Android Wear 2.0 is leaving behind one of the most beloved smartwatches

The Sony Smartwatch 3 is one of the best Android Wear smartwatches around and beloved by many, but it won’t be updated to Android Wear 2.0 .

Spotted by Xperia Blog , the product page for Smartwatch 3 now plainly states that the device will not receive the long-anticipated software refresh. Instead, it will remain on Android Wear 1.5 for the rest of time, unless its enterprising fans find a way to work around that limitation, of which there are many.

Loyal supporters of Sony’s forgotten watch even went as far as petitioning for the new software. Currently, just over 3,000 have signed, but alas, Sony seems to have already made up its mind.

The Sony Smartwatch 3 was one of the first Android Wear smartwatches on the market and it got a surprisingly large amount of things right. Its square design stood out from the rest. It has NFC, and sporty charm with its silicon bracelet, IP68 rating and built-in GPS, but blends right into just about every other scenario as well.

Its hardware button would have qualified it to work with Android Wear 2.0, too. But Sony’s decision likely has to do with its aging chipset, which lags behind the smooth experience put out by the Snapdragon Wear 2100 that we’ve found in a growing number of watches.

So, we’ll pour one out for the Sony Smartwatch 3. Its fate is similar to that of the Moto 360 and LG G Watch – they aren’t among the list of watches compatible with Android Wear 2.0 .

These were the early pioneers that helped Android Wear get to where it is today, but I swear, there’s just no respect for the elders anymore.

This strange VR accessory claims to help fight anxiety and help you sleep better

There are a number of unique virtual reality accessories out there. Sure, there’s your standard ones like the Oculus Touch and Vive Tracker which have very obvious applications in VR. But then you have some more nebulous products like, for example, the Kortex.

The device popped up on IndieGoGo and claims to help fight anxiety, manage stress and help you sleep better after using it for 20 minutes during your next VR gameplay session.

The Kortex straps onto any VR headset including the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift , though it looks like the Samsung Gear VR is where it will find the most success thanks to its low-cost ticket to entry. Back the device while it’s still on IndieGoGo and you’ll receive a discounted price and a copy of the game Land’s End.

We’ll let you watch the video for more specifics, but the idea here is that the Kortex uses alternating current via an electrode strapped to your temple to stimulate the production of serotonin and reduce cortisol in the brain. Two 20-minute sessions a day and its creators, a medical technology company called Fisher Wallace Labs, say you’ll be sleeping better.

While we don’t put a ton of stock in faux-medical devices, there are some potentially exciting applications here – either to enhance your mood while you play games or to help you wind down and relax when you’re feeling a bit too stressed out. Less anxiety and a free copy of a game? Sign us up.

Apple Watch Successor Said to Sport GPS but No LTE Connectivity

Apple Watch Successor Said to Sport GPS but No LTE Connectivity

  • The updated versions will be able to integrate GPS-based location tracking
  • Apple said in June that it’s adding health features to the watch
  • Apple’s ultimate goal is to eliminate any need to connect the two devices

Apple has hit roadblocks in making major changes that would connect its Watch to cellular networks and make it less dependent on the iPhone, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company still plans to announce new watch models this fall boasting improvements to health tracking.

The updated versions will also be able to integrate GPS-based location tracking, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Apple shipped its first watch in April 2015, hoping for a new blockbuster product amid slowing iPhone sales, which contribute almost 60 percent of revenue. While the company shipped 1.6 million watches from April to June, that was less than half as many as during the same period in 2015, according to IDC.

With investors expecting a revenue decline this fiscal year, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is banking on a slew of new gadgets, including a new iPhone with a faster chip and improved cameras, and a slimmer MacBook Pro laptop, to reignite growth in 2017.

Ever since its inception, network carriers have been urging Apple to release a version of the watch that can connect to data networks independent of the iPhone, and the Cupertino, California-based company had been working to untether it from the handset, one of the people said. As it is now the watch must be synced with an iPhone to download most types of content and consistently track location.

