As it was during last year’s Consumer Electronics Show, wearable technology, in the form of a variety of smart watches, fitness trackers and even smart glasses, will be a major focus of CES 2014, which is slated to begin next week.
This year, CES will feature an all new TechZone exhibit called “WristRevolution,” featuring smart watches (both already released and upcoming) from a wide array of companies highlighted by PCWorld, including Kronoz, Cookoo, Sonostar, Metawatch, Archos, Burg, and Pine. Major companies like Qualcomm and Sony will also exhibit smart watches, as will seasoned veteran Pebble.
Some of the watches, like the Cookoo, offer notifications and more bundled in a standard watch style design, while other products, like the Sonostar, carry a more futuristic wraparound design. Some, like the Kronoz, allow users to answer calls directly on their wrists, and others, like the Pine, also include biometric sensors for measuring heart rate.
Witness the unveiling of next generation tech wearables. The all-new WristRevolution TechZone at the 2014 CES is where style, sensors and connectivity intersect. From customizable and downloadable watch faces to internet-connectivity and app-based programs, the standard wristwatch transforms into a GPS, music player, health monitor, alert and message indicator and more. The WristRevolution TechZone will showcase the latest developments and discoveries for the next wave of advancement for this pocket-sized tech.
Smart watches have soared in popularity over the course of 2013, following the release of the Pebble Smart Watch and an onslaught of rumors about Apple’s smart “iWatch,” inspiring companies like Samsung to launch their own smart watch offerings.
Along with smart watches, wearable activity trackers like the Fitbit, the Jawbone UP, and the Nike FuelBand are expected to be a popular exhibition category at CES. The show will see old favorites from companies like Fitbit and Basis, showing off their newest offerings the Fitbit Force and the Carbon Steel Basis Tracker, respectively, as well as newer devices like the Lifeband Touch from LG.
Spurred by the popularity of Google Glass, several companies will show off smart glasses, with Epson, Vuzix, GlassUp, and more exhibiting various smart eyewear products. GlassUp, like Google Glass, is designed to allow wearers to view incoming notifications like emails, text messages, app updates, and more, but it is far more simple than Google Glass, lacking key features like a camera.
Wearables that don’t fall into other categories, like the MYO armband, will be exhibited as well. First introduced last year, the MYO armband is designed to detect motion and muscle movements, allowing its users to control a Mac, PC, or other device through gestures. The Kiwi Move, a small motion-tracking dongle, works similarly to an activity tracker but can be worn anywhere, while the Lumo is a back brace designed to sense and correct posture. Intel has also promised to unveil some non-specific “innovative wearables” during CES.
Wearable technology will also veer into some radical new arenas at CES, with i4c debuting VOYCE, a wearable monitor designed for dogs. The collar, which includes a number of biometric sensors, measures vital signs.
In addition to the above mentioned products, many other wearable surprises are expected to debut at CES this year, skyrocketing wearable technology to a new level of popularity. CES 2014 will take place from Tuesday, January 7 to Friday, January 10 in Las Vegas.
BlackBerry today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Typo Products, a company that developed a BlackBerry-esque keyboard case for the iPhone designed to allow users to type with physical keys.
The Typo Keyboard on an iPhone next to the BlackBerry Q10
First announced in December of 2013, the Typo iPhone Keyboard Case was created by Laurence Hallier and media personality Ryan Seacrest (of American Idol fame), who reportedly invested $1 million into the product.
As detailed on the Typo’s product page, many of Seacrest and Hallier’s friends and colleagues carried two phones – one for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for other uses – a problem that the two aimed to solve with the snap-on Typo Keyboard.
According to BlackBerry, Typo has both infringed on patents and “blatantly copied” the BlackBerry keyboard, leading to a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California.
“This is a blatant infringement against BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard, and we will vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design. From the beginning, BlackBerry has always focused on offering an exceptional typing experience that combines a great design with ergonomic excellence. We are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations,” said Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer.
Currently, the Typo iPhone Keyboard Case remains available for pre-order for $99 and is scheduled to make its public debut at CES 2014 next week.
Samsung’s UK arm looks to be hinting at the successor the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. A recent Twitter post shows the original Galaxy Gear listed above 2013 with only “What’s Next?” sitting above 2014. Presumably, this means the Galaxy Gear 2, however it could be a completely different product altogether. It’s worth pointing out that there’s no mention of “when” in 2014 we should see what’s next.
Samsung is reportedly set to soon introduce the follow up Galaxy Gear watch in this new year. Also on the horizon, a Samsung Galaxy Band device which tracks fitness and health-related stats. Either way, we’re on red alert for the details and will be happy to share what we learn.
What do you want Samsung to unveil in 2014? pic.twitter.com/E668toPsCQ
— Samsung Mobile UK (@SamsungMobileUK) January 3, 2014
CES takes place next week and Mobile World Congress follows next month. Both are prime venues to introduce new products or successors to existing devices.
