Tag Archives: Smartwatch

New TomTom Spark GPS fitness watch is powered by Atmel


TomTom Spark GPS fitness watch features music, GPS, 24/7 tracking, extended battery life and robust capacitive touch buttons.


A few weeks ago, TomTom unveiled its brand-spanking new Spark GPS fitness watch lineup at IFA 2015. Most notably, one of the company’s biggest pushes with their latest lineup is music, boasting 3GB of memory (enough for 500 or so songs) which allows wearers to store their favorite workout tunes and play them on a pair of Bluetooth headsets.

TomTom_image

Not only that, the Spark features a completely redesigned look and feel for ultra sleekness and optimal comfort, in comparison to previous devices. The watch offers a larger and enhanced screen, as well as a variety of colors and strap options.

Putting the music aside, the Spark does just about everything else you’d expect an all-day monitor to do. It counts your steps, tallies calories burned and even captures activities in various modes — whether that’s riding a bike, running the treadmill, jogging a long distance or simply doing some bench presses at the gym. But unlike every other wrist-adorned unit, this one actually even shows you totals towards a weekly progress level.

The Spark family ranges from a simple barebones GPS and sleep/activity-tracking model to one with all the bells and whistles. Additionally, the top-tier watch is even equipped with a heart rate sensor that rivals the likes of other big names in the market. And it should go without saying, each of the wearables include 24/7 GPS tracking.

spark_2

Inside is where the magic happens, though. The TomTom Spark GPS fitness watch is powered by an Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M7-based MCU along with the mighty tinyAVR44A. Plus, the recently-revealed gadget employs Atmel’s QTouch library software to control the sleek touch interface in the 8-bit MCU. The combination of these ultra-low-power processors extends the battery life of the wearable to up to 10 hours in GPS mode.

“We are thrilled that TomTom has selected our ultra-low-power ARM- and AVR-based MCUs to power the main processing unit and touch interface,” says Alfredo Vadillo, Atmel Vice President of ARM-based MCUs. “We look forward to supporting this project and to collaborating on future designs.”

Intrigued? Not only should you head over to TomTom Spark’s official page to learn more, you may want to check out this exhaustive review from DC Rainmaker as well.

BLOCKS is the world’s first modular smartwatch


This future-proof, interchangeable device will be the last smartwactch you’ll ever need.


For quite some time, modern-day gadgetry has taken a one-size-fits-all approach. Though many different sensors can be embedded in our devices, space is always the limiting factor. This leads designers to select features that they feel are right for “everyone” and forces consumers to compromise on what they want from their equipment. Fortunately, this may be a thing of the past thanks to one UK-based startup who wants to do the same for wearables as Google’s Project Ara has set out to do for smartphones.

633a0c3953e23519c89be79aaeb73f1d_original

In effort to provide you with a smart accessory that reflects your individuality, BLOCKS is the world’s first modular smartwatch that enables you to customize your timepiece to best suit your needs and lifestyle. No different than LEGOs, simply choose your modules and connect them together in seconds to bring a plethora of capabilities to your wrist.

As with any watch, the face (or Core) is at the heart of the wearable. It’s completely functional on its own and has all the features you would expect from a good smartwatch, like phone notifications, activity monitoring and voice control, and boasts a round, full-color touchscreen. Inside you’ll find a Snapdragon 400 processor, Wi-Fi and BLE connectivity, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of Flash, an accelerometer and gyroscope, a 400mAh battery, a microphone and a vibration motor. In the future, the team says it will offer a few different cores with varying displays, such as e-ink and rectangular screens.

364638bb5a893cd95a58ef839eec4a7e_original

The Core is attached to a strap comprised of several intelligent links, each of which possess their own functions and are embedded with an ARM Cortex-M0+ MCU. This includes everything from an NFC component for contactless payments, to an extra battery for prolonged battery life, to a GPS piece for tracking your whereabouts and activities, to a Flash memory module for extra storage, to a camera for quick photos, to even GSM/SIM card slot for phone-free operation. The power is in your hands, or wrist we should say, allowing you to choose the building blocks that you want in assembling a smartwatch that’s just as unique as you.