Apple had been in talks this year with mobile phone carriers in the U.S. and Europe to add cellular connectivity to the watch, according to people familiar with the talks. A cellular chip would have theoretically allowed the product to download sports score alerts, e-mail and mapping information while out of an iPhone’s reach.

During the discussions, Apple executives expressed concern that the cellular models may not be ready for release this year and that the feature may be pushed back to a later generation, according to the people. Apple warned that, even on an aggressive schedule, the earliest possible shipment time-frame for cellular models would have been this December, one of the people said.

The source of the delay is that current cellular chips consume too much battery life, reducing the product’s effectiveness and limiting user appeal, according to three of the people. Apple has begun studying lower-power cellular data chips for future smartwatch generations.

Even without cellular connectivity, Apple still anticipates shipping models of the watch that can more precisely determine a user’s location by way of GPS chips that communicate with satellites. This technology would allow the device to track running and walking distances more precisely and improve the accuracy of data submitted to health tracking applications, two of the people said. The GPS would also make navigation on the watch more accurate, the people said.

Apple said in June that it’s adding health features, such as a new app to track breathing, and watch faces with integrated activity statistics, to the device’s software this fall. The update also launches apps more quickly, allows users to more easily move between different watch faces, and adds a new swipe-up menu to access battery and audio controls.

While the plan for this year had been to at least partially untether the watch from the iPhone, Apple’s ultimate goal is to eliminate any need to connect the two devices, according to a person familiar with the company’s strategy. That ambition is currently stymied by technological limitations.

 

Apple’s Tactic for a Little Games Glory

It's All in the Wrist: Apple's Tactic for a Little Games Glory

Apple Inc is threatening to crash Samsung’s expensive Olympics party.

Samsung is mobile phone sponsor of the Rio Games and sells its handsets exclusively to hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to Olympic venues – but Apple is tempting some of them outside with its own unofficial Games merchandise.

It is using an Apple Store about six miles (10 km) from the main Olympic park as the sole outlet for special-editionApple watch bands. Some buyers, including top athletes, have been proudly advertising their new bands on social media.

The watch bands do not feature the iconic Olympic rings logo or the word “Olympics”, which are for the exclusive use of sponsors like Samsung. Instead, they come in a choice of 14 national team colours, including the United States and Canada. A Brazil-themed nylon band was close to selling out this week.

“While they don’t appear to be breaking any rules, they appear to be getting really close to the edge of ambush or guerilla marketing,” said Jeff Benz, who arbitrates disputes for international dispute-resolution firm JAMS and is a former general counsel at the US Olympic Committee.

Neither Apple nor Samsung responded to requests for comment on the bands, which are selling for BRL 296 ($92.80) each – and only from the US tech giant’s store in Barra de Tijuca.

Another top Olympics sponsor, Swatch Group’s Omega, which makes an Olympic watch and is Games timekeeper, showed no concern. Omega president Raynald Aeschlimann said that unlike his firm, Apple could not talk about its Olympics history.

Apple is also not permitted to display its limited-edition bands alongside the Olympics logo, or any other obvious Games symbol, but that has not stopped some Apple fans from doing so.

US sprinter Trayvon Bromell has tweeted a photo of himself wearing the USA-themed band of red, white and blue on the same arm as his Olympic rings tattoo. Defending decathlon champion Ashton Eaton has also shared a photo of himself on Twitter wearing the band.

Top Olympic sponsors can pay about $100 million over four years to the International Olympic Committee for exclusive marketing rights to the Games, and they keep a close watch for any guerilla marketing during the event by their rivals.

So far, Apple is in the clear.

“As long as they do not use the Olympic logo, the Rio 2016 logo or our look, there is no infringement,” said Sylmara Multini, director of licensing and retail for the Rio 2016 organizing committee.

Athletes can also fall foul of Olympic rules if they market a non-official sponsor’s products during the Games – but not if they do it well before the event.

Bromell shared his photo of the Apple band and his Olympic tattoo on July 21, six days before the blackout period began.

