By Therese Poletti
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — It’s not on the market until early next year, but the Apple Watch is getting a lot of glowing, almost fawning, first looks.
For instance, the New York Times described it as “stunning to look at, with a variety of faces and watchbands that bear more in common with luxury jewelry than with gadgets.”…
For me and probably many women, the watch is too geeky-looking. Even though Apple has condensed more edgy design and electronics into a smartwatch than any of its rivals, the device needs to be smaller and more feminine to appeal to more women.
Not everyone agrees. Leigh Anne Varney, who runs Varney Business Communications, a public relations firm in San Francisco, is a self-professed geek and long time iPhone user who would buy an Apple Watch.
“My girls used to watch a show called ‘Kim Possible’ on the Disney channel, and she was an international crime fighter and talked to her wrist a la Dick Tracy,” Varney said. The bracelet like communications device was called a ‘Kimmunicator.’ I’ve always wanted to do that!”
The mobile industry has flourished in recent years by delivering faster network speeds to the billions of phones and tablets now in consumers’ hands. But for future growth to continue at the same pace – and bring billions of more devices online – telecom engineers need to solve a new challenge: energy efficiency.
Mobile handsets themselves have a relatively small energy footprint – using a mobile phone for a year has the same emissions as driving an average European car for an hour. But that phone connects to a sprawling infrastructure that uses – and often wastes – massive amounts of electricity. Information technology and communications consume about 2% of the world’s energy, or roughly the same as the airline industry, and mobile networking represents between one half and one quarter of that total, according to industry consortium GreenTouch.
To address growing energy use, a number of companies are developing new technologies geared at efficiency. One of those efforts was hatched in the labs of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where two professors developed hardware to slash the amount of energy used by mobile phones and cellular network towers. They co-founded a company called Eta Devices that sells what is effectively an electronic gearbox that can switch between different power modes to save energy.
Read the article by Martin LaMonica