Read Part 1 here.
Here is some more of the coolest tech from CES 2016:
Read Part 1 here.
Razer Stealth Ultrabook and Core: The Stealth Ultrabook is 0.52” thin, runs on the 6th gen Intel Core i7, and has a brilliant 4K 12.5” display. And when you want to play games, you hook up the Core, which essentially houses an AMD Radeon or Nvidia GEForce GTX graphics card and connects to the laptop with a single cable.
CES 2016 press day is almost over, and a few minutes ago we saw Intel showcase some amazing products produced under the collaboration with many different companies from around the world that use the Intel Curie microprocessor and Intel RealSense technology to tackle a variety of problems.
1. Gaming: With a tablet/phone with the RealSense camera, you can scan your body and create a 3D model of yourself, which you can actually insert into computer games (Like Fallout 4!).
2. Sports: Intel showed us the power of using their Curie processors in BMX bikes and snowboards. With the processor, a variety of sensors in the sports gear can track motion - including height of jumps, speed, angles of rotation and G-force. All this data can then be harnessed to train athletes better, with stronger evidence of their performance.
3. Drones: Intel partnered with Yuneec (Intel also owns a part of the company) to make the Typhoon H drone with an advanced collision avoidance system that uses RealSense to scan, identify and avoid objects in the drone’s path in real time. This means the drone can follow the user all by itself without crashing and continuously scan the surroundings for any harm-causing objects. The Curie processor, again, is used to handle the RealSense processing.
4. An AR Safety Helmet: DAQRI, an augmented reality company, worked with Intel RealSense to create a smart safety helmet - the kind used at construction sites and factories. This AR helmet has integrated RealSense 3D scanning cameras that can understand what the worker is looking at, and therefore assist him with his work in AR. The helmet can show steps to repair certain equipment, and use the thermal imaging sensor to allow the helmet to scan for potentially dangerous equipment and provide a guide to fix it. The helmet will ship today onwards. I found this product very interesting and innovative in the true sense, to improve workers safety and overall reliability.
5. A smart robot: Intel CEO Brian Krzanich didn’t walk onto the stage, he rode on a self-balancing scooter. Turns out, the scooter is made by China mobile giant Xiaomi (in partnership with NineBot) and is more than just a scooter - it is a fully functional robot for your home. The robot uses Intel RealSense cameras to map and track objects in real time in 3D, hence being able to roam around and help people without bumping into anything or causing any accident. You can speak to the robot, asking it to follow you. The robot can also support “hands” that you can attach externally. And of course, once you are done with the robot and are on the move, you can use it as a self balancing scooter. Neat.
The Curie processor, although extremely small, is very powerful and can handle RealSense cameras and other sensors with considerable ease. The processor will retail for under $10, making it really affordable for use in everyday objects. The RealSense technology too is put to use in the right ways, showing Intel’s passion to innovate and improve our future in small yet actionable ways.
Catch the full press conference video here.
For more coverage on CES 2016, visit the CES category of my blog. Stay tuned to Technonerds for a lot more from the show. Follow me on Twitter for live updates!
2015 can be concluded as the year of the smartwatch. I’ve myself seen so many people finally buy a smartwatch for themselves, and so many who love them.
Smartwatches this year were more of a cult of similar objects morphed into various forms to perform various functions. The best and the worst smartwatch this year had similar features - they were made for your wrist, they had colour screens, they featured a mechanism to navigate through the watch’s interface and had very similar specifications. So what made smartwatches distinguishable this year? There are three parameters:
1. Apple Watch
In my survey, this watch had absolutely no competition. I expected that, really, because it is the most popular smartwatch ever. People identify when you say “Apple Watch”, which is unlike any other watch. Undoubtedly, Apple’s legacy, paired with a good product, allowed this watch to be a super hit.
The Apple Watch isn’t the perfect smartwatch by any means: the OS isn’t all that user friendly, the smartwatch isn’t very powerful and native apps for the watch are yet to completely hit the store. The Watch succeeds in delivering a seamless experience with the iPhone which is one of the main reasons of its success. Moreover, the Watch is extremely sturdy, durable and shows the potential to be the next big thing for Apple. I’ve written about the Watch before, so you can go back and read it.
2. Moto 360 (Gen. 2)
There is a lot to like about the Moto 360 - the (almost) circular display, the thin bezel, the good quality build and its similarity to modern watch designs. The new 360 seems to correct what went wrong with the original model while still keeping similar aesthetics and features. The 360 is a powerful smartwatch with one big down-side: the OS. Although Android Wear is the most widespread smartwatch OS today, it lacks the stability, quality, integration and features of other major smartwatch OSs. But that gives us hope - perhaps with every software update, the watch gets better, smarter and more usable. I love the feel of the Moto 360, and if Android Wear soon improves, there will be no match for this watch - at least for now.