Apple is not promoting the new bands directly – many buyers say they are reading about them on blogs – but at least one customer says he regards the band as Olympics merchandising.

Nelson Imana, a visiting sports fan from Chicago, bought two bands on the way to watch Olympic volleyball. He said they reminded him of the kind of exclusive merchandise sold at the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

“If you see somebody with Masters gear, they’ll ask youabout it because you can only buy it there,” Imana said. “So if they see this band, they’ll say OK, you’ve probably been to Rio and the Olympics.”

 

Huawei Watch New Model launched

  • Features a 1.4-inch fully circlular Amoled display.
  • Looks premium with its stainless steel case and leather strap.
  • Runs Android Wear 1.4 and boasts of 43 watch faces.

While the smartwatch segment has yet to pick up steam, that hasn’t stopped most smartphone manufacturers from trying their luck. It’s safe to say that Samsung is the most visible in this space, with its early start and aggressive marketing campaign for the recently launched Gear S2. That aside, the Samsung Gear S2 is actually one of the better premium smartwatches currently available, if not the best.

Huawei has gained some much-needed recognition in India after the successful launch of the Google Nexus 6P (Review), and now the company has finally announced its first smartwatch in the country, simply called the Huawei Watch. Based on Android Wear, the Huawei Watch was first announced at last year’s MWC so it’s not exactly brand new. Priced at Rs. 22,999, it competes directly with the Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen) and the Samsung Gear S2. Let’s find out how good Huawei’s debut watch really is.

Design and display
There are multiple options for the case and straps internationally, for both men and women, but for now, we in India have to settle with a single model which has a stainless steel case and a black leather strap. The watch is designed to be unisex, and the 42mm diameter could work for anyone. It is a bit thick at 11.3mm but then so are most smartwatches out there.

The Huawei Watch looks smart thanks to the metal frame and leather strap, and goes well with either casual or formal attire. The build quality is great and the watch is comfortable to wear. The leather straps are secured well and can be easily detached with the help of a metal latch. This is similar to the system used by the Moto 360 as well, so theoretically at least, you could use straps designed for other 42mm smartwatches. The bezel doesn’t sit flush with the display and is raised a bit, so it does get in the way when you’re swiping through menus. It’s not a big issue, to be honest, and we got used to it in a couple of hours.
The display is a 1.4-inch Amoled panel with a 400×400 pixel resolution. Due to the dense pixel count of 286ppi, pictures and text are sharp, with barely any noticeable pixellation around the edges. The screen is also scratch-proof thanks to the use of sapphire crystal. Colours are also pretty vibrant, and sunlight legibility is decent. The Huawei Watch has a fully circular display, but that comes at the cost an ambient light sensor. Having that sensor saves you the headache of manually adjusting the brightness when you move between light and dark places, but we guess that’s the price you pay for aesthetics.

There’s a single button on the side which is positioned slightly higher than the centre, like the one on the Moto 360 (2nd Gen). A single press lets you wake or dim the display; a double press will turn the display off; and a long press takes you to the app drawer. The button is comfortably stiff in order to avoid accidental presses.
Underneath, we have the heart rate sensor and contact points for the charging cradle. The watch also gets IP67 certification for water resistance, but that doesn’t apply to the included leather straps, which you will have to protect. The charging cradle is magnetised so the watch latches onto it easily. Contact points are not the best way to charge devices as the leads on the watch will inevitably wear off which could be a problem in the long run. Inductive charging would have been ideal here but as some consolation, the watch does support fast charging and Huawei promises an 80 percent charge in about 45 minutes. The charger is modular but its cable is fixed to the cradle, which means you can’t replace it, should it develop a fault in the future.
Specifications and features
The Huawei Watch is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and has 512MB of RAM. There’s 4GB of internal storage for apps and data, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy, and a 300mAh battery. Other than the heart rate sensor, you also get an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a barometer. The watch runs on the latest version of the Android Wear platform, which is 6.0.1, and is compatible with Android smartphones (obviously) and iOS devices as well.
Unlike with their Android smartphones, manufacturers can’t mess about too much with the interface of Android Wear devices, which means if you’ve used one such watch, you’ve pretty much used them all. Companies can however add their own watch faces, and the Huawei Watch comes with some pretty cool looking ones out-of-the-box. A total of 43 watch faces are pre-installed so there’s usually something for every occasion. Huawei uses the Android Wear app on your phone to keep track of watch faces, discover new watch apps, and control which apps need to be triggered for certain actions. You can also monitor the watch’s battery and storage.

