This modular bracelet concept lets you choose how smart you want your jewelry to be

The popularity of the Apple Watch has finally given smartwatches their place in the market, making them understandable and even desirable. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone now wants a smartwatch, especially those who prefer mechanical watches or have different aesthetic tastes. Unfortunately, the majority of wrist-worn smart trackers seem to be made with sporty and rugged designs in mind. Given hardware requirements, that’s not exactly surprising, but that shouldn’t stop designers from imagining what’s possible. One such dream is reflected in this minimalist yet distinctive bracelet that throws all smart wearable design conventions out the window, offering a modular piece of jewelry that is smart in more ways than one.

Designers: Akasaki Vanhuyse, Astrid Vanhuyse

If you remove the actual time-keeping function of a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, all you’re really left with are the sensors that actually do the work of keeping tabs on different metrics of your health, directly or indirectly. A display isn’t even necessary since you can always check those figures on a smartphone. In fact, a display might even be detrimental because of the distractions it pushes your way or how it clashes with some fashion styles. Smartwatch designs are primarily constricted by hardware such as displays and big batteries, but what if you could be free of those restrictions?

That’s what the BEAD concept seems to be proposing, offering the same health and wellness monitoring functionalities but in a form that is a bit more universal and, at the same time, more personal. At the heart of the design are the beads, actually tiny cylinders that each hide a single sensor used to track a specific biometric like a pulse oximeter or an accelerometer. Each bead is an independent unit, free from displays or large batteries, performing a single task and performing it to perfection.

The idea is that you can combine any number of these beads on a string or wire to achieve the same collective effect as a fitness tracker. You wear it around your wrist like a bracelet, held together at the ends by magnets in the shape of half-spheres. The wire is white, plain, and unadorned, which puts a bigger visual focus on the beads. Those beads themselves carry a brushed metal finish that helps hide whatever scratches they may incur over time while also giving them unique characters.

You can add or remove as many of these modular beads as you need, only paying for the functionality you actually use. It also makes repairing broken beads easier, since you only need to replace that single piece. Admittedly, the industrial aesthetic might not appeal to everyone’s tastes, but the concept opens the possibility of using different, perhaps more stylish designs that will truly create a fusion of fashion and technology in a simple smart bracelet.

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Apple Watch Ultra 3 with 360 camera is for smartwatch photographers of tomorrow

Apple has always been at the forefront, consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible in consumer technology. The Apple Watch Ultra 2, with its innovative gesture input system and impressive peak brightness, was a testament to this commitment. But now, a new vision for the future of wearables is taking shape in the concept of the Apple Watch Ultra 3.

Watch Ultra 2 brought us the ability to tap our fingers twice to register a button press, revolutionizing how we interact with our devices. And now a designer has added an element of surprise to the mix by envisioning the Watch Ultra 3 with a built-in 360 camera.

Designer: Abdelrahman Shaapan

Building on this success, the Apple Watch Ultra 3 envisions taking gesture control to a whole new level, although the exact details are still shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that Apple is dedicated to redefining the user experience, which is evident from the recent report that expects Apple to launch the next generation Watch Ultra in 2024 with a 2.1-inch micro-LED display.

Add to that the idea of including a 360 camera in the Apple Watch Ultra 3 and imagine yourself capturing the surroundings in a truly immersive way, all from the convenience of your wrist. This innovation will allow you to relive your journey capturing every moment in stunning detail: undeniably a refined user experience!

According to the concept, the 360 camera on the Apple Watch Ultra 3 seamlessly integrates camera in the watch body, allowing you to control it directly from your wrist. Even more impressive is the watch’s ability to automatically stitch together the captured images or videos in real-time. This allows the watch to create panoramic images and videos. It means you will not have to be a tech wizard to create beautiful, immersive content; the watch will do the heavy lifting for you.  

