There are a couple of big changes to the Google Glass project that are taking place, the first of which is that it's now being overseen Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive and founder of Nest, which Google purchased for $3.2 billion a year ago. Ivy Ross will still run the daily operations, she'll just now report to Fadell. And the second? You can kiss the Explorer program goodbye -- Google has decided to shutter its Glass Explorer program as it moves into the next phase.
Compact accessory turns your existing eyewear into a set of smart glasses
The wearables category is shaping up to be a big one, or at least manufacturers will give the segment the ol' college try. We expect to see a bunch of wearable devices at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month, especially since we're already seeing a handful of products hit the web ahead of the convention. Take Sony for instance -- Sony is developing a compact and lightweight single-lens display module that it says can turn various eyewear into smart devices.
The wearable category has opened the door to several interesting product ideas, one of which is a bracelet that turns your arm into a touchscreen. Say what? It's called the Cicret Bracelet (pronounced "Secret") and it's currently in development, though you won't find it hanging out on any crowdfunding sites. Instead, the developers are seeking donations on their own in hopes of raising 700,000 euros to finish the first prototype.
Intel may be pairing with Google Glass, replacing Texas Instruments as the supplier of chips that power the wearable device. The Santa Clara chip maker is said to be producing processors for a new version of Google Glass that's expected to come out next year. If true, this would give the chip giant a vested interest in a wearable platform that hasn't seen much media attention lately.
Having climbed its way to being king of the mountain in the PC sector, Lenovo is now setting its sights on mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and yes, even wearables. Speaking of the latter, Lenovo now has a product page for its forthcoming Smartband SW-B100. Lenovo's targeting "young people who take care of their personal health and are interested in new tech trend products" with this one.
"There's not a strong reason to wear one every day." - HTC on smartwatches
Handset maker HTC will launch at least one new product later today during a planned press event, but whatever the company has on tap, it won't include a smartwatch. After originally planning a wearable device in this time frame, HTC's smartwatch "ended up just not being ready," the company said. That doesn't mean HTC is suddenly disinterested in smartwatches, but it does want to make sure that when it enters the category, it will be a worthwhile experience.
Even though everyone and their mother seems to be busy building a smartwatch at this point in time (no pun intended), this “smart” reimagining of the wristwatch has a long way to go before being accepted as a mass market product, and there is no guarantee of that happening. Nonetheless, if you have already invested in a smartwatch and are desperately looking for a respite from being constantly bothered by its troubling lack of utility, unfortunately we can't help you. But if all that you are looking for is to while away some time, you should probably try running an antediluvian operating system on it.
The concept of a bug bounty program is nothing new, and even Facebook will line your pockets with cash if you discover a qualifying security vulnerability in the social network or select acquisitions it's made. Until now, however Oculus Rift was exempt. Facebook has now extended its bug bounty program to Oculus Rift, which joins other Facebook acquisitions such as Instagram, Parse, Onavo, and Moves.
Intrigued by Google's Glass Explorer program? If so, you'll soon have your chance at owning a pair of Google's wearable device next week. Google is giving anyone and everyone living in the U.S. (and at least 18 years old) a limited time opportunity to join the Explorer Program on a first come, first served basis starting at 9 a.m. ET on April 15. It will be the first time Google has opened up the program to the general public.
If you thought the wearable computing craze was going to simmer down anytime soon, think again. Google is throwing its weight and resources behind the wearable computing movement by announcing Android Wear, a modified version of the company's open source operating system. Android Wear extends Android into wearables starting with the obvious -- smart watches -- though Google has more in mind than being able to tell time and fire off text messages.