CVR 2017, Canada’s Biggest Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Conference is Coming to Vancouver from May 5th-7th

CVR is the premier event to experience groundbreaking new virtual and augmented reality technology
The Virtual and Augmented Reality community will descend on Vancouver during the month of May as today Archiact announced CVR 2017. The three-day event, which goes from May 5-7, will showcase a world-class selection of top industry experts, the latest technologies, and hands-on demonstrations of the latest products.  The event will be open to industry professionals on Friday and the general public for two days over the weekend.
“We are excited to bring back CVR to Vancouver for another fantastic virtual reality show,” said Anne-Marie Enns, Executive Producer of CVR. “This really is a collection of the best and the brightest products in virtual, augmented and mixed reality – all under one roof. CVR is the biggest AR/VR conference in the Pacific Northwest and it will allow the general public to try out the newest, cutting-edge products right here in Vancouver.”
CVR 2017 is sponsored by BCLC, Creative BC, VEC, Microsoft, YDeams and Cloudhead Games among others, and will feature speakers from some of the biggest companies in the world including NASA, Ford, Delta Airlines and Super Ventures. Representatives from these companies will speak about topics such as solving problems in outer space with VR, designing the future of Virtual Humans, and featuring the latest evolution in entertainment.
“I’m very excited to be presenting at the CVR 2017, the Canadian’s premier VR/AR/MR conference,” said Evelyn Miralles, Lead VR Innovator, NASA, “VR’s a technology that has been with us at NASA for several decades used for astronaut space training. But the technology has now come of age and it’ll be changing the way we interact with people and the environment around us.”
In addition to the VR/AR companies participating, the industry event will be kicked off by welcome remarks from Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson.
CVR 2017 will be held May 5-7th, 2017 in West Exhibition Hall A of the Vancouver Convention Centre.  The show hours are as follows:
Friday, May 5 (Industry Only): 9:00am-6:00pm
Saturday, May 6 (Expo Days): 10:00am-6:00pm
Sunday, May 7 (Expo Days): 10:00am-4:00pm
For more information on CVR 2017, such as ticket or specific show programming information, please visit:
About Archiact
Archiact is a premium virtual and augmented reality studio headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with an additional office located in Shanghai, China. Archiact specializes in virtual reality game development, publishing, and custom business solutions. As the host of CVR, North America’s first consumer-facing VR/AR/MR conference and expo, Archiact actively powers the growth of the virtual reality industry for both businesses and customers alike. Founded in 2013, Archiact is now one of the world’s largest dedicated immersive reality studios.

Whatever happened to Google Glass?

google glass broadcasting

In 2012 Google Glass launched and like everyone else in the tech world we were glued to social media networks and online mentions of the technology. Wearable tech has always been a thing but Glass seemed to make it so real that everyone was going to have one.

The wearable tech scene and industry probably warrants an entire blog in itself and in our quest to cover all things gadget we hunted high and low trying to test out a pair or have someone lend us one for a while.

It didn’t turn out that way and while we bought into the hype like everyone else it was quickly scuttled by Google and just like that the party was over.

Google Glasses
Credit: Google

This New York Times article from 2015 outlines Glass’ rise and abrupt cancellation. It did however make history and probably inspired many companies I think, ahem Apple, to see what they could do in the wearable tech space. The Apple Watch springs to mind and while I have not used one seems to be doing fairly well for Apple and consumers.

It’s interesting to note that with tech hype and that kind of huge marketing generated by such products seem also built into its DNA. There is good reason for that but as many of us found using the actual product was quite different.

I had the chance to try it once and I thought it was so so. I mean how could it live up to what I had seen online or as a huge consumer of science fiction movies and novels imagined that it might be. It didn’t. In fact it made me more weary of wearable tech and less likely to buy any such products for at least five years.

There is also a danger here for wearable tech users and producers here too in that marketing and hype don’t always match expectations when using a product. We are a long way away from wearable tech that will be small lightweight and as powerful as we think it should be. Many scientists, developers and engineers will also tell us that the future is bright with this kind of technology nicely placed in our back pockets. The reality however is somewhat different.

