MWC Headed Toward The Next Generation

Interested in phones? tablets? wearable tech? The Mobile World Congress is the show that is right for you, keeping you up to the date with the latest technology and transitioning you to a new generation.

The Mobile World Congress is a show that presents the news on everything new involving mobile and wearable devices.  Like previous years, the show did not disappoint the public.  Besides phones shown that will be released in the immediate future, the wearable technology also came with a punch.

Known companies like LG, Pebble, HTC previewed their smartwatches and fitness band that is to be released, while others like Huawei showcased what they brought to the table.  LG released a new smartwatch that will be hitting the market, HTC previewed their new fitness band, while Pebble redefined one of their models called Pebble Time.  Chris Jager wrote a recent article on what were the best wearable tech products.

  • The new LG Urbane LTE smartwatch comes with many first party apps including a pedometer and GPS
  • Runs on a new software called WebOS instead the android OS
  • Able to make phone calls
  • The first smartwatch to run on LTE instead of 3G

The release date and price of the watch was not released and doesn’t have a timetable.

The Huawei Watch was one of thee most anticipated releases according to many fans of wearable technology.  This Chinese based company released a smartwatch that isn’t a plastic band, but a metal band like a normal watch, and a face like a regular watch.  The only thing about it is: It is not a regular watch.  Some features that it has is:

  • GPS tracking
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Notifications
  • Google Now functions
  • six-axis sensor

Only few details released about the watch and the release date was hinted to be around mid 2015.

These are were the popular and most anticipated devices of 2015 with many more that were introduced.  The technology that is being released gives you a reason to be excited and explains why it is the next generation of wearable technology.

Louder Than A Heart Beat

Monitoring your activity has gotten advanced throughout the years.  They have gone from measuring footsteps and calories burned to analyzing the way you sleep and keeping track of your progress.  Not a lot of them can measure your heart rate.

Very few fitness bands are able to measure your heart rate or at least they claim to have the ability to do so.  Many expects say they are accurate most of the time and are able to do this through a light sensor on the band.  Some of the bands that have monitor heart rate are:

  • Fitbit Charge HR
  • Microsoft Band
  • TomTom Runner Cardio

At the price of $149, the Fitbit Charge HR is kind of bland from the design, but according to gizmodo, this is a good thing.  Apart from other activity trackers, this is one of the more accurate ones, including the heart monitor.

With the Microsoft Band, Microsoft finally entered into the wearable technology trend.  The difference between this and any other wearable tech is that it runs on Microsoft technology and has a lot more features than the average fitness band.  It includes:

  • Workout Drills
  • GPS
  • Weather Updates
  • AI Support (Cortana)

All of these features are included into a device and is only for $199.  I say that is a bargain and something you should look into.

The TomTom Runner Cardio is more considered a smartwatch than a fitness band, but what kind of watch has heart rate features?  This watch has the same functions as any other fitness band, but is built more like a watch with GPS map functions on the display.  My only concern with it is that it is more of a watch and has a larger screen.  For $249, I don;t believe there should be any other complaints with a review rating of 8 out of 10.

In my opinion, For the least complicated device, I would go with the Fitbit Charge HR because of it simplicity and easy way to use each of its features.  On the other hand to have an all in one device, the Microsoft Band is the way to go as it has features of a smartphone and Cortana, a personal navigator and AI.

Two Is Always More Than One

Nowadays, there are activity trackers, smartwatches, and very few that have both features on one device.  These devices most of the time price varies between $120-$200 with some of them not looking like a watch or band sometimes.  The Garmin Viviosmart looks a little different than these things.

The Viviosmart is another type of fitness band, but also has some features that are exclusive to smartwatches.  With it on, it looks like a regular band with a clear screen and has LED lights in it.  The Viviosmart is an activity tracker with very similar features to other fitness bands like the fitbit and jawbone with the ability to check your stats online on an app.  The only difference is that the Viviosmart alerts you with notifications from calls, texts, emails, social media, etc.  Its features include:

  • Notifications from a call, text, email
  • Ability to see steps walked, calories burned, distance, and heart rate
  • Able to tell time
  • Long lasting battery life

Useful qualities includes being waterproof, tracks sleeping methods, bluetooth capabilities, and can track your heart rate.  Most fitness bands include most of these features, but not as much as this device.

The fact that it has smartwatch features is the reason why I believe that it is worth to buy.  It costs $170 and  worth every penny!

Technology Not Always The High Price

In this day and age, we all know that the best things in life always have a steep price, including technology.  Over the years, the technology has become more than just uncommon and it seems that everything that we have has some technology input.

Fitness bands and smartwatches are very handy with the many functions it has like caller id, activity tracking, etc.  The downside to these features is that it has a high cost.  A Samsung Gear costs at least $169 and the most popular fitbit, the fitbit charge, will take $129 out of your pockets.

I found three fitness bands that will satisfy your needs and keep a little extra money in your wallets.  The Razor Nabu X, with the ability to show when your have a phone call by the color of its LED lights, costs about $70.  The Jawbone Up Move at $60 provides an activity tracker and is so small that you won’t noticed that its clipped on your clothes.  Finally the Fitbit Zip at $75 is the least costing Fitbit, but is also an excellent activity tracker.

