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Smart watches are already here, but until now smart watch shipments have been negligible. Smartwatches could be the next big thing in mobile technology. Dozens of companies are gambling on this being the case, but it seems as they will only ever have limited appeal thanks to their superfluous nature.
The tiny screens are considered as a problematic for fat-fingered folks. However, thanks to researchers at the University of California, good news appears to be on the way. Scientists from the University of California at Berkeley and Davis are making a tiny chip that can detect gestures in three dimensions.
The little chip enables the use of ultrasound waves and, because of that, it is called Chirp.
Made by Chirp Microsystems, the system is able to make non-contact gesture control in the same familiar way to interact with mobile devices, as well as control via the touch screen. Its main element is a small electronic chip, equipped with a sound locator–an array of ultrasonic transducers tiny acoustic resonators that generates ultrasonic waves reflected from the user’s hands or objects. Depending on how those waves bounce off nearby objects and reflected, gestures are then captured and analyzed.
A recent report from BGC analyst Colin W. Gillis said that there was only one upside catalyst for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the fourth quarter of 2013. Gillis was responding to the Apple third quarter earnings report which came in better than expected, but failed to move the stock.
The analyst might be right about Apple’s prospects. The upside he was talking about was the company’s prospective deal with China Mobile. Apart from that deal, there seems little fundamental that is likely to move the stock considerably. Heading into 2014, there’s always the hope of the real catalyst, new products, bringing growth.
New Apple products
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rumors have been fairly consistent about what to expect from the company’s next release. All through 2012 it was going to be a television, and sometime in the last year smartwatch rumors emerged. Those two are still the most likely, but a third product has reared its head in recent weeks.
The new iPad that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Released in October was called the iPad Air. That’s more than brand consolidation, it’s a promise. Apple is likely to bring out an iPad Pro sometime next year. It’s bound to be an answer to the Microsoft Surface: a tablet that you can get real work done on.
No big surprises from Apple. No iWatch. No competition for Samsung Galaxy Gear or other Smart Watches
CNN’s Heather Kelly and Doug Gross report Apple’s iPad becoming thinner, lighter, faster. That’s what Apple promises in its newest iPad, which also has a new name: the iPad Air. Yet, no iWatch and therefore, no competition yet from the Cupertino firm for Samsung Galaxy Gear or other Smart Watches.
The company rolled out the fifth generation of its market-leading tablet. Among its new features, the iPad will weigh 1 pound, down from 1.4 pounds. It’s 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the current fourth-generation iPad.
The iPad Air will have the same 9.7-inch screen as previous iPads and pack the same A7 processing chip that’s in the iPhone 5S. That will make it 72 times faster than the original iPad, according to Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller.
The iPad Air will go on sale November 1. Prices will start at $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model and go up to $629 for a 16GB with 4G LTE connectivity.
For Mic Wright, Apple leaks. Apple teases. Apple tells us a lot with little clues. The Apple press game is just that: a game. There’s a strain of conspiracy theorist whackadoo in comment sections – made up of the sort of drooling loonball who writes “fanboi”, “iSuck” and other hilarious puns – which will tell you Apple pays off journalists and throws out freebies like a broken vending machine. Nothing is further from the truth.
Apple’s strategic leaks usually come through two or three hacks at the Wall Street Journal. Read “rumour” stories placed there in the days or weeks before an event and you’ll see the line that Apple wants to stoke. It might be “cheaper” devices coming, it might be that a product will be more expensive than expected, only for Apple to then reveal it is much more “affordable” as its CEO Tim Cook does his affable Texan routine, avoiding the carnival barker enthusiasm that Steve Jobs was wont to slip into on occasion.
The Motley Fool reports that wearable technology has been around for some time. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) revived the languishing mobile music scene with its iPods and replaced brick-like tablets with the iPad, and the company is set to shake up the wearable technology arena. However, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is already set to make a splash and offer formidable competition to Apple.
Until now, wearable technology meant products like FitBit or the Nike FuelBand. However, these products are niche and lack broader appeal. Enter Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) with its Google Glass and the entire landscape changes. The product is still not out for mass consumption, but plenty of people have had access to the glasses and the reviews are generally positive. Robert Scoble of Rackspace, who has been using Google Glass for the last two months, claimed that he will never go without them. It is too early to predict the eventual success of Google Glasses, but it certainly is a big step and a precursor of things to come.
Dara Kerr states that it doesn’t look like Apple will be cooking up its own rendition of Google Glass, but some other sort of wearable technology could be brewing.
During an interview at the D11 conference on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he thinks wearable computing is “profoundly interesting.” While he noted that glasses seem to be “risky,” the idea of wearing something on the wrist is “natural.”
However, he said, “you have to convince people it’s so incredible you want to wear it.” Cook pointed out that most young people don’t wear watches, so it would be the company’s job to make them appealing.