NXP and BRAGI Demonstrate World’s First Smart, Truly Wireless Earphones

BRAGI, a European-based earphone manufacturer, is the world’s first company to release smart, truly wireless earphones, based on NXP’s NFMI transceiver technology and its Kinetis K24 microcontroller. BRAGI’s DASHa completely wireless hearable– offers consumers a cord-free experience with freedom of movement, maximum comfort and high quality sound. The DASH combines three essential features into one product: a standalone music player, a live sports assistant and a smartphone companion.

With NXP’s NFMI transceiver technology, and the power and performance efficient Kinetis, the DASH is able to bring innovation to life with a truly differentiated and tiny hearable.

//“One of the major hurdles in developing the DASH has been the ability to deliver reliable streaming of audio signals from ear to ear. Desperate of trying to accomplish this with 2.4GHz RF, we were relieved to come across NXP’s NFMI transceiver technology which has been used for almost a decade to enable ear to ear communication in hearing instruments,” said Nikolaj Hviid, CEO at BRAGI. “The NFMI transceiver solution is small, reliable and consumes minimal energy. And thanks to NXP’s NFMI technology’s ability to work under water, consumers can enjoy the DASH even while swimming. Hearables and NFMI are a perfect fit to deliver a delightful, seamless audio experience to consumers.”

bragiWirelessEarphones2“Without question, 2016 is going to be a year of more disruptive connected consumer experiences, many of which attendees will see at CES this year,” said Asit Goel, senior vice president of the securing monitoring and control business line at NXP. “NXP is focused on cultivating innovation in Internet-of-Things and is excited to work with the BRAGI team to demonstrate the DASH at CES. The DASH paves the way for a whole range of smart devices that will enable many applications beyond cord-free audio listening and communication.” NXP’s latest innovation, the NXH2280, an NFMI transceiver chip offers low power, high bandwidth, more processing capabilities and increased flexibility, while streaming audio and data from ear to ear. This makes the NXH2280 an optimized solution for hearables. In addition, NXP’s Kinetis K24 is a low power 120MHz ARM Cortex-M4F based microcontroller including 1MB of Flash, 256KB SRAM and full-speed crystal-less USB in a wafer level chip scale package (WLCSP) to provide a powerful controller with a small footprint which is critical for space-constrained systems like hearables.

NXP is working with a select number of lead customers to embed NXH2280 in consumer products. The production start of the NXH2280 device is scheduled forApril 2016.
The Kinetis K24 microcontroller is in full production today.

Additional information about the NXH2280 and Kinetis K24 is available

About NXP Semiconductors
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ:NXPI) enables secure connections and infrastructure for a smarter world, advancing solutions that make lives easier, better and safer. As the world leader in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications, NXP is driving innovation in the secure connected vehicle, end-to-end security & privacy and smart connected solutions markets. Built on more than 60 years of combined experience and expertise, the company has 45,000 employees in more than 35 countries.

Samsung Canada Introduces the First Consumer Edition of Gear VR, Powered by Oculus

Samsung Electronics Canada, one of the leading suppliers of mobile phones in the Canadian marketplace, announced today the Canadian availability of its first Gear VR Consumer Edition.  Powered by Oculus, the new Samsung Gear VR broadens the accessibility of virtual reality and offers Canadians the opportunity to immerse themselves in new worlds, games and experiences by simply snapping their Galaxy smartphone into the device.

The latest edition of the Gear VR is compatible with the Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+, S6 and S6 edge, leveraging each device’s super AMOLED display to provide the colour, clarity and performance needed for an amazing virtual reality experience. With new foam cushioning, the Samsung Gear VR is 19 percent lighter than the previous Gear VR Innovator Edition, making the device more comfortable to wear. In addition, the Gear VR’s touchpad has been improved, providing greater control while enjoying a robust selection of film, gaming, 360 degree video and experiential content available.

“Samsung Canada has been at the forefront of delivering mobile experiences, and the newest Gear VR makes virtual reality accessible to even more consumers,” said Paul Brannen, Executive Vice President Mobile Solutions, Samsung Electronics Canada. “The Gear VR offers a truly innovative experience, getting Canadians closer to incredible 360 degree content in a completely immersive way.”

