4G broadband provider Yes has officially launched #YesToRio, an online contest that will send two grand prize winners on an all expense paid trip to watch the World Cup 2014 final in Brazil. The contest consists of a series of three fun web-based games; with the winner determined from a combined score from all three of the games.
Manchester United today has announced a rather unique campaign with Google UK called Front Row which will bring selected fans from all over the world direct to Old Trafford in the upcoming home match against Liverpool (ahem) on 16 March. However, this doesn’t mean that the famed football team will fly these lucky fans to the stadium though but instead, they will appear live on the stadium’s digital advertisement board through Google+ Hangout.
You read that headline right. Electronics Art has confirmed that they are releasing 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil on the PS3 and Xbox 360, but not the current generation of consoles. It might sound odd that no other platforms were mentioned, but EA later clarified the matter over Twitter.
Apparently these two consoles were chosen because they said, ”We are making the best game we can for our largest audience, which is still on 360 & PS3.” Of course, content from 2014 FIFA World Cup will eventually find its way to FIFA Ultimate Team in FIFA 14; although no details about this were revealed.
EA SPORTS 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is due out on 17 April in Europe and 15 April in North America; and EA promises new gameplay improvements (as they always do with these games). These include Response Dribbling, Pinpoint Passing, and 100 new animations.
Fancy yourself as the next Johnny Wilkinson but a little too fragile to get knocked about on the field? Have no fear! UK Telco and sponsor of the England Rugby Union Team with the help of the Oculus rift and a setup consisting of 9 GoPro HD Hero 3 cameras on a custom Gimbal head lets you get right into the thick of things. Join the team on the training pitch and interact as a rookie player would, drilling along with the scrums and attacking plays. I’m not sure how lineouts and tackling would work but the idea is pretty smart.
Granted this is not available to just everyone, but the concept of what can be done is a very interesting one. What do you think Malaysia could have in its place? Would you train with the Harimau Malaya?
By now, you should have realised that there were tons of fitness-oriented products appeared at CES this year. While plenty of them come in the form of wristbands, others might have brought along bigger products. One such example is this treadmill from renowned Italian fitness company, Technogym.
Of course, it is not just any ordinary treadmill. This particular Technogym treadmill apparently can be controlled using Google Glass. Additionally, users are able to view their workout data right through Google Glass rather than using the treadmill’s console.
This feature was actually made possible through the treadmill’s Android-based UNITY console itself which allows third party apps and devices to connect to the treadmill. Here’s how a quick look at how users are able to control the treadmill using their Google Glass:
At the time being, Technogym has yet to reveal the pricing and release date for this highly connected treadmill. Frankly speaking, I don’t expect it to pop up at local gyms anytime soon either since Google Glass is not available for general consumers just yet.
If you were expecting a lot of wearable tech this CES, well, you’re right, Sony too has got something to announce for its new SmartWear Experience vision and is starting with a “Core”, a SmartBand and a LifeLog App that works with the Core to log down your daily activities.
First up, the LifeBand looks like your typical fitness band and has a slot for you to put in the Core, the smallest product Sony has ever made. The Core will be able to connect to your smartphone via the LifeLog App, and it will automatically log down virtually everything you do including your movements, social and entertainment activities, and then prepare you for tomorrow.
“Standing for flexibility, the first product in the range is “SmartBand”. It offers life empowerment by logging daily activities and representing them visually in Sony’s Lifelog application: users can reminisce at the past, make the best of the present and plan for the future.”
Sony will be partnering with other companies so nope, you will not be tied down to only Sony branded device, giving consumers more choices and flexibility. More details about the company’s wearable tech will be coming soon in the coming weeks.
Sports sponsorship is nothing new to Intel as they have sponsored the BMW-Sauber Formula 1 team before and several eSports teams throughout the world. However, I would say that the latest round of sponsorship that the well-known chip maker have officially announced just moments ago is slightly different though.
This is due to the fact that the organization that Intel have agreed to sponsor is one of the most well-known football team in the word: FC Barcelona, fondly known among football fans as Barca. Yup, it is the Spanish team that have just visited this region including Malaysia few months ago.
Through the deal which estimated to be worth around USD 25 million (RM 80.76 million), Intel is now officially FC Barcelona new technology partner. As part of the deal, Intel will be working together with Barca to provide latest Intel-based tech at La Masia – the club’s well-known youth academy.
