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I/O 2017 : Qualcomm, Google Team Up To Build Daydream VR Headset

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Google today said it has partnered with Qualcomm to develop a new standalone Daydream VR head set based on the San Diego based chip maker’s latest mobile platform Snapdragon 835.

This was announced during Google’s annual technology event Google I/O 2017.

Today’s collaboration is an extension of both the firms’ earlier partnership to develop Daydream VR for smartphones. The current collaboration would develop a standalone Daydream VR headset reference design to build more such products.

“We are thrilled to once again work with Google and offer a powerful premium Snapdragon experience for devices on the Daydream platform,” said Keith Kressin, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies.

“Our companies share the same vision: to make it possible for everyone to enjoy rich and immersive VR experiences on a smartphone device or a dedicated VR head-mounted display while being fully mobile, rather than being restricted by cables or limited to predefined rooms setup for outside-in tracking,” added Kressin.

The new Daydream standalone headset reference design includes custom specifications for tracking cameras and other sensors that make the best use of the Tango-based tracking technology Google has placed in the headset.

The first of these headsets are expected to hit shelves later this year.

“The Daydream standalone headset reference design created in close partnership with Qualcomm will enable manufacturers to build a whole new category of VR devices,” said Clay Bavor, vice president, virtual reality, Google.

“These headsets have everything needed for VR, built right into the headset itself and are as easy to use as picking them up. They’ll feature WorldSense for positional tracking right out of the box without any external equipment. We’re thrilled that headsets will begin to hit shelves later this year.”

Today’s announcement is an addition to the Fall 2016 announcement of the Snapdragon 821 and 820 processors supporting Daydream-ready devices. The fruits of this multi-year effort with Google now offers customers choice in Daydream headsets – from smartphone VR to standalone VR.

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Wearables

GOQii Enters Into Cardiovascular Service, Partners Max Hospital

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Healthcare wearable specialist GOQii on Monday entered into cardiovascular health services- a much-in-need healthcare area and launched Heart Care services through its platform. The company also launched a related tracker that tracks the health of the users’ heart and relay the information to the Heart Care service.

GOQii has partnered with healthcare chain Max Hospital to offer and augment the services.

The key feature of this service is its ability to connect consumers to cardiovascular specialists through the GOQii application and a new GOQii tracker which has capabilities to measure heart rate. For this new service, GOQii has partnered with Max Hospital, known for its specialized heart care.

When used, the tracker collects the heart rate data and share that with the GOQii doctor – a kind of solution assisted by a virtual doctor. The doctor will go through this data and provide specific inputs to the users on how to maintain good heart health. In specific cases, if required the doctor will refer the user to a cardiac specialists at Max Hospital and other partner hospitals.

The services along with the new Heart Rate tracker will be available at a subscription Rs 2999 for 6 months and 3999 for 12 months respectively. The Heart tracker or the band will be available at Amazon from 14 February.

The company says the primary reason to develop this service was the increase in the cardiovascular cases across the globe. With this new service, the wearable firm aims to create the world’s leading health eco-system which connects its users to leading professionals in the fitness and healthcare space.

“Today, too many devices are generating lots of data which is essentially junk if not analysed and acted upon. The GOQii Heart Care is an one stop solution that tracks and analyses data generated by the Heart Rate trackers and can connect the GOQii user to doctor who can help make sense of the data. It is a unique offering as compared to any other wearable device or service available in the market,” said GOQii founder Vishal Gondal.

“Heart related diseases are on the rise due to lifestyle choices people make and they don’t generally pay attention to their health. We have observed that patients usually take action when their disease has advanced significantly. The GOQii Heart Care is an exclusive platform that connects the users and the specialists and enables them to work together towards preventative healthcare,” said Rohit Kapoor, Senior Director & Chief Growth Officer at Max Healthcare.

GOQii, being a responsible organisation, however, says the heart care service is not a replacement for a regular doctor and does not apply for any emergency medical or chronic situations.