Elevating the virtual reality experience, there are more content options to choose from than ever before in the Oculus Store, including the Samsung Milk VR application, available for download in Canada starting today.  With 300+ content titles and 25+ hours of VR experiences, Samsung Milk VR brings high quality content to life for Canadians, with exclusively developed content such as GONE, an original scripted thriller produced by Robert Kirkman and David Alpert’s Skybound Entertainment. Also included are must-see titles like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay as well as additional channels in music, sports, action and lifestyle.  All content can be streamed for instant access or downloaded for full-quality experience and offline viewing.ca_SM-R322NZWAXAC_000000007_Top_white

The Samsung Gear VR Consumer Edition will launch in Frost White and will be available at select Canadian retailers and Samsung Experience Stores beginning December 11, 2015 for $139 CDN (MSRP).

Samsung Gear VR Product Specifications

Dimension / Weight

201.9 x 116.4 x 92.6 mm / 318g


Accelerometer, Gyrometer, Proximity(Mount/Unmount Detection)


*Field of View

96 degrees

IPD Coverage

54 ~ 70 mm (Fixed Lenses)


Frost White


microUSB connection to the Galaxy Note 5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge

*All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

Read and follow warnings and instructions with the Headset before use. The Headset should be calibrated before each use. Not for use by children under 13. A virtual reality experience may trigger health reactions. See a doctor before use if you have a history of seizures. Stop use if you experience health reactions. 

About Samsung Electronics Canada
Samsung Electronics Canada inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies, redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances and printers. Samsung is a leader in the Internet of Things space through, among others, our Smart Home initiatives. In 2014, Samsung was ranked one of the top 10 most influential brands in Canada, based on a study by Ipsos Reid. Committed to making a difference in communities across Canada, its Samsung Hope for Children corporate giving program supports children’s education, sustainability and health-related issues. Globally, Samsung employs 319,000 people across 84 countries with annual sales of $196 billion.

To discover more, please visit

Follow Samsung Canada at or on Twitter and Instagram @SamsungCanada

SOURCE Samsung Electronics Canada Inc.

The mobile health industry is booming

wearable sensors

The Mobile and Wearable Sensor Industry Projections

The demand for wearable sensors resulted in the sale of 67 million units in 2013. By 2019, the worldwide market is seen to jump nearly seven-fold to 466 million units. Shipments of sensors for smart watches will surge by almost 600% in 2015 on the strength of new products launched by big names in the industry such as Apple and Samsung.

The level of sophistication of wearable devices will also increase as indicated by the number of sensors incorporated in them, from an average of 1.4 sensors per device in 2013 to 4.1 sensors in 2019. As for smartphones, about 200 external sensors can be connected and utilized by a mobile app.

The US market for wireless health monitoring devices is expected to reach $22 billion by 2015. The worldwide revenue for sensors used in mobile handsets, meanwhile, will rise from $2.3 billion in 2012 to $6.5 billion in 2018.

NJIT Online

Mobile Health Sensor Abilities

Mobile health sensors come in different varieties with each having its own specific function. They are primarily used to monitor pertinent metrics, thus enabling the user to better manage his or her health. Any danger signs will be seen right away so appropriate action can be taken before things get worse. The metrics include glucose level, medication compliance, heart rate, blood pressure, and skin temperature. These sensors may be embedded inside the device itself, as in the case of smart watches, or paired with a mobile device through USB, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Function of Current Mobile Health Sensors

People with asthma may use Propeller Health’s SpiroScout. It’s an inhaler with built-in sensors that monitor the environmental conditions. It alerts the owners about dangers that might be present around them. SpiroScout is able to link up smartphones to inhalers to log the time and place of usage.

Fast and accurate decision-making is crucial in medical emergencies. The iRevive system is designed to be used in these sensitive cases to help emergency responders make the right decisions in a timely manner. Its sensors continually check the patient’s vital signs like blood oxygen level, heart rate, and more.

Glucose monitoring devices, on the other hand, help diabetics keep their vitals under control so that they can go through their days without incident. These continually take blood sugar readings around the clock through a tiny sensor that is embedded in the skin.

The Proteus Ingestible Sensor is a revolutionary technology designed to be swallowed by patients. It is typically placed inside a pill to make this process easier. The sensor then travels down to the stomach where it sends information to a mobile app regarding identity and timing of ingestion.