Thankfully, there are Android Wear equivalents for most of the common messaging, fitness and productivity apps. If you already have the main apps installed on your phone, the watch will automatically install the Wear equivalents when you first sync it.

Performance
Setting up the Huawei Watch is simply a matter of pairing it with the Android Wear app on your phone –  the watch does the rest. Performance is speedy with very little lag when swiping through screens or launching an app. There were times when the interface froze up, but this only happened once or twice during our week-long review period.
The latest version of Android Wear holds a steadier connection to your phone then before, and we seldom faced arbitrary disconnections. It’s sadly still a bit buggy; certain functions don’t always work as they should and the only way to fix it is to reset the watch. For instance, the always-on display feature simply decided to stop working even though it was enabled. This behaviour usually kicks in when the battery is low but it failed to go back to its normal behaviour even after a reboot.

You are alerted of notifications with a slight vibration and you can answer or reject a call too, although you’ll have to use your phone or a Bluetooth accessory to actually converse, since the watch’s built-in speaker is only barely audible even if you’re indoors and there’s very little ambient noise. The speaker was inactive when we first received the watch due to an Android Wear limitation. The update to Android Wear 1.4 enabled it, but in our experience it took a few reboots to begin working. You can also use the microphone for voice searches using the ‘OK Google’ trigger. This didn’t work really well in our experience.
The Huawei Watch also doubles up as your fitness companion, and comes with the Google Fit app pre-installed. There’s a tracking app which helps you set daily goals for walking and lets you know the number of steps you’ve taken and calories you’ve burnt. It isn’t very accurate but you do get a rough idea of the extent of your activities. The heart rate sensor works well though, giving seemingly accurate results.

It doesn’t take long to familiarise yourself with the interface as you get a quick tutorial in the beginning for basic functions. Some of the stock apps include Alarm, Agenda, Find my phone, Fit, Fitness tracking, Hangouts, Maps, Play Music, Reminders, Stopwatch, Timer, Torch, and Together. The last of those lets you send quick messages directly to nearby Android Wear smartwatches, once paired.
Huawei claims a one-and-a-half-day battery life but during our testing period, we found that the watch lasted only a little over a full day, falling short of the claimed duration by about 8-9 hours. You get a prompt to turn on the battery saver mode once the charge reaches 15 percent. In this mode, vibrations are disabled and the screen turns off when not in use. Charging it is pretty quick and there’s a nice screen gesture that shows you the charging status.

Verdict
The Huawei Watch is currently available at Rs. 22,999 on Flipkart, which feels too expensive considering the Gear S2 costs just slightly more and is much better. The problem is not so much on Huawei’s part as it is Android Wear itself, which even in its latest iteration, feels like a work in progress. The Huawei Watch is beautifully crafted and can look just like a regular watch with the right face. Performance is good, and the display is sharp and vibrant too.

The software is a bit glitchy and there’s no telling when certain functions will stop working, requiring you to reset the watch and re-pair it with your phone. There isn’t much you can do to personalise the watch either, as you can only get the stainless steel case with a black leather strap as of now.
The Huawei Watch will be a good pick once the price drops closer to Rs. 15,000, as it’s a good alternative to the Moto 360 (2nd Gen). But at its current price, you’re better off with the Samsung Gear S2.

Price (MRP): Rs. 22,999

 

Converge VR Headset Offers the Best Glasses Free Cardboard Experience

Converge VR Headset Offers the Best Glasses Free Cardboard Experience

  • This Cardboard headset comes with focus and IPD control.
  • Strong straps and padding allow you to go hands-free.
  • It works with both Android and iOS devices between 4.7 and 6-inches.

