Chip maker Rockchip is showing off a few concepts for wearable devices featuring its low-power ARM-based chips. Unsurprisingly, one device is a smartwatch — just about every electronics company on earth is showing one at CES this year.
The other is a bit more unexpected: a smart glass product that looks like a Google Glass knockoff.
Rockchip is showing off both devices as concepts rather than real products. It’s not clear if either will make it to market anytime soon, but we could see similar products from other companies using Rockchip processors eventually.
The smart glass solution features a small display that’s designed to float in front of your eye when you latch the device over your ear the way you would with a pair of glasses.
The concept version assumes you have an enormous face and I haven’t seen anyone actually wear one successfully… but it is just a concept. I did manage to line up the device so that I could see the floating display, and it does appear to work… if it’s angled perfectly.
The device features a Rockchip RK3168 ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a 1280 x 720 pixel display. It has 802.11n WiFi, Bluetoth 4.0, and runs an operating system based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
There’s a camera, mic, and 570mAh battery as well as a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, light and proximity sensors.
Rockchip didn’t provide detailed specs for its smartwatch, but that also appears to be running an Android-based operating system that’s been customized for a small, wearable display.
Update: I found the same watch at another vendor’s booth, where it was described as the OPlayer Digital Sport Watch-Style Touch MP4 player, so it does appear to be a real product.
You can swipe down from the top of any screen to show the time, swipe from the left or right to move forward or back, and use the touchscreen and on-screen buttons to access apps and settings.
The Oplayer watch has a 1.5 inch 128 x 128 pixel TFT touchscreen display, supports shake-to-shuffle when playing music, and can handle video playback, JPG image viewing, and there’s optional support for FM radio.
The watch also has an eReader app for TXT files… in case you want to read eBooks or notes a few words at a time on a 1.5 inch screen. It’s powered by a 400mAh battery.
I have to say that of the Android Mini PCs and direct-from-China devices I’ve played with, the Rockchip ones have performed the best for me and seem to have great custom firmwares made by enthusiasts.
Your mileage may vary of course, but it makes me think these folks have something good going.
While some of these devices may under perform compared to the over priced devices by the major brands… chinese device makers aren’t limited by the “we won’t release if we won’t make millions” concept, they aren’t afraid of exploring gadgets.
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