Don't trust your life to smartwatches quite yet

Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2014 - 11:17 AM |
Tagged: wearables

On a charity walk that went from one end of the Outer Hebrides to the other a variety of fitness trackers could not decide on  just how far a distance was travelled.  Indeed it quickly became quite obvious that there were discrepancies as at the two hour point in the walk the distance ranged from 5.5 to 9 miles.  There were spots with no cell signal during the trek but more often than not there was a decent signal but yet the errors were not properly corrected.  The Inquirer's experience illustrates that at this time you should not consider your smartwatch part of your emergency gear to be used with dead reckoning and a compass as you could be literally mislead.  For now these devices are fitness trackers for the city and even then you might want to double check those distances if you are on a mission to cover a certain amount of ground.

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"An example of some of the wearables present on the trek were the Galaxy Gear Fit, Fitbit Flex, Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up24, Galaxy Gear 2 Neo and the Pebble watch."

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Source: The Inquirer

ARM Brings Out Marketing Guns - Says Intel Quark Too Hot for Wearables

Subject: Processors, Mobile | February 21, 2014 - 07:47 AM |
Tagged: wearables, wearable computing, quark, Intel, arm

On a post from the official ARM blogs, the guns are blazing in the battle for the wearable market mind share.  Pretty much all the currently available wearable computing devices are using ARM-based processors but that hasn't prevented Intel from touting its Quark platform as the best platform for wearables.  There are still lots of questions about Quark when it comes to performance and power consumption but ARM decided to pit its focus on heat.

For a blog post on ARM's website

Intel’s Quark is an example that has a relatively low level of integration, but has still been positioned as a solution for wearables. Fine you may think, there are plenty of ARM powered communication chipsets it could be paired with, but a quick examination of the development board brings the applicability further into question. Quark runs at a rather surprising, and sizzling to the touch, 57°C. The one attribute it does offer is a cognitive awareness, not through any hardware integration suitable for the wearable market, but from the inbuilt thermal management hardware (complete with example code), which in the attached video you can see is being used to toggle a light switch once touched by a finger which, acting as a heat sync, drops the temperature below 50°C.

Along with this post is a YouTube video that shows this temperature testing taking place.

Of course, when looking at competitive analysis between companies you should always take the results as tentative at best.  There is likely to be some change between the Quark Adruino board (Galileo) integration of the X1000 and what would make it into a final production wearable device.  Obviously this is something Intel is award of as well and they are also aware of what temperature means for devices that users will have such direct contact with.  

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The proof will be easy to see, either way, as we progress through 2014. Will device manufacturers integrated Quark in any final design wins and what will the user experience of those units be like?  

Still, it's always interesting to see marketing battles heat up between these types of computing giants.

Source: ARM