Additionally, Intel will also be supplying 2-in-1 devices to Barca’s players and coaches while helping the club to improve its research, training and performance at the same time. Both of the partners will also be working together to provide better fan experience at Camp Nou, Barca’s home ground. Last but not least, Intel will also be involved in delivering latest technology to Barca’s education network all over the world.
Another interesting part of the deal is that Barca jersey will now feature Intel Inside logo but not at a spot that one might expect. Instead, the logo is located inside the jersey itself which is never been done before by the team. Barca will be utilizing the jersey with Intel Inside logo starting from this weekend onwards in the 14 December’s La Liga match against Villareal.
This partnership between Intel and Barcelona can be taken as an example on how tech companies are able to help sports organizations and athletes not only in terms of financial and marketing support but also help them improve technology. I hope it would inspire tech companies in Malaysia to consider embarking in such initiatives with local sports association, teams and athletes.
While the event is only going to take place in June 2014 which is a good 7 months away, Astro yesterday have revealed their plans for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. If you need a refresher, the massive football event will take place in Brazil starting from 12 June to 13 July 2014.
First and foremost, all 64 live matches will be made available on the service with 40 of them are exclusive to the company. These matches will be shown through 10 dedicated channel in both SD and HD with selected matches might be available in 3D, pending FIFA’s decision. Some of these matches will also be shown on Astro Arena with commentary in Bahasa Malaysia.
All Astro customers that have active subscription to the service’s sports pack before 1 April 2014 will have the access to all 2014 FIFA World Cup contents mentioned above. As for NJOI customers or Astro subscribers that didn’t opt for sports pack, they will have the option to purchase a special pass from 1 April 2014 onwards to access 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage. The price for the special pass have not yet been finalized but the company are looking to set it at the region of around RM 100, according to Henry Tan, the Chief Operating Officer of Astro.
The company will also be utilizing their mobile streaming platform – Astro On-The-Go (AOTG) – for the massive sporting event. All Astro sports pack subscribers before 1 April 2014 will indeed have full access to all 2014 FIFA World Cup contents on their PC, tablet or smartphones through AOTG while other AOTG will still able to watch 30 live and 5 delayed matches on the platform. Additionally, all 40 live matches that are made exclusive to Astro will be available on AOTG Pay Per View.
Astro have also unveiled their plan of having a mobile app made exclusively for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. Called the Stadium Astro World Cup app, the company’s Head of Sports, Lee Chong Kay explained that it will be stand-alone app that will be available separately from the existing Stadium Astro app. The specialized app apparently will allow users to access alternative camera angles of the matches, goal replays, match analysis, and statistics together with social media integration.
However, the app is not ready for the time being and is only expected to be released to users as we get closer to the 2014 FIFA World Cup season. Since there are still few months to go before the event kicks off in June 2014, expect to hear more updates from Astro regarding their 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage.
With wearable technology starting to make inroads in 2013, many do not realise that the trend has existed for longer in sports, especially running. Runners and athletes have worn fitness trackers on their wrists for years, helping them track their runs and running times. These trackers range from the basic digital watch with timers, digital pedometers to more advanced trackers such as Nike’s FuelBand. Yesterday, adidas released what may be the most complete running companion yet: the miCoach Smart Run.
The German company was quick to move away from the smartwatch movement. The head of adidas Interactive, Paul Gaudio, stated: “we’re not trying to make a smartwatch, per se, but the smartest running watch.” And, for a $399 device, it better be. The specs list of the hardware does seem to do some justice for the price tag, however, with a variety of sensors and many connectivity options running atop Android 4.1.1. The miCoach Smart Run has an accelerometer, built-in GPS, and even a heart rate monitor that detects your pulse. In addition, there’s also built-in WiFi and Bluetooth to offload data or pair with wireless headphones.
adidas also went for premium materials in the build of the miCoach Smart Run, opting to use materials such as aluminium, magnesium and Gorilla Glass for the glass screen. It’s also water resistant, though the protection is better suited for sweat and rain instead of taking it out for a swim. Navigation is done via swipe gestures on the 1.45-inch transflective TFT LCD capacitative touch screen.
