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Posts Tagged ‘watch’

Rufus Cuff Wrist Communicator is the Smart Watch Equivalent of Phablets (Crowdfunding)

March 25th, 2014 6 comments

A few years ago, smartphone with a 5″ display were also laughed at, before phablet basically became the norm. Now most smartwatches feature a screen between 1.5″ to 1.8″, but Rufus Cuff goes big with a  3″ screen, that you can strap to your wrist and be used a as watch, a web browser, music player, as well as send SMS and make calls via your smartphone, or if you don’t have one via VoIP thanks to the Wi-Fi connection.

Rufus_Cuff

Here are the technical specifications:

  • Processor – Texas Instruments Cortex A8 Processor (OMAP3 or Sitara)
  • System Memory – N/A
  • Storage – 16GB Storage
  • Display – 3.0″ TFT Capacitive Touchscreen, 400 x 240 QVGA Resolution
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS
  • Camera – Front-facing Video Camera
  • Audio – Speaker, and microphone
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, 6-Axis Gyroscope.
  • Misc – Vibration Alert, Alerts & Flashlight LEDs
  • Battery – ~1000 mAh Rechargeable Battery
  • Spill & Splash Resistant (IPX7 certification to be done)
  • Dimensions – 79×54 mm

Rufus Cuff will run Android 4.4 Kit Kat, and come with the Google Play Store, so you can run pretty much any apps you run on your actual phone.
Rufus_Cuff_Wrist The Rufus Cuff will slide in a wristband, with both being available in black, white, green, yellow, red, or blue, and you can wear it on the left or right arm.

The company plans to raise $250,000 through Indiegogo (fixed campaign). If you are among the first 250 persons, an early bird of $229 will get you a Rufus Cuff, after which you’ll have to pledge $279. Shipping is free to the US, and will be charged at costs to other locations. Production is scheduled to start in August, and shipment to backers in September 2014.

Via Liliputing

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Samsung Unveils “Samsung Smart Home” and Smart Home Software Protocol (SHP) at CES 2014

January 6th, 2014 No comments

2014 could be the year where home automation becomes mainstream, as after Archos Connected Home, Samsung has now announced their own “Smart Home” service enabling users to control and manage their home devices, as well as Smart Home software Protocol (SHP) to enable connectivity between Smart Home products from Samsung and other manufacturers.

Samsung_Smart_HomeYour smartphone, smartwatch (Galaxy GEAR), or smart TV will be the control center of your home, and you’ll be able to manage refrigerators, washing machines, smart TVs, lights, and more. Communication between your phone and the appliance will go through the company’s cloud-based Smart Home Server.

At launch, Samsung will provide three main service features as shown in the illustration above:

  • Device Control – Mobile devices or Smart TV can be used to monitor or control home appliances via Smart Home app from nearly anywhere. Voice control is also available so you could say “good night” to your smartphone or smartwatch, and the TV will be turned off and lights dimmed and turned off.
  • Home View – Users can get real-time views of the home on their smartphone via built-in appliance cameras.
  • Smart Customer Service – Users will be notified when it’s time to service appliances or replace consumables. After-sales servicing will also be provided in some ways.

The company also developed SHP (Smart Home software protocol) and hopes to gather industry interest so that smart appliances from multiple manufacturers become inter-operable. The API and documentation for SHP does not seem to be available just yet.

In the future, the system will include energy monitoring, secure home access, healthcare, and eco home applications developed by third-parties.

This type of system really look great when you think about convenience, and Samsung with its extensive home appliance offerings is probably one the best companies to make it happen, and do it right from a technical point of view. But with features like “cloud-based server”, “built-in camera” the system seems like an NSA dream come true, and if we are not vigilant, the story of 1984 book may become even more true than it is already today, except cameras are not forced upon us by dictators, but we are willing-fully accepting to be potentially spied on, even saying “just take my money”… Maybe it’s time for “reverse firewalls”, ones that control what goes out of our local networks.

Via Liliputing

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Archos Unveils “Connected Objects” Home Automation and IoT Systems

December 31st, 2013 1 comment

There has been many home automation and Internet of things projects featured on crowdfunding sites this year, and IoT products such as smartwatches, fitness bands, smart sockets, connected lights… have started to take off. Archos plans to leverage this trend with their Connect Objects offerings divided in two parts: Connected Home and Connected Self.

