Researchers have developed a new solar powered battery, capable of changing its shape to fit various flexible forms.The team says the battery could transform the wearables market by lowering the space required for a battery, a big benefit for e-skin and e-clothes products.See Also: America trumps Europe in fitness wearables The components are electronically connected via flexible copper-polymer interconnects, mounted on a highly elastic silicone core, and enclosed within a silicone shell, the team said.The authors demonstrated the use of these systems for continual logging and wireless transmission of body temperature data in a variety of realistic scenarios, such as monitoring skin temperature during physical exercise and bathing, and measuring temperature changes during breathing.The battery may also be a welcome addition to the e-skin market, with researchers recently creating a much longer lasting tattoo that changes color and can even track things like UV rays and heart-rate.Wearables are still a young market, but with 67 percent growth from 2015 to 2016, more companies are starting to see the potential of devices able to gather more data on the customer.
Despite the rise of smartwatches, Fitbit's devices are still very popular among fitness enthusiasts, and those who just generally want to get in shape.But what if I told you that you don't even need one of their devices, to get many of their features?No, I'm not writing about some Fitbit knockoff device made by another company.This feature takes advantage of phones with low-power coprocessor chips to track your movements.Both the Nexus 5X and 6P now work with the app to track footsteps, and other physical activities.If you have one of the compatible phones, this might be a nice way to ease into fitness tracking, as you don't have to actually spend any money to get started.
Seriously, look at this thing:A photo posted by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson @thorbjornsson  on Apr 17, 2016 at 1:27pm PDTHis name is Ástríkur, and the pup even has its own Instagram page under the handle @asterix astrikur.Scattered among his Instagram videos of weightlifting at the gym are cute snippets of Ástríkur and Björnsson out for daily walks and runs.You can barely spot the puppy among the similarly colored grass, but just look at this adorable workout:Björnsson captioned the video: "The most cardio I've done in years!!Björnsson refers to himself as Obelix, the fictional pal to Asterix.You can follow both Björnsson and Ástríkur on Instagram at @thorbjornsson and @asterix astrikur.Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.More from Tech Insider:The nation's top spy says hackers are spying on presidential candidatesThis wearable exoskeleton could one day turn your grandparents into cyborgsA new trailer for the 'Ghostbusters' reboot is here and it's much better than the firstSunday s 'Game of Thrones' director was surprised by fan reactions to this brief character interaction14 Stanford students reveal their ultimate dream jobsNOW WATCH: The Mountain from 'Game of Thrones' follows an insane meat and egg fueled dietLoading video...
Google today unveiled Android Wear 2.0, which the company is calling the most significant update to Android Wear since the platform launched over two years ago.Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang promised there would be multiple previews over the summer, with the final release to users slated for the fall.Android Wear 2.0 brings a slew of improvements for both developers and users.It covers the new navigation drawer swipe down in an app and action drawer swipe up in an app components in the Wearable support library and guidance on adopting the new dark color palette.Android Wear apps will now finally be able to access the Internet directly over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular.Yes, that means they don t need to rely on the Data Layer APIs, meaning they no longer require your phone.If this sounds familiar, you re probably remembering the Android Wear update in April 2015 that let you get notifications, send messages, and use apps as long as your smartwatch was online.As a result, developers can now even create their own custom input methods.Last but not least, messages have a new notification template, which is also available on phones and tablets using Android N. The template s layout is supposedly optimized for quick and responsive messaging, as Google has found that this is the app type that is used the most on watches.It s now easier to develop apps that use fitness data and detect activity.That includes Data Saver, Java 8 Lambda support, and emojis.The new Android N developer preview also launched today at I/O 2016, and you can read about features that arrived in the first two previews here and here.Singleton expects the vast majority of Android Wear watches will eventually get Android Wear 2.0.
