Internet Devices News

Swatch is Putting A Watch on the Internet

Lookout Apple here comes Swatch.

Remember those kitschy watches all the kids wanted to wear back in the 80s that had the little rubber face protectors that prevented you from seeing what time it was the people wore it anyway? Well they are the best-selling watchmaker in the world and they're about to get serious about a smart watch. Currently the company is preparing to introduce a model that can make payments for wearers and display data sent by smart phones.

The chief executive of the company said that the first of these new lines will go on sale in May, but that they are not planning on competing with the smart watches being offered by Motorola, Pebble, and Apple. How he figures that is the case is not quite clear. Currently Swatch accounts for 18% of all watch sales on planet Earth. What do you want to bet they can outsell Apple's smart watch.

Currently the company makes devices under the brand names Omega, Calvin Klein, Rado, and more. The company has grown its market share over the past five years consistently and there's no reason to believe that is going to change in the near future. Some observers would disagree.
Some in the industry believe that Swatch and other mainstream watchmakers will be infringed upon by the tech industry newcomers who are entering the market. Swatch wouldn't be the first giant that was brought down a peg by Apple. Remember Microsoft and nearly 2000s?

Swatch has said the company is planning to introduce two different ways in which its device can communicate wirelessly to other technology and in turn to the wearer. These are:
Near field communication - this is a computer chip that can be utilized to make payments without making contact with any other hardware. This is the type of technology that could also open hotel doors as well as any compatible lock set to receive this type of digital communication. New all-digital vehicles like the 2015 Jeep grand Cherokee could also be potentially control was such a device via its internal system. Since it's keyless the doors could be opened, the car could be started, and all of the verbal commands that control the interior could all be accessed by the watch. The first device with near field communication will be released within the next two months.

Bluetooth - the new Swatch devices will be able to send and receive information to smart phones via Bluetooth. This could be used to display all manner of information updates from news feeds, text messages, or any other notification. Swatches with this type of chipset should be available by the summer according to the company. This would allow a user to use a search engine to search for internet providers by zip code, and although their smartphone is doing all the work the info will display on the watch face.
Swatch has already partnered with a Chinese company to provide touchless payments in that country via credit card. Reuters news agency reported that Swatch has a similar partnership in the works with Visa that would allow similar functionality in other countries including the United States.

Internet Music News

Students Can Create Music Online for Free

Create Music OnlineLoop Labs
A free service called Loop Labs from the designers at Club Create allows users to create unique music loops using existing files as well as all new files that can be created with the tool itself. First you select from one of nine loop libraries that are initially made available. Within the libraries various base instrument sounds are available and once chosen further customization can be done. When you like a a particular sound click the “plus” button and add it to you palette mix.
Continue adding sounds in this way until you have all you need to create your new project. You can click on an instrument in any of your timelines to hear the sound, and click on the track itself to hear what the instrument is doing.
You can click the record bottom to create a new instrument voice or import an existing file into the track. Once you are done your track set can be recorded, bounced down, and saved as an MP3 file then downloaded to your computer. Although the compression of this format may interfere with further editing the tool is free and powerful for what you are paying.
Beat Labs
Thousands of sound and rhythm combinations become possible with the free service called Beat Labs. This service provides a sound grid that allows users to select individual sounds that will be combined into tracks and ultimately can become a song. By shifting when a sound is played and it’s duration you can create sound cycles that can be individually be saved. The grid contains 12 sounds as a default but more sounds can be added via the “add more sounds” function in much the same way as the toolset at This gives users access to an enormous catalog of sounds that are also free. In the even that you can find the perfect sound, you can upload your own!
Create unique rhythms with a convenient drag-and-drop menu that will help you create a “beat box” style musical file. This human beat box music style is in the vein of Bobby McFerrin and for users familiar with that artists the loops will be identifiable. Instrumental sounds are also available to accompany the beat box and ultimately completely unique sound loops can be created. Click on the people field to add a new sound. Each sound will be identified with a new person. This is kind of weird but once you get past it the tool is kind of fun.
Create unique music tracks specifically designed to be integrated into multi-media production presentations with UJAM. Hit record and sing or play an instrument. Then you can use the UJAM interface to make changes to the sound file you created. Almost every aspect of the sound file can be edited including tempo, pitch, sound quality, and even tune one instrument into another. Obviously this tool requires the ability to actually create music which differentiates itself from the other tools here. Keep in mind if you can’t play music this isn’t for you.