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Wearable Electronics

The First Windows 10-Powered Smartwatch

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The First Windows 10-Powered Smartwatch

German OEM TrekStor is the company working on the first Windows 10-powered smartwatch-- a yet unnamed wearable device based on Windows 10 IoT Core able to run Universal Windows applications.

Announced in a Windows Blog post, the TrekStor smartwatch is primarily aimed at industry use, with applications such as retail inventory management, building automation, industrial automation, healthcare, asset management and fleet management. As Microsoft puts it, the device "allows various functions to be reported to the right place without any communicative detours, and messages can be transmitted silently in real-time or verbally via voice messages."

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Alphabet's Health Study Smartwatch

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Alphabet's Health Study Smartwatch

Verily, the life sciences spinoff of Google umbrella company Alphabet, has a slick-looking smartwatch designed for use in observational and longitudinal health studies.

Dubbed the Study Watch, the device has a low-power ePaper-style display and carries "multiple physiological and environmental sensors, designed to measure relevant signals for studies spanning cardiovascular, movement disorders, and other areas.” Verily says the battery lasts up to a week on a single charge, and the smartwatch encrypts health data before upload and processing on the cloud.

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ZTE Presents Quartz Smartwatch

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ZTE Presents Quartz Smartwatch

ZTE announces a first smartwatch-- the Quartz, an Android Wear 2.0-powered number promising functionality on par with similar devices, only at a lower price range.

The Quartz features a unibody design with a round 1.4-inch Gorilla Glass 3-covered 400 x 400 touchscreen complete with Gorilla Glass shielding. Inside are an accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, GPS and a heart rate sensor, together with a 1.1GHz quad-core Snapdragon Wear 2100 CPU, 768MB RAM and 4GB storage. A 500 mAh battery promises up to 36 hours of use on a single charge.

Interestingly, it also carries an own LTE radio as well as a microphone and speaker, meaning it can handle phone calls, SMS and data. Watch construction is water resistant, and the band is a 22mm number users can be easily swap out.

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Polar Presents M430 Running Watch

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Polar Presents M430 Running Watch

Polar presents an update on the flagship M400 running shop-- the M430, a wearable featuring wrist-based heart rate sensors within a slightly thinner and lighter design.

The M400 is very similar to its predecessor, consisting of a rounded-square module with 5 physical buttons and a soft-touch perforated silicone strap reminiscent of that included with the Nike Apple Watch Series 2. The module weighs 51g and carries 6 LED lights for optical heart rate sensing, built-in GPS, 240mAh battery and a monochrome display.

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The App-Enabled ReSound LiNX 3D Hearing Aid

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The App-Enabled ReSound LiNX 3D Hearing Aid

GN Hearing announces the next generation of app-enabled hearing aid-- the ReSound LiNX 3D, a hearing aid complete with companion app for customisation and fine-tuning via iPhone and even Apple Watch.

The app allows users to ask their audiologist to remotely fine-tune the hearing aid without need for an appointment or traveling to the clinic, thanks to a cloud-based platform dubbed ReSound SmartFit. One can also share feedback on hearing difficulties as a situation occurs, and hearing care professionals can offer follow-up services remotely.

As for the actual hearing aid, the ReSound LiNX 3D carries 5th generation 2.4GHz wireless technology and 3rd generation binaural directionality for "clear, natural sound, exceptional speech understanding and the best sense of where sounds are coming from." GN Hearing adds the hearing aid handles both quiet and speech-only situations as well as areas with loud surrounding sound, and the aid optimises audibility of speaking voices.

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Misfit Vapor Gets Android Wear 2.0

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Misfit Vapor Gets Android Wear 2.0

Fossil-owned fitness tracker maker Misfit announces its first smartwatch, the Vapor, will use Android Wear 2.0-- replacing the proprietary OS seen when it was first revealed at CES 2017.

The Vapor is a fitness-focused device with a circular 1.39-inch AMOLED touch display. It features a standalone GPS, heart rate sensor and a touch-sensitive bezel. According to Misfit, Android Wear 2 offers support for more 3rd party services (as opposed to a homegrown OS) while allowing for a customised device with unique watchfaces and micro apps.

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The Samsung Smart(pocket)watch

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The Samsung Smart(pocket)watch

Samsung presents three different takes on the smartwatch at the Baselworld 2017 trade conference-- including what is essentially a Gear S3 repurposed into a traditional pocket watch.

The brainchild of watch designer Yvan Arpa, the Gear S3 pocket watch even carries a mechanical movement inside the back of the case, while the lid features a compass. The other two Gear S3 variants a somewhat more ordinary (at least compared to the hybrid pocket watch), with one featuring a redesigned bezel and the other replacing the digital internal components with a Swiss-made mechanical movement.

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New Apple Watch Bands for Spring 2017

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New Apple Watch Bands for Spring 2017

The arrival of the Spring season has Apple reveal a new selection of bands for the Watch, with highlights such as a wide strip Woven Nylon band, standalone Nike Sport bands and new Hermès bands.

The regular Watch gets three collections-- Sport in pebble, azure and camelia, Woven Nylon in berry, Tahoe blue, orange, red, pollen and midnight blue, and Classic Buckle with a redesigned buckle in sapphire, berry and taupe.

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Swatch Working on Own Smartwatch OS

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Swatch Working on Own Smartwatch OS

Swatch is working on an alternative to Android Wear and Watch OS, Bloomberg reports-- one to be first seen in a Tissot-branded smartwatch launching by end 2018.

What will make the Swatch software better than that developed by the American giants? According to Swatch CEO Nick Hayek the difference lies in its trying to "think small," meaning it drains less battery power, the biggest problem wearables currently face. It also promises to "protect data better," and the OS will be available for 3rd parties.

“There’s a possibility for wearables to develop as a consumer product, but you have to miniaturize and have an independent operating system,” the CEO adds.

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TAG Heuer Presents Modular Smartwatch

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TAG Heuer Presents Modular Smartwatch

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer announces a second take at the smartwatch-- the Connected Modular 45, an Android Wear device the company describes as one of the most customisable around.

The "modular" part of the Connected Modular 45 comes in the shape of interchangable 45mm watch "heads," with a choice of either connected or mechanical modules. The connected module comes courtesy of Intel, since it features an Atom Z34XX CPU (on a Swiss-made motherboard), an AMOLED display, 4GB built-in storage and connectivity via wifi, GPS and NFC. On the Swiss-made mechanical side one can choose from the Calibre 5 or the more accurate Heuer O2T Tourbillon.

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Google and Levi's Team Up in Smart Jacket

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Google and Levi's Team Up in Smart Jacket

Google and Levi's extend the idea of wearable electronics to actual clothing as the two companies present the first product from Google's Project Jacquard-- the smart Commuter Trucker jacket.

Presented at the SXSW festival, the jacket has a conductive fabric turning the left sleeve into a smartphone controller. As a result one can manipulate core smartphone functions, such as answer the phone, read texts, control maps or play music, by touching and swiping the sleeve. It all sounds very similar to a smartwatch, only arguably less obtrusive and more stylish.

A companion app allows users to set "abilities"-- such as a double-tap for music or a swipe up to tell the time. A small rechargeable tag clipped inside the sleeve powers the fabric-based touchpad, with battery life currently clocking at around 2 days on a single charge.

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