Archos Connected Home

ARCHOS_Connected_Home
Archos Smart Home is a system that let you monitor and control your home via your smartphone or tablet using the company’s Smart Home App and Connected Objects. The set will come with a 7″ tablet, a mini cam, a USB data cable and documentation. It’s not clear right now if others objects: motion ball, weather tag, movement tag, and smartplug, will be part of the set or need to be purchased separately.

Key features of Smart Home Tablet:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3168 dual core Cortex A9 processor with Mali-400MP4.
  • System Memory – 512 MB RAM
  • Storage – 8GB flash + micro SD (compatible with cards up to 64GB)
  • Display – 7″ display – 1024×600 resolution
  • Connectivity – Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth
  • Ports – micro USB 2.0 OTG, mini HDMI output, 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Camera – 0.3MP from camera

The specs also list Android 4.2.2, but as you’ll see below all objects are connected via Bluetooth 4.0 LE, so the operating system will likely be upgraded to Android 4.4.x or this may not work that well.

Connected Objects details:

  • Mini Cam – VGA camera with 3x CR2450 batteries.
  • Motion Ball – Infrared motion detection device with 3x CR2450 batteries.
  • Movement Tag – Movement detection device using accelerometer and magnet contact powered by one CR2430 battery.
  • Weather Tag – Measures temperature (±0,3 degree; -10° to + 50°) and humidity (±1%; 0% to 100%). Powered by one CR2430 battery.

All connected objects are waterproof, and use Bluetooth 4.0 LE for connectivity with a maximum range of 26 meters indoor. There’s also an Archos Smart Plug that you can turn off/on remotely but no details are provided on Archos website.

You can use this system for security purpose, convenience, and to save electricity. The Smart App let you edit different scenario such as:

  • The motion detector detects presence outside, the mini cam takes a picture, and sends it to your email.
  • If it is freezing outside, set the alarm a few minutes before, to allow you to spend some time to de-ice the car.
  • Switch the hall light on when you open the hallway door during the night, automatically switch off after 5 min.

Archos Connected Self

Archos_Connected_Self
Archos will connect your body to the Internet (seriously) using the company’s Connected Self app for Android and iOS via three Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices:

  • Archos Connected Scale – Automatically synchronizes your weigh-ins to your mobile device wirelessly so you can track your readings on the app. Internal memory can store up to 30 measurements, automatically supports 4 users, and the scale has a 180kg capacity.
  • Archos Activity Tracker – Monitors steps and calories burned, and synchronizes your daily activity to your mobile device wirelessly. The app also lets you set goals, and share your activity on Facebook. The lithium battery is rechargeable via USB, and the device can be used for 7 days on a charge.
  • Archos Blood Pressure Monitor – Automatically synchronizes your systolic, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate readings to your mobile device wirelessly. The monitor needs to be wrapped around your wrist.

Albeit not part of Connected Objects offering, Liliputing reports Archos will launch a smartwatch compatible for iOS and Android that will sell for just $50, as well as a Smart Tracker for your pet(s).

I could not find availability nor pricing information at this stage, further information is available on Archos Connected Objects page, and we may also learn more at CES 2014.

Thanks to Didier (my brother) for the tip.

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Neptune Pine SmartWatch Phone Powered by Snapdragon S4 Dual Core Processor

November 21st, 2013 4 comments

More and more companies are jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon. Neptune Computer, a Canadian based startup, has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Pine, a watchphone running Android 4.1.2, and featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core SoC. On the surface it looks very similar to SGPAX S5 smartwatch which also features a dual core processor (Mediatek MT6577), and a SIM card slot, and runs Android 4.0. Neptune Pine, however, comes with features and improvements which may make the 3 to 4 month “kickstarter wait” worth it: a larger 2.4″ detachable screen, larger internal storage, dual camera support, a larger battery providing up to 5 days in standby mode, and an IP67 rating that certifies the device to be dustproof and waterproof at depth of less than 1 meter.

Neptune Pine Smartwatch

Neptune Pine specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Dual-Core Processor @ 1.2Ghz
  • System Memory – 512 MB RAM
  • Storage – 16GB or 32GB NAND Flash + microSD slot
  • Display – 2.4″ TFT capacitive touchscreen with 320 x 240 QVGA resolution
  • Cellular Networks (via micro-SIM card)
    • 2G: GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1700, 1900
    • 3G: UMTS/HSPA+/WCDMA 850, 1700, 1900, 2100
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and built-in GPS receiver, with Assisted GPS
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, 3-axis Gyroscope, Digital compass
  • Audio – Speaker & Microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Camera – 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, VGA front-facing camera, both with LED flash
  • Battery – 810 mAh lithium polymer battery (Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 2G, 6 hours on 3G, Multimedia: Up to 10 hours music, 5 hours video, Internet use: Up to 7 hours on Wi-Fi, Standby: Up to 120 hours)
  • IP Rating – IP67 (currently undergoing testing)
  • Weight – 96 grams (handset 60.8 gr, watchband 35.4 g)

