Posts Tagged ‘watch’

$55 UWatch UX Strapless Heart Rate Monitor Watch Syncs with iOS and Android Devices

July 27th, 2015 1 comment

Last time I checked about heart rate monitor, they required a chest strap to monitor ones heart rate, which I found cumbersome. It’s been while though, and I’ve now been informed that a low cost Bluetooth strapless heart rate monitor watch was available for $59.99 on GeekBuying.


This type of product should provide a much more accurate evaluation of your daily calories burn rate than typical fitness bands based on an accelerometer and gyro sensor, but I’m not quite sure how they compare to the old models with a chest strap.

Uwatch UX specifications and features:

  • SoC – Mediatek Aster MT2501 ARM7 processor @ 108 MHz (A lower end version of MT2502 used in LinkIt One Devkit)
  • System Memory – 32MB RAM
  • Storage – 24MB NOR flash
  • Heart rate monitor – Built-in photoelectric heart rate sensor
  • Other sensors – magnetometer, 3-axis gravity and acceleration sensor
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC (for easy Bluetooth pairing)
  • Display – 1.44″ capacitive touch screen (128×128 resolution)
  • Mobile Synchronization with Android and iOS – Phonebook / Call log / SMS / Music / Time sync
  • Other functions:
    • Remote control phone camera( Not supported by iOS system)
    • Pedometer
    • Sleep monitor
    • Anti-lost / anti-theft –  When the phone is away form your Bluetooth distance of the watch, the watch will remind you, and you can also remotely find your phone by making it ring with the watch
    • Earphone talking and music playing
    • Compass, Stopwatch, Alarm…
  • Battery – 260mAh Li-polymer battery; 180 hours in standby mode; 4 hours of talk time.
  • Dimensions – 52.5x37x9.9mm
  • Weight – 52 grams

Uwatch_UX_Heart_Rate_Monitor_WatchTo synchronize with an Android phone, you can download Smart-Watch.apk or install SmartBlue from Google Play, while for iPhone or iPad you can install SmartBlue from the app store.


The watch ships with headphones, a USB charging cable, and a user’s manual. There’s a short demo video going through the user interface of the watch, but unfortunately they don’t really test the heart rate monitor function.

Beside GeekBuying, Uwatch UX is also sold on GearBest for $54.99, Amazon US for $89.50, and PandaWill for $64.99.

Thank you Onebir!

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Pebble Time is the Color Version of the Pebble SmartWatch (Crowdfunding)

February 25th, 2015 7 comments

The original Pebble Watch launched on Kickstarter about 3 years ago, and after selling over 1 million watches, the company is back on Kickstarter with Pebble Time, a thinner version of the watch with an always-on color e-Paper display, a new “timeline” user interface, a microphone for voice recognition,  and 7 days of battery life.

Pebble_TimeThe complete Pebble Time specifications are not available, but the company still listed some key features:

  • MCU – Cortex M4
  • Always-on, daylight readable 64 colors e-Paper display with backlight (no touchscreen)
  • Six-axis gyrosope
  • Microphone for dictation
  • 3x tactile buttons
  • Bluetooth for connectivity with mobile devices
  • Up to 7 day battery life
  • Compatible with any standard 22mm watch band
  • Water resistant and durable
  • Silent vibrating alarms
  • Language and international character support (Chinese coming soon)

The new Timeline interface focuses on past, present and future events such as basketball score, current steps, and weather forecast, and the three buttons are used for this purpose. The watch can pair via Bluetooth to devices running iOS 8 or greater and Android 4.0+ phones and tablets.

SDK and tools will also be available for the Pebble Time, built on the work done forthe original Pebble watch with some new and upcoming features:

  •  C SDK for apps and watchfaces running natively on the watch,
  • Online development environment:
  • New emulator that can be used on CloudPebble or locally
  • APIs for accelerometer, compass, bluetooth messaging, background tasks, GPS and HTTP request, etc
  • (NEW) Color APIs to support the 64 colors of the new Pebble Time screen
  • (NEW) Support for PNG and APNG
  • (NEW) Timeline APIs to push information from the web into the user’s timeline (no watch or phone apps required)
  • (NEW) UI framework to create beautiful applications that take advantage of color and animations
  • (Later in 2015) Voice to text APIs: add voice recognition to your apps
  • (Later in 2015) Smart accessory port for hardware hackers.
  • (Later in 2015) Bluetooth Low Energy API. Use Pebble to control BLE-enabled objects.

