Switzerland Not Impressed With Apple Watch


Reuters Poll Predicts 6 Percent Of Americans Will Buy An Apple WatchApple is looking to stake a claim in the home of finely-crafted timepieces – Switzerland.

And the reception has been mixed.

The Apple Watch made its debut in the country last Friday via their store in Zurich.

Close to 40 people were waiting patiently on line to get the chance to purchase the smartwatch.

The majority of those waiting were under 30 years old, and it’s that target base that Apple looks to sway to its device.

Some were intrigued by the smartwatch, while others weren’t too enthused.

Traditional Swiss watch manufacturers have no doubt viewed Apple’s entry into the watch market with a bit of dread — the industry has been struggling with currency conflicts between the Franc and the Euro, as well as lessening demand from China, their biggest foreign market.

In response, these companies are now developing their own smartwatches.

Swatch, based in Biel, Switzerland, will produce a model that allows users to make easier mobile payments.

Other manufacturers looking to follow suit are the high-end brands TAG Heuer and Montblanc.

Christopher A. Smith


Want Your Very Own Jetpack? You’ll Be Able To Buy One Next Year


Martin_Jetpack_Unveiling,_Liftoff!_(2714934801)For those of you who’ve dreamt of living life like the Jetsons, your wait will soon come to an end thanks to the Martin Aircraft Company.

The aerospace company announced that they will be releasing their Martin Jetpack.

Yes, the general public will be able to purchase the jetpack, which has been in development since 1980, in the second half of next year.

The chief executive officer, Peter Coker, did stress that they were looking to government agencies and first responders along with other emergency personnel with the product release.

He went on to elaborate: “for example, in the fire services going around to look at the situational awareness of what’s going on, perhaps through water security or even search and rescue on beach patrol, something along those lines. Naturally for the ambulance service getting to a point of importance of rescuing people in the shortest possible time.”

The Martin Jetpack’s technical specs are none too shabby – it has an estimated top speed of 46 miles per hour, and can fly for a half hour at an altitude of 3,000 feet.

It can be both manually flown and flown by remote.

The maximum weight bearing capacity of the jetpack is 265 pounds, powered by a 200 horsepower V4 engine.

Interested buyers may want to save up though – the initial price tag of the Martin Jetpack stands at $150,000.

Christopher A. Smith


Smartwatches Are Being Banned By Colleges Due To Cheating Fears


Here's A Smartwatch That Can Use iOS And AndroidAs smartwatches gain more and more popularity, they’ve also crossed into other areas of life outside of communication and fitness purposes.

Sometimes, that crossover can lead to problems.

Especially as colleges are now finding that they’re being used to help students cheat on their exams.

To that end, colleges are now beginning to enact bans on wearable tech like the Apple Watch during tests and examinations.

One case where the push has begun in earnest against smartwatches is in Australia.

Two universities in particular, La Trobe University of Melbourne and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, have gone so far as to ask students to not only remove smartwatches but also to remove traditional wristwatches.

And as a final step, test administrators ask: “Watches of any kind must be placed in a clear resealable bag under your exam chair before the exam begins.”

In the United States, the wearable tech is also banned from ACT and SAT testing rooms along with other portable electronic devices.

Christopher A. Smith


A Video Camera May Be Added To The Apple Watch Next Year


Reuters Poll Predicts 6 Percent Of Americans Will Buy An Apple WatchThe Apple Watch’s next version could have one significant feature that would truly add to the futuristic feel many have come to look for from it.

Among the new potential features for the second generation of the device would include a wireless chip that would make it less dependent on the iPhone and a video camera.

The news comes from numerous sources close to Apple.

The wireless chip feature, referred to by sources as “tether-less”, would improve the communication via email and text of the Apple Watch.

The camera could be embedded in the device’s top bezel with the second generation release, enabling users to make use of the FaceTime application to make video calls to others and receive them.

While the next version wouldn’t be expected to hit the market until 2016, the potential for these features being included would no doubt get more interested in it.

The Apple Watch reportedly has sold close to 3 million units, and is slated to sell over 15 million units this year.

Christopher A. Smith


Minecraft HoloLens Introduced By Microsoft


Microsoft Acquires MinecraftMicrosoft has major plans for a widely known game and a highly-anticipated product, and chose to give the word on both on Monday.

A representative for the company spoke at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3 to give word that they plan to package the popular game Minecraft along with their soon-to-be-released HoloLens headset.

The package would be intended for use with their Xbox One video game system.

This would be the biggest addition to Minecraft since the game’s debut in 2009.

The augmented reality headset would enhance the gameplay and compel users to not utilize their televisions and instead create the block worlds associated with the game right in front of them.

Players would be able to then use their hands, voice and their body in the process.

It’s expected that the ‘MineCraft HoloLens’ may cost a pretty penny – initial speculation put the price of the HoloLens above that of the Xbox One upon its release.

