Microsoft Band 2 With Curved Oled Display, Barometer Launched

At its Windows 10 devices briefing event on Tuesday, Microsoft announced the Band 2, the refresh ofMicrosoft Band fitness tracker device that it had launched last year. Other products launched at the event were the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, as well as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

The Microsoft Band 2 comes with a number of features and improvements, and will be available to pre-order in the US from Tuesday. It will start shipping from October 30 at $249 (roughly Rs. 16,300).

The Microsoft Band 2 features a curved Oled display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen protector. The company says that the display is more responsive than ever.

microsoft_band_2_side.jpgThe Microsoft Band 2 also comes equipped with a range of sensors including GPS, gyroscope, and barometer (which is new) among others. These sensors will enable UV monitoring, offer guided workouts, sleep tracking, and measure calorie intake.

microsoft_band_2_back.jpgIn addition, the Band 2 will also fetch notifications from your smartphone and show them on the display. Microsoft Health will show you more comprehensive information about your fitness level and activities. The company says that Band 2 will work with Android and iOS apart from Windows 10 Mobie. Unlike most other fitness trackers, it also tracks VO2 Max levels – the amount of oxygen the body can absorb in a minute.
The Microsoft Band 2 also features Cortana integration. Users will be able to preview emails, get calendar and call alerts, receive text messages, and see social updates, apart from reply to text messages with quick responses, or dictate responses using Cortana.

microsoft_band_2_cortana_side.jpgAs for what’s coming, the company announced that it has partnered with several new players including Runkeeper, Facebook, Starbucks, and others. Another new partner is Lose It!, which offers fitness tracking.

Google Cardboard Now Available In 39 Languages And 100 Countries

Google Cardboard

Google has announced that they are expanding their Google Cardboard program, the app is now available in more than 100 countries and also in 39 different languages.

The company also announced that the developer documentation for Google Cardboard is now available in 10 different languages.

Google Cardboard is bringing virtual reality worldwide. Starting today, the Google Cardboard app is available in 39 languages and over 100 countries on both Android and iOS devices. Additionally, the Cardboard developer docs are now published in 10 languages to help developers build great VR experiences. With more than 15 million installs of Cardboard apps from Google Play, we’re excited to bring VR to even more people around the world.

Google also announced that their Cardboard app has been downloaded more than 15 million times.

There have also been some updates for the Cardboard SDKs for Android and Unity and Google also announced that you can now use Street View with Cardboard.

Roku 4 4K Streaming Box Announced

Roku 4

We have been hearing rumors about a new 4K streaming box from Roku, the device is now official, the Roku 4 and it will cost $129.99 when it launches later this month.

The Roku 4 is capable of streaming 4K movies and TV shows at 60 frames per second, the box is slightly larger than the Roku 3.

This new 4K streaming box comes with a new Roku 7 software, this will also be released to other Roku device later this month.

The device comes with 802.11ac, Ethernet, HDMI and USB, plus an optical audio output to connect it to speakers.

The company is also releasing a new mobile application which will come with a range of features, the device is now available to pre-order direct from Roku and it will ship later this month.

Asus ZenWatch 2 Launches In The US

asus zenwatch 2

The new Asus ZenWatch 2 is now available in the US, the device is being sold through the Google Store.

The ZenWatch 2 comes with Google’s Android Wear OS and the device is available in two different sizes, one with a 320 x 320 pixel display that measures 49.6 x 40.7 x 9.5 mm, the other with a 280 x 280 display, this device measures 45.2 x 37.2 x 10.5 mm.

Both of these new Asus ZenWatch 2 smart watches come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 512MB of RAM, there is also 4GB of built in storage.

The smaller model comes with a 300 mAh battery and the larger model a 400 mAh battery, both devices comes with WiFi, Bluetooth and a microphone.

These new smart watches come with a IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, Asus points out on the listing that they are ‘not waterproof’.

You can find out more details about the new Asus smartwatch at the link below, prices for the device start at $149.

Logitech India Launches Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus for TVs

Logitech on Monday launched its new Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus in the Indian market, priced at Rs. 3,695. The keyboard would be hitting the shelves starting Thursday.

The Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus is meant for users who connect their computers to their televisions. Featuring a wireless range of up to 10 metres, the keyboard also includes a touchpad for easy controlling of applications on the screen.

As per the firm, the Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus also sports an adjustable cursor control. It also bears shortcut buttons to give easy access to volume controls and menu navigation. The keyboard is said to flaunt a slim design profile with rounded sides and come pre-installed with batteries, which are rated to deliver up to 18 months of power. It is compatible with devices running Windows 7 or higher version, ChromeOS, and Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher versions.

It weighs 380 grams, and measures 354x139x23mm.

“In India we have witnessed changing consumer needs which show how connectivity is extremely important in every aspect of life. The Logitech Wireless Keyboard K400 Plus caters to this need and makes it easy for anyone to connect your PC to the TV and search for Internet content, making it a great device for your living room,” said Ashok Jangra, Cluster Category Manager, Logitech, India & South West Asia.

Logitech last month launched its Ultimate Ears Boom 2 wireless speaker at a price of $199.99 (approximately Rs. 13,300). It also introduced the K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard and the Logitech M337 Bluetooth Mouse at Rs. 2,795 and Rs. 2,345 respectively. The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Keyboard can pair with a computer, smartphone, or a tablet. Logitech in July launched the K480 Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard in India at Rs. 2,795, a peripheral that was first unveiled globally in September last year.

