Google Glass is officially unwelcome in movie theaters

Jared Newman , Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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Just in case one moviegoer’s interrogation by Homeland Security didn’t send a clear enough message, the movie industry is officially banning Google Glass and similar wearable devices from theaters.

According to Variety, the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theater Owners (the other NATO) have updated their joint policy, making it clear that wearables must be turned off and put away during showtime. The two lobbying groups announced the new policy at an industry event in Florida.

In a joint statement, the groups claimed to have “a long history of welcoming technological advances,” but said they maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any potential recording devices in the theater. “Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave,” the groups said. “If theater managers have indications that illegal recording activity is taking place, they will alert law enforcement authorities when appropriate, who will determine what further action should be taken.”

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Lenovo Smartband fitness tracker with PC unlock feature appears on company website

Jared Newman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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Lenovo may be joining the wearable fray with a fitness band that can also unlock your PC.

A product simply dubbed Smartband has appeared on Lenovo's website, perhaps prematurely. There's no price or release date, and the product description seems a bit unpolished, claiming that the Lenovo Smartband is “for young people who take care of their personal health and are interested in new tech trend products.” (Sorry, old people and lazy slobs.)

It's unclear how the unlocking feature will work, but presumably it'll require some extra software on the Windows side. Lenovo also notes that the PC must be running Windows 8 or higher.

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Fitbit gets fancier with Charge activity trackers, fitness-focused Surge 'super watch'

Jared Newman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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At a time when fitness bands keep getting cheaper, Fitbit is moving in the opposite direction with its new Fitbit Charge, Charge HR, and Surge fitness trackers.

The new Charge trackers trade the existing Fitbit Flex's LED dot readout for actual OLED displays, showing the time of day, steps taken, and Caller ID when paired to a nearby smartphone. The Charge HR also includes a continuous heart rate monitor that provides feedback during exercise and is more accurate for estimating calories burned.

The Fitbit Surge is more of an answer to smartwatches, with a square LCD touch screen that displays time of day, steps taken, heart rate, Caller ID, and incoming text messages, and lets users control music playback from a paired smartphone. This is also the first Fitbit tracker with built-in GPS, letting users track their workout route, distance, pace and elevation while leaving their phones at home.

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Android Wear continues to evolve with support for local music storage and GPS

Jon Phillips Editor-in-Chief, Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Jon is the Editor-in-Chief of PCWorld, Macworld, Greenbot & TechHive. He's been covering all manner of consumer hardware since 1995.
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Google is rolling out an Android Wear update that adds features for local music storage and on-board GPS tracking—two nifty tricks that will let you leave your smartphone at home when it’s time for that epic jog. I’ve just posted a how-to that explains how to use Android Wear’s offline music feature, but GPS tracking isn’t so accessible for now.

Announced in a Thursday blog post, Android Wear 4.4W.2 adds support for GPS tech built directly into watches. This will allow you to track data points like distance, speed, and mapping when you’re out for a run, all without packing along your cumbersome smartphone.

But there’s a critical gotcha: None of today’s three available Android Wear watches include hardware GPS. Nor is GPS available in the G Watch R, which will hit stores in early November. The first Android Wear watch that can take advantage of the new GPS feature is Sony’s Smartwatch 3, which is available for pre-order from Verizon and should ship within a week.

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New rumors of Microsoft wearable include FCC filing, mystery watch on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Jared Newman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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The details keep rolling in on Microsoft’s upcoming fitness band, which will likely be announced within a few weeks.

A new filing with the Federal Communications Commission describes a “mobile wireless device” that comes in small, medium and large sizes, according to Windows Phone Daily. The filing says the circuitry is the same inside each device, suggesting that the size differences are merely meant to fit a wide variety of wrists.

But a more intriguing rumor came in earlier this week, during a broadcast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. During the show, one of the characters flashed a slim fitness band with a color display, showing the wearer’s heart rate. As Twitter user Erdim Tanyeri pointed out, Microsoft products such as the Surface Pro 3 and Lumia phones frequently appear on the show, so the fitness band could be Microsoft’s next act of product placement.

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Bit by bit, the Moto 360 continues to get better

Jared Newman , Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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Motorola is making some adjustments to its Moto 360 smartwatch as a wave of new competitors come crashing ashore.

The latest software update addresses a couple of key complaints with Motorola's watch while making a few other pleasant improvements. Here's a rundown of the changes:

  • To ensure that the Moto 360 lasts through the day, ambient mode will turn off automatically when the battery hits 15 percent. With ambient mode enabled, the screen stays on in a low-power state even when it's not in active use. It's helpful for glancing at the time and notifications without twisting your wrist, but it consumers much more battery.
  • The Moto 360's clock will synchronize with a paired phone more often, hopefully eliminating issues with the wrong time being displayed.
  • When users get a notification, they'll be able to touch the top of it and swipe down to bring the full clock back into view. Notifications will stay hidden until another high-priority one comes in.
  • While charging, the brightness of the Moto 360's clock mode will adjust automatically based on the lighting of the room.
  • The watch will also get various bug fixes, along with some under-the-hood changes in preparation for offline music playback in Android Wear.
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I’m wearin’ it! Survey shows users would buy wearable tech from McDonald’s

Jared Newman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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The future of wearable technology could involve strapping a few Big Macs to your body for convenient snacking.

At least that's one possible conclusion from a new survey on wearables from PricewaterhouseCoopers. One of the survey questions asked the 1,000 respondents how excited they'd be about wearables from various brands. While Apple unsurprisingly came out on top, the bottom of the list is much more interesting.

Apparently, 18 percent of respondents said they were somewhat or very interested in wearable technology from McDonald's—a surprisingly high number for something that seems beyond comprehension. The survey also found that 27 percent of respondents were interested in a Starbucks wearable, and 26 percent were interested in wearable tech from Coca-Cola.

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