Band offers tracking, emergency health information with app, but limited functionality
Smartbands of all sorts are hitting the market. Some build on the buzz around fitness trackers, while others offer simpler features for specific needs. Once such band is the ActvContent Sync Smartband, a wrist-worn device that allows tracking through a smartphone or quick access to medical information in the case of an emergency. But does the ActvContent Sync offer enough to warrant a purchase, or would users be better off spending their money on something with more features? Find out in our review.
RunKeeper's step tracking app utilizes Apple's M7 chip in iPhone 5s
RunKeeper has launched a new, passive step tracking app today, entitled Breeze. By constantly tracking motion with the M7 chip found within the iPhone 5s, Breeze offers its users a personal coaching feature, in the form of push notifications and updates regarding one's activity levels. The following day, Breeze details a summary of the previous day's activities and stats. Users can share their completed goals, high activity level days, and a general activity profile with friends on Facebook, Twitter, RunKeeper and elsewhere. Free to download, Breeze requires iOS 7.0 or later and an iPhone 5s for full feature compatibility.
Core sensor to track movement, social activities
After releasing its own SmartWatch, Sony has decided to move into the wearable tracker market. The SmartWear initiative will be made up of a range of devices for tracking a variety of items, with the diminutive Core acting as the central point for all collection activity, as well as a more conventional SmartBand fitness tracker housing to hold the sensor itself.
Search giant argues for California venue
Google is reportedly calling for a UK privacy lawsuit to be dismissed, arguing that the case should be heard in its home state of California, according to a Guardian report. The company has been sued by a group of users who accuse the company of illegally monitoring their online habits by circumventing security settings on the desktop and mobile versions of Apple's Safari browser.
Updated DataMan Pro offers improved Smart Forecast, usage prediction
DataMan Pro, a data usage app for iOS, has released an updated version today. Version 8.3 of the app learns its user's usage trends, and can notify users how much they can use each day without surpassing a user-defined data cap. The new version also features an improved Smart Forecast, allowing users receive notifications on their usage based on trended information.
Plaintiffs could not prove any data breach, actual harm
US District Court Judge Lucy Koh -- who just concluded a damages retrial between Apple and Samsung and will preside over the next round in the two companies' ongoing patent battles -- dismissed a consumer protection lawsuit on Wednesday that charged that iOS' "geotracking" data -- discovered in iOS 4 in 2011 to be an unprotected file that could theoretically have been accessed by third parties was deliberately designed to collect personal data without consent.
Search and ad giant placed tracking cookies on users' machines without asking
In a final settlement with a Federal Court, Google will pay a fine of just $17 million - on top of a separate FTC fine of $22.5 million from last year - to 37 US states and the District of Columbia over its illegal use of surreptitious tracking cookies in Apple's Safari web browser, deliberately bypassing Apple's built-in anti-tracking technology. Google failed to inform users that it was monitoring where they surfed after visiting any sites that used Google's DoubleClick ad network in 2011 and 2012.
3SI Security Systems Inc. designed FindIt tracking device for iPhone
With the release of the latest in the line of iPhones, retailers have been taking precautions against the likely prospect of armed robbery. Prime Communications, an AT&T dealer, estimates that it suffers from two armed robberies per month at its more than 300 stores US-wide, according to the Wall Street Journal's Thomas Gryta. The chain has adopted the use of 3SI Security Systems' FindIt device in June 2013. FindIt, a tracking device the size of a short stack of business cards, can be contained within a product box, such as iPhone, which can locate thieves in their attempt to successfully flee with stolen merchandise.
Wrist-based tracker forgoes full display for five LEDs, no buttons
Fitbit has started shipping its first wrist-based activity tracker. The Fitbit Flex follows the Jawbone Up and the Nike FuelBand in providing tracking of activities and sleep patterns from the wrist, and like other Fitbit trackers in the entire range, is able to sync over Bluetooth 4.0 through iOS and Android devices, as well as using the provided Bluetooth dongle with a PC.