The new Pebble Time has already beaten a few Kickstarter records raising $500,000 in 17 minutes, $1 million in 49 minutes, and the pledges now amount to over 7.3 million dollars with 30 days to go. The company went for a massive 30,000 early bird rewards for the watch, and it’s still available for $179 since “only” around 20,000 watches went so far, after which you’d have to pledge $199. Price includes shipping worldwide, and delivery is scheduled for May 2015.


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FOSDEM 2015 Schedule – January 31 – February 1 2015

January 29th, 2015 8 comments

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) takes place every year during the first week-end of February. This year the developer-oriented event expects to bring over 5000 geeks to share ideas and collaborate on open source projects. Contrary to most other events, it’s free to attend, and you don’t even need to register, just show up. FOSDEM 2015 will take place on January 31- February 1 in Brussels.

Fosdem_2015There will be 551 sessions divided into 5 keynotes, 40 lightning talks, 6 certification exams, and with the bulk being developer rooms and main tracks,  divided into 7 main tracks this year: Languages, Performance, Time, Typesetting, Hardware, Security and Miscellaneous.

I’m not going to attend, but it’s still interested to see what will be talked about, and I’ve concocted my own little virtual program out of the main tracks and developers’ rooms. There’s a few minutes overlap between some talks on Sunday.. Oh well.

If you won’t be able to attend, you should be able to watch the video and access the slides in a few weeks, as most sessions will be recorded.

What is the current status of Allwinner support in upstream u-boot and the kernel, which SoCs are supported, and which features (sound, video, etc.) are supported ?

The linux-sunxi community has been slowly but steadily working on getting Allwinner SoCs like the A10 supported in upstream u-boot and the kernel.

This talk will present the current status of Allwinner support upstream. Which SoCs are supported and which ones are not (yet) supported ? Which blocks if the supported SoCs are supported, and which are not ? Why are some SoCs / blocks not supported, and what are the plans to get them supported ? This are some of the questions this talk tries to answer.

Not all free operating systems are feature-full POSIX systems. FreeRTOS is a minimal operating system which is designed to run on micro-controllers, and provide real-time scheduling. It is used in industrial automation and automotive.

A brief introduction to FreeRTOS, depending on audience preference, will be followed by either a hands-on workshop using PCs, or a demonstration on a board. The workshop includes how to get started, what can be done with it, and what type of features and pitfalls to expect from FreeRTOS.

As ADAS and infotainment require more electronics, using an hypervisor is a solution to gather multiple boards into one. Xvisor is an open source lightweight hypervisor for embedded systems that perfectly fits the needs of the automative industry. It is a complete monolithic type-1 hypervisor with full virtualization and paravirtualisation support, showing better performances than KVM. We, OpenWide and the Institute for Technological Research SystemX, are working on its port on i.MX6 boards.

F*watch is an infinitely hackable GPS watch with many sensors based on a 100% Free design. Everything is Free, from the PCB and watch housing design to the software stack. Moreover, only Free software tools have been used during the development.

F*watch. Why should your watch be different?

The talk describes the development process and shows a first prototype, along with performance measurements and future plans.

The lowRISC project was established in the summer of 2014 with the aim of producing a complete open-source System-on-Chip in volume, with low-cost development boards. Alex Bradbury, one of the co-founders of the project will discuss the progress to date and the path to the first test chip. lowRISC implements the open RISC-V instruction set architecture and is exploring ideas on improving security via tagged memory and increasing flexibility through the addition of RISC-V ‘Minion’ cores to implement soft peripherals. This talk will discuss the potential benefits of a fully open-source hardware ecosystem, the challenges of getting to first silicon, and how the open source community at large can help.

Digital cameras provide almost every feature you could want. But if they don’t, you are forced to upgrade or go without. CHDK is a project which allows you to program new functionality to the majority of Canon cameras, in either C, Lua, or Basic. The talk features background on the project, code, tools, and the methods of compiling and introducing a new firmware into the camera.

Over the course of 1 hour, Steven Goodwin will guide the audience through the entire process of taking a normal (proprietary) camera and converting it into an open source version by installing custom firmware on it. He will then cover some of the features available (such as the on-device scripting language) and continue by explaining how to build and debug your own functionality. Starting with simple grids, continuing with games, and time-lapse code. And ending with a fully recompiled firmware running on the device.

