Wearable

Lenovo smart shoes eliminate the need for a wrist wearable

Lenovo smart shoes eliminate the need for a wrist wearable

At its Tech World show in San Francisco yesterday, Lenovo revealed a pair of smart shoes, that, while a concept prototype, are fairly close to a finalized product. Adding a new layer to the term "wearable," the running shoes offer most of the same features that a wrist-worn fitness tracker or smartwatch would have, including number of steps, distance, calories burned, and activity tracking.

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Samsung Gear Fit 2 sports band goes on sale worldwide

Samsung Gear Fit 2 sports band goes on sale worldwide

If you're a Samsung fan and have been eagerly awaiting the new Gear Fit 2 sports band, now's your chance to finally pick one up. The GPS-enabled wearable has officially gone on sale around the globe in a number of markets, including the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Australia. Priced at $179 and available in two sizes, Samsung says that Gear Fit 2 will be available in other countries in the near future.

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Blocks modular smartwatch goes up for preorder

Blocks modular smartwatch goes up for preorder

The Blocks modular smartwatch, which first came into public view via a Kickstarter campaign, is now available to preorder. The company has showcased the factory-ready smartwatch, including the various modules that can be added and removed as the user sees fit, in two videos, one of which is a long, close-up review of the wearable. According to Blocks, the smartwatch is in the final stage of testing before heading into mass production.

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Pebble gets a new Weather app, Health gets more accurate

Pebble gets a new Weather app, Health gets more accurate

Just because Pebble is in the middle of a very hot and again wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for the Pebble 2 and Pebble Core, it doesn't mean it has forgotten about its existing throng of very loyal users. It has just announced the availability of Firmware 3.13 for existing smartwatches, as well as matching updates for its iOS and Android apps. It might not be as earth-shattering as the upcoming Actions feature, but it's still a refinement worth noting and a welcome reminder that Pebble hasn't forgotten its fans.

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Suunto Spartan Ultra is a smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts

Suunto Spartan Ultra is a smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts

Suunto has taken the wraps off a new sports watch called the Spartan Ultra. With the Ultra name comes some ultra features and durability — the company says its newest watch, which will be arriving in August, features a polyamide casing reinforced with glass fibers, a waterproof construction that’ll hold up to depths as far down as 100 meters, and an optional grade-5 titanium bezel.

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EyeForcer forces your kids to stop looking down at their phones

EyeForcer forces your kids to stop looking down at their phones

With the rise of smartphones and tablets, we're spending more time looking down at our hands than ever. Go to any public place, and you'll see people hunched over their phones, checking Facebook, Tweeting, or watching videos. Our bodies aren't designed to hold that position for long periods, and that can cause painful issues. One company has their eye on this problem, and aims to fix it.

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OnePlus had a near-finished smartwatch, but decided to ‘focus’ on phones instead

OnePlus had a near-finished smartwatch, but decided to ‘focus’ on phones instead

Right now, Chinese manufacturer OnePlus is known for producing quality Android-based smartphones at budget-friendly prices. It's a small company, but that focus on high-end phones with flagship-level specs is what makes them standout in a growing sea of other low-priced Android devices. However, OnePlus nearly entered the smartwatch game — another crowded market — going so far as to complete a design, but decided to scrap the device out of concern of losing focus.

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Cortana arrives on Microsoft Band 2 for Android users

Cortana arrives on Microsoft Band 2 for Android users

Good news for Microsoft Band 2 owners who pair their wearable with an Android device: you're now getting one of the last big features that, until now, has been exclusive to Windows Phone. Microsoft has updated its Health app, in turn enabling Cortana on the Band 2 and allowing users to issue voice commands. This update makes the Band 2 work with Android in just about every single way it does with Microsoft's own Windows Phone platform.

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Microsoft rolls out Outlook watch face for Android Wear

Microsoft rolls out Outlook watch face for Android Wear

It was only in April that Microsoft Outlook made its debut as an Android Wear app, but a new update has just been released that turns Outlook into a watch face. This means users can skip the need to tap and navigate the UI on their wrist, and instead see both email and calendar information on the same screen as the clock. Instead of relying on a notification, users can simply raise their wrist to check the time, and also see an overview of schedule and unread emails.

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Visa payment ring makes wireless NFC payments at Rio Olympics

Visa payment ring makes wireless NFC payments at Rio Olympics

We've seen several tech-enabled rings in the last few years, from failed attempts at turning them into gesture motion controllers, to new ones that prevent a partner from streaming a new TV show episode without you. But now Visa is taking a stab at it by turning the ring into a contactless payments device. Just like you'd swipe your smartphone over a terminal to make a payment, Visa's ring puts your credit card directly on your finger.

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What smartwatches are still getting wrong

What smartwatches are still getting wrong

It's been more than three years since the first modern commercial smartwatches, the Pebble and the Sony SmartWatch, hit the market and this wearable device category still hasn't taken the industry by storm. In the meantime, less powerful and less featured smart fitness bands are flooding the market and is giving some well-deserved and long overdue attention to healthier lifestyles (at least hopefully). These two device categories sometimes share some features, like notifications and activity tracking. Sometimes they even share in price tags. And yet smarwatches aren't regarded with the same esteem and market share as their health-centric cousins. The issue might not just be because smartwatches answer the problems wrong. They might also be answering the wrong problems.

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Pebble Core and Amazon’s Alexa become best pals

Pebble Core and Amazon’s Alexa become best pals

Those who have been underestimating or even simply ignoring Amazon's conquest into the voice-controlled personal assistant space should probably start taking a second look. Alexa is starting to pop up everywhere! While she/it still mostly remains inside Amazon's devices, like the Echo or Fire TV, it is starting to expand to other third-party products and also expand its connection with other platforms. The later to join that small but growing club is Pebble, whose admittedly intriguing Pebble Core will feature Alexa within it when it launches.

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