devices and software since August 3, 2008. Pictured above is a concept for the iWatch Sport, which should be launched sometime in the future, even though some people are skeptical and call this vaporware. There is also an app made by Probendi that is called iWatch. Police in Vercelli, a small town in northern Italy are said to use it for sending mugshots to their HQ, fact that makes you think that Di Salvo might just be a patent troll.

Di Salvo pointed out that “We have been contacted by some very important manufacturers in China about the possibility of manufacturing a smartwatch and selling them with the name iWatch. Discussions are still ongoing. We are good at software but hardware is definitely not our business but we are evaluating this request.”

According to Bloomberg, Profendi’s iWatch will have a smaller price than the Apple Watch. It will only come with a square touchscreen, GPS and accelerometer, which explains why the iWatch will be cheaper. After all, at $349, Apple Watch is among the most expensive smartwatches currently available. Ironically enough, the iWatch will run Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat, so this must be one of Apple’s worst nightmares.

I’m pretty sure that unaware that the iWatch isn’t in fact an Apple product, many of the company’s fanboys will jump to buy it. Assuming that Probendi will go with the design pictured above (which is actually highly improbable), that may be the wearable’s main selling point. Other than that, it will feature functions found in any other smartwatch.

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Sony SmartWatch 3 Is Now Available on Google Play for $250 http://walyou.com/sony-smartwatch-3-google-play-store/ http://walyou.com/sony-smartwatch-3-google-play-store/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:53:48 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=180166

Officially unveiled at IFA 2014, more than a month ago, Sony SmartWatch 3 has finally found its way to Google’s Play Store, sporting a $249.99 price tag.

Sony’s smartwatches might not be exactly revolutionary, but the fact that they’re still around means that plenty of people are buying and enjoying them. The Japanese company already has a lot of experience in building wearables under its belt, having reached now the fifth generation of smartwatches.

The waterproof SmartWatch 3 SWR50 comes with a 1.6″ 320 x 320 transflective LCD display. Unlike its predecessors, the 5th-gen Sony SmartWatch by Android Wear, which explains why Google has decided to feature it on Play Store.

In terms of technical specs, Sony SmartWatch 3 comes with a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage. Had this been a smartphone, the specs would have been mediocre, at best. However, these numbers are more than enough for a wearable. The 420mA battery should keep the device up and running for up to two days of normal use.

As far as the sensors are concerned, SmartWatch 3 comes with all the usual suspects: ambient light sensors, accelerometer, compass, gyro and GPS. This makes the wearable quite versatile and will give app developers a lot of flexibility when creating software for it.

Sony SmartWatch 3 is available with vividly colored exchangeable wrist straps. Four colors are offered (black, white, green and pink), for a variety of occasions. However, I wouldn’t call this a dress watch, as the strap makes it obvious that it was built for fitness. For that purpose, it works either as a smartphone companion or as a standalone device. When working out, this wearable should be great if used in tandem with Bluetooth headphones, as you no longer have to carry around your heavy smartphone.

Even though it is available on the Play Store, Sony has not disclosed the official launch date for the other retailers. Considering that the Play Store is not available everywhere, it’s hard to believe that Sony would make this wearable exclusive there. To be frank, the device is underwhelming, so the $250 price tag really seems unjustified. Why are Android Wear devices getting more expensive, instead of becoming more affordable? They don’t seem to be built differently from their cheaper alternatives, so that certainly doesn’t explain it.

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TomTom’s GPS Smartwatch Helps Golfers Keep Track of Strikes and Holes http://walyou.com/tomtom-golfer-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/tomtom-golfer-smartwatch/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 20:18:26 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=179853

Golf widows have yet another reason to be sad. Their husbands will probably spend even more time on the golf course after getting TomTom’s new GPS smartwatch.

