Smartwatch able to communicate back to smartphones
Pebble, the smartwatch that started life on Kickstarter, has received an extra $15 million in funding. The additional funding from investors, on top of the $10.2 million received through its Kickstarter campaign, comes at the same time as the company updates its SDK to include two-way communication for third-party Pebble apps.
Software giant's move into hardware may continue
Microsoft is the latest tech giant said to be working on designs for a smartwatch. Sources tell The Wall Street Journal that the Redmond-based company has been working with suppliers in Asia to acquire components for a wearable computing device, though the likelihood of such a device's release is uncertain. Should a Microsoft smartwatch emerge, it might find competition from similarly rumored devices from Apple and Google, as well as a confirmed device from Samsung.
Pebble firmware update fixes showstopping bug
Kickstarter-funded smartwatch Pebble has received an update to fix a showstopping bug. The new 1.9.1 firmware came into being following reports received by Engadget of users finding their timepieces stopped working after shutting down, and is said to fix the issue. Customers with watches on older firmware that do not switch back on can request for a replacement through e-mail or the companion Pebble app.
Sony SmartWatch points the way to the future
Sony released a major update for its year old Smartwatch over the past week and Electronista has spent some quality time with it over the past few days. With the hype starting to grow around possible smartwatch releases by Apple, Samsung, LG and Google this year, the Sony SmartWatch is a good yardstick for what we might expect. However, unlike rumors circulating regarding the smartphone-independent capabilities of the next-generation of smartwatches, Sony’s SmartWatch relies entirely on a companion smartphone to function.
Report claims LG joining race to develop smartwatch
LG is building their own smartwatch, according to reports. A source of the Korea Times claims the South Korean electronics manufacturer was developing such a device, though did not reveal if it would operate under Android, Firefox OS, or another operating system. The report follows other claims that Apple, Google, and Samsung are working on their own versions, in order to catch up with the Kickstarter-funded Pebble and the Sony SmartWatch.
Google latest company linked to intelligent wrist-based devices
Google is exploring the possibility of building its own smartwatch, according to reports. The device is allegedly being created by the company's Android division, instead of the X Lab where Glass was created, and follows news of other companies creating their own smartwatch devices, such as Samsung and Apple.
New Sony SmartWatch update brings new watch faces, other tweaks
Sony has given its SmartWatch the first major software update since its release. The device reached US shores nearly one year ago in April of 2012, during which time it has received one of two minor software revisions. The new update brings with it six new watch faces as well as other tweaks, arriving at a time where there is renewed interest in smartwatches thanks to reports that both Apple and Samsung are working hard to bring their own devices to market.
Samsung exec admits smartwatch deep in development
Samsung is racing to get its smartwatch to market ahead of the anticipated equivalent device from Apple, reports Bloomberg. According to the executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, Lee Young Hee, the Korean company has been working on the device for some time and is working hard to get it out the door. Smartwatches, along with wearable devices generally, are considered by some observers to be the next major growth segment in the mobile space and both Samsung and Apple are keen to tap into as soon as possible.
Adhesive for waterproofing partly to blame
A teardown of the Pebble smartwatch found it to be a fairly unrepairable device, though its expected longevity is a saving grace. The team at iFixit declined to give the Pebble a repairability score due to its uniqueness, but did praise the combination of its low-power e-paper display and weekly charging cycle, which gives the non-replaceable battery a lifespan of between six and ten years.
Samsung set to join the smartwatch trend
Screenshots purported to be from a forthcoming smartwatch from Samsung have emerged on a Korean messageboard. Spotted by Slashgear, the Samsung Galaxy Altius looks as though it will give users quick access to date and time, music playback controls, and email notifications. If accurate, the leak suggests that Samsung, like Apple, could well into the development of the next generation of wearable smart devices.
Apple could be well into smartwatch development
Lending further weight to Apple’s rumored plans for an ‘iWatch’, the company is said to have assigned up to 100 people to the project. An earlier rumors suggested that Apple might be experimenting with smartwatch-like device running the company’s iOS mobile operating system and using a new type of curved glass. The fresh rumor reported by Bloomberg would have Apple much closer to a potential product launch than previously thought.
No proof that it exists, but Nano users may have given Apple ideas
The watch-like shape of the previous-generation iPod nano inspired a cottage wristband industry of its own, turning the music player -- which also had a clock-face app and a few limited other uses -- into a form of "smart watch" that caught the fancy of millions. With advancements since 2010 in connectivity, Bluetooth and miniaturization, Apple could -- according to former Apple Human Interface Group founder Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini -- create its own smartwatch that could do even more.
First 500 watches despatched, delayed over airport paperwork
The Pebble smartwatch has started shipping to Kickstarter backers, though less than initially estimated. The low shipment numbers problem is accompanied by news of a possible delay in the iOS app for the watch, limiting what actions backers will be able to perform on the device once they receive their orders.
Factory creating 15,000 Pebble watches per week
The Pebble smart watch will be shipping to backers on January 23rd. Company CEO Eric Migicovsky made the announcement at CES, adding that the e-paper timepiece will be shipping in batches, and is good news to Kickstarter backers that have waited for the wrist-based gadget, including through a number of production delays.
Project Glass, smart watches to lead sales
The market for wearable computers will reach $1.5 billion by the year 2014, according to a recent study. The increase from the existing $800 million in sales this year will be driven by consumer spending on fitness and healthcare-related devices, which would include the likes of Google's Project Glass as well as smart watches.
Bluetooth 4 added to MetaWatch dev kit for iPhone 4s connectivity
Meta Watch has officially released a new smartwatch development system with Bluetooth 4.0, capable of integrating with both iOS and Android devices. A previous beta was limited to Android only. In iOS, an app pushes basic notifications to the watch for things like calls and messages. Developers have access to an API, though, which will let their own apps push virtually any information.
Extensions for Sony SmartWatch made open source
Two extensions for the Sony SmartWatch have been released as open source in an attempt to foster app development for the device. The 8 Game extension, a simple game based on sliding tiles to reorganize a picture, shows potential developers how they could create their own titles that can run on the timepiece. The Music extension permits the accessory to control music playback on the linked phone through supported media players, letting existing programming teams add SmartWatch functionality to their software.
Parties interested in developing for the $150 SmartWatch can download the SDK from Sony, with a further request from the electronics giant to suggest other extensions to release as open source.
SmartWatch allows remote Android phone control
Sony has made the MW2 SmartWatch available to preorder through its US online store. The SmartWatch offers a wearable 1.3-inch OLED touchscreen able to access most functions of a nearby Android smartphone remotely over Bluetooth 3.0.