All items tagged with "wearables"

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

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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

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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With Beats, Apple buys the unobtainable: street cred

If and when Apple enters the wearables market, its biggest problem will be persuading people to wear the technology. A big part of that will be attracting the right early-adopters.

If Apple enters the wearables market, the biggest challenge will be persuading people to wear the technology. Attracting the right early adopters will be key to Apple’s success.

If the rumors are true, Apple’s forthcoming purchase of Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion is all about one thing — making wearable technology fashionable.

Apple is poised to introduce a line of wearables that likely goes beyond the long-rumored iWatch. While the technology Tim Cook’s team is cooking up might be amazing, getting people to wear it — especially cracking the crucial mass market — will be one of the biggest challenges Cupertino has ever faced.

Injecting style into wearable tech notoriously difficult. Even Nike got flustered and discontinued its FuelBand fitness tracker. So far, no company has really cracked the code and turned gear into a fashion statement for the cool kids, with one giant exception: Beats, a phenomenally successful wearable technology brand that dwarfs the rest of the industry because it’s pulled off the hardest trick in the book.

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Pre-WWDC health event shows that Samsung even copies Apple’s conference dates

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In a blatant attempt to steal Apple’s thunder, Samsung has announced a conference to take place on May 28 — promising to kick start “a new conversation around health.”

Why is this stepping on Apple’s toes?

Because the very next week is Apple’s eagerly-anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) — where Apple is expected to introduce the first stages of its new health-tracking family of innovations, beginning with the Healthbook feature for iOS 8, and likely to later expand to include the iWatch.

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Kinda Serious, Hardcore Or Crazy Fitness Maniac: Wahoo’s Trio Of New TICKR Bluetooth Heart-Rate Straps [CES 2014]

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The little dots on the sensor’s face are lights that tell you whether the sensor is connected, or if the battery is low. Photo: Eli Milchman

Cult _of_Mac_CES_2014_80x80 LAS VEGAS — Rather than come out with a more casual-oriented wearable fitness tracker like everyone (and we mean everyone) else, Wahoo stuck to its athletic roots and took the more serious route of improving the heart-rate monitor strap and accompanying training software the company introduced a few years ago.

In fact, Wahoo has created three new versions of its Bluetooth HR strap. The company even tried to restructure the way athletes think about training with the new “burn or burst” approach for the Wahoo iOS app.

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Garmin’s Sophisticated Vivofit Fitness Band Is Goal-Focused, Never Needs Recharging [CES 2014]

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I think fuchsia is your color. Photo: Eli Milchman

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LAS VEGAS — It was only a matter of time before the behemoths of the fitness world jumped into the fitness-band fight; although considering Garmin has been making wrist-borne fitness gadgets for ages (in the guise of their Forerunner line) one might have expected their new Vivofit to have arrived much sooner.

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