So as it’s been rumored this week, Pebble’s Next Step is to be shut down and acquired by FitBit.
However—due to various factors—Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity. We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.
I heard that they turned down a $700m acquisition a while back, and now they are being sold off for parts. This is especially traumatizing for the people who just got their new Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2’s (or are still waiting). Part of the challenge with Kickstarter of course, but also not super surprising.
Obviously wish them all the best but it still sucks. Pebble can be argued as the first “real” smartwatch and maybe that was their role in life, not to be the first and stay around forever.
We’ve given the new BCM2836 Pi 2 a quick blast, with SPB apprentice boffin Katarina having the honour of being one of the first to lay hands on the board. It seems nippy enough but just how it measures up remains to be seen.
Can’t wait to hear what people are going to do with this.
THE TOP SHELF claims to be the Fastest, Most Functional Camera Shoulder Case. It’s a kickstarter project that has some pretty interesting potential.
Definitely worth looking at. Thanks Jim for the link (even though I poopoo’d it as too big when I first saw it) :)
Pebble says It’s time to explore the Pebble appstore. The post says that the new app is available in the App Store, but for me I’m only seeing the old version so far. Looking forward to playing though!
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is a smartwatch like no other says The Verge.
Maybe a new personal computing revolution is upon us. My buddy Jim sent me a link this morning to the Buddy Bluetooth watch, which seems very similar to the Pebble watch, but allows more notifications and interaction with your smartphone and has what appears to be a much higher resolution color display.
This looks super cool (not sure I like the styling myself, but I’m a bit more minimalist), and if they can deliver (especially on the battery life… “5 days to 2 weeks standby”… please define “standby”?), this sounds awesome :)
Update: The official page has been updated with the full story, livestream link, and details. Other juicy bits:
I’m not sure how long a life this has, but if you are like me and have a box (or 3) of mix tapes or other cassettes that aren’t available easily as digital downloads, you can Revive Your 80′s Mixtapes with this cool hardware/software combination that lets you record them as mp3s to your iPhone.
The Impossible Instant Lab is designed to transform any digital image via your iPhone into an instant photo that is exposed using only the light from the display, then processed and developed by chemicals. A photo that exists physically - IRL. A photo that is a one-of-a-kind original that can be shared, exhibited and preserved. A photo that no longer needs an electronic device to be seen.
I don’t know if this has the wide appeal to hit the $250k they’re looking for, but I wish them all the luck in the world. It’s projects like this that help projects like The Impossible Project survive.
Sidenote: WTF is with the creepy half-mannequin?
The BlackBerry Developer Blog posts about Standardizing on Screen Resolutions for BlackBerry 10 devices, which looks like it’s settled on making developers lives more simple and has announced:
- Full touch devices: 1280 x 720 (16:9)
- Keyboard devices: 720 x720 (1:1)
Of course, the question of ‘will it matter’ to RIM’s financial position is an entirely different question.
Well, 9to5 Mac isn’t into a $259 Smartphone receipt printer, but do note that it might have it’s uses:
I am not feeling it, but I imagine there will be some special use cases. As The Verge notes in an interview with Berg cofounder Matt Webb, you could put one of these at your grandma’s house and just send her black and white notes/receipts all day. You can even have it set up to print news on a smartphone-sized scroll of paper. :/
We covered this here on ufies last November, where I was excited about it (as I get with new things) but it was before we knew the price.
Reading this Sony SmartWatch Review it’s hard to think that anything good will come from a review that starts with the line: “Maybe the Worst Thing Sony Has Ever Made”.
But then you look at it for more than a few seconds or so, maybe try touching it, and a thing you have strapped to your arm suddenly starts to make you unhappy. Unhappy and perplexed. A thing actually on your body confuses your brain, and it’s not a tattoo of a Mobius strip or something. The SmartWatch requires a constant Bluetooth connection with an Android phone to do anything smart at all—otherwise it’ll just blink errors at you, slackjawed, and show you the time. Similarly, you’ll need the Android mothership to load any app you might want onto the thing—simply, it’s non-functional without a phone in your bag or pocket, and because of the dinosaur Bluetooth connection, sluggish even when its phone mom is around. […] Nobody is really sure what a retina display is, but we can all say with absolute certainty that this is the opposite of it.
Via Daring Fireball.
Awesome to see that the Pebble e-ink watch has launched the Pebble Android SDK at google IO. Emulator due in August for app development. You can get more informaton starting around 3:57 in to this video.