Fitbit s Blaze device has several features in common with the Apple Watch: Users can see text notifications and calendar alerts, and the device can be used to control music.Revenue more than doubled in 2015 compared with 2014, but the company has spent heavily to drive sales growth and future product launches.1 seller of wearables in the first quarter of 2016, with about 25% of market share, according to data from International Data Corp. Apple held the third-largest chunk of the market, behind Chinese electronics company Xiaomi Corp. Fitbit shipped 4.8 million units in the quarter compared with Apple s 1.5 million.We are focused on making wearable devices that motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals and that also make their lives easier with the smart features they need most, said James Park, Fitbit s chief executive and co-founder.Mr. Park added that Coin s technology will further our strategy of making Fitbit products an indispensable part of people s lives.Fitbit said this month that first-quarter sales climbed 50%, showing that less-expensive fitness trackers still have legs as they compete with the Apple Watch.
Fitbit s future plans clearly extend well beyond simple fitness tracking, as evidenced by products like the Blaze, which leans much more heavily into smartwatch territory than before.Instead it s focused, fittingly, on the mobile company s wearable payment platform.Still, it s hard not to wonder aloud what this means for Coin s future, moving forward.Also on the outs are the Coin Rewards and the Coin Developer Program.For Fitbit, the purchase means extending toward an active NFC payment solution that could be embedded into future Fitbit devices.The fitness hardware developer was still careful not to spill the beans entirely adding that there are no plans to integrate Coin s wearable payments technology into the 2016 Fitbit product roadmap.
Chinese company No.1 is best known for their neverending machine gun production of phone clones and tons of various smartwatches.Another one being spewed out is another chronometer in form of the new No.1 D6 smartwatch.The D6 should be getting Android 5.1 Lollipop as their operating system along with clear cut rectangular display with 320 320 pixel resolution, MT6580 processor, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB of storage and 450 mAh battery capacity.The price is rumored to be kept under $100, but that s just unofficial estimation so far.The company is pretty proud of the Antutu result of the smartwatch, because honestly it s not that long ago that over 18.000 points would be quite okay for a normal midrange phone.Time flies indeed, check out the following pictures as a proof.
Valentina PalladinoFitbit devices are known for being easy-to-use, fitness-first products, but now the company that makes them may be planning to tack on extra features.Fitbit released a statement today announcing that it has acquired "wearable payment assets" from the Silicon Valley company Coin.Existing Coin users will be able to use their devices for the duration of their "lifetime"; the card itself can last two years without any recharging.One of the biggest differences between standalone fitness trackers and all-purpose smartwatches is mobile payment support: the Apple Watch has Apple Pay, and Google has Android Pay for its smartphones while Android Wear users eagerly await its inclusion on their wearable devices.Jawbone was the first big fitness tracker company to integrate mobile payments into its Up4 wristband, but that feature is in partnership with American Express, so only AmEx cardmembers can use it.Earlier this year, MasterCard and Coin announced a partnership to bring mobile payments to a bunch of fitness-related wearables, including the Atlas wristband, but there's no word on whether that plan will continue now that Fitbit essentially owns that technology.
Google announced Android Wear, a version of its popular mobile operating system specifically for wearables, a little over two years ago.At I/O 2016 earlier today, the Alphabet-owned company showcases a preview of what it calls the biggest platform update yet.They re also redesigning key experiences to be more intuitive and adding things like smart replies, improved handwriting recognition and a new keyboard - all of which are powered by Google s machine learning.In the fitness category, Google is adding automatic activity recognition and the ability for apps to exchange data with each other using the Google Fit API.Android Wear 2.0 also expands the ways you can listen to music during a workout, even if you forget to bring along your smartphone.Google has also published a Material Design guide for Android Wear 2.0 that ll assist developers in creating apps with a uniform design.
A tradition founded in 2008, the Google IO is an annual software development conference held in San Francisco, California where each year, the multinational company behind Android, Chrome and the famous search engine casts lose its magic casket full of plans for the upcoming year.This year, the Google IO is to be held on the fateful day of May 18, and as I sit just 30 minutes away from its scheduled commencement, here are my best predictions on what to expect from IO 2016 this year.And indeed, tech s biggest giant will be sure to scoop in on the action as it announces some of its biggest plans with virtual reality this upcoming year.Wearable AndroidsEver since it was first announced two years ago in yet another IO Conference, Android Wear has taken the slow way, much to the annoyance of excited fanfare.People are even saying that Android Wear is becoming stagnant, which is why Google has scheduled a section of the Conference titled: What s new in Android Wear .Check out this cool infographic on Australia s political climate based entirely on Google Search Results.