With the additional gimmick, the Apple Watch Ultra 3 will be more intriguing for some photographers; how much it may appeal to an average bloke is undefined. However, what a usual user may be put off by is the bulk this idea will put on the wrist. The watch body fits in all the regular Apple givens along with the camera, which actually adds to the watch’s thickness. Personally, for me, this is just not happening!

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The Polar Vantage V3 smartwatch combines Nordic functionality, size, and athletic appeal

Polar just announced its newest Vantage V3 smartwatch lineup, which is the far classier-looking follow-up to its 2020 Vantage V2. It’s immediately targeted to athletes with a slew of new features like the Polar Elixir biosensing tech and a larger aluminum bezel with support for 22mm wristbands. Thanks to increased thickness and a sportier, almost Nordic look to the exterior – including those sleek red and chrome-colored buttons on the side – it may be Polar’s fanciest smart sports watch yet.

Designer: Polar

The Polar Vantage V3 is an advanced (but not quite futuristic) smart sports watch that looks like it can easily compete against other smart sports watches – like the Fitbit Sense 2 – thanks to its durable and elegant build, array of quality-of-life and GPS features, and purported 140-hour battery life in power-saving mode. Much like the Vantage V2 before it, it also stands completely apart from regular smartwatches like the Apple Watch Series 9 and Google Pixel Watch 2 for users who specifically want the most accurate fitness measurements and most interactive fitness training programs built directly into their smartwatch.

It’s targeted directly to athletes, and it already looks primed to be one of the best sports watches on the market for the near future. The new Polar Elixir biosensing suite includes an improved OHR (Optical Heart Rate) tracking sensor, wrist-ECG, skin temperature sensor to track body temperature throughout the day, and oxygen saturation monitor. All of these components are meant to combine in order to deliver pristine biometric reads, giving you the most up-to-date information about how your body and your fitness plan interact with one another.

Boosted biometrics and swanky casing aren’t the only improvements the Vantage V3 brings to the table over its predecessor; the new watch features an AMOLED touch display with 462 ppi resolution protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The V3’s internal CPU, which is rated for a 129% speed boost over the CPU that shipped in the Vantage V2, is now able to power a large collection of apps, including built-in GPS apps that utilize the new smartwatch’s dual-frequency L1/L5 satellite GPS chip.

The whole thing is also better suited for swimmers. It’s rated for WR50 water resistance, meaning you can dive about 50 meters underwater with it on your wrist before there’s any danger of it breaking. Better underwater biometric tracking make it a competitive diving and swimming watch.

You can now pre-order the Polar Vantage V3 in Sky Blue, Night Black, or (the appropriately fruity-colored) Sunrise Apricot directly from the Polar store for $599.95. Deliveries are set to begin on October 25.

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Google Is Copying Apple with Its Pixel Watch 2… But It’s Doing a Better Job

It’s well known that the Apple Watch isn’t a watch – it’s a cutting-edge medical and fitness wearable that also tells the time. Every September, Tim Cook relays stories from regular consumers of how the Apple Watch saved their lives, and it seems like Google’s borrowing a page from its biggest rival. The Pixel Watch 2 made its official debut today and the one thing that stood out was how Google was integrating FitBit into the Pixel Watch to make it an effective health wearable… but that wasn’t all. Aside from just being a flagship fitness and health-monitoring watch, Google also leaned heavily into its AI expertise to make the Pixel Watch 2 a powerful smart wearable. In a rare first, Apple may have pioneered the health wearable… but thanks to its AI abilities, Google is perfecting it.

Google’s parent company Alphabet announced its bid to acquire FitBit in 2019 – a process that was finally completed in 2021. At the time, it seemed odd, given that Google didn’t have a single fitness wearable or smartwatch of its own… but nearly 4 years after its initial announcement, the Pixel Watch 2 is revealing the payoffs of that collaboration.