“The Modules listed are the first of many, and were selected based on popular choice. As new technology becomes available, we’ll be developing new Modules for you. You don’t need to choose the Modules you want immediately when you back us; after the campaign, we will get in touch to ask what combination of Modules you’d like,” its creators reveal. “BLOCKS is all about choice. We want to be able to provide you with as many Modules as possible so that you always have access to the latest technologies.”

What’s nice is that a module can be swapped out in a matter of seconds, without ever having to restart your watch. Whether it’s throwing on a battery if you notice that your smartwatch is running low on power or fastening on a heart rate monitor as you head off to the gym, snap it on and it’ll work right away.

f003f85b23a7b66f693973f6b2e94831_original

The device runs on its own platform, which will be opened up to developers so that they can create and sell their own modules on what the team calls “the BLOCKStore.” Moreover, BLOCKS is compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones, including those from LG, Motorola, Sony, Samsung, HTC and Xiaomi.

Intrigued? Then watch-a waiting for? For its Kickstarter debut, BLOCKS is available in 3 different colors — black, white and red — and made from a high-quality, durable, comfortable and water-resistant plastic. The first batch of units is expected to ship in May 2016.

Unique can turn any watch into a smartwatch


This strap discretely adds smart features to any ‘dumb’ watch.


Smartwatches are pretty useful — but despite advancements in technology, a lot of us still value the look and feel of a traditional or classic timepiece. If you wish you could keep your Rolex watch yet also have some of today’s connected features, the makers of Unique have good news for you.

cd19c8b645057f2b7c19b5899e10c811_original

The brainchild of Polish startup uBirds, Unique is a luxury, handmade strap that replaces your watch’s original strap and transforms it into a smartwatch. It gives you the best of both worlds — the look of your favorite wrist-worn accessory with all the capabilities of modern-day devices.

Hidden in the strap lies a discreet multi-color LED, vibration alerts and gesture recognition, allowing you to receive notifications, reject calls, send pre-written texts, monitor your fitness, store your passes and even be reminded if you leave your phone behind. On top of all that, it can all be customized to a wearer’s liking.

ebb87a56be8d5f4bc697e1f21f5301e6_original

With cutting edge technology, Unique integrates electronic components into the strap so the functions aren’t visible on the strap itself. What’s nice is that the unit still fits nicely with any conventional timepiece, meaning any treasured heirloom or precision chronograph can be turned into an IoT-friendly gadget. Leveraging gesture recognition, users can now control their phone directly from the strap, as well as integrate near field communication.

Once connected via Bluetooth, users can configure their strap’s capabilities and displayed information using its accompanying app. According to its creators, this includes everything from programming the NFC tag with your business card, hotel room key or gym membership to tracking fitness goals and counting calories with every step.

85c7724f34bacff49f5b7cb08044b2a3_original

As for battery power, Unique can run for two to three days with frequent use. Charging is simple, too — just give the watch strap a boost using its included wireless inductive charger. Interested? Then it’s ‘time’ to check out their Kickstarter page, where they are currently seeking $50,000. Delivery is slated for sometime in April 2016.

DECKO is an LED watch that bares its parts on a circuit board face


This 60-LED watch may be the geekiest timepiece ever. And we love it.


Aside from the pocket protector, the wristwatch has become a staple for any true geek. And we’re not just talking about any ordinary wrist-adorned device, it has to be unique — the dorkier, the better. So whether you’re a businessman, an athlete or an engineer, anyone looking to show off their geekery will surely love the latest creation from Terminus Electronics: a wearable that displays time using LEDs rather than the typical pair of rotating hands or digits.

4dcb3db7371714dd5bacf8525cecb9a1_original

Dubbed DECKO, the half-dollar-sized watch reveals the time by animating 60 LEDs on a circuit board face. Admittedly, it is as basic of a “smartwatch” as they come with only a few features like motion and tap detection for wake-up, and light sensing for auto-brightness. Unlike most of its teched-out counterparts, however, the device boasts a low profile and can last for six to 12 months on a single coin-cell battery.