Honor Band Z1 IP68-Certified Fitness Tracker Launched

Honor on Wednesday launched its fitness wearable, the Band Z1, in India priced at Rs. 5,499 alongside the Honor 7 (First Impression) smartphone. The firm would be bringing the device to shelves by the end of this month.

The Honor Band Z1 features a 1.06-inch (128 x 128 pixels) OLED circular display and is powered by a Cortex M4 STM32F411 chip made by STMicroelectronics, clubbed with 128kb RAM. Compatible with both Android and iOS, the wearable is also IP68 certified, which makes the device water resistant and dustproof. The device additionally houses Bluetooth connectivity option with a range of 10 metres and uses MyFitnessPal app to deliver information on user’s sleep schedule and tracks fitness. Notification alerts, customised dial, call reminding, SMS notification, calorie consumption tracker, calendar function are few more features added in the device.

Sporting a polished metallic finish, the Band Z1 is backed by a 70mAh battery, which rated to deliver up to 4 days of working time and up to 14 days of standby time. Using the magnetic charging dock, the band can be fully charged in 1.5 hours or can be charged for 10 minutes for a full day use.

The Honor Band Z1 comes in two sizes. While the larger model measures 244.4x38x9.5mm, the smaller model measures 229.4x38x9.5mm. It would be available in three colour combinations – Pure cream strap with Silver Band, Subdued black strap with gun-metal Black Band and Cool khaki strap with Silver Band.

The Honor Band Z1 appears to be identical to the wearable the company introduced in July this year – Honor Band Zero.

Huawei earlier this year at MWC 2015 introduced a number of wearables in the market. The firm took the wraps off its Android Wear-powered Huawei Watch, TalkBand B2, and TalkBand N1.

Logitech India Launches Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus for TVs

Logitech on Monday launched its new Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus in the Indian market, priced at Rs. 3,695. The keyboard would be hitting the shelves starting Thursday.

The Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus is meant for users who connect their computers to their televisions. Featuring a wireless range of up to 10 metres, the keyboard also includes a touchpad for easy controlling of applications on the screen.

As per the firm, the Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus also sports an adjustable cursor control. It also bears shortcut buttons to give easy access to volume controls and menu navigation. The keyboard is said to flaunt a slim design profile with rounded sides and come pre-installed with batteries, which are rated to deliver up to 18 months of power. It is compatible with devices running Windows 7 or higher version, ChromeOS, and Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher versions.

It weighs 380 grams, and measures 354x139x23mm.

“In India we have witnessed changing consumer needs which show how connectivity is extremely important in every aspect of life. The Logitech Wireless Keyboard K400 Plus caters to this need and makes it easy for anyone to connect your PC to the TV and search for Internet content, making it a great device for your living room,” said Ashok Jangra, Cluster Category Manager, Logitech, India & South West Asia.

Logitech last month launched its Ultimate Ears Boom 2 wireless speaker at a price of $199.99 (approximately Rs. 13,300). It also introduced the K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard and the Logitech M337 Bluetooth Mouse at Rs. 2,795 and Rs. 2,345 respectively. The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Keyboard can pair with a computer, smartphone, or a tablet. Logitech in July launched the K480 Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard in India at Rs. 2,795, a peripheral that was first unveiled globally in September last year.

Japan-Backed Fund Said to Be Considering Investing in Sharp

sharp_shoppers_reuters.jpg

A Japanese government-backed fund is considering a range of options to help turn around Sharp Corp including a direct investment, a person familiar with the matter said.

A direct investment would mark a shift in thinking at the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), which previously only wanted to be involved in Sharp’s liquid crystal display business.

The source, who did not want to be named because the matter was private, said INCJ was also looking at a possible joint-investment in Sharp with Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co in Sharp.

While talks about a possible tie-up between Hon Hai and Sharp fell through in 2012, the Taiwanese firm is still interested in buying all or part of the LCD unit, according to sources and Japanese media reports. Hon Hai has not commented on the reports.

Nikkei business daily earlier on Saturday reported INCJ was considering a direct investment, as well as a merger between Sharp’s liquid crystal display unit and a venture that it owned with Japan Display.

Officials from the fund were not available for comment. An Osaka-based Sharp spokesman declined to comment.

The fund’s interest comes as Sharp was set to report an operating loss for the six months through September due to slow sales of liquid crystal displays in China’s mobile phone market, another source said.

It was becoming increasingly difficult for Sharp to achieve its operating profit target of JPY 80 billion (4,312 crores) for the year ending March, he added, requesting anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

INCJ was also considering teaming up with Japan Display IncT> to bail out Sharp, the person said. INCJ is the top shareholder of Japan Display, the world’s largest maker of liquid crystal displays for smartphones and tablets.

Sharp said in July it would spin off its LCD panel business, which supplies displays to smartphone and tablet manufacturers, and seek funding for it from outside.

Once among the top display suppliers to Apple Inc, Sharp has been pushed aside by the likes of LG Display and Japan Display as the U.S. device maker diversified its supply chain amid longstanding concerns over Sharp’s prospects.