Despite mixed reports about consumer interest, research firm IHS thinks demand for sensor-equipped wearable tech devices is going to see a major acceleration starting next year — largely thanks to Cupertino. Just how much of an increase are we talking about? Try 7x the size of the existing market by 2019, according to analysts.
“Similar to the iPhone and iPad, IHS expects the Apple Watch will set a de facto standard for sensor specifications in smartwatches,” says Jeremie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst, MEMS & Sensors. “Most other wearable [original equipment manufacturers] will follow Apple’s lead in [incorporating multiple sensors into devices] — or will add even more sensors to differentiate.”
The iWatch may be set to mark Apple’s debut into health and fitness tracking, but one company is taking the concept of wearables a step further.
The forthcoming $199 OMsignal shirt promises to be the gym wear of the future — featuring a ton of health sensors sewn into its fabric, which constantly monitor the condition of the wearer. Sensors are capable of tracking heart rate, breathing rate, breathing volume, movement (including steps and cadence), movement intensity, heart rate variability, and calories burned.
“The data is sent via Bluetooth to a specially developed iPhone app, which lets you see all of it in real time,” says Dr. Jesse Slade Shantz, the firm’s Chief Medical Officer. “Your iPhone beams the data up to the cloud, and algorithms we’ve developed then push back various metrics — showing you information about your breathing during workouts, and information like that.”
Whatever it is you want to know about cellphone camera sensors, you’ll probably find it in DP Review’s absurdly in-depth article on the subject. It details not only the common misconceptions about megapixels, but also many real world differences. And it contains the diagram shown at the top of this post, showing the size differences between the sensors in various phones, measured in pixels.
While the rear camera in the iPhone continues to improve by leaps and bounds — and we can expect the iPhone 5S to continue that trend — the front FaceTime camera improves at a far more glacial pace. In an age of selfies, the iPhone 5’s front facing camera isn’t that much better at offering the sort of fidelity of resolution necessary to deeply inspect our blackheads and pores than the iPhone 4 was.
That’s probably about to change though. Omnivision — maker of the iPhone 5’s front-facing camera sensor — have just announced the OV2724, which crams a full 1080p sensor (or 2MP, compared to the current camera’s 1.2MP sensor) into a tiny cube small enough to go into the next iPhone. And it even shoots at 60 frames per second and offers some impressive dynamic range to boot.
It’s going into production this summer. With decent yields and some luck, that should make it ready for the iPhone 5S when it lands in fall.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, all compact cameras looked like the Ricoh GR. they might not have been as sleek-looking, but they had big finger grips, a giant full-frame sensor (35mm) film and a fixed wideangle lens.
Now, proving that large sensors are the new black, the GR is packing a DSLR-sized APS-C sensor into its tiny body.
Say hello to CubeSensors, sensitive little cubes that detect pretty much everything and tattle to your iPhone about it. The cubes are internet-connected, so you can get their information anywhere, any time.
Nikon’s new 1 V2 is a super-serious enthusiast camera built around a joke of a toy sensor. The $900 camera ships with a 10-30mm kit lens, the crop factor of which should tell you all you need to know about this camera range: 2.7x turns the 10-30 into a 27-81mm equivalent.
Photographer Dustin Curtis decided to put his new iPhone 5 up against his ~$4,000 Canon 5D MkIII SLR in a head-to-head shootout. The result? Clearly the Canon won, but the iPhone did surprisingly well.