Benefits of Mobile Health Sensors

Mobile health sensors are mostly focused on monitoring for prevention. This heightened vigilance helps the people and the government to bring down healthcare costs. At the same time, the abundance of available data aid medical professionals in their diagnosis and design of treatment plans. Patients get to enjoy improved treatment results.

The sensors are able to capture patient data in a manner that was previously difficult, if not impossible. Round the clock monitoring and precisely timed checks help provide a complete picture of the situation. There are no missed data points due to forgetfulness or random issues. All of the information is in electronic format making them easy to save and access for future reviews.

Researchers can tap into the data stream generated by these mobile health sensors for advanced studies. The unprecedented level of awareness regarding physical activity, physiological responses, location, and more will allow them to gain deeper insights on how the body works. These tools may be the key to unlocking new and better treatments for a wide range of diseases.

Future Innovations

Various companies specializing in medical technologies are developing innovative products and applications. Already in the pipeline are cervical cancer screening and diabetic retinopathy detection systems using mobiles phones. Also in the works are skin patches that measure hydration and sun exposure.

The fitness industry is awaiting the maturity of sensor fusion technology to solve the problem of bulk. This technology is expected to result in a further miniaturization of existing sensors, making them easier to embed in different wearable devices.

Recon’s Jet hits the road

jetOn April 16 local tech company Recon Instruments announced that its Jet was shipping. As someone who has followed this company for a while, I was happy to hear that the Jet is now available.

The wearable tech field has become a hot one over the last few years with company’s such as Apple, Samsung, Google all jumping on board. Apple’s Apple Watch has garnered the most attention of late.

Recon Instruments has been involved in the wearable tech field for a while with the Snow and Engage products and Jet allows them to take that next step and offer something truly unique with this Heads up Display (HUD) technology.

Available in Canada for 879$, Jet interests me as a tech reviewer and blogger and as an avid cyclist. Having met with CEO Dan Eisenhart last summer at GROW in Whistler, I had a chance to use the Jet and was impressed by what it has to offer.

Jet features a dual-core CPU, high-contrast display and point-of- view camera. It connects seamlessly to leading smartphones and wearable sensors, with a screen that sits just below the user’s right eye.

Jet is lightweight, provides outstanding comfort, and is resistant to both water and dust. Jet’s design is modular, as well; exchangeable lenses make it ideal in any lighting condition, while the battery can be easily swapped on the go for all-day performance.

Recon Jet’s comprehensive suite of on-board sensors, including GPS, delivers a full portfolio of performance metrics like speed, pace, distance, duration, vertical elevation gain, and more, while extra data points can be added by connecting wireless third-party devices (via ANT+TM). This allows users to use heart-rate and cadence metrics in real time.

During an activity, Jet allows the user to stay connected effortlessly to friends and family, displaying caller ID and text messages from a paired smartphone. Jet’s built-in point-of-view camera is instantly accessible to shoot short-form HD video and still images.

About Recon Instruments

Founded in 2008, Recon Instruments is a world leader in smart eyewear and smart goggle technology for sports and high-intensity environments. Recon’s award-winning multi-patent and patent-pending technology integrates high-contrast displays with state-of-the-art computing platforms and sensor suites. Recon’s smart eyewear and smart goggles run an Android-based operating system with an open SDK to allow developers to create apps for an endless variety of sports and activities. With worldwide distribution and partnerships with leading technology and optics companies, Recon continues to define and evolve the smart eyewear category. For more information, visit

Extend the functionality of your iPhone apps with Apple Watch

Apple Watch

Yesterday, Apple announced that Apple Watch,  the newest addition to Apple’s ecosystem, will be available on Friday, April 24 to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US. Apple Watch is a timepiece, communication device and a health and fitness tracker.

“Conceived, designed and developed as a singular product, Apple Watch merges hardware and software like never before,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design. “In Apple Watch, we’ve created three beautifully curated collections with a software architecture that together enable unparalleled personalization in a wearable device.”