The Pixel Watch 2 boasts the same teardrop design as its predecessor, but with new hardware and software upgrades. On the software front, the Watch 2 has support for new apps like Gmail and Calendar along with improvements to YouTube Music, Google Assistant, and third-party apps like WhatsApp, Audible, etc. It now also sports the Safety Check feature that Google introduced last year with the Pixel 7 smartphone, allowing your watch to notify your emergency contacts if you don’t respond within a certain time frame – perfect for students, commuters, or anyone who needs a guardian/friend/family member to check in on them.

The hardware upgrade involves an improved heart-rate monitor that is 10x more efficient and accurate than the one on the 1st Gen Pixel Watch, thanks to Google opting for a multi-path sensor that works in tandem with an improved ML algorithm. The watch also has a skin temperature sensor and a continuous electrodermal activity sensor for measuring sleep quality as well as detecting changes in emotion like the feeling of stress.

Where the Pixel Watch 2 really begins overtaking the Apple Watch is in how it deals with the data it gathers from its hardware and sensors. A new and improved AI Assistant now offers a much more intuitive approach to tracking your health. Fitness data gets logged into the Watch 2’s new Fitbit app, with a redesigned interface for the smartphone… but what’s really impressive is the AI’s ability to parse that data in much more meaningful ways. You can now ask the Fitbit app whether there was any improvement between yesterday’s and today’s exercise routine, or if it notices any anomalies in your fitness based on your performance. This new AI-driven approach offers much better insights into your fitness in ways that the Apple Watch probably can’t. Sure, the Watch and Watch Ultra can gather your health and exercise data in expert ways, but what they truly lack is that layer of AI that lets you ‘talk to your data’ to learn things that you probably wouldn’t by simply looking at a chart, graph, or app.

The Watch 2 comes made using recycled aluminum (yet another page from the Carbon Neutral Apple playbook), and sports a 24-hour battery life despite its always-on display. It has the same strap attachment system, so you can use existing straps from the previous model with your new wearable. Each Pixel Watch 2 comes with 6 months of Fitbit Premium, and a month of YouTube Music Premium free, and sports a $349 price tag.

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In a world saturated with flashy smartwatches, this one stands apart with its retro-futuristic design and smart features

Even when technology is evolving at a rapid pace, there’s something captivating about the fusion of old and new. Simply put, it’s a symphony of nostalgia and a celebration of timeless design. And at the heart of this intriguing blend is the remarkable smartwatch, purposely known as JUSTWATCH because, it is what it is.

A design meant for the discerning individual who appreciates style and function for futuristic design, this retro-futuristic watch is only an amalgamation of elegance and intelligence. The smartwatch exterior exudes a sense of classic beauty defined by clean lines and a sleek profile. While the dial is a timeless facade aligned with smart features waiting to be explored.

Designer: Jacek Janiczak

The JUSTWATCH draws its inspiration from the icons of the past, infusing a subtle vintage vibe into its modern functionality. It’s like a trip down memory lane, where the beauty of yesteryears meets the convenience of today on the analog dial complemented with a monochrome display.

The watch’s body is crafted from premium plastic, ensuring a comfortable fit for all-day wear. But it’s not just about comfort – it’s also about style. Subtle metallic details adorn this masterpiece, elevating its aesthetic appeal to new highs. And to add a touch of modern sophistication, fiber elements have been seamlessly incorporated into the watchband.

Its rectangular dial within the comfortable plastic casing enchants with its functionality. Three circular functions grace the top half of the dial, two dedicated to analog watch time and one serving as a trusty compass. The bottom half of the dial features a rectangular digital watch display, effortlessly merging the past with the present.

For those who appreciate tactile controls, the right side of the dial offers a delightful surprise. A roller wheel for the analog section and a crown wheel for the digital section stand as a testament to the watch’s dedication to user-friendly design. In that, JUSTWATCH is not just a watch; it’s an intuitive companion that helps you navigate through life with ease, and connects to your mobile device to present notifications and alerts. In a world saturated with flashy smartwatches, this one stands apart as a statement of retro-futuristic design!

