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Forbes: Microsoft to Launch Wearable "Within Weeks"

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According to Forbes Microsoft will launch a wearable device in a few weeks' time-- specifically a cross-platform smartwatch with passive heart tracking and a battery life of over 2 days of regular use.

SmartwatchConfirming the Forbes report is news site The Verge.

Rumours of Microsoft working on a smartwatch date as far back as April 2013, when the Wall Street Journal reported on the company working on "designs for a touch-enabled watch device." More recently a Forbes story from May 2014 tells of a Microsoft wearable featuring "optical engineering expertise from Microsoft's Xbox Kinect division" and a long-lasting battery life.

If the Forbes story is true it means Microsoft might emerge as a dark horse in the race for smartwatch dominance-- after all, battery life is one main complaint faced by the current crop of smartwatches, as the Samsung Gear, Moto 360 and even the Apple Watch demand daily charging.


Calls and Audio in the Shower Via iShower2

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iShower2Customers with a need to listen to music or take care of calls while in the shower should find the iShower2, a waterproof wireless speaker one can connect to smartphones, relevant to their interests.

It features 60m wireless range and play, pause, and skip controls, as well as a built-in speakerphone, allowing one to keep their mobile devices safe and dry while listening to music or answering calls. An LED clock provides a means of reading the time, and it also saves the music preferences and accounts of up to 5 users.

In addition it features multiple mounting options together with water resistance.


Gartner: Tablets Get Squeezed Out of Devices

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Gartner reports 2014 tablet sales growth is slowing down to 229 million units with 11% growth, a far cry over 2013 growth of 55%, as customers prefer to either buy alternative devices or simply stick with their current tablets.

As a result tablets make just 9.5% of 2014 global device (combined PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) sales, which the analyst estimates will reach 2.4 billion units with 3.2% growth.

Gartner devices market

"The device market continues to evolve, with the relationship between traditional PCs, different form factor ultramobiles (clamshells, hybrids and tablets) and mobile phones becoming increasingly complex," Gartner says.

The tablet segment's downward trend stems from the slowdown in basic ultramobiles-- new iPad and Android tablet sales-- and the lifetime extension of current tablets to 3 years by 2018. Thus Gartner projects 90m fewer new tablet sales and 155m fewer replacements through 2018, while some customers will replace their current tablets with hybrid or two-in-one devices.


Connected Smarts Reach the Carry-On

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The technology behind the humble luggage hasn't evolved much over the past few decades, but a startup wants to change that with the Bluesmart, a small suitcase promising to be "the world's first connected carry-on."

BluesmartEssentially the Bluesmart is a connected suitcase. It uses Bluetooth to pair with smartphones, and makes use of built-in sensors and a companion app to provide features such as remote locking/unlocking, distance alerts, location tracking, an integrated digital scale and even device charging via   built-in battery.

It also promises to let one breeze through security with an easy-access compartment at the front designed specifically to hold electronic devices.


Adata's External HDD for TV Recording

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Storage maker Adata releases the HC500-- a 2.5-inch external HDD with TV recording and personal cloud features customers can connect directly to PCs and smart TVs.

Adata HC500Connectivity comes through USB 3.0, and once connected to TVs it provides full-featured video capabilities such as playback, rewind, fast-forward and program recording. Adata also provides customers with an online means to check whether their TVs are compatible with the HDD or not.

Included NTI Backup Now EZ software handles easy backups, while NTI MiST Personal Cloud provides users with a cloud backups and remote file access.


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