Apple Watch introduces technologies including the Digital Crown, a way to scroll, zoom and navigate without obstructing the display. The Retina display with Force Touch on Apple Watch senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to access relevant controls. The all-new Taptic Engine delivers a gentle tap on your wrist whenever you receive a notification or message.Apple Watch

Customizable Timepiece
An extremely precise timepiece, Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard.* Apple Watch can be personalized with watch faces ranging from traditional analog such as the Chronograph face, to the information-rich Modular face, or animated butterflies and jellyfish on the Motion face. Swipe up from the watch face for Glances that show you information such as the weather forecast, your current location on a map or the music you’re listening to.

Communication Device
Apple Watch enables you to send messages, read email and answer calls to your iPhone on your wrist. The Taptic Engine alerts you with a gentle tap for notifications. With Digital Touch, Apple Watch allows you to communicate by sending a sketch, a tap or the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Interact with retailers and services around you by paying for coffee using Apple Pay, boarding a plane with a Passbook boarding pass, or raising your wrist to ask Siri for turn-by-turn directions in Maps.

Health & Fitness Companion
Apple Watch encourages you to sit less via the Activity app. It provides a simple visual snapshot of your daily activity with three rings that measure active calories burned, brisk activity and how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting during the day. Apple Watch provides the detailed metrics you need during dedicated workout sessions for the most popular activities, such as walking, running and cycling through the Workout app. With an accelerometer, a built-in heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone, Apple Watch uses the best sensors for different types of motion and provides a comprehensive picture of your all-day activity and workouts. The Activity app on iPhone collects your activity and workout data from Apple Watch so you can see your history in greater detail. Apple Watch uses this history to suggest personalized activity goals, reward fitness milestones and keep you motivated.

Apple Watch is available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm, and in three collections—Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. Apple Watch Sport features a lightweight anodized aluminum case in silver and space gray with a Retina display protected by strengthened Ion-X glass and matching high-performance fluoroelastomer Sport Band in five colors. The Apple Watch collection features highly polished stainless steel and space black stainless steel cases with a Retina display protected by sapphire crystal. The Apple Watch collection comes with a choice of three different leather straps, a stainless steel link bracelet and Milanese loop, and a black or white Sport Band. Apple Watch Edition features cases specially crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys developed to be twice as hard as standard gold, a Retina display protected by polished sapphire crystal and a choice of uniquely designed straps and bands with 18-karat gold clasps, buckles or pins.

Developers in the Apple ecosystem have been creating new apps designed for Apple Watch. From requesting an Uber, checking in to your American Airlines flight, booking a bike for your Equinox class to remotely controlling your Honeywell Lyric thermostat while away. These experiences extend the functionality of your favorite iPhone apps, while delivering a different way to interact. Popular apps such as Instagram, At Bat, Nike+ Running, OpenTable, Shazam, Twitter, WeChat and more will also be available on Apple Watch. The new Apple Watch app that comes with iOS 8.2 on iPhone lets you browse, buy and download apps from the Apple Watch App Store.

Apple Watch delivers up to 18-hour battery life and comes with a unique charging solution that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that snaps into place.

The Apple Watch becomes available for pre-order from the Apple Online Store ( on Friday, April 10, Apple retail stores and department store shop-in-shops will begin offering customers the chance to preview their choice of Apple Watch and try it on in-store.

Pricing & Availability
Beginning April 10 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US, Apple Watch will be available for preview, try-on by appointment at Apple’s retail stores, and available for pre-order through the Apple Online Store  ( On April 24, Apple Watch will be available online or by reservation in Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers in China and Japan. Customers who purchase online or in-store from Apple will be offered Personal Setup to customize and pair Apple Watch with their iPhone.

Apple Watch is available in three collections, Apple Watch Sport, priced at $349 (US) and $399 (US); Apple Watch, available from $549 (US) to $1,099 (US); and Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with prices starting at $10,000 (US).

Apple Watch requires iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. or later. iOS 8.2 will be available for download today.


Gear S added by Samsung Canada

Samsung Canada, one of the leading suppliers of mobile products to Canadian consumers, announced the latest GearSaddition to its innovative line of Gear wearables – the Gear S. Hitting the shelves of Samsung Brand Stores beginning November 14th, 2014 and rolling out to carriers and retailers throughout the month of November, the Gear S combines an elegant, curved design with 3G1 connectivity and allows users to do more on the go – with or without their smartphone².