The 2.4″ screen may be both an advantage and an inconvenient depending on your point of view. The larger screen may it easier to control Android (e.g. typing on the keyboard), but it may feel bulky to some. The great thing is that it is detachable from the wristband, which is not only convenient for taking pictures, or texting, but the screen can also be used with compatible mounts, in order to attach it to your helmet. or clip it on your belt, for example.

The company made an interesting table comparing the Neptune Pine, to other popular (not-so) smartwatches – Samsung Galaxy Gear, Sony SW2, and Pebble – which simply act as a smartphone companion, instead of a standalone smartwatch phone.

Neptune Pine vs Galaxy Gear vs Sony SNW 2 vs Pebble

Neptune Pine vs Galaxy Gear vs Sony SNW 2 vs Pebble

If we compare the Neptune Pine and SGPAX S5 which have closer specifications, the main differences are as follows:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core @ 1.2 GHz vs Mediatek MT6577 dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.2 GHz
  • micro SIM vs full SIM card
  • 2.41″ (320×240) display vs 1.54″ (240×240) display
  • Dual camera (5MP , 0.3MP) with flash vs single camera (2.0MP) without flash
  • 810 mAh battery (5 days standby) vs 500mAh battery (2 days standby)
  • Android 4.1.2 (No Google Play Store yet, but coming) vs Android 4.0.4 with Google Play Store
  • Pine will be waterproof and dustproof (IP67), S5 is not.
  • 16 or 32GB Flash vs 4GB flash
  • Pine handset/screen is removable
  • Pine price: $335 CAD MSRP  or as low as $199 CAD in kickstarter + $15 shipping vs S5 price: $150 and more including shipping. ($1 US ~ $1 CAD)
  • Availability – Pine: January 2014. S5: Now.
Neptune Pine Board

Neptune Pine Board

Development is basically completed, and production tooling and EVT (engineering validation testing) have started so that the production line should be ready in early December. They still have to pass FCC, CE and IP67 certifications however, which could make the January 2014 delivery schedule an aggressive target, if design changes are required.

If you’re interesting in the watch, you can still pledge $199 CAD (+$15 for shipping outside of North America) for the 16GB version, and $279 CAD (+$15 for international shipping) with early bird pledges. After the 500 pieces reserved for early birds, pledges will then be $229 and $289.

Beside the Kickstarter page, you may also find more information on Neptune Pine website.

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ZGPAX S5 Android 4.0 SmartWatch Features a Dual Core Processor, a SIM Card Slot

November 17th, 2013 20 comments

The newly introduced Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony SmartWatch all work as a smartphone companion, and have limited use if you don’t carry your smartphone with you. The Samsung watch also requires a recent smartphone running Android 4.3 and supporting Bluetooth Low Energy, which current seriously reduces the list of compatible smartphones. There are already standalone smartwatches in the market that include a SIM card slot, and allow you to make phone calls without a phone such as Z1 watch and WiMe NanoWatch. However, these watches feature low-end hardware with ARM9 processor, so the interface may feel a bit sluggish. ZGPAX S5 smartwatch with its Mediatek MT6577 dual core Cortex A9 processor, and 512 MB RAM, will be much more snappier. It runs Android 4.04 with Google Play Store, and comes with features such as a camera, GPS, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

ZGPAX S5 Smartwatch (left), SIM and microSD  Card Slots (right)

ZGPAX S5 Smartwatch (left), SIM and microSD Card Slots (right)

SGPAX S5 Specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT6577 dual core Cortex A9 @ 1.0GHz + PowerVR SGX531 GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND flash + microSD card slot (Up to 32 GB)
  • Display – 1.54” OGS (One-Glass Solution) capacitive touchscreen. Resolution: 240×240
  • Network – GSM, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA+. GSM 850/900/1800/1900. SIM card slot.
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS support)
  • Camera – 2.0MP camera
  • USB – microUSB host port
  • Audio – Headphone via microUSB, FM radio
  • Sensors – Gravity sensor, light sensor, and distance sensor
  • Battery – 500 mAh Lithium-ion battery
  • Dimensions – 55x40x14mm

The watch comes with a battery, a USB cable, earphones, a charge, and a user’s manual. The 500mAh battery is said to be good for 2 days in standby mode, 6 hours talk, and in typical use, the battery is expect to last about one and a half day, which is expected for a relatively powerful device running Android, but annoying for a watch. Nevertheless this smartwatch does have potential, and the interface is snappy, as you can see from the video below from armdevices.net.