May has been a big month for personal robotics.So keep tabs on your parents and grandparents: they could be cyborgs one day.The suit works a little like an image stabilizer in a camera.There are some actuators in the belt that detect shaky movements.The team even received $2.9 million in funding from DARPA, the US government's futuristic technology arm, to develop the suit so that soldiers on the field would suffer less from muscle cramps.The researchers hope eventually the suit will mimic natural skin to the point where you can pretty much slip it on before you put actual clothes on.In the video above, though, you'll see that the robotic suit is more in the middle of the road between being the clunky power-walking suits Hyundai made and actual clothes.In the past few years, engineers have been making strides toward building robotic walking suits that would give paralyzed patients the ability to move again.This obsession with restoring limb function has led to things like mind-controlled arms and printable hands, among many other life-changing advances in prosthetics.Soon enough, these people won't have to worry about looking like robots — it'll just be like putting on a second skin.Read the original article on Tech Insider.More from Tech Insider:Take a tour of London's new super-sleek train systemGoogle just released a new messaging app that lets you do much more than send messages GOOG There's a secret Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Airbnb in NYC you can rent for freeGoogle just announced its Amazon Echo competitorA war is brewing between brands and the social media 'influencers' they payNOW WATCH: A hair scientist debunks the biggest myth about shavingLoading video...
Fitbit announced that it has acquired Coin's wearable payment technology, a move that will see NFC mobile payments coming to the company's lineup of fitness trackers in the near future.Next came its wearable prototype, which it developed in partnership with MasterCard.Apparently, this proof of concept was enough to convince Fitbit to shed a little coin on the technology.The announcement details that the Coin payment technology will not be making its way to 2016's Fitbit products, like the Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Alta, that have already released this year, as well as unannounced products that may still be coming.But that leaves the wearables of 2017 totally open to mobile payment integration.Just try to come up with something a little more imaginative than Fitbit Pay, yeah?
"We've already had some indications of that," said James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, according to AP.But the revelation is not totally surprising: The Chinese government reportedly hacked both Obama and McCain in 2008, and hackers tried repeatedly to break into the campaign accounts of Obama and Romney in 2012.The Romney campaign was "under constant attack," Digital Director Zac Moffatt told Time Magazine."Four or five times a week."According to CNN, Clapper said both the FBI and DHS were working to educate the campaigns about cyber threats.Hackers working for foreign governments can gain valuable insight into a presidential candidate's mindset before they take office, or uncover private communications that might give their country a leg up in diplomatic negotiations.In 2008, for example, a letter Sen. John McCain sent to the president of Taiwan was intercepted by hackers from China.And on the flip side, the US government does much the same thing to many world leaders, as the massive leaks out of the National Security Agency from former contractor Edward Snowden have demonstrated.The Clinton and Trump campaigns did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Read the original article on Tech Insider.More from Tech Insider:12 of history's greatest philosophers reveal the secret to happinessThe nation's top spy says hackers are spying on presidential candidatesThis wearable exoskeleton could one day turn your grandparents into cyborgsA new trailer for the 'Ghostbusters' reboot is here and it's much better than the firstSunday s 'Game of Thrones' director was surprised by fan reactions to this brief character interactionNOW WATCH: Hackers showed us how easy it is to secretly clone a security badgeLoading video...