“The Samsung Gear S defines the next level of wearables,” said Paul Brannen, Executive Vice President, Mobile Solutions, Samsung Canada. “Whether making calls, receiving calls, or keeping in touch and updated, the Gear S delivers the freedom and connectivity our consumers want – right on their wrists.”

More Freedom:

With access to 3G1, Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi®, the remarkable Samsung Gear S keeps Canadians connected with or without their smartphone2, which makes checking up on calendar and app notifications, calls, and social networking easy and fast. The Gear S also makes staying connected easier since its charger cradle doubles as an extra 315 mAh battery pack and the device features Power Saving Mode, which changes the display to black and white and limits non-essential functions to maximize time between charges.

For Canadians looking for a great fitness companion, the Gear S is ideal thanks to enhanced multi-sensors and a built-in GPS. Plus, the Gear S offers even more control over everyday fitness by combining the device with a variety of apps, such as Nike+ and S Health3, helping consumers stay motivated while on the move.

More Than Meets the Eye:

Featuring a 2-inch curved Super AMOLED display, the Gear S delivers a rich and detailed viewing experience, brought to life through its beautiful and easy-to-use interface. With features such as Conversation View and Condensed Font, the Gear S gives the power to read messages and notifications with a single glance. The chic, curved design fits comfortably around the contours of the wrist and becomes an extension of the user’s personal style by giving the ability to customize screen options and interchangeable straps.

With over 1,000 apps already available in the Gear App Store, the Samsung Gear S offers even more ways to enjoy mobile freedom:

  • Location-based services like Turn-by-Turn navigation and Maps
  • View notifications from Facebook
  • QWERTY keyboard, continuous input and voice dictation, making text messages and emails easier

Pricing and Availability:

The Gear S will be available through major Canadian carriers and retailers beginning November 14, 2014 at an MSRP of CAD$399.99.

Samsung Gear S Product Specifications


900/2100 or 850/1900 (3G)
900/1800 or 850/1900 (2G)


2.0″ Super AMOLED (360 x 480)


Dual core 1.0 GHz


Tizen based wearable platform


Codec: MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+
Format: MP3, M4A, AAC, OGG


– 2G, 3G Call, Bluetooth Call
– Contacts, Notifications, Messages, Emails, QWERTY Keyboard

– S Health, Nike+ Running

– Schedule, News, Navigation, Weather

– Music Player, Gallery

– S Voice, Find My Device, Power Saving Mode

IP67 Certified Dust and Water Resistant

Samsung Services

Samsung Gear Apps


WiFi®: 802.11 b/g/n, A-GPS/Glonass
Bluetooth®: 4.1
USB: USB 2.0


Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Heart Rate, Ambient Light, UV, Barometer


RAM: 512MB
Storage: 4GB Internal Memory


39.9 x 58.1 x 12.5mm

67g(Blue Black), 84g(White)


300mAh Li-ion
Typical Usage 2days

  1. 3G coverage not available everywhere and requires a qualifying wireless plan. Consult your carrier for details.
  2. Initial pairing with a Samsung Galaxy device running Android 4.3 or greater required.
  3. This device and related software is not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease.

About Samsung Electronics Canada

Samsung Electronics Canada is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for young minded consumers everywhere through innovation, stylish design and premium experiences. Through relentless innovation and discovery, Samsung is transforming the worlds of TVs, smartphones, tablets, PCs, cameras, home appliances, printers, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. As a result, Samsung has become a true leader in the technology industry. In 2013, Samsung was ranked #8 in the Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands while the Canadian arm was named as one of Strategy Magazine’s 2013 Brands of the Year and Marketing Magazine’s 2012 Top 10 Marketers of the Year in Canada. Globally, Samsung employs 286000 people across 80 countries with annual sales of US$216.7 billion.

Smartwatches Face Challenges as Payment System

apple watch

A recent survey in China, Germany, South Korea, the UK and the US indicates that people in these countries see potential in using smartwatches to ‘carry’ tickets for passenger transport or as security keys to their computers and online accounts. The ability to send healthcare data via a smartwatch is also of particular interest to the majority of people. In America and China, there is openness for using smartwatches as identity cards and payment systems, although Europeans are much more hesitant about these watch

These are findings from an international study in which GfK asked 1,000 smartphone owners in each market if they would be interested in being able to carry out specific functions via a smartwatch, assuming they could save and send their data securely.