The video4linux kernel subsystem reports which colorspace the captured video uses. But what does that really mean, and what do you have to do to correctly reproduce those colors? This talk will dive into the crazy world of colorspaces and give you a practical guide to colorspace handling. I will also demonstrate colorspace handling, both right and wrong.

Kernel profiling tools status on ARM and ARM64: – perf status, – ARM and ARM64 support, – callchain unwinding mechanisms and support, – patches status: merged, pending, in development, – links to discussions (LKML) and patches.

The profiling tools in the kernel are changing at a fast pace. This talk is about the support for ARM and ARM64 architecture and the development of features for these architectures, namely the callchain unwinding. The presentation goes over: – the detailed description of the feature, – the methods used to do the callchain unwinding (fp, exidx, dwarf etc.), – the status of the on-going patches, – the remaining work to be done, – the links to patches, discussions on the mailing lists, – -if needed and if time allows- a demo of the feature.

Building a medical device requires to follow certain rules specially when health care depend on it. The presentation will explain how Yocto help us in Kaptalia to solve this issue. In particular we will focus on fast boot, update with unskilled user base, Bluetooth Low Energy, security and data privacy.

During this event we will show how our team succeeded to build our first OS, start from a company with medical expert only and no prior expertise on embedded systems. At the end, a live demonstration for using the the monitor and sensor will be held.

LAVA is a python service created by Linaro for testing software on hardware which accepts test jobs to perform on selected hardware to provide a black box to continuous integration tests. Bisecting is a technique for finding commit in version control system that broke the software. Git provides the powerful “git bisect” subcommand for this purposes. In this talk we give and introduction to LAVA and explain howto combine LAVA and git bisect to automatically find offending commits in the Linux kernel.

Prospero Technologies has made a Linux based Digital Video Recorder which constantly records all UK broadcast TV so that the consumer no longer needs to schedule recordings. This will be a talk on the technologies used to achieve this, the open source software on the consumer device and how you can build your own 30 channel DVR.

The final version of the DVR uses a Freescale i.MX6 CPU with a video processing unit running a Linux built with Yocto. The talk will cover how well this is supported by gstreamer and how we built a QT application to display our HTML5 interface.

More and more embedded projects require support for advance connectivity. With it, comes the requirement to enforce a better security as well as private data protection. Using the layer model of Yocto, we show how we can extract from a complex project such as Tizen, advance connectivity and security and apply it to any embedded project.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing fast and opens large opportunities to embedded Linux. Unfortunately traditional embedded Linux has been weak when it comes to security and complex connectivity enabling. Tizen which has been developed as a Linux base OS for connected object (phone, TV, car) is on the other side very well equipped in that area. We will start by explaining what is Tizen architecture and how it provides Security and Connectivity facilities on top of a base Linux. We will then show how Yocto and Tizen-meta can be used to create embedded devices which benefit from several years of work done by the Tizen community. In particular we will review : – the mandatory access control enabling in an embedded device – the enforcement of good behavior by applications – resource access control – connectivity layers – HTML5 App enabling. – multi user mode enabling.

The ARM LLVM backend has been around for many years and generates high quality code, yet there are still standard benchmarks where GCC is generating more efficient code than LLVM. The goal of this talk is to get a better understanding of why the GCC-generated code for those benchmarks is executing more efficiently and also about finding out what we need to do on the LLVM side to address those code generation deficiencies. This talk presents current performance numbers for the SPEC CPU benchmark suites on ARM, comparing the performance of LLVM and GCC, with the main focus on the SPEC CPU integer benchmarks. To dive a little bit deeper, we will also have a closer look at the generated assembly code of selected benchmarks where LLVM is performing worse than GCC and use the results of this performance analysis to point out potential code generation opportunities for LLVM.

Connectivity is crucial for Internet of Things concept. For moving devices like position data loggers is typical solution GSM network. I will show you how you can use different types of GSM network for your IoT projects.

GSM network is easy way how to connect almost any device to internet. There are lot of GSM modules on market from different vendors but all devices has one thing in common – AT commands. There is standardized AT commands set for GSM networks. Using AT command you can send text messages, read phone number from list on SIM card, connect to internet and much more. I will show you basic command set for HTTP communication using basic GSM module SIM900 and Arduino.

This talk will give an overview over the Linux backports project and how to use it. The Linux backports project makes it possible to use a driver from a recent Linux mainline kernel with an older kernel version.