The running watch also has 4GB of onboard memory, of which 3GB is set aside exclusively for storing MP3 files. Users can also customize how much data they’d like logged to the watch during their workouts, with options to capture and store data every second, five seconds or none whatsoever. These are customisable via the devices three workout modes: Normal, Training and Marathon, with battery life naturally linked to the workout mode selected.
As mentioned earlier, the adidas miCoach Smart Run will retail for $399, and will be available from November 1 in select countries worldwide. So far there is no word yet from adidas Malaysia if they will be bringing the miCoach Smart Run to the country.
Earlier today, Nike have unveiled yet another device under its long-running Nike+ digital fitness series that is called the Nike+ FuelBand SE. As the name implies, the new wristwatch-like device is essentially a follow-up to the Nike+ FuelBand that the company released last year.
A follow-up it might be but the functionalities on the new Nike+ FuelBand SE are almost identical to its predecessor since the main set of data that the FuelBand SE tracks are just like the original FuelBand: NikeFuel (the company’s own universal fitness metric), calories, steps and time. However, Nike did add three more functionalities into the device which are the ability to mark a specific set of activities using a feature that is dubbed Nike+ Sessions, periodic reminders called “Win The Hour” and simpler gesture (double tap) to display current time on the device.
In terms of the design, FuelBand SE also generally looks identical to its predecessor with the exception of additional colour accents on certain parts of the device. That being said, Nike have pointed out that the FuelBand SE does come with Bluetooth 4.0, improved water resistance and redesigned circuit board for better flexibility.
Meanwhile, a number of other improvements that the new FuelBand SE adds to the whole Nike+ FuelBand experience are actually not on the device itself. Instead, they are made available through an updated version of Nike+ FuelBand App for iOS devices such as the ability to track the amount of NikeFuel earned per minute and social sharing through Nike+ Groups.
Given the fact that the original FuelBand was not officially released in Malaysia, it is pretty doubtful that the new Nike+ FuelBand SE will actually be made available in our market. Nevertheless, the price tag is similar to the original FuelBand at USD 149 (RM 473) if you are interested in getting your hands on a unit from United States starting from 6 November. The updated Nike+ FuelBand companion app for iOS devices will also be released at the same time.
Conceived in 2003, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is a global competitive air racing which features pilots on lightweight single-propeller airplanes flying through challenging low-level aerial track as swiftly as possible among each other. After 50 races, the series was put on hiatus in 2011 by its management team to improve the series overall safety.
Among the changes that the management team have made to the series is the use of standard engines and propellers for all pilots together with changes to the lightweight nylon pylon material as well as the height of the pylons themselves. With that, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship is now finally ready to make a comeback in 2014.
For the upcoming 2014 season, 12 pilots will be competing in seven races all the globe – one which will take place right here in Malaysia. Specifically, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship leg in Malaysia is the second race of the season and will be held at Putrajaya Lake on 17 and 18 May 2014. Here’s the season highlight from 2010:
The rest of the series will take place in UAE, Poland, Great Britain, USA and China. To learn more about the event, head on to www.redbullairrace.com.
[Image: Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool. Video: Red Bull Air Race @ YouTube]
Thanks to the its built-in heads-up display, Google Glass managed to attract significant amount of attention from the market since it was first shown to the world in 2012. However, some might not realized that Oakley have also released something similar into the market last year in the form of Oakley Airwave ski goggle.
Featuring a MOD Live HUD module by Recon Instruments, the GPS-enabled ski goggle comes with preloaded maps of selected resorts throughout the world which would help users navigate through their course and track their friends. Users are also able to check out their altitude, speed, vertical descent data, jump distance, jump height and airtime on the Airwave goggle.
Not to forget, user are also able to view text messages and incoming calls notifications as well as access their smartphone’s music playlist right on Airwave. For 2013, the Airwave series is now represented by the newly announced Airwave 1.5 which offers improved performance and additional features to the series.
Although HUD module is still made by Recon, the Airwave 1.5 is running on a 1.0GHz TI OMAP 4 ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor instead of the 600MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor on the original Airwave goggle. Additionally, it is also equipped with bigger RAM and internal memory at 1GB and 2GB respectively as compared to the 256MB RAM and 512MB storage in the 1st generation Airwave.
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