Via my buddy Brian: A Fan Mouse, for the World's Sweatiest PC Gamers
Thermaltake's new Black Element Cyclone Gaming Mouse isn't the first PC gaming accessory to cool a player's hand during intense FPS battles. But it certainly boasts the laziest fan design.
That's pretty awesome, and with summer approaching, you never know when you might need this!
Kindle Touch compared to Nook Simple Touch, Kobo Touch, and Kindle 4 - Marco's review.
So the Little Printer is cute, tiny, adorable and if you are looking for something that prints from your iPhone and in a strip (see the video for the use case they have in mind), looks pretty much perfect. Too bad it won't be available until after the holiday season :)
Wonder how much the ink replacement costs..... Either way, I'm definitely bookmarking this to check out when it appears in 2012.
Spoiler: He wasn't impressed.
Caveat: Apple fan.
Shawn Blanc has his Jawbone UP Review online.
[...] By this time the Apple store I was at the day before is open again and so I call them and, LUCK! they have them. I speed over and am able to buy a medium-size UP. They only had black available, which was fine by me because that's the color I prefer.
Two reviews of the new Jawebone activity/sleep/diet tracking bracelet and app.
The first new Windows Phone 7 Phones from the Nokia / Microsoft partnership (started 8 months ago) poked their heads up at Nokia World.... the phones are the Lumia 710 and 800.
The 710 is a "... colorful and affordable [...] no-nonsense smartphone that brings the Lumia experience to more people around the world". I read that to be that it's a lower end more affordable phone. The 800 is "stunningly social" and has "vivid colors".
See the press release for full specs, or this macrumors link for more details.
Words cannot express how awesome looking the Nest Learning Thermostat looks. Assuming it full fills it's promise, I'm all in. Sadly the store is down right now so I can't plunk down $250 for a pre-order. You can find out more at this gigaom article.
Remember the Lytro? That camera that you can focus with after the fact? Well, it's now for sale, $399 for an 8G model, $499 for a 16G. Interesting (revolutionary? odd?) format as you can see in the images on the camera page. Still, I was expecting a pro level cost for something the size of a truck when this came out, the fact it looks like a real consumer product and under $500? Amazing.
I'm really interested to see how this works in real life (as with all things). The 8G model will store 350 images, my math is fuzzy so you'll have to figure the megapixels, as the details page says it's 11 "Megarays", which I assume sort of translate to MP.
I can't wait till some pro folks get their paws on this one.
Shawn Blanc has the Diary of a TouchPad Owner, all about buying and setting up the new webOS machine.
9:58 AM: I drive in to the Best Buy parking lot, and there is no line. As I am parking I see a manager walk out of the store and wave his arms in the air with a "come on in" motion. About a dozen folks all get out of their cars and begin walking toward the door. I think to myself how amazing it is that all these people are here for the TouchPad. Though once we all got into the store, only two of us were looking for TouchPads.
It's not all sarcastic, it's actually a decent look at the new iPad competitor.
RIM Unveils BlackBerry OS 7.0 as well as 2 new handsets, the Bold 9900 and 9930.
BlackBerry OS 7.0 comes as part of two new phones announced by Research In Motion, namely the BlackBerry 9900 and 9930, which are classic-style BlackBerry devices (complete with keyboard), but this time with a touch screen. They also sport a 1.2Ghz processor, support for NFC, and something RIM calls a Liquid Graphics touch screen. This screen has a 640×480 resolution on a 2.8" diagonal - so an impressive 287ppi. It also does HD video.
Doesn't sound like a huge improvement over BB OS7, but good to hear things are moving forward, and that they are focusing on the handsets that they are good at and not the (less than well recieved) touchscreen handsets.
I am not a fan of blogging every bit that comes out of CES (lots of other sites do that far better than I can), however I had to post this from Notion Ink as well as the Adam hands on that Aryk sent me.
Aryk sent over a link to some details of Notion Ink's Adam tablet's hardware.
Andy I has a nice Samsung Galaxy Tab review.
A few weeks later, when Apple showed off the awesome firepower of their fully armed and operational iPad, it was as if a million potential competitors cried out "Of course, the unit we demonstrated was just a concept device" and were silenced.
So it looks like the rumored Playstation Phone is in fact, real. Doesn't mean it's not a silly idea of course, but you never know what'll happen until you throw it against the wall and see if it sticks ya know?
Well, not the same as the iPhone unlocker, but ChevronWP7, the Windows Phone 7 unlocker will let you sideload applications.
I have to say the video is very cool, this is a iPod Nano-like device, powered by Android, which does some pretty cool things. I'm not sure if this is "what the nano should have been", but if you go by the feature tick list, it definitely wins. We'll see what happens when it actually hits the market though.