Larger than just a Pebble

The Pebble smartwatch is another device that is more than just a watch.  The Pebble watch is an all in one device that similar to most of the other smartwatches in the market now.  The Pebble watch is able to last 7 days without having to charge it, it is able to sync with your phone and alert you with notifications including calls, texts, and emails without having to look at your phone.  It is very durable and water resistant as it can withstand up to 50 meters of water pressure and is also a fitness tracker.  The backlight on the watch is bright and is clear during the day and night.  It even has its own app store containing thousands of apps and different watch faces that enables it to compete with the iOS and android operating systems.  It is the perfect watch for anyone who wants to join the club of smartwatches.

I was able to have a on hand look at this watch and did seem pretty suitable for myself as it contains all things that people are interested in.  But just like most devices, the cnet websites points out that the pebble watch has a good and a bad.

.It comes in many colors including red, orange, black, steel, etc.  The only complaint or issue I have with it is that it doesn’t have many multitasking abilities and the watch face looks bland.  The text on the watch is simply black and white and doesn’t look very digitalized.

It Makes Me Want to GoPro

On an earlier post, I briefly discussed a wearable technology that some NFL teams use the GoPro.  This camera is one of the best quality and fun camera to use now and has all types of people wanting to have it.  The GoPro Hero is perfect for anyone that wants to record bike riding, swimming, skateboarding or any other type of activity.  It is even cool to use when playing a sport like soccer or basketball

The GoPro Hero makes it easy for people to share what they see.  The camera has an amazing quality of 1080p and a video quality of 720p.  It has many features including QuikCapture which allows you to quickly turn on the camera and start recording, Burst Photo that captures sequences up to 5 frames per second, and many attachments and accessories like a head mount and wrist mount to make the experience look even better!

GoPro Hero was built to be waterproof and is able to withstand 40m of waterpressure and is very light and compact only weighing 3.9 ounces.  Here is a little tutorial on how to use it and the other features that are on the GoPro:

I think the best part about the GoPro is that you can edit your videos.  When you’re done recording you can download a GoPro studio program and upload them for other people to see.  I think this is one of the most innovative cameras out there and witht eh different perspectives that the camera brings, the GoPro can make ordinary people seem like heroes with the things they do.

Wearable Technology more useful than appears

The most popular wearable technology these days are fitness trackers and smart watches that give you the ability to talk on the phone.  The GoPro camera is another wearable tech that gives you the ability of hands free recording.  Most of these techs are created to help out the lives of an average person.  If you think that this is true, than you are wrong.

Technology today is used in many businesses worldwide.  One business that uses it is the National Football League (NFL).  How do you think viewers get a different view other than broadcast?  How are you able to hear the players talk?  All of this is because of wearable technology.  NFL teams and players use this to better prepare themselves for situations on the field and get a better idea of what to correct when reviewing tape during practice.

During practice, some teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants attach a GoPro camera to some players helmets to give coaches a better understanding on how the game looks from their perspective.  Some teams also use a Reebok Checklight which is a protective skully that is designed to protect a player’s head, highlighting the issues with concussions these recent years.

Wearable technology is more than just a simple band or watch, it has grown into something that can be useful in jobs and even athletes.  It is something that is helpful in other fields of study.

A New Apple

The release date for the new Apple Watch has been revealed to be around April 2015, according to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.  Fans knew this was going to be released in early 2015 as it was announced with the introduction of the Iphone 6 and Iphone 6 plus.

Not much information has been released on the Apple Watch including pricing and other features.  The only features that are known is that there will be three different styles: Standard, sport, and edition.  The Apple Watch will be ideal for those who own Iphones and other Apple devices as it is only designed for Apple products.  It connects to your phone and brings notifications, tracks daily activity levels, and you will also be able to talk on it.  Yes, you can talk through your watch.

Anyone who knows how other smart watches work should know what to expect from the Apple Watch and more.  Most of the smart watches that have been released have very similar features, but I expect Apple to include a feature that other smart watches don’t have because it is exclusive for Apple fans.  More information will likely be known in the near future as the release date is three months away.

The Fitbit Flex

In the most recent year, one of the most popular trends that is happening now are the fitbits.  The fitbits are useful for those who workout or anyone who wants to keep track of how many calories they burn in a day, how steps taken, monitor their sleep quality, and even create goals for oneself.  For those who want to get the most out of a device without spending a lot of money, the fitbit flex is for you.  The purpose of this device is to monitor your daily lifestyle and to get you motivated to change it into a healthier one and even keep track on what you’re average day is like.  All you have to do is set a goal and go!

The fitbit flex comes with two band sizes in small and large and comes with all the accessories you need including the charger and the tracker that you place in the band.  You don’t have to worry about always taking it off and charging it because the battery life on the flex will approximately last five days when fully charged.  You never have to take it off even when you go to sleep because it also measures how long you go to sleep, how many times you wake up, and your sleep quality so you can get a better night of sleeping.  It can also be used as a fashion trend as it looks like a normal wristband and not some bulky, oddly shaped device.  Everything that the fitbit monitors can be viewed on your computer and it can also be viewed on your phone through an app that the fitbit offers.  To get the most out of the fitbit flex, here is a tutorial on how to use it.

Overall, the fitbit flex is something that you should look into if you want to monitor your lifestyle and make a better one.