In order to tell time, the hour winds from 12 o’clock around to the current hour, while the minute hand animates in place after the hour hand stops. This allows both the hour and minute to be distinguishable even when they overlap.

0f0882812590d4b6681f99dd9b316661_original

The low-power timepiece sleeps to save power when not in use, and wakes up when put into the usual horizontal viewing position. The watch can also be turned on and off by double-tapping the side of its case.

Time set mode is accessed with a quadruple tap of the watch, while a subsequent tap is required to start the process. This will cause the minute hand to begin rolling like a marble around the clock. From there, the time can be adjusted by simply rolling your wrist forward or backwards, and locked in by holding it steady.

CIr7aaUWcAAT5o3

An interesting feature of the DECKO is that it not only shows the time but how its embedded electronics work. Based on an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 MCU (which could be found the center of the face), the watch packs a 32 kHz crystal oscillator to keep time, an accelerometer to detect orientation and movement, and a light sensor to measure ambient light. The electronics are soldered to the board and housed inside a rugged metal case that is available in aluminum (black or silver) and brass.

What’s more, the wearable is water-resistant and fully customizable. The case fits standard 18mm NATO and ZULU straps, enabling you to mix and match various styles — ranging from steampunk for Maker Faire to patriotic for 4th of July celebrations. DECKO is available in a caseless version as well, which gives Makers the choice of designing their own enclosure for the inner PCB face.

team

Does this look like a watch you’d love to have? Head over to DECKO’s Kickstarter page, where the team is currently seeking $60,000. The first batch of devices is slated to begin shipping in November 2015.

ReVault is the world’s first wearable private cloud


Not just a smartwatch, ReVault lets you back up and access your files on the go.


We know, we know, another smartwatch? But before you say anything else, this wearable band has a rather unique feature. Not only can it reveal the time, it can impressively act as a wireless storage device that lets you back up your files and open them without ever needing an Internet connection. Think about it, in this day and age of multi-screen use, everyone has data that they want to access to on all of their gadgets. And sure, many of us tend to employ popular services like Dropbox or OneDrive to accomplish this; however, local storage happens to be a bit more secure.

Watch

Cognizant of this, one Swedish startup has set out to make the private cloud a little more personal and portable with ReVault. Currently live on Indiegogo, the Atmel | SMART SAM4S powered gizmo is being billed as “the world’s first wearable private cloud” that enables users to securely access and sync all of their files. Instead, the wearable drive connects to a laptop, smartphone or tablet over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Watch2

Not only does ReVault allow wearers to easily carry their most important documents wherever they go at all times, but once connected, it can be set to automatically back up and synchronize those files across all devices via its accompanying app. This application is available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, meaning it should be pretty simple to pair data despite the platforms one may use.

ReVault has been designed with the utmost security in mind, and rightfully so. We are talking about personal and sensitive information here! This was accomplished through AES-256 encryption, as well as two-factor authentication. In other words, only trusted devices and users can connect to the wearable unit.

Devices

Aside from safeguarding data, the watch has been created with superior durability to withstand the inevitable bumps and scratches of everyday use. Equipped with a stainless steel and water resistant case, the full-color display is protected with Gorilla Glass 3. A wearer can also choose between a variety of faces, including one for private cloud data, a digital or analog clock, as well as a custom screen built with the ReVault API. Though the battery only lasts for approximately three days, ReVault can be charged using a standard Qi wireless charger — 80% battery life takes roughly an hour, while 100% calls for just about an hour and a half.

pmgpcxd3qcf48tzxciry

ReVault comes in both 32GB and 128GB models. What’s more, for those who aren’t really into the whole “smartwatch thing,” it can be transformed into a necklace or keyring using its chain converter. Is it time to reclaim your data? Then hurry over to its official Indiegogo campaign, where the team is closing in on their $65,000 goal. Shipment is expected to begin in January 2016.

