Pebble sold 400,000 devices last year, ready for the Android Wear onslaught

pebble_watches

While Google garnered a lot of attention earlier this week with the release of Android Wear for wearable devices, especially smart watches, one company is a bit of an “old hand” in the smart watch category. Pebble is coming off a successful 2013 that saw them sell over 400,000 smart watches and they expect revenues to double in 2014. Despite this success, Pebble’s CEO Eric Migicovsky knows Google’s entry into the market is a potential game changer and will force his company to be “laser-focused on creating the very best user experiences we can.”
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Layar develops Glassware for added augmented reality experience

Layar

Layar, an augmented reality application, has brought its services to Google Glass, allowing users to simply look at things in the real world and obtain detailed information about it through Google Glass.

A simple “scan this” command will instruct the app to find additional information about whatever the user is looking at.

Not sure what we’re talking about? Check out Layar’s video after the break.


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OUYA changes course to give devs choice about free-to-try model

ouya_its_about_choice

OUYA has announced a change to their service that will be implemented in coming weeks to let developers choose whether they want to distribute free-to-try games or just go for an up-front fee for gamers to grab a new title. In a blog post titled “It’s about CHOICE” the company says they had resisted allowing developers to offer anything other than free-to-try games. However, this appears to have been dampening enthusiasm for the platform and could be seen as not being entirely open, one of the principles the company is based on.
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Vueling is a boarding pass you can wear with the Sony SmartWatch 2

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Sony’s SmartWatch 2 now has more than three hundred compatible applications to choose from. And the latest, which Sony announced today, has to do with boarding passes. In what Sony is calling “world’s first wearable boarding pass,” Vueling aims to put all user information on the wrist. The application will provide a 2D barcode that can be scanned and it contains the same information found on a boarding pass. The Vueling app for the Sony SmartWatch 2 will land in the Play Store later this month.

Source: Sony Mobile

Qualcomm says Snapdragon power coming to smartwatches

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Google announced earlier today the new Android Wear platform for wearable devices and mentioned a variety of manufacturers and chip makers promising to support further development. Qualcomm has released a statement letting fans of their Snapdragon line of chips know they have been “working behind the scenes” with Google and other OEM customers to develop devices powered by Snapdragon chips.

Qualcomm mentions they have experience with the smartwatch platform already thanks to their own in-house Toq product. Combining that experience and their collaborative efforts with Google, Qualcomm says their chips will enable manufacturers to deliver “outstanding performance and user experiences.”

source: Qualcomm

Latest Amazon set top box rumor puts release in April

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This past January rumors surfaced, as they tend to do on a fairly regular cycle, indicating Amazon was finally ready to launch a streaming media device during 2014. Things got quiet until recently when we’ve witnessed a significant uptick in rumors about the device. This includes indications that a variety of services would be available, not just Amazon’s Prime Instant video, and the potential for games to stream aided by a console-esque controller. Sources speaking to the WSJ are saying the device could be released as soon as April.
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LG’s awkward slap-bracelet stylus leaks

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My little sister used to have tons of little slap bracelets around the house which she used on her hair to create different hairstyles. It seems as though LG thought that the same technology could be used to create a convenient way to make sure you never lose your stylus. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s pretty awkward and even bizarre.

I prefer the sleekness of a stylus that can be inserted into the top of a device, but hey, maybe they’re on to something.

We’re not sure whether this is something LG intends to really sell on the market or just give out as “party favors” at trade shows, but we’ll know soon enough. Hit the break for another photo.


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Samsung’s Activity Tracker (formerly known as S Band) gets introduced in Germany with a modest price

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The Activity Tracker, which was previously known as the S Band, has been officially introduced in Germany. The Activity Tracker was fully exposed just last week and now Samsung has finally decided to reveal the wearable. In Germany, it is priced at €79.90. That translates to roughly $105 in the United States. If priced in the U.S. like that, it would be a serious competitor to Nike’s FuelBand, Jawbone’s UP, and the entire Fitbit portfolio. The one setback is that Samsung generally limits compatibility to their own devices, although that may eventually change.
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