When you have a vendor board support package which does not use a bleeding edge mainline kernel, like it is the case most times, but you want to use some driver from a bleeding edge Linux kernel you can use backports. Backports “automatically” generates a tar with many drivers from a specific Linux mainline kernel which can be used with older kernel versions.

In this talk I will describe how the backports project, with its compatibility layer, the spatches and the normal patches. For practical usage I will show how to use backports with your own kernel in addition I will give a brief overview on how to add a new driver to backports.

Patchwork is a toolkit for connecting various devices into a network of things or, in a more broad case – Internet of Things (IoT). The main goal of creating this toolkit is to have a lightweight set of components that can help to quickly integrate different devices (i.e. Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Plugwise, etc) into a smart environment and expose specific devices’ capabilities as RESTful/SOAP/CoAP/MQTT/etc services and data streams.

The key features of patchwork include:

  • Lightweight (no RAM-consuming sliced pie of Java and OSGi, only bare necessities)
  • Cross-platform (can be deployed on OSX/Linux/Windows, tested on Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black boards)
  • Language-agnostic (device agents can be written in any programming language, APIs can be consumed by app written in any programming language)
  • Easily deployable (no JARs, no Eggs or Wheels for the core components, just a single native binary with statically linked dependencies)
  • Easily extendable (integrate new devices without modification of the core components, drop in solution)
  • Interchangeable (not happy with current existing Device Gateway or Catalog? replace it with another implementation without breaking the infrastructure)
  • Not re-inventing the wheel (we re-use as many existing technologies and components as possible)

libcurl is the world’s most used and most popular Internet transfer library, already used in every imaginable sort of embedded device out there. How did this happen and how do you use libcurl to transfer data to or from your device?

Embedded devices are very often network connected these days. Network connected embedded devices often need to transfer data to and from them as clients, using one or more of the popular internet protocols.

Daniel once founded the project and is still lead developer and maintainer of the curl project, making curl and libcurl. He is also active within IETF and maintain several other open source projects. Daniel is employed by Mozilla.

This presentation will reveal the process of porting Tizen:Common to open source hardware developer boards with SoC manufactured by Allwinner, Rockchip or Intel such as OLinuXino, Radxa Rock, Minnowboard. The following topics will be covered:

  • Building Tizen ARMv7 and x86 images from scratch
  • Adapting the Linux kernel, bootloader and Tizen:Common to popular single board computers
  • Do it yourself (DIY) open-source hardware Tizen tablet or laptop
  • Sharing knowledge and experience of the community.
The presentation will also provide information about U-Boot, Yocto project, the Linux-Sunxi and Linux-Rockchip, Minnowboard communities.

Although Tegra K1 uses the same Kepler architecture as NVIDIA desktop cards that Nouveau already supports, there are other challenges that need to be addressed before Nouveau can drive K1’s graphic acceleration: the fact that the GPU does not reside on the PCI bus requires architectural changes in the Nouveau core. The absence of dedicated GPU memory directly interferes with the way Nouveau is used to do memory management and leads to potentially sub-optimal behavior. Also, in a system where all devices share the same system memory, PRIME support is mandatory to perform any useful work and the relevance of a driver-agnostic memory allocator becomes perceptible.

This talk will discuss these challenges, and in particular the consequences of using a unified memory architecture, in the hope of triggering discussions that will help improving the general support of GPU architectures for new mobile platforms.

A brief look at the past, present, and future of the KiCad project. The discussion will be primarily on what near and long term future development is planned for the project as well as discussing the potential for collaboration with other EDA projects.

Yocto has an alleged steep learning curve. It can be a challenge for modules and evaluation board manufacturers to add support for their devices in Yocto as they don’t necessarily have a software background. This talk will highlight the steps required, techniques and good practices to create a well integrated machine configuration allowing to build images using the Yocto Linux build system. The Crystalfontz support from meta-fsl-arm-extra will be used to illustrate the talk.

The bitbox console is a small open hardware & open source game console. I will present the rationale behind it and the current status of the project, detail the hardware conception and particularly video signal generation from a cortex-m4 chip with no video subsystem. I will then proceed to show the different elements of the software stack : kernel, video engines, the boot loader and, finally, current programs and games, including a Gameboy emulator and a full motion video player.

If you want to build your own schedule before going, you can check the full list of events by subjects, but an easier way to organize your day is to check the sessions in chronological order, by checking out Saturday and Sunday schedules.

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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.


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 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 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

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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