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CMF by Nothing debuts affordable TWS Earbuds, Smartwatch and a Utilitarian 65W GaN charger

Nothing started its maiden journey with a pair of earbuds, followed by the radical phone design, backed by loads of hype and anticipation. Carl Pie’s brand has since then consolidated with stellar second-generation products. Now Carl wants to cater to the more affordable section of the market with the newly launched CMF by Nothing.

Abbreviated Color, Material, Finish – the brand is a direct aspiration of the parent company to bring great accessible design to the masses. The budget-friendly brand announced today has three products in its kitty – smartphone, earbuds and charger. According to Carl, CMF is, “here to question the world.” By our understanding that statement is clearly focused on the high price tags of some of the gadgets out there.

Designer: CMF by Nothing

Keeping with the trend of revealing earbuds as the first product, CMF by Nothing has the $49 Buds Pro earbuds to offer. At that price tag, the active noise cancellation, 11 hours of standalone battery in the buds and 39 hours of battery in the charging case are worth the deal. Compared to the now premium Nothing Ear (2) earbuds, the sub-brand’s buds have a more contoured look.

There’s no transparent aesthetic, normally associated with the Nothing products. Also, the case design is different from the Big Brother as they are stored in a circular puck case. The Buds Pro features like equalizer, ANC settings and more can be toggled via the Nothing X app earbuds. For now, the earbuds will be available in grey, black, and vibrant orange colors.

Next, there is the CMF Watch Pro which is a reflection of the brand’s ‘accessible’ motto. The price tag of $54 will shake up the smartwatch market. There are clear traces of the unannounced Apple Watch design and the Watch Ultra’s orange strap here. At one-tenth the price of Apple’s wearable, the 1.96-inch AMOLED display smartwatch touches important bases with a dedicated heart rate sensor, blood oxygen saturation sensor and multi-system GPS. Also, it comes with a claimed battery life of 13 days and 110 sports activities for fitness tracking to choose from.

The most interesting product in the line-up from the perspective of utility is the CMF Power 65W Charger. The GaN (Gallium Nitride) charger juices up most of your gadgets including phones, earbuds, smartwatches, or portable speakers. With the inclusion of three ports, two USB Type-C and a USB Type-A, the branded accessory is cheaper than most other brands at $39.

The wide range of compatibility for  PD3.0, QC4.0+/3.0/2.0, SCP, FCP, PPS, AFC, Samsung 9V2A, DCP, and Apple 2.4A protocols will make it a value-for-money proposition for users buying new flagships or products that don’t have the charger included in the package.

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Nothing launches ultra-affordable $54 Watch Pro with Bluetooth Calling and Heart Monitoring

It’s about 80% cheaper than Apple’s Watch SE, but has all the features you’d expect from a good budget smartwatch.

Pretty much following exactly what the leaked images said, Nothing’s sub-brand CMF has announced its first three products, the Buds Pro TWS earbuds, the Power 65W GaN charger, and the Watch Pro, an affordable but mighty smartwatch that hopes to bring the Nothing experience to even more users with its pocket-friendly price tag. At just Rs. 4,499 INR (or $54 USD converted), the Watch Pro shouldn’t really come with any expectations, but it exceeds whatever I have with a feature-packed design. It sports a “mighty” 1.96-inch AMOLED always-on display accompanied by a single hardware button. The watch lets you answer calls via Bluetooth (with an AI noise reduction algorithm), tracks as many as 110 sports/activities, has a comprehensive heart monitor, a built-in GPS, IP68 dust and water resistance, and a whopping 13-day battery life. Did I mention it costs just $54 bucks?

