Hot on the heels of its announcement of the new Cogito Fit connected watch yesterday, Hong Kong-based CONNECTEDEVICE has announced a new activity monitoring feature coming to its CONNECTED WATCH app and current line of COGITO CLASSIC and POP watch models.
Today at CES 2015, BlackBerry announced that Android Wear support will soon be coming to BBM, and we went wrist-on to check out how it works. And, well, it works almost exactly like you'd expect. You get all the appropriate notifications on your connected Android Wear smartwatch (in this case it was demoed on a Moto 360), and the ability to reply.
More and more we're seeing companies figure out just how versatile our smartphones can be when it comes to delivering a VR experience, and here at CES there's no shortage of people who want you to strap funny things to your face in the name of virtual reality.. With the right set of lenses and a lightweight container, virtual reality on our phones becomes nearly effortless to setup. While Google took the inexpensive design to an extreme with Cardboard, the folks at Pinć VR have opted to add a bit more functionality in their design. The basic setup focuses on a inexpensive setup to snap your phone into, with a design that is lightweight enough that you could use the collapsed setup as a case if you don't mind a little added bulk. When you open up the VR side of Pinć and slide the expanded contraption on your face, however, you step out of the real world an into a virtual office of your very own.
Prior to their upcoming Q4 financial call, T-Mobile has released a batch of preliminary results summing up their 2014. They managed to add 8.3 million total net customers, which is the most they've done annually ever. 2.1 million of those were added in the last quarter. T-Mobile LTE is now accessible to 265 million Americans.
Aircharge, which develops wireless charging products, has partnered with McDonald's to add wireless charging stations to several of their restaurants throughout the UK. Announced during CES 2015, the agreement would see a total of 600 Qi wireless charging spots across the country, and follows a smaller initial market test.
MHL, the standard by which many Android devices pump out audio and video to external screens over the USB port, has announced a new spec that will support video at a resolution of 7680 x 4320 and 120 frames per second. SuperMHL also pumps out 40W of power, can plug multiple displays into a single device, and plays nice with a new reversible connector.
It's not exactly shocking news at this point, but Google has finally and officially retired its older Google TV operating system in favor of Android TV, although some older devices that used Google TV will be updated to the new television platform.
The latest platform numbers for Android versions have been released, and show KitKat continues to spread. It's up to 39.1% share of all Android devices from 33.9% last month. By comparison, the various Jelly Bean versions add up to 46%, down from 48.7% last month. Other versions, like Ice Cream Sandwich, Gingerbread, and Froyo, amount to under 15% combined.
BlackBerry has announced as part of its CES 2015 press event that its BBM messaging service is coming as an app for Android Wear devices. The company said it would be released "soon," but a specific date was not revealed.
As manufacturers start to figure out the long term benefits of smarter thermostats and a generally connected home, it's going to become important to measure more than what's happening in the room with the thermostat. While that is usually a primary location in the home, if you have bedrooms or hallways that are traditionally warmer or cooler than the primary living space that could be important information to collect. The Ecobee3 smart thermostat solves this by relying on multiple remote sensors, which you can place wherever you choose. In their demo at CES this year, you can see the starter kit includes a single extra sensor to help you determine how many you might need to measure your whole house.
The best part about these remote sensors is the way that they can be mounted just about anywhere, and the Ecobee3 thermostat or app will help you see exactly what is happening to the temperature throughout your house.
As promised, Saygus announced details of their new Android handset at CES, and it's clearly built for technophiles. The V2 packs 60 GHz Wi-Fi support, which enables software-free media streaming to other devices. It also comes with multi-boot capability for running apps on a microSD memory card, and root access right away. Combined internal and external storage can add up to 320 GB, which is no mean feat.
It's not always appropriate to broadcast the fact that you're wearing a fitness tracker, especially if your gadget of choice is a bright blue band and you've just stepped into a very important business meeting. Sometimes you need something with a little more style, and the folks at Withings have been pushing in that general direction for a while now. At CES this year, the company is showing off a budget friendly version of their watch that hides just how good it is at tracking your sleep and steps. It's called the Activité Pop, and the biggest feature to this gadget is the massive step down in price from the original. While you lose the classy Swiss design chops, the Activité Pop comes in at $150 instead of $520.
Myriam and John have all the goodies in the video, as well as a more detailed hands on right here, but it's cool to see Withings going all out on the watch design. All too often you hear how our smartwatches don't behave enough like watches, and now there's a functional and relatively inexpensive option for those folks.
I'm standing in a crowded press room at CES 2015, nearly identical in size and noise level to a dozen others I've been in this week, only I've been told this room has a separate room inside it that only I can see. A VR developer hands me a pair of smart glasses so I can see this other world, and as I put the hardware on I can. This second world isn't full of people, but instead has a series of waypoints on the floor that activate when I approach. There's no gamepad or controller to help me get to these waypoints. I'm going to have to walk there myself, which is fine. When I take a step forward in the real world, I also take a step forward in this second world.
Virtual reality and augmented reality constructs are fun, but it's complicated to create an experience where you can seamlessly enter the digital world without either a controller or padding to help as your body accidentally glances off of a wall. VR developer Sean McCracken is here in Las Vegas showing off an app that creates an effect similar to demonstrations shown with Google's Project Tango with what is arguably more logical hardware. Instead of walking around holding a tablet, Maelstrom is all about using smart glasses to enter the digital world.
While your average fitness monitor or health tracker is great for keeping a daily tally of how many steps you've taken or how well you slept last night compared to the night before, you can't really take this information to your doctor and expect that data to be useful. CES is positively overflowing with this technology this year, but a lot of it is deliberately made for personal use only. Medical professionals rely on finely tuned instruments for their data collection, and in most cases that equipment is not something you can carry around in your pocket. The folks at Qardio are hoping to bridge that gap with their health tracking equipment, claiming that their hardware is medical grade and could be used by doctors.
Cali and Scott have all the details in the video, but with Qardio it's not hard to imagine a scenario in which your health data is something medical professionals could just grab from your phone in the future and have it actually be useful information.
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