Swimmo is the ultimate smartwatch for swimmers


Swimmo a new smartwatch designed for continuous use underwater.


While countless wearable devices have been introduced with hopes of revolutionizing athletic activities, from the court to the field, not so many have taken to the water. That is something the company behind Swimmo is hoping to change. For instance, how often have you forgotten the number of laps you swam during a training session, or wished to surpass a personal best and then instantly share it with your friends on social media? That will all be possible thanks to the latest smartwatch designed specifically for continuous underwater use.

355cf6e28e24ea88f6b4349d9ef04397_original-1

Swimmo itself is a sleek, aesthetically-pleasing and comfortable band equipped with a color OLED display that is 100% waterproof. What’s more, the wearable boats a unique “Rotate&Tap” patent-pending technology that allows a swimmer to control the watch using two simple gestures — no gaps between buttons that might let water in.

The device works by monitoring a swim session in real-time and providing immediate feedback to the trainee, helping them to efficiently achieve their results. The device comes with training apps to track performance in the water, such as a heart-rate monitoring IntensityCoach, a speed focused PaceKeeper, and an overall performance gauge TrainingGuide. It will measure total distance in laps, yards or meters, analyze calories burned, and keep tabs on the length of a training session as well. Swimmo will even alert a swimmer with vibrations when it’s time to increase or decrease their speed to better improve their strength by exercising at the right intensity.

24b47f6a1a07c92c4b2c0f0e965d09d2_original

Aside from being compatible with other fitness apps, such as RunKeeper, Strava and HealthKit, it also syncs with its own mobile app (available on both iOS and Android) via Bluetooth Smart. Unlike a number of other smartwatches already available today, Swimmo’s basic features can be accessed without having to pair with a phone at all. In an effort to make swimming more social, the gadget enables users to compete with their friends and others nearby through Facebook and Twitter.

Intrigued? Swim on over to its official Kickstarter page, where the team is currently seeking $39,000. Shipment is expected to begin in October 2015.

Build your own Moto 360 smartwatch with Moto Maker


It’s time to create a watch that suits your style. 


Back in 2013, Motorola launched an innovative web portal, Moto Maker, that enabled users to personalize their own Moto X smartphone. Nearly two years later, that made-to-order feature has now expanded to the company’s Moto 360 smartwatch, which led sales among all Android Wear devices over the last 12 months.

MOT_360_WEB_0073_READER_RGB300_v9

Moto 360 customization options include three different finishes (dark metal, light metal and champagne gold), nine separate band styles (including leather, metal and a slick mono-link design), as well as 11 pre-installed watch face options. Once you get your device, it’s easy to swap watch faces from its collection or through Google Play. This is great news for those simply looking to coordinate with their outfit, or dress it up a bit for a more professional or formal setting.

Without question, it appears that Motorola is looking to take advantage of the Moto 360’s popularity by extending the customization of its flagship product. And given the rise of the DIY culture and their fascination with modularity, having the ability to create something in line with one’s own style is pretty cool. For those with a little fancier taste, both the gold and metal bands come with a premium price of $30 and $50, respectively.

Light Finish Case with 22mm Cognac Leather Band

With countless combinations available, there’s a watch that can appeal to every type of personality. In fact, wearers can create their own as well as choose among some of Motorola’s pre-configured samples such as “Professor Hip” with a light finish case and a cognac leather band, “Golden Goddess” with a champagne gold finish case and cognac leather band, and “On-the-Go Stylist” with a finish case and a champagne gold metal band.

As a recent Adafruit teardown revealed, the Moto 360 lineup is powered by an MXT112S capacitive controller — which gives it a nice little touch if we may say so ourselves. Embodying a sleek, round face and Gorilla Glass protective layering, the comfortable device puts everything you need right on your wrist, whether that’s check the weather and traffic or send a text.

Ready to build your own? You can browse through various options and get started on Moto Maker here.