3. The Samsung Gear S2
To be honest, the Gear S2 is the best overall smartwatch out there according to me. The S2 is strikingly good looking and feels like a desirable product. It also has a wide variety of internals choices, and you can choose the one that’ll support a SIM card. The Gear S2 essentially tries to mimic the function of the Apple Watch - with its scroll bezel and operating system - while retaining the simplistic yet classic styling of the Moto 360. And when Samsung prints its name onto the watch, it becomes a reliable product.
I might be wrong, but this watch definitely deserved more votes.
Here is the survey chart:
Quiet astonishing, right? It was a serious win for the Apple Watch, and the Samsung Gear S2 just barely made it. Moto 360 got a healthy share.
That is it! I wanted to keep it short - because next year we are going to see the second generation of the major smartwatches. For once, we will see smartwatches really add value to our lives, and not just act as accessories that notify you to use your phone.
Still haven't voted? Vote here.
Time. That’s exactly what Pebble used as an inspiration for their next smartwatch.
Pebble has grown leaps and bounds: from 9 employees to 130, and has developed a community of over 18,000 people. It really all started with the original Pebble on Kickstarter. With over 68,000 backers, Pebble generated a whopping $10 Million straight out of crowdfunding. What’s more, its pretty much the most complete smartwatch in the market, even now, under heavy competition.
The original Pebble was released in 2013, followed by the Pebble Steel in 2014. Personally, having used both the watches, Pebble has created a great ecosystem around their watch, with over 6,500+ apps and watchfaces.
And now it is Time. After all this success, Pebble hit Kickstarter back again yesterday with the latest edition of their smartwatch. And of course, they call it Pebble Time.
Pebble Time is an improvement in every way from the previous pebble. It now rocks a 64-colour e-paper screen, a microphone and an all new design, still keeping the 7 day battery life.
The important part, however, is the fact that the OS is completely revamped, and its done for good. It is based on a timeline - a timeline that shows all your past, present and future activities, including notifications, missed calls, steps taken, upcoming meeting and of course, time. Moreover, apps can pin updates on the timeline making it easier to read app notifications without even opening the app. And finally, there is no limit to how many app you can load at a time.
The addition of a microphone has made it possible to send voice replies (voice to text, actually) and add reminders, finally making it possible to reply to notifications. Moreover, Pebble has improved the fitness features in the smartwatch with continuous step counting and support for over 5 fitness services. Pebble will release new API’s to developers to take advantage of all these features.
So what if you already have a Pebble? No worries, timeline is coming to existing Pebble watches as well. Of course, if you want the colour display, microphone an a updated experience, you will need to but the Pebble Time.
Now now, what about Android Wear and Apple Watch? Pebble Time, for me, is a serious winner. It is a simple watch, made to make your life simpler. Pebble is currently the top seller of smartwatches, and with the Time, I expect it to keep up. However, only time will tell!
The watch will retail for $199, far cheaper than any of its competitors. You can pre-order one now on their Kickstarter page (for $179), linked below. The watch has already (under 1 day) done over 40,000 backers and $8.5 Million, with a record breaking 17 minutes to the $500,000 mark, making it the fastest ever funded product on Kickstarter. Check it out for yourself!
Link to Kickstarter (do watch the video): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-time-awesome-smartwatch-no-compromises?ref=nav_search
Thanks to The Verge for the amazing pictures!
Let the countdown to 2015 begin! Toppers of 2014 is here, and it aims to help you end 2014 with a blast of the best tech available.
Article 8: Fitness Tech!
Fitness is the new awesome, and as new year is just round the corner, this is the perfect time to discuss the best fitness gadgets.
Here is the list!
1. Jawbone UP24
The UP24 is a unique fitness band. Its design is unlike any other: very simple looking and yet very functional. It tracks steps, sports activities and sleep. The UP24 syncs with your smartphone app via bluetooth into your UP account, providing you with tips, challenges and suggestions helping you achieve your milestones.
Unique feature: Simple design. The LED’s light up to show your progress, and the band vibrates when you get an alert or if you stay idle for long.
Jawbone uses patented MotionX tracking technology to provide close to accurate results of your movement. The app is well made and trains you to be more active with the Smart Coach technology.
At $129.99, it is on the costlier side but will surely live up to your expectations. It is sold in 6 colours and 3 sizes.
