Asus unveils flashy ZenWatch 3 with round screen and 2-day battery


BERLIN — Asus is joining the round club.

The Taiwan-based consumer electronics company announced its latest smartwatch at IFA 2016, the ZenWatch 3, featuring a round display .

The ZenWatch 3 joins a vast number of smartwatches with round displays including the Samsung Gear S2, Moto 360, Huawei Watch and Fossil’s Q-series.

The smartwatch features a 1.39-inch AMOLED display (400 x 400 resolution) set on a 316L stainless steel watch case, which Asus says is 82 percent stronger than regular steel, for a more jewelry-like look. It’ll be available in three finishes: Rose gold, gunmetal and silver. It’s also thinner than the Apple Watch at 0.39-inches thick. Read more…

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Amazon Dash lands in UK and people are sceptical


Amazon has rolled out its Dash purchase devices in the UK, allowing Prime members to buy cleaning supplies, pet food and laundry products simply by pressing a physical button. 

The Wi-Fi-connected gadgets, which are to be placed near the items in question, such as a toilet-roll holder, will cost £4.99 each and are available to Amazon Prime customers — though there will be a £4.99 discount with the first purchase. 

More than 40 brands — including Andrex, Ariel, Kleenex and Wilkinson — are on board with the service and more are set to follow. Read more…

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Xiaomi just released a Roomba competitor at a fraction of the price


Xiaomi just added another home appliance to its growing line-up of smart home gadgets.

This time, it’s a Roomba-like robotic vacuum cleaner, called the Mi Robot Vacuum. Like others on the market, the disc-like gadget promises to slide around the house picking up dirt, but it comes with a set of impressively advanced sensing systems that could make it a lot better than the rest at detecting its surroundings.

Image: xiaomi

One of the vacuum’s 12 sensors is a laser distance sensor that is able to scan 360 degrees around it, 1,800 times per second. Read more…

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WhatsApp lands in hot water in India over privacy policy changes


WhatsApp’s change of heart on how it handles its users’ data isn’t impressing many.

India’s Delhi High Court has reached out to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the two top bodies that govern telecommunication issues in the country, seeking their take on the matter.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra issued the notice after two WhatsApp users alleged that the change in the privacy policy contradicts WhatsApp’s original promise, and it would result in “endangering” privacy of millions of users. Read more…

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IMAX wants you to 'walk into a movie' with this 5K-res VR headset


BERLIN — StarVR, the ambitious high-res VR headset, is a prototype no more.

In a partnership between Starbreeze and Acer, the latter PC maker announced at tech show IFA 2016 that the VR headset would start shipping immediately.

While not quite as well known as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or even the Samsung Gear VR, the StarVR headset is notable for its 5K resolution and ultra-wide field of view (FOV). 

The headset has a 210-degree FOV compared with the Rift’s 110 degrees, which means viewers will feel even more immersed in the virtual world when wearing the StarVR. Read more…

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Acer's new gaming monitor will let you blow things up with your eyes


BERLIN — Computer monitors, like TVs, get better every year with more pixels, greater brightness and higher contrast. That’s all great, but Acer is shaking things up with the first monitor to boast built-in eye-tracking technology for gaming.

Acer announced the Predator XB271HUT, a 27-inch gaming monitor with Tobii’s eye-tracking sensor, at tech show IFA 2016.

The flat display has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels and also features NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology for smooth, high-frame-rate gaming.

The marquee feature is the eye-tracking bar below the screen, which can scan the movement of your eyes to track where on the screen you’re focused.  Read more…

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