When you read an ebook on an ereader, smartphone, or tablet, you need one hand to hold the device and often, the other hand is required to control the device. Unless you have a dedicated stand for your device, and you want to leave both hands free, you have a problem. That’s where the wristphone Rufus Cuff may help.
The Rufus Cuff is a small smartphone designed to be strapped on a wrist. It is not smartwatch, but a much larger, more powerful, phone-like device. Rufus Labs calls the Rufus Cuff a Wrist Communicator, but in essence, it is a small Android phone that is always with you on your wrist.
The product is not available in stores yet, but some reporters have had an opportunity to test it. Engadget’s reporter wasn’t impressed. He didn’t like to wear a bulky electronic device on his wrist. The display quality, camera and overall features don’t match the features of ordinary smartphones.
Reading a whole book on Rufus Cuff’s low quality 3.2-inch screen may not be enjoyable, but reading a couple of minutes while waiting at a tube station or at a lobby of a bank is probably what we would do with it.
The Rufus Cuff runs on Android operating system, which means that plenty of applications is available for the device (all Android apps won’t run on the wristphone). Rufus Labs sees enterprises the primary market for the product. Hotels and restaurants, delivery and courier companies have already indicated interest in the product. The product is priced at $300 which is reasonable compared to, for instance, many smartwatches.
Here is a promo video of the wristphone by Rufus Labs:
Would you wear a wristphone? We wouldn’t – not yet. Wearable computing is taking its first baby steps. New concepts and new products are continuously tested. That’s how every new technology is being developed. It takes time and patience to get it right so that the mass market really wants it. Smartwatches, like the Apple Watch haven’t been able to break through to mass markets yet. The Rufus Cuff has some work to do before it can get even to that position.
Key features and technical specifications
3.2 inch TFT Touchscreen
TI Cortex A9 Processor
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Front-facing Video Camera
LED Alerts & Flash
Spill & Splash Resistant
GoPro action cameras are popular among adventure travelers, explorers and adrenaline junkies. GoPro is also the default add-on camera for many drone models that don’t come with a camera of their own. Controlling the camera can sometimes be difficult if it is attached, for instance, to a helmet and hands are not free to hold a smartphone that is connected to the camera. To solve this problem, GoPro has developed an app for the Apple Watch.
Once you have downloaded the GoPro application to the Apple Watch, you can see what the camera sees on the smartwatch display. You can tap the watch screen to take a photo or start video recording.
The configuration is not as straightforward as using the watch as a remote camera controller. The setup requires an iPhone where the GoPro app is connected to the GoPro camera via Wi-Fi. Once that connection is working, you connect the Apple Watch to the iPhone and gain control over the camera from the smartwatch.
Digital Trends tried it out and created a video that shows the Apple Watch GoPro camera in action.
Smartphones, tablets and laptops have helped many travelers in dire situations overseas. Maybe it is maps that are required, assistance for navigation, help for translation or simply converting currencies or distance to traveler’s own standard. The smaller the helpful gadget is, the easier it is to access, and it is used more often. That is why wristwatches with tiny computers inside them can have a bright future on travelers’ wrists.
The Apple Watch is an elegant smartwatch that has some useful travel applications, but because there are more people in the world who are not using Apple products than people who are using them, let’s explore our smartwatch options if we don’t want an Apple watch.
LG Urban Watch
You need a smartphone to provide Internet connection for the smartwatch. In many cases, an app you are accessing on a smartwatch may actually run on your smartphone. So, when you choose your smartwatch, make sure it is compatible with your smartphone.
Since Android is a popular software that is powering most of the world’s smartphones and tablets, it is the obvious choice for smartwatch software as well. The New York Times evaluated three Android smartwatches: Pebble Time, LG Watch Urbane and Moto 360.
Out of these three watches the LG Watch Urbane
is the most useful gadget for travelers. It comes with the best navigation app and voice command functionality.
The Moto 360 shows great potential, but doesn’t have enough functionality yet. It dares to be different, but waiting for the next version of the product maybe worthwhile.
The Pebble Time
is suitable for messaging, and it is waterproof.
On the 8th June, 2015 Apple told that it is possible to create applications for the Apple Watch that run on the smartwatch. This is widely regarded as a mobile technology milestone just like the announcement seven years ago was when it became possible to develop applications for the iPhone. It also means that soon, we will see innovative apps on the Apple Watch, but even before that there are some useful apps for the smartwatch.
El Pais, a major newspaper in Spain, has developed an app for the Apple Watch that brings the news headlines with photos to the smartwatch screen. You may scroll through the headlines, and when you spot a story you want to read, you mark it as a favorite. When you are ready to read the news item, pick up your iPhone and the whole story is awaiting for you there.
View the video where El Pais managers explain (in Spanish) how the app works.
We have also reported about an app that lets you read ebooks on the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch may look like any other modern, somewhat bulky electronic wristwatch, but it is much more than that. The smartwatch from Apple is a tiny computer that is connected to its owner’s iPhone via wireless Bluetooth connection. The exciting thing with the Apple Watch is that you can download apps on the watch in order to tailor its functionality to suit, for instance, for traveling.
Stephanie Rosenbloom, a reporter for The New York Times, tested the Apple Watch in New York. She took the role of a tourist who doesn’t know her way in the city, and used the device in situations that an average tourist typically encounters in foreign places.
The Apple Watch can be controlled by tapping the screen and turning the knob on the side, by speech or by applications running on the iPhone.
Positive experiences when traveling with the Apple Watch:
Notifications are displayed on the Watch when hands are full of bags and luggage, and there are not enough hands or time to pick up the phone from a pocket or bag). Notifications include emails and calendar alerts.
Hands-free dictation of text messages and answering phone calls.
Ask (without typing) for directions to a destination, and the watch displays a map with directions.
Most travel apps worked fine on the smartwatch.
Paying small purchases via Apple Pay. [editor’s note: the payment system has very limited availability, especially, outside the U.S.].
Easy set up: apps downloaded on the iPhone and from there on the Watch.
Some travel apps failed miserably on the Apple Watch. [editor’s note: the new device is so different to any other Apple products that apps have to be completely redesigned and re-thought for the watch.]
Apple Maps or Siri speech recognition couldn’t find all requested places. [ed. note this is true for the Apple Maps iOS app as well.]
The GPS location given by the watch wasn’t always accurate enough for navigation on city streets. [ed. note: there can be many reasons for this – in city environment, high-rise buildings or anything that obstruct signals from GPS satellites can cause interference]
Keeping in mind that this is the first version of the Apple Watch, the start is very promising. Once the teething problems have been solved and clever software developers have invented new apps for the smartwatch, we will have a useful new gadget in our wrists.
Applications that let us read ebooks on ereaders, tablets, smartphones and laptop computers have been available for years. Especially young book lovers find it pretty natural to read on a five-inch smartphone screen, while older generations grab a tablet or an ereader when they want to read. Those readers who still don’t believe it is possible to read a book on a smartphone, will have to take a stand on a new product: smartwatch.
The new possibilities of the Apple Watch has tickled the brain cells of software developers, also within enterprises that market ebook reading applications. One of them is Glose, a company that has developed a reading app for tablets, smartphones and PCs. Now, Glose has released their ebook reading app for the Apple Watch as well.
The Apple Watch screen is only about 1.5 inches in size. It is clear that only a few words fit into the screen, making conventional reading troublesome. That is why Glose has a feature called speed reading in its Apple Watch app. The feature automatically scrolls the text one word at a time to the screen. The reader determines the scroll speed.
Glose ebook reading app for the Apple Watch is available on the App Store.
Via Ink, Bits and Pixels.