Polaroid has just added the Q7 (7″ tablet), Q8 (8″ tablet), and Q10 (10″ tablet) to its growing tablet family. They will be featured at CES 2014, and will most likely draw quite a bit of press.
The tablets have quad-core processors, and will sport Android 4.4 Kit Kat (this is really nice to see!) The battery sizes haven’t been released yet, or really many other specs. They will have HDMI, Bluetooth, and a front and rear-facing cameras. The devices will be released in Spring 2014, and will be sold somewhere between $129 and $179.
Be sure to check back for more CES 2014 coverage!
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Take this for what you want, but Digitimes is saying Samsung will introduce a new Nexus 10 at CES next week. The source, which is as wrong as often as it is right, reports that the refreshed device will feature an AMOLED display. As to whether it will actually be branded with a “Nexus” title remains to be seen.
It’s obviously worth pointing out that Asus has been tossed about a few times as the hardware maker behind the next-generation of Nexus 10 tablet. Thankfully, we’ve only got a few days to go to find out whether Digitimes is correct with this one.
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Corning’s Gorilla Glass is useful for protecting the (mostly) flat screens of smartphones, but it’s not a great fit for the curvy world of wearables. The company is prepared to change with the times, though, as it just announced that it can manufacture 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass. Its newly available technique conforms to unusual designs without adding bulk or losing strength. If all goes well, products using the 3D glass will be on store shelves sometime this year. Corning hasn’t named customers, but we imagine that at least a few companies are interested in using the material for durable yet unconventional displays.
Vine certainly is taking its time fleshing out its feature set. Most surprisingly, you couldn’t actually browse the short video sharing service from the comfort of your desktop browser until now. Sure, you could follow a link that would lead you to a specific Vine, but couldn’t skim a feed of clips from people you follow or look through a user’s history. Thankfully that all changes today as the service finally embraces the web, and begins moving away from its entirely app-based existence. Now when you log in you’ll be presented with a scrolling list of six-second updates and you can click through to checkout those all important profiles. And, just so the company can’t be accused of being lazy, it’s bringing something a little special to the desktop — TV Mode. Click the TV icon in the upper right hand corner and you’ll be treated to a full screen presentation of Vines played in sequence. It’s a pretty easy way to catch up on all your friends’ travels, meals and petscapades (you know, pet escapades) without having to touch the scroll bar.
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As we prepare to learn more about the successor to the HTC One, new details are slowly starting to appear. The latest bit of information surrounding the HTC M8 is that it will carry not one, but two different lenses. The setup is rumored to allow for better photos in both low light, and regular lightning scenarios, according to Forbes.
Each lens will be dedicated to lightning conditions, hoping to improve photos in the low light conditions that are known to result in very poor smartphone photos. It’s a weakness I, for one, welcome being addressed.
Also noted in the report is the addition of a fingerprint app, similar to what’s already found in the HTC One Max.
It’s widely expected the HTC M8 will launch sometime in Q1 of 2014. But with CES just days away, who knows what can happen. As always, more details about the M8 and its dual-lens system will be published here once they are available.
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Acer, keeping rather busy in the runup to CES 2014, has introduced a second Android-powered all-in-one device. This time, we’re not looking at something designed to stay in one place; the Acer DA223 HQL, rather, is mobile.
Powered by Android Jelly Bean, the specs include a 21.5-inch (1920 x 1080) display capable of 10-point touch. Under the hood you will find a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, MHL connectivity, and an internal battery. While you can plug it in and use this as a monitor for a Windows device, it’s designed to head out on the road. Or at least to the coffee table.
According to Acer, the DA223 HQL All-in-one is already shipping worldwide with a retail price of US$699. We might look for more details from Acer at CES which takes place in a few days time.
In its ongoing effort to announce products people may not want long before said products are available to buy, Wikipad today unveiled its Gamevice tablet game controller. The mockup above is an example of what the Gamevice might look like when we get our hands on it sometime later in 2014 — it won’t be at CES next week and it doesn’t have a projected price or release window (other than this calendar year). Rather than focus on the larger tablet form factor, the Gamevice adapts the 7-inch Wikipad’s controls for — the company’s hoping — a variety of Android and Windows 8 devices. It sounds like iOS support is also in the works, but there’s nothing officially confirmed just yet.
Whether there’s a market for Wikipad’s Gamevice is another question altogether. There’s no shortage of mobile gamepads out there, and it’s not clear that Gamevice is any better than the competition. If anything, based on previous experience with the Wikipad’s controls, we’re a bit skeptical.
The company also announced an OTA update for the 7-inch Wikipad that adds Jelly Bean 4.2 and mappable controls. It should be available today.