Samsung and Google: Peanut Butter and Chocolate, or Oil and Water?

Gear FitThe relationship between Google and Samsung is showing signs of being the tech world’s Next Big Soap Opera. Paul Grey at Displaysearch thinks Samsung is coming back around to Android for its wristware, after having deployed the open-source Tizen OS for its Gear line. We don’t think he’s got it right, and that Samsung’s flirtation is with Android, not with Tizen.

Every July, the investment bank Allen & Co. puts on a very expensive and exclusive retreat for media and tech CEOs; it’s not uncommon for a major merger or two to result.  There were reports that a sit-down between Google CEO Larry Page and Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee did not go well at all. Samsung will have an Android Wear watch all right, because it’s cheap and easy to do that. But Page apparently believes that Samsung is essentially ignoring Android in favor of Tizen, and he’s probably right.

Why would Samsung want to have its software platform entirely at the mercy of Google? It’s a sure bet that Google didn’t consult with Samsung (about the only Android vendor already with a viable watch) before it announced Wear. Going with Tizen, Samsung – the world’s biggest smartphone maker, right? – has the best of all possible worlds: control over the hardware and a truly open-source software platform that developers can hack at. It’s even better than Apple, which has similar control. Google has the software, but not the hardware except through reference platforms, the way Microsoft does it with Windows. And we all know how that worked out for PC hardware companies, right?

So there’ll be three ecosystems: Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple iTime Patent Hints at What Might Be Coming

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The Apple iWatch (or whatever it’s going to be called) may well be a wristband with sensors and a radio in it, and an insertable (and presumably replaceable) display module that gets snapped in to be the device’s face. That’s what you’d gather from US Patent 8,787,006, which AppleInsider spotted today. The specific claims are […]

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Implantables at WearableTechLA

Sensors that analyze your sweat and implanted devices that promise to help the brain regulate organs were the topic of conversation earlier today at a WearableTechLA panel moderated by Wearable Tech Insider. Dr. Victor Pikov, a senior scientist at the Huntington Medical Research Institute in Pasadena, CA, said that GSK and DARPA are putting a […]

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Heapsylon Lands $5 Million in Funding; Changes Name to Sensoria

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The company formally known as Heapsylon, makers of the Sensoria smart clothing, has closed a $5 million Series A funding, raised entirely from the large publicly traded Italian consulting company Reply SpA. As part of the deal, which values the company at $25 million, the company changed its name to that of its product: Sensoria […]

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Tory Burch Makes Fancy Wristbands for Fitbit

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Misfit aside, no one ever accused wearable technology of being pretty, and it’s that lack of glitz that’s supposedly keeping women away from wearables. (We haven’t noticed that, particularly, but let’s go with it anyway.) Designer Tory Burch and Fitbit are collaborating on some bright shiny holders that the doodad for the Fitbit Flex can […]

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IEEE Starts Work on Updated Wearable Health Standards

Technical standards are terribly important; without them, everything is proprietary. Everyday things like plugs and outlets? There’s standards for that. And Ethernet  didn’t take over the world until the IEEE 802 standards got set. You can’t have an ecosystem without standards. That’s why it’s so important that the IEEE (the Institute for Electronic and Electrical […]

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Alcon to Make Google Contact Lenses

We wrote a few months ago about a Google-developed contact lens that could analyze tears to determine glucose levels in diabetes sufferers. Novartis’s Alcon division says today that it’s reached a deal to license the technology and build them. Under the agreement, Google will develop the electronics, which will do the chemistry and send the […]

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Misfit Climbs Into Bed with Beddit

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Misfit, maker of the Shine activity tracker, has struck a deal with Beddit, maker of the eponymous sleep tracker, and is now selling the devices. The Beddit is a thin strip-like device that fits — undetectably, they say —  under your mattress and keeps track of your movement in bed. The device claims to track […]

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Wearable Tech to Replace Cash at Lollapalooza Music Festival

The idea of using a wristband as an identity token in the hospitality industry is not quite new; Disney’s using it quite effectively as MagicBands at Walt Disney World. Now, the folks putting on the Lollapalooza music festival this summer in Chicago are doing something similar: giving attendees wristbands that can be linked to credit cards. […]

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APX Labs Hires Away Google Glass Exec

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One of the cooler demos we saw at the Glazed conference last month was by APX Labs, a Virginia startup that’s building neat industrial applications for Google Glass and Epson’s Moverio. Now comes news that APX has hired Eric Johnsen, most recently the head of Google’s Glass at Work initiative, as its director of business […]

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