View photosMoreFitbit Blaze watches are displayed during the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2016.REUTERS/Steve Marcus Reuters - Fitbit users could soon make payments with a flick of the wrist, as the maker of the simple yet hugely popular fitness bands races to pack in more features in its products.NFC has featured prominently in some mobile devices and is used in the Apple Watch as well as payment services such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Wallet.For Fitbit, which dominates the wearable devices market, the deal could help it catch up on a technology that is becoming increasingly popular with users and retailers.Fitbit retained its strong grasp on the wearables market in the first quarter, accounting for nearly a quarter of it, according to an IDC report released on Monday.Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty
Sospendo Smartphone HolderIn a world of Bluetooth-connected fart trackers and hipster-friendly tinfoil hats, I am aware that describing a Kickstarter as the worst is a bold claim.But hear me out: from idea to execution to the innumerable GIFs littering the crowdfunding campaign, this particular wearable smartphone accessory ticks all of the boxes.The SOSPENDO is, according to the press release, an innovative, ergonomic hands-free device that will hold smartphones, tablets and GoPro cameras.Fall off the treadmill while wearing SOSPENDO, and you ll get punched in the face FOR FREE!Those have been around since the first iPad and probably before , and will continue to exist for as long as lazy people buy tablets.People go on holiday to unwind and relax, not POV-video every waking second, and parents should consider paying attention to their toddlers, not positioning an iPad to block them out of view.
In seemingly bizarre news out of the porn industry, PornHub is launching a new fitness system wearable workout videos called BangFit.As its name suggests, it helps you bang to get fit.Here s how it works:Users can join the game at this website, which will allow users to then sync the game to their phones.BangFit offers options for one player, two players, and three players.Users can pop their phone into the BangFit Band a belt worn by one player to measure their success in getting fit while getting busy.For now, PornHub says the BangFit Band is going to be available soon, and that the software product is in beta.
Next year's Fitbit fitness trackers are likely to include the ability to make mobile payments.The fitness tracking giant has announced the purchase of a large portion of Coin, a start-up offering advanced payment solutions via NFC technology.While Fitbit says the Coin tech will not be built into 2016 releases, a press release says it could read: will be embedded into future devices.The move into mobile payments, hinted at by CEO James Park in an interview with the New York Times last month, could be key to fending off the challenge from Android Wear and Apple watchOS devices.Although smartwatches are yet to completely prove their worth to most consumers, the ability to make payments by placing the wrist next to a contactless terminal is a great incentive.Park says via Engadget : We are focused on making wearable devices that motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals, and that also make their lives easier with the smart features they need most.
On top of that, we really have to think about what wearables are going to become to make sure that we're thinking about them in the right way today.One company that's targeting its omnichannel customers and working to meet shoppers wherever they are is retail home improvement chain Lowe's.Since the majority of wearables are tied to an app, marketers can use those mobile applications to get permission from consumers and provide disclosure on that collected data.The data tied to wearable devices will be leveraged, Edwards continues, to build predictive models that will ultimately be part of a larger interconnected ecosystem that will be comprised of Internet of Things hardware and software, emotive robotics, and mixed reality — such as virtual reality and augmented reality — in order to create immersive and highly contextual solutions for the brand marketers of the future.As wearable tech becomes more ubiquitous, Barrett Glasgow says that there'll be even more attention centered on the data that these devices are collecting, displaying, and distributing.Don't focus on the wearable part.
Jason Snell explains.Credit: AppleSince the day the Apple Watch was announced in September 2014, and certainly once it launched in April 2015, people have been speculating about what the second-generation Apple Watch might bring to the table.Apple could certainly make it thinner and lighter, though I don t consider the size of the Apple Watch to be one of its biggest issues—it s not any bigger than the mechanical watches I used to wear.This is a very limited feature, but it s undoubtedly the start of a long drive toward independence.Do I really want to pay an extra $10/month to add my Apple Watch to the constellation of devices attached to my AT Wireless account?A few carriers have added explicit support for wearable devices: T-Mobile has a wearable data plan and AT is happy to sell you a LGWatch Urbane connected to its cellular network.
Because I think the Apple Watch is a confused, mostly pointless piece of technology.While Google s Android Wear platform does quite a bit less on iOS, I ve found its focus to make the wearable experience much better and it actually seems to work and stay paired with my paired with my phone more reliably.You re really only going to need the adb command line tool but this is the quickest way to get everything set up properly so that your computer and watch can communicate.Don t worry if you don t get immediate feedback.If you want to do this, too, you have a bunch of options:Use the Android Developer Tools you already installed to actually write one from scratch.If you have an iPhone, then DO NOT use an Android app to make one, such as these great and previously-mentioned options from that Gizmodo suggests.
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