The Jawbone UP24 is currently the world’s best fitness tracker based on multiple sources, including customer feedback.
2. Fitbit Flex
Fitbit has been one of the most popular fitness tech providers. The product most featured is the Fitbit Flex.
The Flex tracks steps, sleep and distance and syncs with the Fitbit app on your smartphone for real time updates on your activity.
Unique feature: Well connected and synced. It syncs with your smartphone, Mac or PC. The app is probably the best of its kind: see graphs, track specific activities (workout tracker), and upload food you’ve eaten by scanning barcodes or choosing form their 350,000+ food items.
Moreover, you can compare and compete with all your friends using a Fitbit, making workout fun. The Fitbit account can be connected to popular health apps like RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal and Endomondo.
The Flex is highly customisable and retails at $99.95. It is a complete steal of a deal.
GOQII is a new player in the fitness band market and is very popular in India (because its an Indian startup/ California based). Its not a really well built or well designed tracker, but it has a strong ecosystem.
Unique feature: Specialised training. A killer feature about this band ecosystem is the simple fact that there are real trainers on the app who will chat with you live and train you by looking at your stats and profile. Industry experts form over the world have come together to program ‘Habits’ to improve your lifestyle. To keep you pumped, there are “Karma Points”, much like the Nike Fuel.
The GOQII app works on iOS, Android as well as Windows; if you are a Windows Phone user, get this one!
The GOQII costs Rs. 6999 for a 6 month training plan or Rs. 11,999 for a 12 month, but there are great offers to choose from if you buy now.
Those were the best 3. If you are looking for more alternatives, here is a list:
Pick up any of them and get moving… you shouldn’t shy away form keeping a New Year resolution to lose weight!
For the best fitness apps, read this post: http://www.technonerdsblog.com/blog/fitness-tech-part-1-apps
All images are screenshots from their respective sites. Head image source:
With this, we end the Toppers of 2014. I enjoyed writing all the articles and hope I’ve helped you choose the best tech available. Looking forward to a great 2015!
Before the story begins…
Its true, times have really changed! When computers took over the planet, fitness levels came down drastically. Today, the same technology is pushing us to work harder… to stay fit.
Its the evolution of personal technology. From simple pedometers to advanced GPS systems, form phones to smartphones, every new release is adding its bit to improve the way you exercise.
No doubt everyone is mad about fitness, and everyone loves using tech to track their daily activity. So this post is all about the best apps and devices(coming soon) to keep your tummy flat!
Part 1: The Apps!
The app stores are filled with health and fitness apps. And its indeed very difficult to choose one for yourself. Its usually done by trail… and I have been trying out apps over the last month. Lets get to it!
1. Endomondo - A great app that lost its popularity in its recent days. Endomondo provides great feedback and has one of the largest number of trackable sports (including table tennis and swimming!). You can set routes and plan your journey. Or you can simply leave it up to the GPS (and the motion coprocessor on an iPhone 5S/6/6 plus). Upgrade to Pro if you love Endomondo.
Get it: iOS, Android
4. Runtastic: Its not just about one app, but runtastic’s numerous apps keep you motivated towards your goals, providing a huge number of training courses to enrol into. There are apps that teach you to do cardio exercises. Runtastic with its collection of apps is a good collection if you wish to train yourself.
Get it: iOS, Android
3. MyFitnessPal: Fitness apps are not only about tracking. This app is the best available for tracking everyday life, that includes sleep, food (from the huge directory of food items form around the world) and workouts. It readily integrates with other apps for sources of information. You can set weight loss and calories burnt goals to keep you motivated.
Get it: iOS, Android
2. Strava - Simple app to track cycling and running, but it has a super intuitive interface making it an essential fitness app. Integrates well with various services, including Jawbone UP, Health(iOS) and MyFitnessPal. If you jog or cycle, this is a must have.
Get it: iOS, Android
5. 7- minute workouts: Lack of time? Try this app. The app makes you do a good mix of full body exercises. It usually takes 7 + 1(warmup/cooldown) minutes to complete a series of workouts. You can set the difficulty level depending on your abilities and increase it as you practice. 7 minutes might sound small, but this app really made me sweat.
Get it: iOS, Android
Thats about it. Choose your app/s and get going! There are no limits to what you can do in the already crammed exercise hours of your day.
**Part 2 will cover the devices and their companion apps that do really well to shape your body. That’ll be out as my next post - tomorrow.
Till then, try these apps, and comment in any apps you particularly like! Do keep sharing!
**UPDATE: Part 2 is here: http://www.technonerdsblog.com/blog/toppers-2014-fitness-tech