Report: Apple has more than 50% of Australia's smartwatch market


One day away from launching its iPhone 7, Apple has some good news out of Australia.

A new report suggests the Apple Watch has captured more than 50 percent of the smartwatch market in the country, followed by the Samsung Gear and Fitbit Blaze.

That’s after a slow start for the smartwatch category generally. According to technology analysis firm Telsyte, smartwatch sales made up one third of the wearable technology market in the first half of 2016 compared to less than a quarter in early 2015.

Sales of smartwatches grew by 89 percent in the first half of 2016 compared with first half of 2015. Read more…

More about Australia, Smartwatches, Apple Watch, Apple, and Tech

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Australia is taking on revenge porn, but young people are still at risk


The distribution of revenge porn, an act of digital harassment, is slowly being criminalised across Australia. 

Punishing those who share explicit pictures without consent is a welcome development, but commentators say any crackdown ought to be accompanied by another look at how the law treats young people who share intimate images with their peers. 

If no change is made, child pornography laws that are intended to protect young people could instead be used to punish normal teenage behaviour.

On Monday, the state of New South Wales (NSW) announced it would follow Victoria and South Australia in introducing a law criminalising the distribution of intimate or explicit images without consent. “These images can … be used as a way to deliberately humiliate, control or harass the intended victim,” NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton said in a statement. Read more…

More about Social Media, Australia, Revenge Porn, and Tech

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Pet wearables are here to help you spy on your four-legged friends


The Williams’ residence in suburban Melbourne is home to three dogs and five humans. Life is often chaotic as each member of the household negotiates for space and attention. It’s one of many Australian homes where animals are an integral part of family and domesticity.

Over the past few months, parents Andrew and John tell us, the dogs have been misbehaving, damaging furniture and belongings while people are at work and school. Andrew has approached the situation by installing webcams and purchasing a pet wearable device called “Whistle” for his dog Tigger, a German short-haired pointer who he rightly suspects is the main culprit. Read more…

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At IFA 2016, smart appliances and virtual reality take center stage


BERLIN — Coming to Berlin for the 2016 IFA electronics trade show, we expected wearables, smart everything and virtual reality devices, and that’s pretty much exactly what we got. 

Still, seeing all the “smart” and “connected” home appliances in one place gave me a sense of how much this technology will permeate our everyday lives in a few years. 

Smart iron? Check. Smart toothbrush? Check. Smart fridge that takes photos of its contents with three cameras and then sends it to your phone every hour so you always know what’s inside? Check.  Read more…

More about Virtual Reality, Vr, Smart Home, Ifa, and Ifa 2016

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When a rare syndrome renders girls voiceless, tech helps them speak again


When 13-year-old Nathalia Lawlor was born, she seemed perfectly healthy, moving and babbling like any other baby. But at around six or seven months, she started to lose her coordination and ability to move. Once able to grasp small objects, she could no longer pick up pieces of food from her plate.

Nathalia was diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that affects girls almost exclusively. Doctors said she would never be able to speak or walk again.

Rett syndrome occurs in 1 in every 10,000 female births globally, though there have been even rarer cases with boys (according to the National Institutes of Health, however, most boys with the condition die in infancy). The disorder typically manifests when a girl is 6-18 months old, and it inhibits many brain processes, including cognitive, motor and sensory functions. Those living with Rett syndrome are, like Nathalia, often unable to talk or use their hands, and in many cases they need to use a wheelchair. Read more…

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