Wearable

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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Samsung Gear Fit 2, Gear IconX Hands-on: Putting fitness at the top

Samsung Gear Fit 2, Gear IconX Hands-on: Putting fitness at the top

Although smartwatches are relatively slower to gain traction, the fitness wearable market has exploded in the past year or two. Almost anyone and everyone has a fitness tracker, whether a smart wristband or a clip, or both. And those that don't fall back on their well-equipped smartphones and some tracking app. Gym memberships, racing events, and fitness device purchases all reveal a growing fad, if not obsession, over fitness. Not one to be left behind, Samsung is showing off the new, improved, and more ergonomic Gear Fit 2 sports band as well as the intriguing Gear IconX "fitness earset" to keep you company in your journey to a healthier, yet hi-tech, lifestyle.

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Xiaomi debuts Mi Band 2 with OLED display

Xiaomi debuts Mi Band 2 with OLED display

China's Xiaomi has just announced the new Mi Band 2 fitness tracker, the company's third wearable after the original Mi Band and Mi Band Pulse. While Xiaomi has become mostly known for its smartphones lately, it's also found success with wearables in its domestic Chinese market, having sold more than 20 million devices so far. Now that its recognized as the second-largest wearable maker in the world after Fitbit, Xiaomi looks to continue that growth with the Mi Band 2.

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Qualcomm outs Snapdragon Wear 1100 for target-purpose wearables

Qualcomm outs Snapdragon Wear 1100 for target-purpose wearables

When smartwatches arrived on the scene almost two years ago, there were still no components specially designed to the still unheard of device. That meant manufacturers had to make do retrofitting smartphone pieces for smartwatches, which practically meant using unoptimized hardware. February this year, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon Wear 2100 to offer a system-on-chip solution more suited for smartwatches and similar multi-purpose devices. Now at Computex 2016, it is following that up with the Snapdragon Wear 1100 which targets more special-purpose devices instead.

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Jawbone reported to exit fitness wearables business as well

Jawbone reported to exit fitness wearables business as well

Earlier this week reports surfaced about Jawbone looking for a buyer for its wireless speaker division, allowing it to focus on its health and fitness trackers, which the company is more known for these days, instead. However, a new follow-up report from Tech Insider has indicated that even Jawbone's wearables business is in trouble, and all production of the UP line of trackers has been stopped.

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As Kickstarter soars, Pebble answers questions (but early-adopters won’t be happy)

As Kickstarter soars, Pebble answers questions (but early-adopters won’t be happy)

To call Pebble's latest Kickstarter a success is a wild understatement, but that didn't stop would-be smartwatch buyers having questions about the company's 2016 line-up. Crowdfunding for Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2, and Pebble Core hit the company's $1m goal in just over an hour, and with 34 days still to run on the campaign there's already around $8m in the pot.

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Samsung hasn’t given up on Android Wear, or so it says

Samsung hasn’t given up on Android Wear, or so it says

If you've been waiting for an Android Wear version of the rather handsome Gear S2, rotating bezel and all, you might want to stop holding your breath or, if you can, hold it a lot, LOT longer. Some unnamed Samsung executive supposedly told Fast Company that company no longer has any Android Wear device planned, practically implying that, as far as wearables are concerned, Tizen is the future for Samsung. The Korean manufacturer sent a statement denying making any official word on the matter, but still leaves the question open.

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Surprise: Pebble smashes $1m Kickstarter in about an hour [Updated]

Surprise: Pebble smashes $1m Kickstarter in about an hour [Updated]

Looks like Pebble hasn't lost its Kickstarter magic, with the smartwatch company's Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2, and Pebble Core project hitting its $1m goal in just over an hour. Pebble had set itself an ambitious target for its trio of new products announced this morning, though given the company's original performance on Kickstarter, many expected equally big things this time around.

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Pebble Core puts Spotify in a hackable $69 3G Android wearable: Hands-on

Pebble Core puts Spotify in a hackable $69 3G Android wearable: Hands-on

Meet Pebble Core, the wearable company's first product that isn't a smartwatch, and possibly its most intriguing and exciting device since the original Pebble that launched three years ago. Pebble Core is "a tiny little Android phone without a screen" Pebble co-founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky explained to me, but while runners gave the company an excuse to make it, it's hackers he's most excited about.

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Meet Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2, the smartwatch contrarians

Meet Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2, the smartwatch contrarians

Pebble is revamping its smartwatch range, launching two new wearables - Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 - along with a new, time-saving Actions interface. As Google's Android Wear and Apple's WatchOS both compete to add more complexity and standalone functionality, Pebble is steadfastly going the other way: trying, company co-founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky explained to me, to figure out how to help people spend as little time as possible interacting with their watch.

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This breathalyzer wearable detects alcohol levels through the skin

This breathalyzer wearable detects alcohol levels through the skin

Wearables can track can track all kinds of health a fitness data these days, but here's one that focuses on something different: how much alcohol you drink. Called BACTrack Skyn, the wristband acts like a wearable breathalyzer, even though you don't technically breathe into it. Instead, it measures blood alcohol levels through you skin using fuel cell technology similar to what law enforcement relies on.

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