Wear

Hey DJ, keep playing that song …

I’m not sure it’s possible to work in the technology sector without sitting through an industry presentation where the speaker engages the audience by discussing how many steps their fitness tracker recorded that day. We’ve all been around fitness tracker junkies; those that find solace in reaching their daily goal, and those that always seem to be a few steps behind...

Checking the Time, and Other Killer Smartwatch Uses

Back in December 2013, a few brave NPDers ventured out into New York City’s chilly Times Square to find out what people thought about the newly launched smartwatch. Would the men and women of New York have any interest in this new-fangled device, or was it really just the domain of the tech-evangelist? The feedback was interesting with women in particular professing a desire to buy such a device. The people we asked saw the device as a time-saver, since it would save them from pulling their phone out of their bag to check the time. Yes, it’s true; the “killer app” for the smartwatch was tracking time, itself.

Pokémon Go: Sweeping the Nation, but Skipping the Smartwatch

Pokémon Go has swept the nation and beyond to become one of the most downloaded apps within the first week of its launch. Based on the concepts developed for Niantic’s Ingress game, which has a strong cult following, Pokémon Go has brought location-based augmented reality to the mainstream consumer market with a vengeance. In the name of research (ahem), and perhaps because it sounded fun, I was an early adopter. With friends and family signing-up quickly, I knew there was no way I could resist the urge to go Pokémon hunting.

A Less Than Mobile Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress has traditionally been the playground of the mobile OEMs, highlighting the latest and greatest devices, and creating the loudest buzz possible along the way. To some extent, this fact remained true at MWC 2016, but the real buzz was saved for VR headsets and the 360-degree cameras needed to help build some of this content.

Boom Beach Takes All In Vegas

The sensory overload of CES 2016 is over and most of us have made it home to appreciate the relative peace and quiet of anywhere except Vegas. As I think back on the sights, sounds and devices that I saw in the past week, few stand out as surprises. This year seemed to be one of incremental advances, rather than giant leaps forward.

Drop Dead Fitness

The checkup started really well. Blood pressure was right on track, blood oxygen was apparently great and my heart rate was, as usual, as slow as an athlete’s. There was just one problem: I'm not much of an athlete. Not that I'm unhealthy: I windsurf when the weather is warm and windy, and get out on a bicycle every now and then. Heck, I've even been known to break into a gentle run on special occasions. But I'm not deluded enough to think I'm in top shape.

HTC Launches Initial Wearable

HTC has taken its first bold step into the wearables space, with the launch of the HTC Grip. The activity tracker is the first product to come out of the partnership HTC announced with Under Armour at CES in January. And importantly, the product looks like an Under Armour product thanks to its color scheme, and works directly with UA’s Record app, rather than having its own proprietary app.

Wearable Tech in Paradise

Once I year, I escape the real world and head down to a small Caribbean island called Bonaire. It’s a kind of an “off-the-grid” type of vacation where coffee shops claim to offer Wi-Fi, but happily don’t deliver on their promise… and no one notices. Do not go to Bonaire if you want to get some work done. In other words, it is paradise for a week or so.

A Step Too Far?

A strange thing happened to me today: I received the latest and greatest in wearables in the mail and, after opening the box and rifling through the various bits and pieces, I realized that I was not going to use the product at all. That’s pretty unusual for me: I’m typically right up there at the front of the line, willing to try anything; at least for a short while, but not this product.

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