All items tagged with "wearables"

Apple Watch could lead to 7x increase in wearables market

Tim Cook says won't be in a hurry to reveal Apple Watch sales numbers. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch could trigger a drastic increase in wearable tech sales. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s great at hopping into new markets just as they’re set to explode, and it seems that the upcoming Apple Watch is no different.

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.”

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Samsung has created a flexible, rollable battery for wearables

Photo: Tizenindonesia

The real Bendgate? Photo: Tizenindonesia

Although we’ve yet to see a truly mass-market wearable device sweep the world, most people working in high tech believe that devices like smartwatches represent the next big frontier.

With that in mind, Samsung has debuted a potentially transformative creation at the ongoing InterBattery 2014 exhibition being held in Seoul, Korea: a rollable, flexible battery.

Although not too many details are known yet about the exact materials and structural design advances used to create it, it is reported that the battery can function even when bent in half, or rolled up into the shape of a paper cup.

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Apple Watch mass-production might not start until January

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Apple is still trying to work out the last few details of its first wearable, but with an early 2015 launch just months away, plans to manufacture and assemble the Apple Watch are being finalized. But AppleDaily reports production isn’t scheduled to ramp into high gear until January 2015.

To manufacture its first wearable, Apple has turned to its old partner Quanta Computer to churn out the first units, and they’re already hiring an army of assemblers for the hyped release.

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How Cupertino’s rivals plan to survive the Apple Watch

How does a wearables company survive being Sherlocked? Jawbone has some ideas.

How does a wearables company survive being Sherlocked? Jawbone has some ideas.

In the business world, Apple entering your product category is a little bit like a tsunami crashing into a home aquarium. What had previously seemed like a nice, small and self-contained ecosystem suddenly runs the risk of being obliterated by a giant wave-maker.

When Tim Cook announced the Apple Watch at Apple’s recent media event, the crowd went wild. But exciting as it was for consumers, it represents a seismic shift for the currently $330 million wearable tech industry.

Devices that can serve up smartphone notifications, track fitness goals and even advise us on health matters have the potential to be huge — but they’re not yet. That’s about to change, according to Juniper Research, which forecasts that wearable devices like smartwatches could hit sales of $19 billion by 2018.

What happens to Apple’s marketplace rivals as this sea change takes place? Cult of Mac did some digging to find out how companies like Jawbone and Fitbit plan to survive Apple’s smartwatch revolution.

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Stealth clothing collection stops your devices spilling your secrets

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Zoltan Csaki’s high-tech clothing line is inspired by George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. (Picture: Kickstarter)

Particularly on the back of the recent iCloud account hacking scandal, smartphone security is something a lot of people are paying more attention to.

With that in mind, a London-based designer recently launched an intriguing Kickstarter campaign, to create a clothing label aimed at raising awareness about high-tech security.

The clothes are all cleverly constructed around a removable waterproof stealth pocket, made from police-grade shielding fabrics, designed to securely block all Cell, WiFi, GPS and RFID signals to ~100 dB.

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Apple is assembling a wearables and fashion dream team

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Image by MacUser

For a company as secretive as Apple, one of the few ways you can learn anything about what it has planned next is to see who it has been hiring. High-profile hires say a lot about where Apple’s priorities are for the future.

Looking back at the hires Apple has brought on over the last year reveals something pretty obvious: it’s assembling a wearables and fashion dream team.

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Crystal Baller: iWatch leaks overclock the rumor mill

In the future, your car will tell you to walk instead

Brandon Nee, an engineer at Automatic, designed an app to get people out of their cars, even though he doesn't have one to get into. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Brendan Nee, an engineer at Automatic Labs, designed an app to get people out of their cars, even though he doesn’t have one to get into. Photos: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO —  Brendan Nee is a walking contradiction. He’s car guru who doesn’t own one, a 21st-century geek with an 18th-century mustache who has come up with a novel bit of nagware that could help Americans get off their spreading behinds.

An engineer working on “smart car assistant” Automatic, he spends many of his weekends at hackathons and has a coder’s physique to show for it. In January, he won the Clinton Foundation Code4Health Codeathon by developing a working prototype of an app called Walkoff in just a weekend. A few months later, Nee and team rolled out a more polished version that mashes up the data Automatic pulls from cars with info gathered by a Jawbone Up fitness tracker, showing a user how much time they’re spending behind the wheel versus walking.

“Clearly, without an actual car, I’m not the ideal tester,” admits Nee. The closest he comes to owning a set of wheels is a retired public bus dubbed the PlayaPillar that he only rolls out for Burning Man.

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Why Apple wants Dre’s Beats, this week on The CultCast

Cultcast iPad Mini new logo

If the reports ring true, Apple is about to embark on their largest acquisition ever, and the ramifications could be massive. On this episode of The CultCast, we dissect the Apple/Beats merger, and ask the questions: what could Apple possibly have planned for the world’s most popular headphone brand? Is new wearable headphone tech a part of Apple’s future? And most importantly, could the Doctor D-R-E be Apple’s next CEO? Strap on ya gats, ya’ll…

Have a few chuckles whilst we catch you up on each week’s best Apple stories! 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 audio adventure begin!

And thanks to Lynda.com for sponsoring this episode! Learn at your own pace from expert-taught video tutorials at Lynda.com.

Why Apple wants Dre’s Beats, this week on The CultCast
Why Apple wants Dre’s Beats, this week on The CultCast

Click on for the show notes.

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Automatic partners with Jawbone to whip drivers into shape

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As the nation grows more obese yet car culture still rules, here’s the nudge of the hour: your car and your fitness app talking to each other, reminding you that you’re not moving enough.

Automatic’s smart driving assistant can turn your old hunk of junk into a smart car, but the company announced today that it’s teamed up with Jawbone to whip your belly rolls into shape by giving drivers more insight into how your physical activity and driving patterns are connected.

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