While Apple CEO Tim Cook was dropping hints on stage at the Wall Street Journal’s digital conference yesterday about a future iWatch, a Bay Area startup has started taking preorders for a smartphone you can wear like a bracelet. The Emopulse Smile will answer calls with a word from you, like ‘yes,’ or any other affirmative word. You will be able to Tweet, post on Facebook, blog, and read messages easily this way too. The Smile can function as a universal key and wallet…just wave your hand in front of an NFC terminal at a store, and you’re done. It’s a smaller screen, since it’s on your wrist…about the size of 3 rows of icons on an iPhone screen. It’s being crowdfunded on indiegogo, and the base phone starts at $300. Dick Tracy has already sent his money in!
In everything from apps to mobile systems…more and more, they’re watching you while you watch them. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 pauses video when you look away. Volkswagen has a Chrome plugin that does the same to demo their start-stop tech. Microsoft may be going everyone one better….or worse…with the new version of Kinect, out with the XBox One later this year. We reported it can sense your position and even heartbeat…well, it can also tell how many people are in the room watching a video. Microsoft may be able to cut deals with Netflix and other video suppliers to charge extra for extra viewers. If you think, more and more, that Big Brother is watching…you’re right.
The strongest evidence yet that the iPhone 5S will have a fingerprint reader as that ‘must have’ feature…the chief information security officer at Paypal, Michael Barrett, has said a large technology provider in Cupertino will be out with a phone that has a fingerprint reader this year…and not just one phone…multiple ones. Apple acquired Authentec over a year ago for this technology…that firm used to be a supplier to Samsung, too, so if they choose to use it, they’ll have to pay Apple. The fingerprint reader can replace the lock code on your phone, and also could replace all those hard to remember passwords for apps…you’ll be the password.