Knowing how large are the areas golf courses usually cover, playing this sport without a GPS doesn’t seem to make much sense. And to think that modern golf originated in 15th-century Scotland! Considered a sport for the rich (poor people don’t have the luxury of getting that bored), golf is not an activity for people lacking patiences. After all, depending on the skill of the players, a match can take between 4 and 6 hours. Since a GPS smartwatch could reduce that time drastically, what was that about husbands spending more time on the golf course? Well, with the TomTom Golfer GPS smartwatch around their wrist, they’ll surely need a bit to brag about it and show it off.

Corinne Vigreux, managing director of TomTom Consumer, explained that “Understanding the challenges ahead will help golfers to improve their score. The TomTom Golfer provides at-a-glance graphics to critical course data helping golfers to make smarter decisions and improve how they play.”

It’s interesting how smartwatch manufacturers (or GPS manufacturers, in this case) find a niche they can exploit without fearing the competition. There’s plenty of such wearables with fitness tracking capabilities out there, but not many can tell you where exactly you are located on a golf course. You guessed it, TomTom Golfer can do that simply by correlating the data from the GPS sensor with the 34,000 preloaded golf courses from all over the world (didn’t even know there were so many!).

In terms of technical specs, the TomTom Golfer is not exactly spectacular. It sports a 22x25mm (1.29 inches) display with a 144×168 resolution. With the GPS function turned on, the battery life is said to last up to 10 hours, which is a lot more than the duration of a golf match. That is, unless winning golfers give losers a new chance in the form of a return match.

The following video is in German, but it should give you an idea about how the TomTom Golfer smartwatch looks and works in real life:

TomTom Golfer can be pre-ordered now on the company’s website. At the equivalent of $325, it’s among the most expensive smartwatches out there, but anyone affording to play golf will most probably afford buying gadgets like this one.

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Apple Watch Gets Unveiled, Is Surprisingly Unsurprising http://walyou.com/apple-watch/ http://walyou.com/apple-watch/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:55:34 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=179272

The long awaited Apple Watch finally materialized at today’s iPhone 6 launch. It will be available in 2015 in three different versions, and it’s incredibly dull-looking.

After so many years of rumors and hopes, you would’ve expected Apple to launch an otherworldly smartwatch. If any of those design concepts that we’ve seen in the past years had been taken into consideration by Apple designers, we probably wouldn’t be looking now at a wearable that feels anything but special. The square face is complemented by a stainless steel, rubber or leather case, depending on the version that people will want to buy. The selling point of the watch is the Digital Crown that enables wearers to zoom in and scroll, even though I’m not sure why anyone would ever want to perform any of those actions on such a small display. Swiping used to work perfectly fine for scrolling long texts, and zooming… well, looking at pictures on a minuscule display is pretty dumb.

Apart from the Sport version, which features strengthened Ion-X glass, the other two come with a sapphire crystal face. Lots and lots of swappable bands will be sold as accessories, most probably at steep prices that the iSheep will pay blindly. Keep in mind that the Apple Watch will start at $349, price that makes it one of, if not the most expensive smartwatches around. Qualcomm’s Toq smartwatch had the same price at launch, but that company quickly shaved $50 off when it realized it won’t sell as expected. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sport version were the cheapest, with the others costing something in the vicinity of $500.

The Apple Watch packs a heartbeat sensor, something that has become rather common in smartwatches and smart wristbands. Of course, this feature is presented by the company as a never-seen-before innovation. The Workout app is able to determine whether you’re standing, exercising or running, but then, any fitness smartwatch app can do that with the help of the device’s built-in accelerometer.

“The next chapter in Apple’s story,” as Tim Cook named this wearable, was showcased with a lot of confidence by the company’s CEO: “We love to make new products that improve people’s lives. We love to make things that allow our users to make things that they could never have imagined. We think it will redefine what people expect from its category.”

I have yet to discover the perfect smartwatch, as neither Apple, nor its competitors have shown something mindblowing. The Android Wear watches are closer to perfection, but their terrible battery life will determine a lot of people to pass on them.