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DevicesWearables

Samsung Gear S3 Launched For Rs 28,500

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Samsung on Tuesday launched its latest smartwatch in the Indian market. Named Samsung Gear S3, the smartwatch is priced at Rs 28,500 and will be available on all forms of retail outlets from 18 January.

This is the third version of Samsung smart watch – the earlier versions being the Gear S1 and Gear S2.

The Samsung Gear S3 comes in two variants – Classic and Frontier. While feature wise there are not much difference in the two models, the Frontier is more rugged-looking and best fit for outdoor activities while the Classic aims at people with a style quotient.

The smart watches come in 1.3 inch circular super AMOLED display and is protected by Gorilla Glass SR+ which is meant for wearables and gives the devices military grade strength. The Gear S3 comes with dual core 1 GHz processor with 768 RAM and 4 GB of internal storage capacity. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier weighs just 62 gram while the other one is lighter at 57 grams.

“With the Gear S3, we continue to build on our wearables heritage of offering diverse choices to enhance consumers’ unique lifestyles,” said Manu Sharma, Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India. “Gear S2 achieved meaningful progress in the smartwatch category with a personalized watch face and a versatile rotating bezel that provided an intuitive smartwatch experience. Now with the new Gear S3, we expand our Gear collection and introduce not only a great smartwatch, but a great watch. With smart capabilities and sophisticated, elegant design, the Gear S3 marks a significant addition to our smartwatch portfolio.”

With the Gear S3 the company brought some newness to their wearable segment. This new device can take or reject calls and it can be done by rotating the bezel. One can send voice messages as well using the S3 as the device offers connectivity options including WiFi and Bluetooth. The Samsung Gear S3 that was showcased in IFA Berlin last year was 4G enabled, however the company have chosen not bring the LTE version to India ass of now.

The Samsung Gear S3 is IP68 compliant, means it is water and dust proof and carries a 380 mAh battery that the company claims, would offer, 4 days of back up.

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Wearables

Asus Launches Smart Watch ZenWatch 3 For Rs 17,599

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Asus today launched its first smart watch ZenWatch 3. Comes in two variants, one in leather strap and the other in rubber, the smart watch is priced at Rs 17,599 for the base model. The leather band variant is priced at Rs 18,999.

The pre-booking of the ZenWatch 3 will start from 23 December on Flipkart and there is an offer on Zero Cost EMI as well. The watch comes with 1 year warranty.

ZenWatch 3 has a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with 400 by 400 resolution and 287ppi pixel density for deep blacks and pin-sharp details that make each watch face look its best. The display is covered with gently curved 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass that facilitates smooth swiping gestures and provides tough protection against scratches and damage.

ASUS ZenWatch 3 is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 (APQ 8009w) processor that is specially designed for wearable devices. This chipset consumes 25 percent less energy than the Snapdragon 400 processor. The Taiwanese firm claims the ZenWatch 3 offers battery life of up to two days. ZenWatch 3 also features exclusive HyperCharge technology that takes just 15 minutes to reach a 60 percent charge. The smart watch comes with a magnetic charging connector that snaps into the charger automatically. An optional battery pack is also available, providing 40 percent more battery life.

The smart watch comes with 512 MB RAM and 4GB internal storage space. Other features include Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi. The smart watch supports calling and text messaging as well.

The ZenWatch 3 comes with more than 50 software watch faces that can be changed using the ZenWatch Manager smartphone app, letting wearers easily customize their watch to fit any style, mood, or occasion. Many of these watch faces support customizable widgets that display useful information, such as current weather, daily step counts, and missed call notifications. For an even more personal ZenWatch 3 experience, wearers can create their own unique watch faces with the FaceDesigner smartphone app.

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Wearables

Xiaomi Mi VR Play and Mi Live Launched In India

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With these launches, Xiaomi has forayed into VR and live streaming business in the country

 

Xiaomi made its first foray into virtual reality (VR) and live streaming in India. The company has launched its Mi VR Play VR headset and Mi Live streaming services in the country. The announcement was made at the Mi Pop event, which brought Mi Fans from across the country for a day to engage with, and celebrate with Xiaomi executives.