Just pointed to this from PeeJay, seems that RIM has introduced a BlackBerry tablet. Looks interesting for sure....
Via iPhoneInCanada.ca - SaskTel Launches New 3G+ Wireless Network. I'm not sure exactly what the "+" in "3G+" is, but I assume it means "faster". It's available in limited areas (the data availability, not voice service I presume), and they have a rollout schedule linked). Phone support is limited at the moment to a couple of blackberries, nokias, but will soon also support various models of the Samsung Galaxy (Android based).
Research in Motion Launches 'Torch' Smartphone and BlackBerry 6 OS. I wasn't overly impressed with the video of the BB OS6, and I'm beyond the need for a physical keyboard, but the phone looks pretty nice. Much better than the old blue brick I used to have to carry around for sure! I like the social and communications features for sure, and I know that for people the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) is a huge selling point, especially if you have friends with BBM as well. The os (there's a preview video on the linked page) is OK, it looks a bit like the iPhone OS, but without some of the "soul", though that might be the rendering in the video.
I tried to make a table as awesome as this when I was about 15 with my dad, but it was supposed to be a full block of resin with the electronics embedded in it, but the thing was just going to be too heavy. This though, is very cool.
Finally important questions are answered: Parrot AR.Drone quadricopter hits the US in September for $299, via TUAW.
Not exactly "ready for consumers", but the New Handheld Computer is 100% open source software (yay) and a low price (double-yay).
Amazing how technology moves... now the Atom-Z processor for cellphones can run a high end game from not that many years ago (or is it?) at at 100 fps. Wow. Not sure how much of that is a) game age b) skill of iD Software in making a scalable game that will recompile for almost any processor or c) holy crap processors are getting faster and smaller!
Sounds like the new hotness is The HTC HD2 from T-Mobile. Short story is it's a chunk of sexy hardware (iPhone-esque), running a
sexified android Windows mobile.
Some more info and video at Engadget, Gizmodo, or you can check out the official site. Looks nice, though not sure how YAABH (Yet Another Android Based Handset) will do against the iPhone. Also the Gizmodo review is titled "A Tragedy", but I'd be interested in ya'lls take.
Update: OMG apparently I'm an idiot. I was told last night about this and that it was android based, but actually reading the articles now it's Windows Mobile based (not WinMob7PhS based, but Wince 6.x based). Oh my.
Update2: The one I was actually thinking of was the HTC EVO 4G, which is actually the Android powered one :)
Heard on TWiT this morning that the Neato XV-11 from Roomba is the new hotness (in a very boring way) in that it's a Roomba that cleans in a back and forth line instead of the drunken circles that the normal Roomba's do.
Warning, any male geek who was born in the 1970-1985 (or so) date range clicking on the link to the 24" AT-AT Toy may experience the uncanny urge to yell out "WANT!" and then immediately call over their friends to see it and gush.
BTW, my birthday's coming up in another 9 months or so..... just sayin'.
This video of Lego Augmented Reality makes me want to visit this store in IL.
TUAW points to an SD card reader for the iPhone that may be a boom for photographers. I had a USB photo adapter for the original iPod, which was great to have 60G of backup space for images, and while the iPhone even with 32G of space in it isn't going to maintain a "real" photographer for an intensive shoot, but an amateur or enthusiast to back up their RAW and JPGs for a weekend trip so you don't have to lug a laptop around? Looks good. Not bad for $50 at least.
Via Aryk: The true "size" of a gadget can be calculated now through the Full Gadget Ratio. This looks correct to me.
Andy Ihnatko has a great set on flickr of the Google Nexus One vs. iPhone 3GS vs. D200 to show just where each phone falls down, and what they do well and poorly. A nice comparison and commentary.
[...] a quadricopter piloted with an iPhone or iPod touch, which allows users to fly in a real-world environment while simultaneously playing a video game from the device's screen.
OK seriously, I want one of these things, assuming the flight distance or battery life isn't ridiculously short or there is some other insanely silly restriction (like a really high price). The auto-takeoff and landing feature fixes the issue with other micro-copters that they are amazingly hard to land (hell, hard to fly, impossible to land), and the view from the copter shown on the iPod/iPhone fixes the "which way do I turn to go left?" issue. Heck, this'll be a great new world of
peeping toms fun helicopter gaming!
To up the tablet rumor ante, seems that MS will up the Apple ante with an HP tablet, possibly announced during the Ballmer keynote at CES today. This was posted here almost four months ago with the story about the HP Courier with the great video of it's use helping a designer work on a new project.