Mumbai-based Converge VR is one of the newest entrants into the space, and has been working on a series of headsets for mobile-based virtual reality. This means making Cardboard-compatible devices, and the Converge VR headset is one of the nicer takes on the technology we’ve seen, offering comfort and ease of use, along with a few extra bonuses that you don’t normally see on Cardboard headsets.

There’s a growing wave of interest in virtual reality, as today mobile phone companies are also starting to turn to it as the “next big thing”. Samsung has been one of the pioneers with it’s Gear VR headset, but with the development of Google Cardboard, phone makers have jumped onto the trend of bundling along the low-cost VR headsets with their devices.

OnePlus had a VR headset, and we recently reviewed the AntVR headset from Lenovo. Karbonn also launched the Quattro L52 and Titanium Mach Six with VR headsts, and like Lenovo, Karbonn is also focussing on the potential of giving you the “big screen” experience on your phone, thanks to the headset.

There are also plenty of third party options available: basic headsets made out of actual cardboard that include DIY kits priced at close to Rs. 100; assembled kids that cost under Rs. 500; more elaborate sets that cost up to Rs. 10,000 – though it’s very hard to recommend these expensive devices because of how limited Cardboard is for now.

converge_front.jpgConverge VR’s headset is still a little on the expensive side as it’ll set you back by around Rs. 2,000. But it comes with a couple of extra features that you typically don’t see on cheap headsets that make it very comfortable to use, and this could make it a good option for people. What’s more, its creators are calling it a Dev Kit, and they say that people who buy the headset will get a 50 percent discount on the final “consumer” version of the headset, which is expected in August 2016 and will be priced at around Rs. 2,500 – Rs. 3,000.

Design
The Converge VR headset looks like a pretty standard Google Cardboard headset – albeit one made out of plastic instead of cardboard – but with a couple of extra straps on the back. The plastic that’s used feels cheap to touch, but that doesn’t really matter because you’re not going to be handling it much.

On the back, where you’d be putting your face, there’s a layer of foam for your head and nose that makes this fairly comfortable to wear. The straps run behind your head and above it too, so the headset also felt very secure to wear. In terms of comfort, we found little to complain about the headset, though the elastic straps are a little hard to adjust, and this means that putting the headset on is a bit of a struggle. Given how secure it feels after you put it on though, it seems like a fair compromise to make.

The slot on the front where the phone goes in is held in place with a rubber buckle that is easy enough to open, and feels quite secure. Near the top right corner of the headset, there’s a small lever that activates the touch input on your phone.

converge_top_view.jpgWhat’s unusual about the headset is that there are four knobs – one on either side of your head, and one under either eye – on the body, something you don’t normally see on a Cardboard headset.

The knobs on the sides adjust the focus by letting you move either lens back or forward. It won’t make a huge difference – if you have high power, or cylindrical vision, then the controls won’t really help you too much. But if you’ve got low to medium power then the focus knob can allow you clear up images even without your glasses.

The ones under your eyes on the other hand allow you to slide the lens to the left of right, again to a small degree. This can allow you to correct the spacing between the lenses for your IPD (interpupillary distance) requirements, letting you get a clearer image and better overlap between the image on your right and left eyes.

Performance
Fitting the phone into the Converge VR headset was easy and although the headset is a little difficult to put on, once you’re actually wearing it, the experience is comfortable.

converge_inside.jpgWe were able to go properly hands free, which was definitely a plus, and whether you’re trying to watch a 360-movie on your phone, or playing a game, the experience worked well. The developer notes that the kit includes large 42mm optics which offer a 120-degree field of view, however the phone you’re using offers a pretty practical restriction on the field of view.

Being able to adjust the IPD and focus also led to one of the nicest glasses-free experiences we’ve had a chance to try so far. With most other headsets, we’ve preferred to squeeze our glasses in even if it can be a little uncomfortable to do so. The Converge VR was one of the few exceptions to this in our experience.