Also requires that all new Retina apps must support iPhone 5 display
Beginning May 1, Apple will automatically reject any app updates or new applications that access Universal Device Identifiers, or UDIDs. Apple deprecated the method of tracking user statistics with iOS 5 and has been previously rejecting apps that read the UDID without user permission for at least a year, but the new deadline is seen as a hard limit that will require developers and advertisers to use other measures, such as the Vendor Identifier or Advertising Identifier introduced in iOS 6. Most apps have already changed over.
iPad and glove combination used to control virtual objects
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have created a Minority Report-style glove and iPad input system for three-dimensional virtual object manipulation called T(ether). The system lets the team use motion tracking on gloves to create and alter virtual items with the iPads used as a point-of-view window to see what the users are manipulating. A demonstration video shows the system having multiple users simultaneously affecting the compter-generated world, both with and without the glove.
Exmobaby PJs integrate cellular transmitter
AT&T has announced that it will provide wireless service for Exmovere's Exmobaby pajamas, which bring a unique twist on baby monitoring. The pajamas integrate a number of sensors, tracking an infant's vital signs, such as heart rate and skin temperature, along with environmental factors including humidity and movement.
Collar add-on alerts owner if pet leaves home
Tagg the Pet Tracker is the first product from Snaptracs, a new Qualcomm subsidiary devoted to using advanced GPS and wireless technology to keep pet owners abreast of where their pets are, with automatic notification if they leave a pre-defined zone. Powered by a rechargeable battery intended to last 30 days, the durable device attaches to a pet's collar and features a "trip" button so that pets can go on walks or rides without sending an alert.
MacGPS Pro 8.4 update
James Associates has launched a new version of its GPS syncing and viewing software for the Mac, MacGPS Pro 8.4. The application is designed to interface between GPS receivers and the Mac, providing users with a real-time on-screen display of their current location and speed, and transferring information such as routes, waypoints and track-logs. In the latest update support has been added for the Garmin Oregon GPS receivers, along with U.S. Forest Service 24K Topo Maps.
BlackLine GPS tracker
Security company BlackLine GPS has introduced the Seeker, a GPS-based vehicle tracking device designed to help recover a vehicle if it is stolen. The device constantly monitors the vehicle's location relative to a GPS security perimeter. If a thief moves the vehicle outside of the perimeter, the owner receives a SMS alert message while the company's Recovery Service works with the police to help find the vehicle.
Nike+ Sportband unveiled
Nike recently unveiled the Nike+ SportBand, confirming earlier reports that the company would release a "sans iPod" version of its fitness tracking system. According to MacLife, the SportBand functions similarly to the iPod combination set, where it can measure time, speed, distance, and calories consumed. The system supposedly writes this information to a USB memory stick for upload to a computer. Nike will sell the SportBand for €60 (~$95), and will ship in April.
Samsung, Adidas miCoach
Samsung and Adidas are teaming up to compete with Apple and Nike's Nike+iPod program, and have today introduced the miCoach workout tracking system. The miCoach system combines the miCoach phone with a heartrate monitor and stride sensor to provide accurate feedback about workout activities. Pricing was not announced, but the miCoach system will be available in Europe mid-March.
Nike+iPod in equipment
Nike and Apple are refreshing their Nike+iPod offerings this summer, by working with Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac, and Technogym, with the goal of making exercise equipment compatible with the workout tracking system. Users will be able to attach their iPod nano directly to a number of different treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, and stair climbers, and utilize the same statistic and objective tracking that is offered by the stand-alone kit.
Waikato University iMac
Security tracking software designed at Waikato University aided in the recovery of a stolen iMac, which was taken from the home of a computer support group worker. Stuff.co.nz reports that the software took pictures of the thief when the iMac was set up again, using the built-in iSight, and was able to pinpoint the machine's location to within 100 metres. The Police were able to arrest the man who stole the computer, and he is now facing a court hearing.
Pharos Trips and Pics
Pharos Science and Applications today announced a new geologging hardware product called Pharos Trips and Pics, which is designed to interface with any digital camera. Trips and Pics allows users to do a photo catalogue of their travels for personal or professional purposes. By using the iGPS-500 receiver with a pocket battery unit, users can upload the post-trip data to their computers through USB, where Trips and Pics presents a step-by-step set of download instructions. Pharos Trips and Pics will be available for purchase at major retail outlets in January for $90.