Tech Talk Thursday: The Latest Throwback in Technology

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An interesting new wearable is soon to be released. There are those who think that I might be referring to Apple’s new entry into the smartwatch field. The release of that new device is indeed imminent. In fact Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has said that the Apple Watch will be released in April. To that end Apple will be holding a “Spring Forward” special event on Monday, March 9 (the very day after we all spring forward in time and lose a precious hours of sleep). During this event Apple is expected to release new details about Apple’s forthcoming smartwatch.

But, while I am certainly interested in Apple’s new device, the wearable of which I speak is the Runcible, a new smartphone that saw its public premiere this week during Mobile World Congress. What is so interesting about another smartphone? First take a look at a couple of pictures.

The front

The Front

The back

The Back

Pictures from PCMag.com.

This new smartphone/wearable is a throwback of sorts to the day of the pocket watch. It is in fact a modern smartphone outfitted with all of the technology expected including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and LTE. The Runcible, a creation of a company called Monohm, runs the Firefox OS. The makers of this smartphone feel that the other smartphones of today immerse us in notifications to the point of overwhelming us. The Runcible, while technically capable of providing these notifications, chooses to take a step back and allows us to stay connected to the data that we need through our smartphones while not losing focus with the real world around us.

For more information on this new phone click through the following links.

PCMag

C|NET

Tech Talk Thursday: Google Glass – A Step Back for Reflection

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Welcome to our first monthly Tech Talk Thursday! On the first Thursday of each month, the health sciences library’s technology experts will update you on the latest happenings in the world of tech.

 

google-glassOn January 15th Google announced that it was ending the Google Glass Explorers Edition program – we’ve talked about the program a little before in a previous blog post. The product had been released in limited fashion to the public in April 2013. Google Glass was billed as a hands-free solution that could get you through your day by helping you to navigate city streets, keep in communication with your friends, and stay updated with the latest news and information. People even filmed themselves skydiving with the devices. Controversy over Google Glass arose as well. For example, there were privacy concerns over the built-in camera which made people uncomfortable about the potential of being surreptitiously filmed. Businesses began to preemptively ban the devices even before they were in the hands (and on the faces) of the public at large.

Google stopped short of saying that the program was being cancelled; rather it was to be folded into another division within Google. Further Google Glass development will be moved from the Google X, where Google houses experimental projects, to its own division under the Nest division which is overseen by Tony Fadell, formerly of Apple, Inc. where he helped in the development of the original iPod. The aim is to take what was learned during the Google Glass Explorers Edition program and put that technology and knowledge to create new technology to enrich us on a daily basis.

To be sure, the wearables markets is in its infancy. There are tons of devices coming out that seek to make technology a more integral part of your everyday life such as Android Wear devices, Apple Watch, FitBit activity trackers, and the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. Time will tell what will become a part of everyday life for millions and what will end up in a dusty drawer. And for now you will need to use GoPros to record your skydiving adventures.