The construction is pretty solid and thanks to the padding, allows you to get right in there, letting in no extra light, so you can have a pretty optimal Cardboard experience. The only catch is that it isn’t easy to quickly remove the phone and interact with it, unlike other, simpler headsets, and Cardboard doesn’t have a good system to navigate between different apps right now, so there will be a bit of fumbling with straps and the headset from time to time.

converge_profile_nosepad.jpgVerdict
We’ve got a growing collection of Cardboard headsets at this point, and amongst them, the Converge VR set is the most expensive one that we’ve tried.

If you’re price-conscious, it’s hard to justify this device, no matter how refined it is, because you can get a basic Cardboard set for just around Rs. 100.

That being said, the Converge VR is a well made headset that is comfortable to use. It’s got a few extra bells and whistles that you don’t normally see in Cardboard headsets – you can adjust the focus and IPD both, and quite easily – and if you already have a basic headset and are looking for something a little better before the next generation of technology comes around then you should give the Converge VR a try.

 

Meizu Mix Smartwatch With Analogue Display Launched

Meizu Mix Smartwatch With Analogue Display LaunchedMeizu started off with manufacturing mp3 players, and has since then overhauled its strategy to launch smartphones and audio accessories as well. Now, the company has extended its portfolio further, and launched its first smartwatch. The Meizu Mix smartwatch features an analogue display and is scheduled to be made available in China by October.

The Meizu Mix smartwatch comes in Black and Silver colour options; and comes in denim, leather, and steel straps. The denim strap sets you back by CNY 1,000 (roughly Rs. 10,100), the leather strap is priced at CNY 1,300 (roughly Rs. 13,100), and the steel strap is priced at CNY 1,500 (roughly Rs. 15,100).

As mentioned, the Meizu Mix smartwatch does not feature a digital display, and sticks to the mechanical analogue display. It has a 42mm case and the innards are protected by a sapphire glass screen at the front. It has a notification LED light, a vibration mode, is waterproof, and offers Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. To pair it with a smartphone, the user must have the Meizu app installed. It comes with an accelerometer and gyroscope, and has a 270mAh battery that the company claims can last up to 240 days (standby time, presumably).

Meizu is crowdfunding the smartwatch on Chinese site Taobao, and looks to raise CNY 500,000 (roughly Rs. 50 lakhs) before it begins production. There is no information on when the company plans to bring the smartwatch to international markets. Just to recall, Meizu also launched the MX6 smartphone in China last month. The Meizu MX6 is priced at CNY 1,999 (approximately Rs. 20,000), and features a 5.5-inch (1080×1920 pixels) LCD, a 2.3GHz deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage.

Apple Watch Successor Said to Sport GPS but No LTE Connectivity

Apple Watch Successor Said to Sport GPS but No LTE Connectivity

Apple has hit roadblocks in making major changes that would connect its Watch to cellular networks and make it less dependent on the iPhone, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company still plans to announce new watch models this fall boasting improvements to health tracking.

The updated versions will also be able to integrate GPS-based location tracking, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Apple shipped its first watch in April 2015, hoping for a new blockbuster product amid slowing iPhone sales, which contribute almost 60 percent of revenue. While the company shipped 1.6 million watches from April to June, that was less than half as many as during the same period in 2015, according to IDC.

With investors expecting a revenue decline this fiscal year, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is banking on a slew of new gadgets, including a new iPhone with a faster chip and improved cameras, and a slimmer MacBook Pro laptop, to reignite growth in 2017.

Ever since its inception, network carriers have been urging Apple to release a version of the watch that can connect to data networks independent of the iPhone, and the Cupertino, California-based company had been working to untether it from the handset, one of the people said. As it is now the watch must be synced with an iPhone to download most types of content and consistently track location.

Apple had been in talks this year with mobile phone carriers in the U.S. and Europe to add cellular connectivity to the watch, according to people familiar with the talks. A cellular chip would have theoretically allowed the product to download sports score alerts, e-mail and mapping information while out of an iPhone’s reach.

