Writers from Business Insider, The Verge, and The Next Web share their initial Android Wear Smartwatch feedback…
Doesn't this defeat the purpose of a smartwatch? pic.twitter.com/rWX0GKRCYn
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) June 26, 2014
This week’s Fitbit iOS app update brings with it a welcome feature, in live tracking. Along with tracking steps throughout the day via one of their many trackers, new live tracking functionality relies on the iPhone’s GPS to monitor and provide real-time feedback on your exercise.
Fitbit has always been one of the fastest companies to allow 3rd party apps to update your stats. You have been able to import exercises through Runkeeper or MapMyRun for quite some time, but this is the first time that Fitbit it tackling this feature head on.
How Live Tracking Works
When you want to begin a new exercise, you simply open the Fitbit app and scroll down to the exercise entry. Continue Reading…
With the Philips Hue app update yesterday that introduces support for the Hue Tap, retail available is nearly upon us.
The Tap extends control of your connecting lighting beyond the virtual and into the physical realm. As with everything Hue, the Tap light switch is downright pricey at $60. Yet it brings a subtle, sleek elegance as it meets a practical need with some nifty technology. And most impressive is the Taps nearly infinite battery life, rated at 50,000 taps, powered by your finger’s clicky kinetic energy. Beyond that, the small puck ships with four customizable buttons, which can be linked actions, scenes, and recipes… giving you, your spouse, child, or pet sitter a means of control without a smartphone or tablet app.
Each Hue Bridge is capable of supporting up to 32 of these, enough for every wall in the house. As for me, I’m on the fence if I’ll be picking up a single Tap up… I suppose it depends if I expand my Philips smart lighting collection once the less pricey all-white Lux bulbs hit. Continue Reading…
Via an overseas briefing and FCC filing, details of the next generation Netgear Nighthawk wireless router have begun to clarify. The Nighthawk X4 AC2350/R7500 builds upon the success of the existing Nighthawk, as cited by Wirecutter, with additional horsepower, more finely tuned QoS, quad-stream wireless, and a pair of USB 3.0 ports and eSATA to meet our NAS or Mac Time Machine archival needs. It also bumps up the antenna count from 3 to 4. Of course, this sort of tricked out network solution comes at a price. And, to meet my 802.11ac router needs should I flip from Verizon to Comcast, I’m not sure I’m willing to pony up the $250.
By way of the New York Times, we learn GE and Quirky have expanded their collaboration on “Wink” – the brand under which they’ll tie together their existing (and downright bizarre) product line and tap into other home automation solutions via the FCC-revealed Wink Hub. The $79 Hub bridges networks, like Z-Wave, and will be displayed at nearly 2,000 Home Depot retail outposts when it launches July 7th. (Take that Lowe’s Iris?) Of course, these guys aren’t the only players in town with the very fine Staples Connect and SmartThings out to early leads with the Apple behemoth now taking interest via HomeKit and healthy Apple TV hub speculation. Not to mention, after like a decade of stagnation, Harmony finally woke up ready to fulfill their home control destiny. The next 12-18 months are going to be huge in this space as the tech expands beyond the affluent digerati and into the mainstream. As for me, my needs are simple… Continue Reading…
Ever misplaced your keys? Or wanted to know when your luggage has arrived at the baggage claim? Maybe marked the spot where you parked the car in the mall lot?
The Elgato Smart Key aims to address all of these situations as a sensor that you either attach or place on different items for tracking. Depending on what you are looking to track, the Smart Key can notify you of certain situations that might need attention. Walk too far away from your keys, it will start to beep. Attach to your luggage and when it comes near to you at baggage claim, your phone will notify you. Continue Reading…
As Samsung continues to hedge against Google/Android reliance and standardize across disparate product lines, while perhaps avoiding Microsoft royalties, the company has expanding the Tizen OS initiative beyond smart watches and to connected televisions. Via Liliputing:
Samsung’s Tizen-based TV SDK Beta will be available early July following the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco from June 2–4th. The Tizen-based Samsung TV SDK Beta supports the HTML5 standard through its framework called Caph and enables developers to write apps that run on a Tizen OS –based TVs.
For maximum impact, we expect Samsung will have to provide an efficient mechanism for developers to port Android apps to the similarly Linux-powered Tizen. But what of the Boxee team? The video startup was acquired by Samsung about a year ago… and, since then, it’s been radio silence. I have it on good authority that “Boxee” is dead and personnel form a product innovation team within Sammy’s “visual display” business unit. As to what the NYC-based group is currently working on, we can only guess. But, given their skillset, fleshing out a new television OS and UI certainly wouldn’t be out of the question.
Well here’s an interesting promo should you lack for both a TV streamer and tablet. Amazon has paired their new Fire TV with the 7″ Kindle Fire HDX tablet for $249, which clocks in $79 cheaper than purchasing each separately. While the Fire TV remains somewhat app poor, the platform has grown on me and we’ve enjoyed dozens of hours of Amazon Instant video at this point (and unloaded our Apple TV). Had the offer been available at launch, I’d have gone this route given my deep ties into Amazon’s ecosystem and synergies between the products (that may or may not ultimately extend to other tablets):