Guess this is where we (might) see if the promise in the video has been fullfilled! Maybe keep an eye on #ces or watch the live keynote stream (6:30pm PST), though I'll update this story if anything interesting happens.
This all said, until the (rumored) Apple Tablet/Slate/MagicDeviceThatDoesEverything is shown at the (rumored) media event on the (rumored) date of Jan 26, I don't think anyone is going to be buying anything, just in case the (rumored) tablet is as awesome as it's (rumored) rumored to be!
As someone struggling with getting my media to my TV in a concise and simple manner, devices and programs like Boxee have caught my attention. Couple of bits of news in that respect.
None of these boxes avoid the need for either tuner cards (if you're into recording TV) or a digital tuner (if you have digital / HD cable).
Speaking of tablets (sorry people-who-don't-care-anymore) 9to5 Mac points to Hearst's eReader and it's uber-coolness. I'm not sure if the bending is that important if it doesn't roll up (though I guess it'd help with not breaking it if it's in your bag or carry-on luggage), but the rest of it looks pretty awesome. Put in full color PDF reading, syncable through wireless or tethered 3G and I'm there.... (unless Apple has one that has the neural implant capabilities that are clearly indicated as it having through the chip shipment reports in Taiwan going up .... ;)
You'll get to see it at CES.
OK, I'm not sure if after watching this unboxing video of the Nokia N900 is epically cool, or possibly the most annoy thing in the world. I'd go with "cool"!
Boy Genius Report has a Motorola Droid Preview. You'll remember the Droid from the "iDon't" commercial that came out bashing (or at least poking) at the iPhone and what it does and doesn't do. The preview version of the Droid phone runs Android 2.0, has a nice looking screen, and some nice speed. Check out the full review for the details.
PC Pro has a BlackBerry Storm 2 review. I tried my brother-in-law's BB Storm 1 and was not impressed at all. It sounds like some of the issues have been resolved, but we'll see how that goes as more reviews come out.
Right now, and please don't take this as me being a Mac/iPhone fanboy, the iPhone is going to be hard to catch, as the thing that is best about the iPhone is the feel of it. I've played with the Pre, the Android, and the Storm, and none match the smoothness and feel of some of the simple operations like scrolling and panning that the iPhone has got perfectly, and have since version 1.
This is probably why it survived it's original incarnation with no 3G, no apps, no cut and paste, and all the other detractors. If the UI is smooth and scrolling and flipping through options feels like it should, it's really hard to use another phone where the scrolling or moving of your fingers on the screen feel slightly laggy or "off". Also the ecosystem built up around the iPhone with the app store makes it a force to be reckoned with.
That said, the Blackberry is firmly entrenched in the business world, and that is something that the iPhone will have trouble making inroads with, though I'm seeing more and more business people carrying iPhones walking around.
Crackberry has some renderings of what they claim is a for real BlackBerry Watch. Does no one remember the complete fail that Microsoft Spot Watch was? It really sounds like something that seems like a good idea, but in reality, isn't. Who knows, they might be able to pull it off. Course, with minimal input possibilities, and the fact you'd probably be carrying your blackberry with you anyway....
Photos and details of the Barnes and Noble's E-Reader, to be revealed next week (oops). It's a black and white reader (a la the kindle) but with (wait for it...) multi-touch like the iPhone.
The camera nerds will probably drool over the newly announced Leica M9, and balk at the price. Still, full frame sensor, classic range-finder body, compatibility with what people claim to be the best lenses in the world, etc etc. Anyone got a few months of mortgage payments spare that they can give me to buy one? Pretty please?
More details and pricing ($7k!!!) here.
Update: Hands on preview over at DPreview.
The latest from Canon has appeared. Check out the Canon EOS 7D at DPReview. Updated are the viewfinder (100% @ 1.0x magnification), integrated speedlight control, 18mp sensor, 8fps, 24fps full HD movie mode, DIGIC 4 (that's one better than DIGIC 3), and other bits. See the link for way more details.
For those wanting some more options in the iPhone GPS department, a new player has come in with the iGO My way™ 2009 app, priced at $79 and coming in a North America and two European version (west and east). The app looks really good actually, with 3D buildings showing up on the 3rd person view map. This may or may not be another contender in the Navigon (here for real), TomTom (I want the stand but there's no official word on release dates) and AT&T (ugh, monthly fees) and G-Map (sketchy reviews). YouTube video of the app in operation is here.
Competition is good however!