This week we look at WearTech’s eventual move to LTE service. Will this replace your phone or other devices? We also take a quick look at the Apple/FBI iPhone issue – was the right decision made to say no? I talk about Domotz home automation and building my electronic drum kit. Luke shows off the new 3D printed items for the C3P0 build.
Wearable Today Episode #98 Show Notes
- Check out the links on the Wearable Today subReddit
- LG announced several VR devices at Mobile World Congress this week. The Rolling Bot will be marketed as a cat toy, but it could almost be a tele-presence device because it has a video camera, audio for playback, and a laser in it to make your cat scramble around. They also announced a VR headset that connects to the new LG G5, that looks like a pair of steampunk glasses. And to create content for them, they showed off the LG 360 Cam. No prices for any of these devices has been announced.
- A couple weeks ago I riffed on one of the Original WearTech companies in View-Master. They must’ve heard the riff because Mattel has debuted the Augmented Reality headset that turns the discs into a 3D show. View Master Viewer DLX is launching in Fall for $30. Make sure your phone fits first.
- HTC has finally announced it’s initial pricing for the Vive, the VR headset that is impressing people even more than the Oculus Rift. At $799, it will be $200 more than the Oculus, but will include a lot more too. It will have two base stations to help track your movement, and two custom controllers. This will allow the device to track your movement through space, not just the direction you are pointing.
- For all you investors out there you might be wondering what the top Weartech stocks are. Motley Fool has cataloged the top 3 Wearable Stocks for you to invest in. Of course, Apple leads the board because of iPhones and iPads. But if you want to invest in a proven company that is adopting Weartech, UnderArmour might be the best play.
- Microsoft is taking the lead on a new Internet of Things (IoT) standards group, that also includes Cisco, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, and many others. The goal is to create standards that work across devices. Formerly a part of the Open Interconnect Consortium, they new Open Connectivity Foundation will be creating standards for all companies to use. Noticeably absent are Google and Apple. Google already created open standards for IoT devices called Weave and Brillo, and Apple usually introducing their own standards that other people can adopt.
- Will-i-am is back with a new smartwatch called “Dial” in the UK. He sat down with the Telegraph and said that even though Puls was a beta project, the new dial will be a improved version of the Puls. The 1.63 inch screen has a 2 MP front face camera and will be an untethered 4G device. You will get a Bluetooth headset with it to make calls, stream music, track fitness and more. The Dial is expected in early April in the UK only.
- Wearable devices are great, and people would love to connect them directly to the internet through a mobile carrier, but having a slot for a SIM card could make them susceptible to water damage, or even make them bigger than the designers would like. There’s got to be a better way! Now there is, with the eSIM specification from the GSMA! You’ll be able to associate devices with your account, and reprogram them later if necessary. The GSMA has also announced that regular SIMs will get their own version of this spec in June 2016.
- Finally, the Wearable Technology show is March 15-16 in London at the ExCel Center. If you are planning on going, please let us know. Would like to have a roving reporter there to come back with what’s going on.
How the Phone Carrier Balls Affect Wearable Technology
Verizon tried to explain their coverage with different colored balls rolling down a ramp. Red was Verizon and they had more balls than anyone else. The other companies were really upset because they had balls, too. Big balls and small balls. So they started showing their own balls.
T-Mobile came out with a claim they edged out Verizon as the fastest carrier. This was on a study by OpenSignal. However, RootMetrics declared Verizon the fastest – making Verizon’s balls better.
What do Phone Carrier’s balls have to do with WearTech? Well, as we talked about earlier, Will-i-am is not the only person trying to use their balls. In the next 12 months you will see some pretty hefty competition where weartech will start to really compete as an alternative to a smartphone.
If Carrie Underwood thinks that her cell phone was her best friend and lifeline to the outside world, then she might be getting ready for the watch that will replace it.
Granted, it might not play Clash with Friends or Words with Clans, but it will make calls, send texts via voice recognition, and more.
And as for the Carriers’ balls, they’re going to get bigger. As we reported last week – AT&T and Verizon are working on their 5G Balls, which will really start to compete with home Internet speeds.
It will also mean more ways to connect. Leaving your phone and wallet at home when you take a run. Wanna stop for a Bear-claw? No problem. Your watch will have the balls to find you a store and pay for your indulgence.
Most people don’t switch carriers very often, I rarely hear about people switching, and it seems like everyone complains about theirs. If there was an obvious “best” one, people would all be going to that one, and every year one of the other carriers would die.
But the competition is good, and every carrier works to improve their speeds & coverage. All of these “independent” studies have to be paid for by someone, and the data isn’t shared with all the carriers once it’s complete. So the only studies you hear about from any company are the ones that they paid for, and they only mention the ones where they look good.
I would love to see more companies grow a pair, or even more, of those balls, because we all win.
I have played some games on my watch, and it got old pretty fast. holding your arm up while standing gets tiring, although playing a game at a table where you could rest your arm works better.
There is an old adage about network speeds. If people have faster internet, they don’t just do the same things faster, they do new things. If you’re over the age of 20, you’ve probably noticed this with video on mobile. When speeds were slow, you only watched video on your home connection, now you can watch it on your mobile device. Wearable devices will be more capable, more useful, and probably change in whole new ways as speeds increase.