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Wearable technology

  • Xiaomi Mi Band 2 launched: 5 things you should know

    Missed the news last week? Yep, Xiaomi quietly launched the second-generation Mi Band fitness tracker a few days ago. What's new in this edition though? We list a few of the more notable features and improvements. It's got a screen Well, for starters, there's a tiny OLED display on the tracker, being scratch-resistant and having an oleophobic coating to boot. There's a button below the screen too, allowing you to cycle through displayed data (such as steps taken, time, temperature etc) on the screen. Don't want to tap the button? Then simply lifting your wrist will activate the screen instead. And yes, the Mi Band 2...

  • Samsung Gear Fit 2 ‘confirmed’ with Tizen, to launch June

    Details of the upcoming Samsung Gear Fit 2 have been leaked, and it largely confirms talk that the band will be quicker and more feature packed than its predecessor (above). According to a new "confirmed" SamMobile report, the Gear 2 will boast a 1.55-inch 216x432 screen -- Samsung's retaining the rectangular screen profile -- that'll use sAMOLED technology. The band will also feature a Samsung-made 1.0GHz dual-core CPU, along with 512MB of RAM and 2GB of internal storage. We're not sure if that allows for music storage, or strictly additional Tizen apps. Speaking of Tizen, the Gear 2 will further mirror Samsung's future...

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear chips to power wearables for kids, elderly

    Catch all of the latest news, analysis and reactions from Computex 2016 right here. Chipmaker Qualcomm has already launched its first dedicated wearable chip earlier this year, in the form of the Snapdragon Wear 2100. But the company is targeting children and the elderly in particular with its latest bit of silicon. The Snapdragon Wear 1100 is ostensibly a lower end chip when compared to the 2100, but is made with "targeted-purpose" wearables in mind. Qualcomm specifically mentions "connected kid and elderly watches, fitness trackers, smart headsets, and wearable accessories" as part of this market. The US tech firm says the new chip will deliver longer...

  • Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2 and all-new wearable hit Kickstarter

    Pebble's all-conquering smartwatches hold jaw-dropping records on Kickstarter. The original Pebble sits at number three on the website's all-time "most funded" list, at US$10.2-million. The Pebble Time campaign, launched last year, is the most-funded Kickstarter project of all time, sitting at a massive $20.3-million. Now, the Pebble team is back, revealing the Kickstarter for the all-new Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 smartwatches. It's already blown past its US$1-million goal, hitting US$5.8-million as of publication. So what's new this time? What should you expect? Much like the original Pebble, the Pebble 2 features a black and white always-on "e-paper" display, water-resistance (to 30 metres) and...

  • Garmin Vivosmart HR review: acute fitness tracking for a price

    American company Garmin isn't a stranger to tracking technologies, be it mapping tech or sport science, so when the Vivosmart HR arrived on my desk, I was pretty excited. It's the company's new fitness tracker for the semi-serious outdoor performer, and unlike the standard Garmin Vivosmart, the HR has a heart rate tracker (I'm sure you figured that out by its name). But at R4299, it's not the cheapest fitness tracker on the market, and not even close to the cheapest with a heart rate monitor, like the Fitbit Charge HR. So why should anyone drop this amount of cash on...

  • Garmin Vivomove: an analog fitness watch with swag

    It's not often that old world charm meets with new world savvy, but that's exactly what Garmin has done with its new analog smartwatch, the Vivomove. Yes, that's a big of a stupid name, but the watch is undoubtedly oozing character without sacrificing practicality. The Garmin Vivomove, for starters, can't be called a smartwatch in the traditional sense. Yes, it's a watch with a host of sensors -- sensors that has defined Garmin's business thus far -- but it doesn't use a digital face. Moreover, it looks like a classic timepiece, a pretty impressive feat considering that this is Garmin's first...

  • R3999 Fitbit Blaze now available in South Africa

    If you love your Fitbit fitness tracker but wish that it looked a little more like a smartwatch, you're in luck. The company's first crack at the smartwatch game has arrived in South Africa. Retailing through the iStore for R3999, the Fitbit Blaze is a modular smartwatch that privileges aesthetic appeal above fundamental fitness fanatics. That doesn't mean it lacks any of those tell tale Fitbit features though. Heart rate tracking, step tracking, distance monitoring and calories burned are all monitored, and the watch can sync to your smartphone through the Fitbit app. The app allows a more granular look at your...

  • Android Wear updates, makes its smartwatches smarter

    For those rolling around with Android Wear smartwatches, listen up, because that ticker's finally getting a software update. And it's a big one. Krystal Higgins, Android Wear's UX designer, took to Google's Official Android Blog to outline the advancements coming to users in the next few weeks, and the set of updates largely seek to improve user-watch interaction. Users can now listen to calls and messages from their wrists. Of course, this only really applies to devices with speakers -- the Huawei Watch and 49mm Asus ZenWatch 2 are the two examples at present. Google's also including gesture support to the system,...

  • Fitbit Alta: a fitness band for trend sweaters

    Update: Fitbit has confirmed that the Alta will be available in South Africa from April 2016. It's safe to say that previous Fitbit products haven't been the most stylish tech accessories, but the company's slowly addressing this. At CES 2016, we saw its first smartwatch, which many compared (some in disdain) to the Apple Watch, and now there's a new fitness band on the block. It's called the Fitbit Alta, and the company's clearly marketing it towards haute couture-aware tech enthusiasts. "Fitness and fashion on display" is one of its marketing quips, which sums up the Alta succinctly. It resembles a slimmer...

  • Garmin Vivosmart HR fitness tracker now available in South Africa

    Garmin has announced that its new Vivosmart HR activity tracking wristband is now available in South Africa. The device is more fitness tracker than smartwatch, but it does feature a large always-on "sunlight readable display" that displays messages received, calls and the time, alongside the company's new heart rate monitoring technology. "This is the first activity tracker from Garmin with Elevate wrist heart rate technology that monitors your heart rate, offering more feedback on your daily activity, calories burned, workouts and sleep," explains Walter Mech, Garmin's sub-Saharan Africa MD. "Thanks to the vívosmart HR’s high-resolution display which remains on throughout the day,...