Designer: CMF by Nothing

What immediately stands out with the Watch Pro is the fact that it’s nothing like Nothing. There’s no transparency, no fanfare, not even as much as an online event or even a video. The reason lies in Nothing’s underlying strategy to pretty much conquer the budget market with well-made gadgets that are recognizable, but don’t affect Nothing’s own brand positioning. The CMF devices aren’t transparent because that’s the Nothing visual DNA. Instead, they come with opaque designs that are punctuated by the use of a bright orange, either in the hardware, or in the software. The name CMF stands for Color, Material, Finish – a reference to the abbreviated term used by designers and engineers.

While the design isn’t overtly revolutionary or innovative, the watch does deliver quite the bang for its buck. On the hardware front, there’s a whole lot to write home about. The watch obviously tells the time, lets you monitor the weather, has GPS tracking, and even has Bluetooth support so you can answer phone calls without taking your phone out. The folks at Nothing say their AI noise reduction algorithm was trained on over 100,000 noise models, allowing it to work remarkably well at isolating your voice when you’re in a crowded or noisy space.

It even supports up to 110 sports modes, letting you track all your sports and activities right on the watch, with a comprehensive breakdown of your reps duration, calories, heart rate, pace, steps, and distance. The comprehensive health monitor tracks your heart rate, blood SpO2, sleep, stress levels, etc. to enhance your health journey. There’s even a water reminder thrown in there so that the Watch Pro constantly ensures you stay hydrated.

What really does set the Watch Pro apart from any other smartwatch we’ve seen, however, is the OS. Most smartwatches distil down their respective smartphone OS or rely entirely on Android Wear to power their experience, but the Watch Pro is an entirely different experience. The smartwatch’s UI quite literally uses just a combination of 4 colors – black, white, grey, and orange, but achieves so much with its limited palette. The interface is this minimalist Bauhaus-inspired work of art that practically uplifts every screen, from the multiple watch faces to the functions/features within the watch. It might be a $54 smartwatch, but it feels nothing like one, with a kind of cleanliness that’s only reserved for flagships.

The Watch Pro comes with a respectable 13 days of battery life with moderate use, going down to 11 days with heavy use. This includes the fact that the Watch Pro has an always-on display that’s ever ready to give you the time of the day, the date, the weather forecast, or any notification you may need to see. Partnering with your smartphone, the Watch Pro has Find My features to help locate both your phone as well as your watch. There’s also a built-in Voice AI as well as music control for playback on your phone or your TWS earbuds.

For now, the Watch Pro along with other CMF products are just limited to an India launch. It makes sense, given Nothing’s flagship production center is in India too, as is a majority of its audience.

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Besides calfskin leather, Hermès releases four new Apple Watch bands in knitted materials and attractive colors

Hermès, renowned for its luxurious leather bands designed exclusively for the Apple Watch, has been an embodiment of sophistication and style for years. But with Hermès taking down all Apple Watch bands from its website, ahead of Apple’s iPhone 15 and Watch Series 9 launch event on September 12, the question on everyone’s mind was whether the partnership with Apple was coming to an end.

Long-time Apple Watch partner removed all mentions from its website as information of Apple planning to effectively phase out the use of leather from its watch bands – because of its climate impact – started doing the rounds. Now that Apple has launched the new iteration of its Watches, the tech giant’s move seems little of a dealbreaker for Hermès, as iconic calfskin Apple Watch bands are back up on the marque’s website.

Designer: Hermès

Along with roughly 20 leather band variants for the newly released Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2, Hermès has released a variety of other designs, colors, and materials, promising a quick style update for your wrist. These include four entirely new styles inspired by luxurious textiles paired with the elegant Hermès Radial face, aimed at elevating the Apple Watch’s aesthetics for you.

Among these new Hermès Single Tour and Double Tour bands are options made of knitted nylon and woven nylon, as well as several color choices made of calfskin, as mentioned before. Bridled style Apple Watch band, Bridon, showcases a continuous knit hand-braided into a 3D chevron pattern, available in the option to loop around the wrist once or twice.