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Google to Offer GPS Support and Offline Music on Android Wear Devices http://walyou.com/google-android-wear-gps-support-offline-music-playback/ http://walyou.com/google-android-wear-gps-support-offline-music-playback/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 20:03:05 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=179155

Android Wear smartwatches are far from being perfect wearables, but for the time being Google intends to improve their functionality. GPS support and offline music playback will be offered in the form of updates in the coming months.

Moto 360 went on sale today for $249.99, and hands-on reviews are already available on major sites. That sounds like great news, as this was one of the most anticipated wearables this year, but this Android Wear device is not without downsides. The most prominent one must be the poor battery life, and while that can be slightly improved through future updates, Google’s main focus now is on providing current and future Android Wear smartwatches with GPS support and offline music playback.

David Singleton, Engineering Director, Android Wear mentioned in a blog post published today what you should expect soon on an Android Wear smartwatch near you: “First, we’re bringing offline music playback and GPS support to Android Wear. Go for a run or bike ride with your Android wearable and leave your phone at home. You’ll be able to listen to music stored on your watch via Bluetooth headphones. And if your watch includes a GPS sensor, you can track your distance and speed too.

The second update will enable downloadable watch faces, so you can customize the visual design of your swatch’s home screen to show the information you want to see most—like your calendar or fitness sensors. Developers will soon be working on watch faces, making them available on Google Play.”

If I’m not mistaken, Pebble had downloadable watch faces from the very beginning, so Mountain View is a bit late at that. Still, it’s great to see that the company offers some degree of flexibility and that it encourages developers to work on new watch faces.

As for the GPS functionality, that’ll definitely prove useful when working out. I really hope that such fitness tracking apps as Endomondo will be adapted for Android Wear, even though their developers didn’t show much interest for wearables.

The Android Wear line will soon grow larger, as other anticipated smartwatches will join in. Asus Zen Watch, LG G Watch R and Sony Smartwatch 3 will prove in the near future what Android Wear is capable of. Obviously, each of these will come with unique features, in order to guarantee some differentiation.

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Swatch Touch Proves that the Swiss Watchmaker Won’t Mingle with Apple http://walyou.com/swatch-touch-smartwatch/ http://walyou.com/swatch-touch-smartwatch/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:24:52 +0000 http://walyou.com/?p=179040

As difficult as it may be, the world’s biggest watchmaker decided that it will launch a smartwatch on its own next summer, even though many claim that a collaboration with Apple would be a golden opportunity for both companies and the customers.

Swatch is better off on its own than collaborating with a company that works endlessly on a product that people might only be teased with next week. Since Apple’s iTime or iWatch will most probably be delayed for next year, while only being showcased at an event on September 9, the Swiss manufacturer has nothing to lose by announcing that it will launch a watch with smart features sometime next summer.

Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek stated in an interview at the company’s HQ in Biel that “All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don’t rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas. But we can also do many things on our own.”

Because the rumors surrounding Apple’s iTime smartwatch kept piling up this year, Swatch’s shares went south 15 percent. This prompted Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli to say in a study last month that “For Swatch, this could mean a 2 percent hit to revenue and earnings before interest and tax for each 10 percent share that the iWatch was able to gain in its addressable market.”

Avi Greengart, research director at IT research firm Current Analysis, explained that the perfect wearable is yet to be made, and that the products currently available have all sorts of problems, from poor battery life to overall unreliability: “Nobody has hit on the right combination of problems a wearable should solve and convinced mainstream consumers.”

Hayek wanted to point out that it’s first the watch they’re interested in delivering, and then the smart features: “Our first message for customers is the watch. If they like it, they might also be interested in the extra functions. It is a problem if you only define a product by its technology. Technology alone doesn’t sell, not in watches. (Technology firms) that want to strike partnerships with us also want access to brands. They want (their products) to be more than a commodity.”

Let’s just hope that the Swatch Touch is the solution to most, if not all the problems that plague current wearables.

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