Garmin’s chunky new Fenix 3 Sapphire sport watch faces stiff competition from Apple Watch. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — When Garmin launches a $600 smartwatch just a few weeks before Apple is about to introduce its category killer, the company must be pretty confident.
Here at International CES, Garmin is showing off its new line of Fenix 3 Sports Watches — multisport fitness trackers with built-in GPS that can pair with a smartphone to show various alerts and notifications. It comes in three models, including the handsome Sapphire, which has a hard sapphire crystal face. It’s a beauty, but surely doomed, right?
When asked if Garmin was worried about the Apple Watch, due to be launched sometime this spring, a spokeswoman confidently said absolutely not. She explained that Garmin’s watches are unapologetically outdoor fitness devices built for sportspeople who want a watch to do very specific things — track workouts – and aren’t interested in beaming heartbeats or sending emojis.
“They are purpose-built,” she said, gesturing at the display. “They’re built for hiking, biking and running. Garmin has been in the wearables market for 10 years. We’re not worried at all.”
Apple’s actually made watches before, but one thing that makes the Apple Watch unique from other Cupertino products is it’s the first design I can think of that is asymmetrical. Look at the buttons, and you can see the Apple Watch has a clear handedness: it’s meant to be worn on the left wrist, and operated with the right hand.
Bad for lefties… or is it? Come on: this is Apple we’re talking about. As it turns out, the Apple Watch can be easily set up to wear on the other wrist, as long as you don’t mind the digital crown being on the bottom.
Wellograph’s iWatch can monitor your heartbeat. (Picture: Wellograph)
There have been numerous companies, from Samsung downwards, willing to leap onto the smart watch bandwagon to try and beat it to market. Wellograph’s new smart watch, however, perhaps comes the closest to what many users are expecting to see from Apple — with the world’s first wellness-focused smart watch sporting a sapphire crystal display.
The 1.26-inch LCD display watch is available to ship now, and comes with various smart functions, including a Tri-LED heart rate sensor, which replicates the action of a doctor using their fingers to feel for a pulse and provides real-time readings of heart signals.
Apple’s long-awaited smart watch could be, appropriately enough, called iTime.
In what is quite possibly the strongest indication to date that Apple has been working on a smart watch for some time, on Tuesday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent related to a “Wrist-worn electronic device” referred to as iTime.
The patent was first filed back in 2011, and describes a device reminiscent of the Pebble smart watch — which would act as a notifications system for other Apple devices such as your iPhone and iPad, with information communicated wirelessly between these devices by way of Bluetooth. Alerts such as phone calls, text messages, and push notifications could be sent to your watch, with the user then made aware of these by way of audio, visual, or vibration cues.
So, I finally broke down and bought a Pebble Smart Watch the other day. Just rolled into Best Buy and looked at both the FitBit Force fitness tracker and the Pebble. At just $20 more than the Force, I figured I’d get a fun geeky gadget that would do more than tell the time and count my steps.
Pebble Smart Watch by Pebble Category: Wearable Tech Works With: iOS, Android Price: $149.00
What I got for my $150 was a geeky gadget that tells me the time and passes notifications–usually–from my iPhone. And that’s about it, really.
The time ’round on the Cult of Casts: it’s finally confirmed! New iPhones are coming September 10th… we’ll run through our expectations for the big day and offer a bold prediction of a big 5S spec bump. Then, Apple’s about to do something no tech company has ever done, and… seriously Samsung, a smart watch?
And stick around for our new segment, CultCast Second Hour, and catch our conversation with professional video editor and visual effects artist Mike Gaines as we talk the pros and cons Final Cut X; what software the editing pros use; the best cameras for indie projects; and all the Mac gear you need for a solid video product rig; plus so much more.
Have a few laughs and get caught up on all the finest Apple stories in the land. Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the unadulterated audio enjoyment begin. Show notes up next.
The HOT Watch, from Texas-based PH Technical Labs, is the latest project to join the ever-burgeoning smartwatch craze, and it busted out onto Kickstarter today with such a bang it’s already raised half its $150K goal.
There’s really a lot going on here — the device packs a near-endless list of features — but there’s really one trick that stands out above the rest.
I know — if you see another @&#%$ post about a smartphone watch, you’re going to run screaming though the streets tearing out your hair. But bear with me, because this one’s different — and it’s got more tech packed into it than an entire region of Best Buys.
Apple neglected to give its iPod line any real attention last year, and so it seems likely the devices will receive a much-anticipated refresh before the holidays. Still, we’ve seen little evidence of this, but one German rewards club has promised that there will be a new iPod nano this fall, and that the “old” model is no longer available from Apple.
What’s this? Android news on Cult of Mac?! Who the hell cares?! Maybe you don’t, maybe you do. Point is: these are a few of the popular topics going on in the Android world today. Maybe you’d like to know what the competition is up to, or perhaps your aunt received a Kindle Fire she needs to update. Regardless of the reason, having a resource such as Cult of Android allows you to learn more about what’s going on in the ecosystem powered by the world’s leading mobile OS.