News Around The Mobile Metaverse – September 7-11, 2015

Every day the Sourcebits team internally shares links to our favorite mobile industry news and stories. Many are related to mobile app design and development — others are just plain fun. Here’s a roundup of interesting stories we uncovered this week from around the mobile metaverse.

Major Announcements from Apple’s Special Event

The tech world was abuzz last Wednesday in anticipation of Apple’s keynote address. What did they announce? Is there anything new? Will human life as we know it ever be the same? The answers to those questions and more were revealed on stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, but if you weren’t fortunate enough to attend, here’s a recap of the biggest things coming to the Apple universe in Fall 2015.

Apple Watch is getting a software update and a makeover. WatchOS2 will be released on September 16th and include some sweet new features geared toward user convenience. Built-in features like Transit which aids in finding public transportation and Time Travel which allows Watch owners to scroll effortlessly through their personal calendar are two examples. Additionally, a new round of apps is coming to the Watch, the most popular of which is Facebook Messenger. The software isn’t the only characteristic being updated. Apple Watch will be available in gold and rose gold finishes and a variety of colored bands to suit any personality. Finally, Apple has partnered with fashion house Hermes to produce Apple Watch Hermes, complete with a stitched leather band.

Apple is calling iPad up to the major leagues with release of the brand new model the iPad Pro. It’s bigger, with a 12.9” screen. It’s faster, actually 1.8 times faster than the iPad Air 2. And it comes with a keyboard and an optional stylus called the Apple Pencil. The Pro was designed to be the best tablet for entertainment, and document production (including in Microsoft Office) ever invented and consumers can look forward to the release in November 2015.

Are you ready for the main event? There is a new iPhone on the horizon that is made of custom aluminum alloy and comes in four colors including gold and rose gold (I’m sensing a trend). It’s called the iPhone 6s and is also available as the iPhone 6s Plus. The highlight of the 6s is the introduction of 3D Touch, the next generation of the Multi-Touch technology. 3D Touch responds to variances in force and specific gestures to offer shortcuts and a completely new user experience. 6s and 6s Plus utilize a chip similar to the iPad Pro and run 70-90% faster than the regular old iPhone 6. New software, iOS9, comes standard on the 6s and will be released for download on September 16th. There’s a lot going on at Apple, their complete line of products is changing, so the lives of Apple enthusiasts may never be the same.

If you are still salivating for more delicious details, watch the full presentation online here.

Get Ready for An Entire Reality Series on Wearable Tech
By Alex Espenson, Tech.co

Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and now, America’s Greatest Makers; which one stands out? Three are stalwart reality shows that have run globally for decades; the other is a brand new reality series that tackles the subject of wearable tech development. America’s Greatest Makers will be a competition between inventors to make the next hit wearable device. Coincidently, the show is produced by Mark Burnett of Survivor fame, and will air on TBS. Not bad for a first of its kind reality show. Will America’s Greatest Makers thrive like Burnett’s other creations, or will it flop like previous tech themed series “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley”? Tune in next year to find out.

Smart Homes: How to Keep From Missing the Greatest Tech Opportunity of Our Time
By Kent Dickson, Readwrite

Intelligence is no longer solely a trait of the living. The Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing a level of intelligence to the objects we own; watches, phones, clothes, rings, and soon, our homes. But the future of the smart home is not a guarantee. The difficulty arises from the lack of compatibility and interconnectivity of smart devices produced by different companies. Because the devices are so diverse in form and function, reaching a consensus for the standard of operation is unlikely. However, if consumers demand that tech companies support open interfaces, and allow the user to decide the connection and use, smart homes may become a reality.

Wearable Tech That Fits Like A Glove
By Vic Vaiana, Hyperallergic

An interesting quote opens this insightful article basically observing that, wearable technology has the potential to become an extension of the human body “through the physical and mental connections the body creates.” Interestingly, at the recent wearable tech exhibition Making Patterns, virtual game designer Kaho Abe demonstrated her new game “Hotaru Prototype #2.” The multi-player game is played by two people, one in a wearable arm gauntlet and the other in gloves with a backpack. One player generates power with the gloves, and then transfers that power to the gauntlet wearer who can use it to shoot beams of light into the air. The more shots fired in one minute, the better the score. It’s kind of a mix between playing a video game and play fighting in the backyard but the highlight is the amazing wearable technology on display.

VIEW RESOURCES

Piotr Gajos, Chief Innovation Officer

Piotr is Sourcebits Chief Innovation Officer. A 2006 Apple Design Award winner, Piotr draws much of his inspiration from film and music, and focuses on leading our Innovation Strategy Workshops, generating new ideas for Sourcebits, and consulting on projects.