At CES 2015 Sony introduced new products, partners and experiences to its evolving SmartWear range – a sleek stainless steel edition of SmartWatch 3, new Lifelog collaborations, and concept wearable devices, including a multi-sensor, waterproof headset prototype, from Sony Corporation, designed for optimising performance and providing real time insight on the running track.
“Our approach to smart, wearable technology is based on the fundamentals of building depth and variety in user experiences, and providing choice with beautiful, functional products,” said Kaz Tajima, Senior Vice President, Head of UX Creative Design and Planning at Sony Mobile Communications. “The expansion of Lifelog – both in terms of its open API and our vision for new wearable concepts – will allow creative partners to integrate their apps and services to our platform – giving our users access to the richest, most varied wearable ecosystem.”
Designing for modular technology, with SmartBand SWR10
At CES last year, Sony first showcased SmartBand SWR10 – a 24/7 wearable device; fully waterproof1 (rated IP58) despite its exposed microUSB port. A light, unobtrusive wearable that first featured Sony’s modular approach – the independent “core concept” – it allowed the technology to be worn in different colours and styles, to suit individual taste and personality.
Over the past year, Sony Mobile has worked with creatives and brands from across the lifestyle, fashion, and design spectrum to explore custom apparel, establishing collections for Sony SmartWear from the likes of Jack Vartanian, ALTEWAISOME, and Ted Baker – and most recently, the popular women’s lifestyle brand, ROXY.
An elegant creative approach – SmartWatch 3, now in stainless steel
After launching in partnership this past Autumn with Google, SmartWatch 3 is Sony’s latest generation “SmartWatch”.
Sony unveiled the new stainless steel edition of SmartWatch 3, rolling out globally from next month.
SmartWatch 3 in beautiful stainless steel matches contemporary with timeless aestheticism for a premium look and feel. It features a 1.6” 320×320 TFT LCD Transflective display for visibility in bright sunlight, and is of course water protected2, rated IP68 – it charges via a standard microUSB port.
To further broaden the range of wearing styles available, Sony also unveiled a new SmartWatch 3 holder, allowing users and partners alike to customise SmartWatch 3 with any standard 24mm watch strap; available from the early part of 2015.
Even without your Android smartphone, SmartWatch 3 is a fun and useful accessory with impressive standalone functionality – featuring native music playback, intelligent sensor technology and a unique inbuilt GPS sensor.
Golfshot and iFit are two developers already creating Android Wear experiences with SmartWatch 3′s standalone capability, for both performance on the course and track respectively – from January, every SmartWatch 3 user will have exclusive access to the premium Golfshot and iFit apps out of the box3.
Sony also announced a new collaboration with Virgin Atlantic – to explore SmartWear initiatives together, to develop unique solutions using Sony’s SmartWear products to support operational activities and enhance the customer service experience for Virgin Atlantic customers. More news will follow over the coming months.
Lifelog – inspiration through insight, for any Android user
Downloadable from the Google Play Store, Lifelog is the popular Android app built to help you set personal goals, monitor progress, get to know yourself better and make smarter choices about your health, entertainment, and more.
A new web interface, lifelog.sonymobile.com, is launching during CES 2015. It uses open API functionality and latest HTML5 technologies, for a more visual experience. The site will work with any screen size, from your smartphone to your tablet to your TV – all you’ll have to do is log in using your Sony Entertainment Network4 account.
The new feature reflects Sony’s strategy to regularly bring new functionality and features to Lifelog, to keep the experiences as current as they possibly can be.
Creating new experiences, with open principles
Sony is teaming up with a variety of lifestyle and health apps, so you can get the most out of the services you already love and discover new ones, to complement your SmartWear and Lifelog experience. Starting soon, Lifelog will enable you to:
- Access IFTTT recipes for intuitive connections between Lifelog and your favourite apps
- Develop healthy habits with Habit Monster, so you can learn more about yourself within Lifelog
- Use Withingsconnected health devices to integrate your weight and BMI into Lifelog to see how you sleep, eat and move
“Lifelog is inspiration through insight, and our first partners are helping us bring this to life in new ways” said Yasuharu Nomura, Director of Experience Planning at Sony Mobile Communications. “We specifically designed the Lifelog platform on open principles, with capability that will help developers to build new experiences and access the Sony ecosystem like never before – it’s going to be an exciting year ahead.”
Exploring new wearable concepts and contextual sensor technology
Off the back of launching the software development kit, Sony Corporation is also sharing new applications for current prototype, SmartEyeglass Developer Edition, along with a new conceptual style, SmartEyeglass Attach! – a single lens display module for attaching to regular glasses, allowing developers to create applications for sport and performance.
Sony Corporation’s Smart B-Trainer prototype was also introduced – a waterproof all-in-one headset style device with multi-sensor capability specifically designed for runners. The current prototype features inbuilt memory – and will provide voice coaching, as well as music playback, intelligently suggesting the most suitable soundtrack to accompany a runner during a workout.