The survey reveals that smartwatches have the potential for a range of uses. Gathering sports activities, navigation, phone calls and apps are the main applications that surveyed consumers are interested in now. Due to the nature of a smartwatch being worn on the wrist, it could also serve as proof of identity, a travel ticket holder or a method of making payments at the checkout.

Smartwatches could carry healthcare data

Nearly half of everyone surveyed across the five countries say they would be interested in using a smartwatch to give doctors or hospitals with their personal healthcare data – such as, during a doctor’s appointment or in a medical emergency. However, people in different countries differ widely in how far they are ready to entrust sensitive health information to a smartwatch; 69 percent of those surveyed in China said they are interested in this compared with just 50 percent in the US and 43 percent in South Korea. European consumers are more hesitant, with around one third of respondents in the UK expressing an interest and just one quarter in Germany. Men are rather more open to this idea than women and the difference between age groups is even more marked, with interest in using a smartwatch for their health data increasing with age.

Asians and Americans see potential for smartwatches as travel tickets

GfK’s findings also show that smartwatches have clear potential as travel tickets. Just less than half those surveyed across all five countries say they would be happy to use a smartwatch for this purpose. The Chinese (63 percent), Koreans (54 percent) and US citizens (41 percent) were the most interested. European consumers were again more reticent with only 32 percent of respondents in the UK and 31 percent in Germany saying they would use a smartwatch as a travel ticket.

Older generations open to using smartwatches for online identification

Faced with rising cybercrime levels, there is a general desire for ways to improve security and this is reflected in GfK’s findings. Overall, 45 percent of respondents say they would be interested in using a smartwatch as secure identification to log on to personal computers or access online accounts. Interest in this function increases with age, starting at 42 percent of those aged 16-29, and rising to 46 percent of 30-49 year-olds and 48 percent of the over-50s. On a country by country basis, China shows most interest in this function, with over two thirds (68 percent) saying they would be happy to use a smartwatch as secure identification on their computers. They are followed by the US with just under a half (49 percent), South Korea with 37 percent and the UK with 33 percent. Germany again shows more hesitation, with just one quarter of all Germans surveyed saying they would be happy to use a smartwatch as secure identification on their computers.

Chinese happy to use smartwatches as identity cards

Across all five countries, 38 percent of those asked say they would be interested in using a smartwatch as an ID card when going abroad or visiting the authorities. Once again, China and the US are out in front in being open to this idea, with 57 and 41 percent respectively, followed by South Korea and the UK, with 33 and 28 percent. The Germans are again the most critical; just one fifth say would use a smartwatch as an ID card.

Paying by smartwatch? Only the US and China are interested to date

Mobile payment, i.e. using a smartphone to pay at the checkout with near field communication (NFC) technology, hasn’t proved very popular so far. In theory, using a smartwatch at the checkout would be even more convenient than getting out a smartphone; but only 35 percent of respondents across the five countries surveyed are interested in this facility at present. The real potential for this is in China, where interest increases to 54 percent of those surveyed, compared with 40 percent in the US and only 28 percent in South Korea and 27 percent in the UK. In Germany, just 20 percent of those asked say they would use a smartwatch to make payments.

About the study

The data was collected in a study of smartphone owners in China, Germany, South Korea, the UK and the USA which was conducted in August 2014. In each country, 1,000 respondents were surveyed online.

For more information, please visit or follow GfK on Twitter:


Endomondo’s fitness app expands reach to more devices and users


After releasing updates earlier this year for Samsung Gear Fit and Gear 2, Garmin, TomTom and Pebble iOS users; the popular Endomondo Sports Tracker app now integrates today with Android Wear devices, as well as the Samsung Gear S smartwatch.

The free Android Wear update delivers a total of six real-time fitness stats across three screens.  A simple swipe lets users move through data, and information can be assigned to different pages with ease. Further, the integration allows people to easily start/pause/stop a workout while on the go.

The Samsung Gear S integration works similarly, but allows users to select between a total of nine configurable stats such as speed, distance or workout duration. Additionally, the built-in Gear S heart rate monitor can now supply data to Endomondo.

