Swatch, according to the latest reports/rumors from Bloomberg Business plans to release their answer to the long awaited Apple Watch before this summer, perhaps even beating Apple’s design to market.
Unfortunately, as far as we can tell from the limited information already available, Swatch, like most of the other smart watch wannabes trying to capitalize on all the energy, buzz, and hype around the sector, is focusing on the “watch” side of the equation without a significant differentiating play on the ‘smart’ side.
Before Apple did a complete reboot of cellphones and revolutionized the market, a phone was just a phone, though many of them had a few additional features, like a calendar or camera duct taped on. Apple, or more specifically Steve Jobs, shifted the focus to the total customer experience at a deep kinesthetic gut level and built a complete eco and economic system around the device. While we still refer to our smartphones as a ‘phone’, the actual use of those devices has totally minimized their phone functionality.
Smart watches will follow the same evolutionary path, without a doubt. My Nike+ FuelBand, for example, has become a totally integrated part of my day to day existence. Of course I still use it to check the time occasionally, but the way that it allows me to track, monitor, and expand my physical health and exercise has become invaluable.
While companies, and tech reporters, continue to promote the latest smart watch offering as a serious competitor to the Apple Watch, the ones we’ve seen so far amount to just digital watches with some additional features. There’s nothing really compelling about them that would make you want to run out and get one right away.
I’m guessing, and hoping, that in a few months Apple will change all of that and deliver a smart watch that will totally change the way that we think about and utilize watch form factor devices in our daily lives.
Via: Swatch Plans Smartwatch to Compete With Apple Watch’s Debut - Bloomberg Business #robotsdreams
More information at Robots Dreams
Here’s a five minute overview of what it was like to participate in Maker Faire Tokyo 2014, plus some comments and observations from Make: founder Dale Dougherty -
XYZ Printing has quickly developed a strong reputation for their low cost, high performance, 3D printer line, but most people aren’t aware that they also have a robotics division - XYZ Robot that develops and markets both service and personal robot products.
In the past, their robot division has primarily focused on their service robot line, offering a mobile remote telepresence type robot platform that can be used for auto-mapping, research, surveillance, and other similar applications. However, at CES 2015 the company unveiled an innovative strategy to combine the strong points of both divisions by offering a series of humanoid robots that feature body shells that can be printed using XYZ Printing devices.
While the company hasn’t released exact availability and pricing information yet, the robots are expected to come in two different configurations - Advanced and Intermediate. According to information circulated at CES, the lower end Intermediate robot configuration will sell for just under US$300. We’re speculating that the Advanced configuration will be closer to US$800-$1,000 since it utilizes 18 DYNAMIXEL AX-12A servo motors that typically retail for around US$45 each.
The kits will include the necessary servos, controller, AC adapter, internal frame, software and other parts. The users are expected to print their own body shells. Here’s what we know about the specifications for the two kits so far:
Hopefully the company will make some, if not all, of the 3D printed shell design data available for downloading and modification to help users kickstart their robots.
Via: DIY robot
People are always asking me if I think that 3D printing will become pervasive, if the average person would have any need or interest in printing out items. Being a strong believer in the proverb that “Seeing is believing”, I think this video that shows a Boise, Idaho father and daughter printing a custom wall outlet cover at their local public library says it all:
Of course, there will be those readers that question whether or not government funds should be provided to libraries for services like this - but that’s a totally different debate.
I just finished reading (exploring) Eduardo Galvani’s latest iBook, The Yellow Cab of the Universe: Mr. Albert’s Brain, and I have to say that it’s an absolutely compelling purchase/read for anyone with even the slightest interest in Physics. Here’s what I wrote as a 5-Star review on the iBook Store:
Brings physics to life and makes it engaging
Physics springs from real life - it’s the sum total of our struggle as human beings to make sense of the physical world around us and to solve real world problems. If you what to build a bridge, design a car, aim a cannon, fly a plane, or do almost anything physical, you need to understand the fundamentals of physics.
Unfortunately all too many textbooks and classes teach physics in a dry, pedantic way that sometimes suffocates students interest in one of the worlds most important topics of study.
Eduardo Galvani not only puts the ‘life’ back into physics, he makes it totally engaging and inspirint. This iBook not only teaches physics, it encourages the reader to interact and experiment with the principles cover in each section.
Through the use of color, dynamic images, sound, motion, physical interaction, interactive quizzes, and videos, Galvani brings the full power of the iBook format to bear and creates a learning experience that is difficult to put down.
I highly recommend this iBook to anyone with an interest in physics, no matter what your age, gender, nationality, or experience level.
If you’re a physics fan but are still a bit skeptical, then download the sample chapter from the iBook Store. And, if you don’t already have an iPad or Mac computer handy - beg, borrow, or steal one so that you can experience this iBook. It’s that good.
Morgan Spurlock’s “Inside Man” series kicks off its third season on CNN this Thursday (January 22nd) with an in-depth exploration of how robotics will change our daily lives, starting with an exciting race track adventure in a driver-less sports car.