Inateck have provided me with a Bluetooth Audio Receiver to have a play with. This portable Bluetooth streaming device allows you to connect a device without Bluetooth and stream your music and podcasts. Very handy for in the car, or so I thought. Whilst this device is a lot cheaper than others of it’s type at £14 you need to have a car that incorporates an auxiliary connector on the stereo. Many cars do, however both of mine do not (or at least require a £40 modification to install one.)
The unit itself is light, quick to set up and looks quite pretty, considering the price. Given that you could up to £80 for a similar unit Inateck’s variant sits at an attractive price point. Once I decide if I am changing my car for one with an AUX, or perhaps just go with the modification I will add a video showing the operation.
Panasonic Viera TVs, which I got to see in IFA, Berlin, as part of the Viera VIP Club, produce stunning images and are packed with ‘beyond smart’ technology, allowing you to make your TV your own.
All Viera TVs from the AS650 and up let you catch up on shows when you want with inbuilt Freeview, and you can watch them anywhere on a mobile device with ‘TV Anywhere’. Plus, there’s the super smart ‘my Stream’ which recommends content to match your preferences easily via an intuitive interface. ‘My Home Screen’ also lets you customise your very own screen with social media, widgets and sites that you like, plus there’s a voice control mode and much more.
As usual we are going to make this very easy for you.
To enter, all you have to do is follow tracyandmatt on Twitter and retweet the following tweet: “RT I want to win a new Panasonic Blu-ray player from @tracyandmatt and @PanasonicUK – See how you can enter too: http://bit.ly/1wi5oyq” You can also click the retweet link below to save you copying and pasting the phrase. Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw.
Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw. You’ll have to keep following us as we’ll notify winners via DM.
Entry is open until midnight on the 31st December 2014 and the winner will be picked on the 3rd January. Will that be a lucky day for you?
We’ll contact the winner via twitter so make sure that you are still following us!
To find out more about the Panasonic Viera TV range, visit http://viera.panasonic.co.uk/
Samsung’s virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, is now available for purchase. You can pick it up for roughly £160 without a gamepad or £190 with. Alone side the release of this new virtual reality device, comes a list of games that are available for its launch.
In total 11 games will be available for download when you get your new Gear VR headout set. Using the marketplace from the Oculus Rift right now and they are all free!
Here is the list of games you can expect to see:
- Anshar Wars
- Minotaur Rescue VR
- Proton Pulse
- Romans from Mars
Of course these are just the games and doesn’t include applications that will also be available for use with the Gear VR as yet. With this device becoming available and a rather attractive price point you can expect more games and applications to hit the Oculus Rift marketplace quite quickly.
As part of the exclusive Viera VIP Club, Gareth spends some time getting familiar with the new Panasonic Viera AS750 42 inch 3D LED Smart TV from Panasonic. This smart television has a highly customisable overlay and some significant social network integration.
- Full HD LED TV with 1200Hz (BLS) – high-speed panel for brilliant, smooth motion picture quality and
- my Stream – enjoy content recommended to match your preferences, easily via an intuitive interface
- Built-in camera – take Skype video calls, or get your personalised My Home Screen from Face Recognition
- TV Anywhere – your entertainment, from the TV to your Web-enabled mobile device, even outside the home`
Find out more at http://viera.panasonic.co.uk/
@VodafoneIreland is the first operator to deliver Ireland’s first 4G+ technology providing speeds up to twice as fast as first generation 4G, and speeds exceeding the standard fixed-line broadband experience. From 1 December, Vodafone customers in Waterford city will have access to data speeds of up to 150Mbps with 4G+, while Cork, Dublin and Limerick cities will be switched on by the end of December.
With 4G+, customers can now experience the fastest speeds available on mobile to enjoy services like, instant video streaming in HD, live TV with high reliability and the potential to broadcast live from events. In addition, business customers can download higher volumes of data even faster than ever before.
4G+ is available to Vodafone RED Super Business and RED Extra Super bill pay customers at no extra cost until April 2015 using one of three select Samsung 4G+ enabled smartphones; Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Alpha.
Celebrating the launch of the first 4G+ network in Ireland, Vodafone Technology Director, Madalina Suceveanu said “Vodafone customers in Ireland already have access to the widest 4G footprint across six cities and 377 towns and villages – covering over three quarters (79%) of the country and 95 per cent of 3G coverage nationwide. In tandem with our 4G roll-out, we are modernising our network nationwide, providing customers with improved voice call quality and data services to all areas with existing voice services. This new addition of 4G+ services is an even greater boost for our customers. Quite simply, 4G+ downloads, streams and delivers chosen content even faster than before.”
Commenting, Vodafone Enterprise Director, Anne Sheehan, “With 4G+ super-fast speeds now available in Ireland – it opens up a new world of mobilisation for our business customers, with video calls and Cloud based applications really coming into their own”.