Supplemental information about features now offered to users can be found at Endomondo’s blog, as well as instructions for syncing Endomondo to various devices.  Mette Lykke, Endomondo’s CEO, said she sees this latest round of integration as another step toward Endomondo’s goal of offering a connected experience across multiple wearable devices so fitness remains engaging and fun.

“With interest in wearables expanding at an incredible rate, Endomondo has spent 2014 aggressively developing for these devices,” Mette said.  “Our aim at Endomondo is to utilize these new technologies in a way that still supports our core belief that social interaction and support is a key motivator when it comes to people getting and staying fit.”

fitness appFor more information about Endomondo, please visit or

About Endomondo:

Founded in 2007 and now with more than 25 million fans worldwide, Endomondo stands apart from other activity tracking apps because it helps users connect with like-minded people and encourages the sharing of experiences and support in achieving collective goals. Operating on most GPS-enabled smartphones, Endomondo lets people track workouts, analyze performance, and aids in the discovery of new activities and insights so people become and stay active.  Users can send friends real-time pep talks while they exercise, compete against friends for fun, challenge co-workers, and share it all across popular social networks.


SOURCE Endomondo app compatible with Android smart watches

Last week the travel experts at announced that their award-winning mobile app is now compatible with backtoschoolAndroid smart watch devices. The app will now send important notifications to travellers at 2p.m. on their arrival date – just as they are about to check into their hotels. Helpful information shared includes a hotel image, address and full reservation details.

“Our new wearable notifications make travelling even more seamless,” said Daniel Craig, Senior Director of Mobile for the brand. “We know our customers are increasingly looking for ways to take the stress and hassle out of travel and we’re in the business of listening and responding to them as fast as possible.”

A leader in the industry with more than 35 million downloads of its mobile app, is also one of the first travel companies to launch wearables. Mobile bookings also continue to gain popularity with one in four made on a mobile device and within two days of check-in. Fortunately, for last-minute bookings, the app includes access to more than 20,000 exclusive last-minute deals.

About, L.P. (also known in Canada as operates, a leading online accommodation booking website with nearly 325,000 properties around the world, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last-minute deals.

Vuzix M100 review

Wearable tech is an interesting thing now. With so much hype around it it’s often hard to meet peoples expectations when they get their hands on it. The Vuzix M100 is one such device.

Having read and posted a Tech News piece last year M100I was looking forward to trying and when I did last week I was disappointed.

Upon putting on the M100 I noticed that the headset felt very uncomfortable on my ear. I constantly had to readjust it and make sure that it wasn’t digging into the side of my face. While I don’t expect these devices to be perfect the M100 goes the other way and quickly becomes annoying.

While the M100 is primarily used for commercial and medical applications, I used it strictly operating as a consumer and user of wearable tech. If I had to use it for a job I would quickly discard it in favor of another device or a smartphone or tablet based on what I mention above.

With a WQVGA Color display, the M100 works on your left or right eye, over head or with safety glasses (included). With or without safety glasses, I found the screen on the M100 to be satisfactory. Heads up display or HUD technology still has a way to go but both the Recon JET and Google Glass provide a better viewing experience.

The M100 runs on a standard Android build which is fine with me. You can also use a remote control app that pairs with an Android device. It isn’t compatible with iOS yet but if I had to switch to an Android device to use it I could be ok with that.

Vuzix does sell a developer kit sdk but company’s such as Google do not charge to develop on platform such as Glass. Vuzix’s M100 SDK is 199.99 USD so Glass would be a better choice for a number of reasons price included.

The features and functionality offered by the M100 are solid once you get past the way it feels on your face but if you are wearing it for long periods you may not be able to.  It has 1 GB RAM and 4GB flash capable memory with Micro SD support up to 32 GB.

Battery life with the M100 is 6 hours hands free (display off) but only 2 hours hands free and display and 1 hour hands free plus display and camera. Wearable tech devices don’t typically have long battery lives so the External Battery Pack helps increase run time up to 6.5 times over base M100. It offers Micro USB connectivity as well as Wi-Fi 802.11and Bluetooth

Given the performance of the device the price is also way too high. At 999.99 USD individuals much less company’s should be hesitant to make an investment in the M100.