Wearables Big Deal at CES 2014

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Top executives from Ericsson, Qualcomm, AT&T and Intel, say the future of mobile will be dominated by wearable wireless devices and neuromorphic computers that mimic the human brain, reports Fierce Wireless.

Their keynote panel at CES explored how mobile technology is driving change in critical areas such as disruptive innovation, smart cities, transportation, healthcare and the workplace.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs told the audience that he is a big believer in neuromorphic computing, or brainlike computers, that can do very sophisticated things like analyze and react. “What if you could build brains with silicon?” Jacobs asked.

Qualcomm announced the Zeroth processor in October, which the company describes as a Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Qualcomm will release the new processor design for use by researchers and startups sometime in 2014.

Wearables at CES 2014 include:

  • the Pebble Steel. It costs $100 more than the $150 original model — which will continue to be available.
  • ZTE’s first smartwatch, called the BlueWatch is similar to a Pebble with three buttons on the left and one on its right — just like the Pebble — and uses a magnetically attached USB cable to charge its battery, again, just like the Pebble.
  • Sony’s Core fitness tracker has a bundle of sensors that can be repurposed. Right now it’s a fitness tracker, but Sony eventually wants its technology to be put inside of smartphones and other hardware.
  • LG’s Lifeband Touch fitness tracker keeps track of calories burned, steps walked, and other fitness statistics, while an OLED touch display acts lets users see phone notifications, check biometrics, and play music.
  • Qualcomm’s Toq was cut $50 to $300 from its regular $350 price tag this week.
  • Intel’s smartwatch prototype comes with all the typical features of a smartwatch, but it is also capable of location-based notifications unlike other smartwatches currently on the market. Commercial availability will likely come some time this year.
  • British chipmaker CSR unveiled a new line of Bluetooth Smart jewelry.
  • Garmin announced a new line of wearables with its new Vivofit fitness band, which resemble similar devices like the Nike+ Fuelband and the Fitbit Force.
  • MetaWatch, born from ex-Fossil engineers, is focusing on design and aesthetics.
  • Movea, a company that specializes in motion processing software, has a wearable wristband reference design with a 9-Axis Sensor for sports and wellness applications. For activity classification, Movea claims a success rate higher than 95%, along with the industry’s lowest error score.
  • The Razer Nabu melds smartphone notifications with a suite of fitness-tracking features. The device will work with both iOS and Android phones over Bluetooth Low Energy. Razer is hoping third-party developers will run with it.
  • GlassUp takes on Google with sporty style in the June/July time frame. The company is targeting a price of $399, less than what Google will charge.
Posted by Sam Churchill on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 at 10:00 am .

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