During the discussions, Apple executives expressed concern that the cellular models may not be ready for release this year and that the feature may be pushed back to a later generation, according to the people. Apple warned that, even on an aggressive schedule, the earliest possible shipment time-frame for cellular models would have been this December, one of the people said.

The source of the delay is that current cellular chips consume too much battery life, reducing the product’s effectiveness and limiting user appeal, according to three of the people. Apple has begun studying lower-power cellular data chips for future smartwatch generations.

Even without cellular connectivity, Apple still anticipates shipping models of the watch that can more precisely determine a user’s location by way of GPS chips that communicate with satellites. This technology would allow the device to track running and walking distances more precisely and improve the accuracy of data submitted to health tracking applications, two of the people said. The GPS would also make navigation on the watch more accurate, the people said.

Apple said in June that it’s adding health features, such as a new app to track breathing, and watch faces with integrated activity statistics, to the device’s software this fall. The update also launches apps more quickly, allows users to more easily move between different watch faces, and adds a new swipe-up menu to access battery and audio controls.

While the plan for this year had been to at least partially untether the watch from the iPhone, Apple’s ultimate goal is to eliminate any need to connect the two devices, according to a person familiar with the company’s strategy. That ambition is currently stymied by technological limitations.

Nokia Cuts Price of Ozo Virtual Reality Camera

Nokia Cuts Price of Ozo Virtual Reality Camera

Nokia has cut the price of its Ozo virtual reality camera by 25 percent from its initial launch price, the Finnish company said on Thursday.

Nokia, whose main business is now telecoms network equipment, started selling the camera earlier this year as the first device to be produced for its digital media business, one of its new hopes for future growth.Having launched the device at $60,000 in the United States and Europe, Nokia has now priced it at $45,000, saying it was also taking the camera to the Chinese market next month.

The spherical camera features eight sensors and microphones and is designed for making 3D movies and games that can be watched and played with virtual reality headsets.

Nokia said the virtual reality market was developing quickly and the new price reflected that.

Last year, GoPro introduced a VR camera system using Google’s software, while several other technology companies such as Facebook and Samsung have also announced new products.

 Nokia, known for its once-dominant phone business which it sold to Microsoft in 2014, is also bringing its name back to the handset market after a new company backed by its former executives teamed up with Foxconn to buy the rights to the brand.

 

USB-IF Announces Charger Certification Programme for USB Type-C Devices

USB-IF Announces Charger Certification Programme for USB Type-C Devices
  • Certification to be provided if products comply with specifications
  • Issued logo to also carry power capability of product in watts
  • Manufacturers can send their products to organisation for certification

There are many USB chargers available on the Internet, but sadly there has been no standard certification that can notify the users if the charger indeed produces the power delivery specifications that are listed on the product. Now, the non-profit body that determines USB specifications and standards – the USB Implementers Forum – has announced that it will perform the standardisation and give the certified logos if the products meet its USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery specifications.

The USB-IF was created to “provide a support organization and forum for the advancement and adoption of Universal Serial Bus technology” as per the organisation’s website. As a part of organisation’s new certification and compliance programme (Certified USB Charger Logo and Compliance Program), manufacturers will submit their products and the certifications will be given on the basis of USB Power Delivery and USB Type-C specifications.

The logo on the product, issued by the organisation on compliance with the required qualities, will also carry the power capacity of the products in watts. The program is meant to certify USB chargers for USB Type-C devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, docking stations, displays, and other products.

“Certified USB Chargers will give users an interoperable power source and a seamless experience. From displays, to smartphones and docking stations, the industry is aligning behind USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery as the last wire you’ll ever need for faster charging,” organisation’s CTO Rahman Ismail was quoted as saying in a press statement.

Standardisation in any field is a good thing but when it comes to electronics, its importance cannot be overstated as a product with poor quality can potentially damage or even destroy other devices that are associated with it.