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5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


I've got a soft spot for wearable computing devices. It's one more step towards ubiquitous computing.

Wearables come in a few forms, but I'm mostly interested in smart watch style devices. There are a surprising number on the market today, and I'm not even going to count those that aren't user-programmable.

I personally have experience with 3 smart watches. The TI eZ430-Chronos, metawatch (also by TI), and the WiMM One.

The TI and Metawatch are microcontroller based and you can program them by uploading new firmware. Development is generally done in C or assembly. The chronos has accelerometers and a weird non-wifi, non-bluetooth wireless ability. It also has battery life measured in months or years if the fancy stuff isn't used. It only has a segmented LCD display, so the UI potential is pretty restricted.

The metawatch is a little more consumer friendly, as it has bluetooth and a smartphone companion app. Development is in C or assembly, but a good deal of stuff can be done on the phone side and messages pushed to the watch to display. It's still a "developer beta", and the battery life on mine is sometimes atrocious. It often doesn't get through a full day. Other people have had more luck. The metawatch comes in both full digital monochrome and analog-with-tiny-oled-screens.

The WiMM one is definitely my favorite of the devices I've personally used. It's android based, has a full-color 160x160 multitouch touchscreen, accelerometer, bluetooth, wifi, and GPS (currently disabled in firmware). I've built a few apps for mine in the couple of weeks I've had it, including new watch faces. One of the really nice features is that when the watch goes to sleep, the screen turns monochrome and transflective. The watch wakes up just long enough to update the screen every minute. This means you don't have to press anything to use it as a watch. The watch face is just there, and up to date. Battery life is heavily dependent on how you use it, but it definitely gets through the day.

Other than those, there's also the inPulse, which looks promising. There's moto-actv too, which is another android based thing (and it's even been rooted!), but it's marketed as a fitness accessory rather than general purpose wrist-computer. And of course, the iPod nano which just happens to fit on a watch-band.

What do you think? Is there a legitimate place for this sort of device? Where do you see things like this developing in the future? What features would make you even want something like this?

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5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


That sixthsense stuff looks great. I really do think something like that is the way we're headed, but it's got to be a less public visual interface. Something heads-up augmented reality rather than projectors. I mean, what if two people are looking at the same thing?
I am quite interested in sense augmentation. I actually started building a microcontroller project to add a sonar sense, but got distracted after getting the proof of concept to work.

The current wearables space is not mature, but it is fun. I think what we really need is much lower power requirements. I want solar/kinetic/thermal/nuclear powered always on stuff.

So yeah, it's not mature yet, but it can be useful. Just before xmas, I was on vacation and in a casino. There's no way I would have heard my phone notification, and I never seem to feel the vibration when it's in my pocket, but because I was wearing my metawatch, I saw that my girlfriend had IMed me and what she sent without having to dig out my phone.

Then, driving to my parents' house, my dad texted me, and I could read it right there on my wrist.

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


I'm disappointed at the web-centric nature of the mirror api. I hope that they open it up to more than just subscribing to and publishing info soon. I want augmented reality apps. I want navigation paths overlaid on the actual road. I want an app that communicates with the phone to unlock it only when I'm actually looking at it. I want an app to detect when I'm too obvious about looking at boobs. There are so many possibilities, it's frustrating to only see bullshit social media notifications on the horizon.

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


Thanks for that. I took the plunge for a developer's edition of the omate. It seems like the natural evolution of my WIMM One, which I have definitely had $200 worth of fun programming for. I hope their waterproof charging connectors are sweatproof too.

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


Yep, right thread. I hope that's not the Galaxy Gear. It looks awful.

And since it wasn't mentioned already, it turns out that WIMM has been silent for a year because Google bought them. Hopefully, a Nexus Watch based on the WIMM platform will come out relatively soon. I would be all over that.

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


Yeah, those G Watch R renders look really nice, but they're just that: renderings. I'd like to see an actual photo. Also, what the hell is that button/knob on the side?

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


lovely battery life is really surprising. I love my G watch, and it usually ends the day with about 70% battery left. I did turn off the always-on screen because I didn't want a constantly glowing thing on my wrist, but the screen wakes itself up if you raise the watch to look at it so it's not an inconvenience at all. I don't baby it either, I have every notification sent to it and use it as a navigational aid while biking a lot.

On that note: my current awesome wearables use-case is G watch on my wrist, Bluez bluetooth bone conduction headphones, and my phone in my jersey pocket while biking. Music, navigation, voice control, and one-handed quick reference on all that while still not being distracted from the actual task of not dying in traffic.

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


Super Dude posted:

Is the Moto 360 capable of doing nfc payments? If not, are any of the watches?

As far as I know, no current Android Wear watch has NFC hardware. You can hack some, but it won't help with payments: http://forum.xda-developers.com/android-wear/general/embed-nfc-tag-android-wear-t2832300

Honestly, I'm okay with having to use my phone for NFC payments (if they're ever adopted), but it would be nice to have an NFC reader in the watch for other purposes.

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


Sterf posted:

Not using an English accent fucks it up too, I tried it out with 'Check the weather' and gave me 'chicks with dicks'. wtf google

Judging only by this misinterpretation: are you from New Zealand?

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


When I checked my G Watch against my fitbit, it only differed by < 10 steps out of 2500 in the interval I tested. I've since lost my fitbit or I'd check over an entire day.

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


In the vein of cool stuff that nobody's really talking about, I finally got my Myo that I kickstarted in 2013. It's pretty neat, and I look forward to playing around with programming for it, but right now it's definitely in the "cool... what do I do with this?" stage.

It seems to take a bit of time after putting it on to learn to discriminate gestures well, but I've already gotten used to trying to control my music with subtle hand motions.

https://www.thalmic.com/en/myo/

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


booshi posted:

Does anyone know a todo app that works with Android Wear? Todoist does, but you have to manually push to the watch.

Depends on what you want. Google Keep works on the watch and you can create checkable lists. That's about as much todo as I ever do.

5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


Nitrousoxide posted:

I used to be able to get a good 2 days out of my LG G Watch. Now, I'll get a crazy battery drain that'll happen nearly every day. It'll burn through half of the battery in like 2-3 hours. My usage pattern really hasn't changed either. So my typical battery will last less than 24 hours now.

I noticed this happening with the update that added the "find your phone" function to the launcher. Anyone else experience this?


Yes.

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5TonsOfFlax
Aug 31, 2001


As the (long ago) OP, separate threads for the main wearables categories would be great. I'm no longer interested in smart watches that aren't Android Wear. I'd second the AW, other AW, Pebble, other wearables split.

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