As mentioned in the video above, ZGPAX S5 costs $95 when bought in quantities from the manufacturer (Sample price is currently $165), but you can also buy from online resellers on Aliexpess ($165 and more), Ebay ($185 and more), or Chinavision ($150).

Thanks to onebir for the tip.

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GEAK Watch is an Android 4.1 Smartwatch Packed with Features

June 22nd, 2013 4 comments

Smartwatches have been available since 2011, in different formats, most of the time as a smartphone companion such as Pebble, or sometimes with slightly more powerful hardware running Android 2.3. one example being the I’m Watch. The GEAK Watch goes a step further for a relatively powerful Ingenic JZ4774 MIPS processor clocked at 1 GHz, Android Jelly Bean, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC…, and the ability to install apps directly from an app store.

Geak_Watch

GEAK Watch hardware specifications:

  • SoC- Ingenic JZ4774 processor @ 1GHz
  • System Memory – 512MB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash
  • Display1.55″ LED capacitive touch screen (OGS) with  240 × 240 resolution
  • Connectivity:
    • WiFi 802.11 b/g/ n
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • NFC/GPS/FM
  • Sensors – G-Sensor, Gyroscope, and Geomagnetic sensors
  • Battery – 330mAh lithium polymer battery

The watch is water-resistant (IP3X), enables heartbeat and blood pressure monitoring (maybe with external Bluetooth hardware), can be used as a pedometer, and it can even serve as a smartphone remote to take pictures. I’m not quite sure you’d actually see a live stream of the camera on the watch, as the image above seems to imply, but interesting nonetheless. The firmware will be updated via OTA. Oh, and I almost forgot… It can also display the time, you know, like an actual watch.

The GEAK Watch looks impressive, but we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see how it performs, as Engadget reports the watch will be available for pre-order for 1,999 RMB ($325) in China starting July 3rd. You may find more information on GEAK Watch page (in Chinese).

Via Linuxgizmos.

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Payter NFC Watch Can Be Used to Make Payments, for Identification, and More

April 20th, 2013 4 comments

The first time I heard about NFC was when it was implemented in Android 2.3, and the Google Nexus S featured it, but it’s quite older than that, as the initial specifications were published in 2006, and the very first phone to feature the technology was Nokia 6131. If you’ve ever been to Hong Kong, you may have used Octopus cards which are used for contactless payments for public transport and shopping. Those cards use Felica RFID technology which is part of NFC, and has also been included in some watches (since 2010), so you can easily pay for subway or bus by hovering your watch on the card reader. I’ve been wondering why I could not see more of those, and I think NFC may be a feature of upcoming smart watches, so I started to look for existing solutions this morning, and found Payper NFC Watch designed by LAKS, and first announced in 2011.

NFC_WatchThis NFC watch (or others) can be used for time registration, ticketing, admission control, loyalty and E-purse.

Payper NFC watch as the following specifications:

  • Contactless Interface – Mifare S 50, Mifare S 70 or Legic Prime MIM 256embedded PCB/tuned, UID chip number etched on watch case optional
  • Operating Distance – Read/Write Range up to 5 cm
  • RFID Antenna – Integrated coil antenna
  • Water Resistant – Up to 30 meters
  • Watch Movement – Seiko Epson with Date Function
  • Watch Battery – 1,5 V SR 621 SW; approx. 3 Years, changeable
  • Dimensions – 255mm (L) x 36mm (W) x 9,6MM (H)
  • Weight  – 20 gram
  • Operating Temperature – -5 C to 50 C

The company also provide NFC readers, together with an SDK, and a web-based based Terminal Management System to remotely monitor and update the readers. You can find more information on Payter Watch page.

This is not a model individuals can buy directly, since the system needs to be customized to be compatible with the local payment systems. As I complete this post, I found the Rumbatime Go NFC watch which, despite an interesting concept, had a failed Kikcstarter campaign in 2011. You could configure this watch to be used with Visa credit card, and use it to easily pay on Visa Paywave terminals. The service has however been discontinued due to lack of adaption.

Apart from Hong Kongers, can you use NFC watches to make contactless payments in your country?

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Categories: Graphics Tags: laks, nfc, payter, watch