4G+ speeds are delivered by combining two 4G bandwidths. Location coverage maps will be available as areas are switched on. For full details of 4G+ please see www.vodafone.ie/network/4g.
The Activity tracker is a simple pedometer that connects, by bluetooth, to your smartphone, Apple or Android. An app collated the information and presents you with targets and results from your daily activities.
The Connect Scales are another simple addition. To keep you weight loss (or gain) in check the scales can differentiate between four different people can record results to the same app as the activity tracker.
ALCATEL ONETOUCH has released the POP C5 and the POP C7 to the UK SIM free market. The latest smartphones to be added to its range of easy to use POP smartphones, the POP C5 and POP C7 are designed with the first-time smartphone buyer in mind.
The POP C5 has a 4.5” screen and 5 megapixel camera, which comes with a panoramic picture function as well as a front camera, enabling video chat.
The POP C7 features a 5” display with a Quad Core 1.3 GHz processor to accelerate all tasks and apps. The POP C7 also features a 5 megapixel camera capable of taking great quality images, perfect for instant sharing.
Both the POP C5 and POP C7 run the Android operating system. Based on the ethos of the POP smartphone range: ‘easy to choose, easy to use’ the POP C5 and the POP C7 come preloaded with popular apps, such as Facebook, What’s App and Twitter, so the smartphones are ready to use, straight out the box.
The POP C5 and the POP C7 are available in Bluish Black from Freemans.com. The POP C5 is priced RRP £85 SIM free and the POP C7 is priced RRP £115 SIM free.
This 7 inch Android tablet features a 960 x 550 pixel screen, a 2840 mAh battery, a low quality 0.3 mp camera on either side of the tablet and an unusual triple core processor. Combined with KitKat and a price of £70 this might just be enough to catch a little attention from those not so sure that they need a tablet but are happen to have one somewhere.
ALCATEL ONETOUCH today launches the PIXI 7 to the UK market, a 7 inch WiFi tablet which offers affordability without compromising quality.
The ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 7 is designed to be compact and light, weighing only 285 grams, making it one of the lightest 7-inch ULC tablets on the market. Available in Bluish Black the ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 7 has a sleek and modern design with rounded edges.
Powered on Android 4.4 (KitKat) the PIXI 7, comes with a selection of pre-installed apps making the tablet user friendly straight out of the box. This Android operating system delivers optimised memory and touchscreen functionality and redesigned e-mail.
The PIXI 7 is equipped with two cameras: a front camera and rear camera, so photos can be quickly uploaded to social networks thanks to the built-in high speed WiFi.
The ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 7 is also the ideal TV companion. It contains an infrared port which transforms the tablet into a universal remote control and the PIXI 7 also allows you to stream content straight from your tablet to your TV.
The ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 7 is available in Bluish Black from Three stores nationwide priced at £69.99.
For more information regarding ALCATEL ONETOUCH please visit www.facebook.com/alcatelonetouchuk.
There is no shortage of Virtual Private Network solutions out there, they really seem to be all the rage this side of the NSA reaching into the search engines and online storages to harvest our very personal data and to build a profile on each and every one of us. It seems in the future a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, will be requirement for anyone wanting to “close the curtains” and keep themselves to themselves online. Much like Anti-virus and Malware scanners you can pick up something fit for purpose for not a lot of money. ExpressVPN promises to cover your tracks on your mobile device and provide you peace of mind when browsing on your phone.
Using ExpressVPN couldn’t be simplier. Loading the app takes only a few seconds and you are greeted with a list of networks available to you. This is were you can take advantage of simple services no matter where you are in the world. For example, if you happen to be a UK citizen and wish to access BBC Iplayer whilst on a trip to New York, you can select a Network in London and this will in turn tell BBC Iplayer that you are in fact in the UK and will let you connect.
In the screenshot above I have selected Los Angeles as a recently connected server. This will scramble any trace of where I am for the duation of my connection to the server and make it impossible for a service to track, or spy on your location.
By comparison to some other VPN’s out there there is a short delay as the app connects to the required server. Other VPN packages can connect automatically to a random server and in the case of F-secure Freedome connect instantly. ExpressVPN is notably cheaper F-Secure’s offering and whilst not as pretty the savings are worthwhile.
Once connected, that’s it. A little key icon will appear in the notification panel to let you know you are safe. You are on-line, in that country and various online services, trackers will believe this. It is important to point out that online stores might present prices in the currencies pertaining to the country network you have connected to and to remedy this you will need to switch the VPN off. However, this can also be handy for price matching and even finding cheaper deals for the international travellers.
A subscription to ExpressVPN is available for $99.95 for a year. This is an incredibly good deal if you take you online privacy seriously. There are a lot of threats out there and alongside the security come some of the bonuses of not having to worry about local internet service providers limiting what you can see and where you can see it. In addition ExpressVPN brags round the clock support and a money back guarantee if not satisfied.