For those who appreciate heritage, Toile H is a sturdy yet lightweight band inspired by Hermès’ cotton canvas introduced in 1930. Twill Jump on the other hand features a colorful contrasting border. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Kilim band – a sport band in signature Hermès orange – designed in waterproof soft rubber with a quick-release buckle and interlocking “H” motif is especially for you.

Hermès Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 bands range between $349 to $589, while Hermès also offers watch and band combos ranging between $1,249 and $1,539. All the bands are now available for pre-order and are likely to ship starting September 22.

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Starfield Constellation Edition boasts a smartwatch that doubles as a functional gaming memorabilia

Most of the gamers I know (and apparently, I realized I know a lot) are not always the ones that you will associate with other gadgets like smartwatches. Well, at least, they will be interested if it’s connected to the game that they’re playing now. One of them said that they don’t want to be conscious about time or anything else while they’re playing so they most likely will not wear a watch. So the fact that the newest collection edition from Bethesda games costs $300 and comes with a smartwatch has given pause to some gamers eager to get their hands on the latest game from the company.

Designer: Bethesda Games

The Starfield Constellation Edition is a special bundle available for those who have been waiting for the Starfield RPG for so long. It’s a mix of physical and digital items with some you can use in-game and some are just some game memorabilia. That includes the smartwatch with a pretty nifty-looking watch case made from aluminum and plastic and with a metal latch. It looks like something an astronaut would carry on board a ship in the game. The highlight of the special edition though is the Chronofield smartwatch, which may be the most expensive part of the package.

It is made from plastic, metal, and rubber, with an option for a NATO strap in case you don’t want the rubber strap. It’s not a touch screen device but it has a glass screen and four physical buttons. It seems to have all the usual features like Bluetooth connectivity, weather updates, music control, moon phase display, notification alerts, etc. You can connect it to your smartphone app as well for other controls. It doesn’t seem to be connected to the game itself for now but future updates may eventually do so.

Aside from the watch and the watch case, the Starfield Constellation Edition also includes a Steelbook Display Case, constellation patch, and of course the Starfield Base game itself. There are other things like skin packs, in-game bonus items, access to the digital artbook and original soundtrack, etc. This should appeal to fans of the game and those who enjoy Bethesda games but if it’s just the watch you’re after, there will probably be better alternatives out there.

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Google teases the contoured Pixel Watch 2 ahead of Apple’s September Wonderlust event

While Apple fans are eagerly waiting for the next suite of products from the Cupertino giant, Android users have also got the premium Pixel launches to look up to at the Made By Google event in October. Apple’s event is happening next week, and Google obviously wants to build anticipation of its flagship phone and smartwatch to spice up things.

To the same accord, Google has given a sneak peek of its second-generation smartwatch almost a month ahead of the official launch on October 4, which is kind of strange but most probably triggered by Apple’s upcoming event. In a short video released by Google, the Pixel Watch 2 looks eerily similar to its predecessor with some little differences.

Designer: Google

Some of these variations include a new crown design, the inclusion of an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, and a radical-looking sensor array. If you already own the Pixel Watch, playing the video a couple of times will reveal the rectangular optical sensors inside the pill-shaped array, compared to the EKG electrodes housing on the original smartwatch that came last year.

The second generation Pixel Watch has a more contoured form factor with a bit smaller LEDs. If we take into consideration all the rumors and leaks that have surrounded the upcoming Pixel line-up, then the sensors mentioned above should be the Sense 2 continuous electrodermal activity sensor. That should explain the circular design of the watch. Also, if we go by the leaks, then the EDA sensor for stress monitoring should be a certainty.

Coming on to the crown, it is now more coherent with the display screen, compared to the Pixel Watch which had a clear distinction in the form of a cut-out. What will come loaded on the inside is anybody’s guess at this point in time but the smartwatch is expected to come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Plus mated to the Samsung’s Exynos chipset.

If the Pixel Watch 2 teaser already tickles your fancy then the New York event followed by pre-orders for the smartwatch should be marked on your calendar already!

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