Christopher A. Smith


Augmented-Reality Platform Launched By Magic Leap


XSight_HMDMagic Leap is gathering momentum, and one of the immediate results of that is a new platform launched by the company that builds on one of its strengths.

The company has released an augmented-reality developer platform meant for coders from third-party companies to build products atop its technology.

The software developer kit will be on the way soon, as promised by the company’s CEO at a conference sponsored by MIT last week.

Magic Leap’s tech promises great advances within that technology but not much else in terms of details.

The company has gotten wide attention dating back to last October when it garnered close to half a billion dollars in funding from a group of companies that included Qualcomm and Google.

That has led to an intensive research and development period that has seen Magic Leap build a sizeable facility in Florida to manufacture chips for their Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal, which is meant to insert artificial imagery into real-world surroundings making them nearly indistinguishable to enhance one’s experience.

Magic Leap wants this to be a major competitor to Google Glass and Microsoft’s Holo Lens.

Those interested can sign up on their website to receive the software developer’s kit which is reportedly compatible with the Unreal and Unity game engines.

Christopher A. Smith


Google Patents Contact Lens That Utilizes Iris Biometrics


Google X Announces Prototype For Smart Contact Lens For DiabeticsGoogle has a fixation on clarity.

A fact that seems evident given the news concerning a new technological development of theirs.

Recent reports have confirmed that Google has obtained a patent on a new technology that utilizes contact lenses as identification tools.

Specifically, the iris is the centerpiece of the new patent.

The contact lens would cover all or part of the iris, and the surface contains light sensors that capture all reflected light from the iris itself.

The sensors create an image of the iris, and then attempt to match that image with one stored in its memory.

The patent information itself doesn’t elaborate on what the technology is intended for, but it can be assumed that biometric authenticating is the end goal.

This new patent may go hand in hand with work that Google is currently pursuing the testing and production of smart contact lenses that would help to monitor blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Data can be obtained every second by tears entering the lens to be examined by a microchip and sensors embedded in the double layering of the lens.

Christopher A. Smith


Apple Acquires Augmented Reality Company Metaio


Los Angeles School District To Apple: Give Us Our Money Back!Apple Inc. has gone ahead and finalized a deal that would put them one step closer to providing virtual reality to those who will use their devices in the future.

According to initial reports, it appears that Apple has acquired the German company Metaio.

Metaio specializes in crafting applications that focus on augmented reality.

The company had abruptly ceased selling any of their products Wednesday night, which had left some puzzled.

But on further investigation, documents filed with the German courts appeared that confirm the purchase.

Metaio’s products range from business tools to cloud services, and consists of six in all.

Apple’s move puts them closer to manufacturing a virtual reality aspect for their company that can be applied in different ways; one point of  speculation deals with the possibility of trying on clothing with the assistance of the Apple Watch.

Christopher A. Smith


The Apple Watch Has Gone To The Dogs


Demand Is High For The Apple WatchFor those of you who have some misgivings about the Apple Watch, a situation in China may give you more reason to bark.

Wang Sicong, the son of Chinese real estate scion Wang Jianlin who heads up the Dalian Wanda development company, caused quite the stir with a recent post on the country’s top social media site, Weibo.

It was composed of  picture of his dog wearing TWO gold versions of the Apple Watch.

The photos were accompanied by this caption: “I have new watches! I’m supposed to have four watches since I have four long legs.

But that seems too uncouth so I kept it down to two, which totally fits my status. Do you have one?”

For perspective, the watches’ retail price range from $10,000 to $17,000 depending on which version one purchases.

Considering that his father ranks first among the richest men in China, this post seems like just another Wednesday in their household.

Christopher A. Smith


Jawbone And Fitbit In Legal Tussle Over Trade Secrets Issue


Court Rules: Bulk Collection Of Phone Records Is IllegalTwo major fitness accesory technology companies are now set to sweat it out within a courtroom.

Jawbone has filed a lawsuit in San Francisco’s Superior Court against their rival, Fitbit.

The full complaint alleges that Fitbit has taken to “systematically plundering Jawbone employees” and has pilfered confidential trade secrets and intellectual property.

The wording within the complaint is particularly incendiary, ripping both Fitbit and their former employees who they allege aided in the theft of their sensitive data.

They go on to claim that these former workers squirreled away the secret files on USB flash drives and through messages sent to their personal emails, all done before these workers gave notice that they would be working for Fitbit.

Jawbone is seeking both punitive damages against Fitbit and their five former employees as well as a halt to Fitbit’s further profiting off of their handiwork.

The lawsuit comes at a momentous time for Fitbit, which has opted(so far) to not issue any comment as it gets prepared to file for an initial public offering on the Wall Street stock exchange.

Early reports estimate that the $100 million filing will net a value of $1 billion dollars for them overall.

Christopher A. Smith