Mi VR Play is an entry-level product that seeks to bring the VR experience to a much wider audience. Priced at just RS 999, Mi VR Play will be an affordable option for users to experience VR on their smartphones. Mi VR Play is wrapped in lightweight, durable Lycra for long-lasting comfort. A two-way zipper is added to ensure compatibility, providing a secure grip on a wide range of 4.7- to 5.7-inch smartphones. Mi’s VR device is certified to work with Google Cardboard apps, and will be available exclusively on Mi.com and offline channels starting 21 December from 12 p.m. onwards.

Coming to Mi Live, Xiamoi’s first attempt at in India’s live streaming industry. This is a free app that goes live todat in India and China. One must note, currently it is available to Android users only. You can download it from GooglePlay Store, and gain access to Xiaomi’s locally sourced content catering to your entertainment needs. Mi Live also has a new VR feature, which will allows users to view VR content in the app.

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Wearables

Portronics Launches Yogg X Smartwatch

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Portronics on Tuesday launched one more smartwatch in the Indian market. It has enhanced its Wellness Series by launching “Yogg X” a smart fitness watch with a touch-enabled detachable dial and a water proof design (IP67).

With the Yogg X you can set daily Fitness Goals, Track your activity levels with its Yogg X app. You can also sync your data with your Smartphone which will also alerts you when you achieve your goals.

Like any other fitness tracker it monitors your distance covered, Calories burned, Steps taken, Sleep patterns etc. . It also shows your time & date and battery status on the OLED screen. The screen is touch-enabled and can be awakened anytime, allowing you to shift between modes, by simply touching at the designated spot.The dial is detachable. You can change the strap as per your taste and occasion.

Another key feature of this fitness watch is its water proof design (IP67). Portronics claims that it can resist water and work normally without any glitch for 30 minutes in 1 meter / 3 feet deep.

It also shows your notifications about new Social Media messages, SMS, emails, missed calls, reminders, and goals achieved and Bluetooth disconnected feature. Also you can monitor your sleep pattern by putting it to Sleep Mode.

Yogg X pairs with your Smartphone on Bluetooth 4.0.Once fully charged its 55mAh battery lives up to five days according to Portronics.  Yogg X is priced at  Rs 2,499 and is available at both online ass well offline stores.

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Wearables

Samsung Updates Gear S2 With Gear S3 Features

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Samsung has brought new updates for its Gear S2 smartwatches with features that are originally meant for the new Gear S3. The updates were made available from December 5 in some markets and it will be rolled out in all other countries in coming days.

So, what are the new features that come with this update?

With this update Samsung Gear S2 users can enjoy Gear S3 features like the preloaded watch faces, reminders app that allows users to add tasks and to-do lists. It also offers the use of Alti-Barometer feature that assist in tracking outdoor activities and measuring air pressure.

The Gear S2’s update also improves the function of the smartwatch’s bezel which the user now can use to accept or reject calls, dismiss alarms, timers and alerts for scheduled events with a twist of the wrist. A clockwise twist of the wrist can answer the call whereas an anti-clockwise twist would reject a call. Same goes for the alarm function as well.

The handwriting feature is also improved with the current update. This supports superimposed writing, change hand written messages in different languages and attach a hand drawn image to a message. The new Gear S2 can also send voice messages and dictated text along with Gear S2 emojis.

With the recent updates the Samsung Gear S2 can track more physical activities with its S Health app. The app automatically recognizes activities like running, walking, cycling, elliptical and rowing-machine sessions. The S Health app has added some more features to track gym-standard exercises like squats, lunges, crunches and star jumps. The app can pause automatically if it notices the user has stopped or paused any activity, and resumes when the user resumes.

The Gear S2 update also comes with new features like integrating with third party apps like Uber, Yelp and USA Today.

With the safety and security features’ new location-tracking support, when a user initiates an SOS alert by pressing the device’s home button three times, those designated to automatically receive it will then be able to pinpoint, via the location-sharing app Glympse, the exact location of the user’s Gear S2. This action may also be used to trigger the device’s Safety Partner function, which immediately connects users who have signed up for the service with representatives from partnering security firms.

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