Nintendo confirms Wii Vitality Sensor’s death

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Oh Wii Vitality Sensor, we hardly knew ye… in that we didn’t know you at all. Nintendo introduced the pulse-sensing Wii peripheral at its E3 2009 stage show, and said we’d hear more in “the future.” That future never came, despite occasional assurances that the device still existed. During a recent Q&A with Nintendo head Satoru Iwata, an analyst brought up the device once more, and Iwata said it encountered too many issues in quality assurance testing to bring to market.

“We have not been able to launch it as a commercial product because we could not get it to work as we expected and it was of narrower application than we had originally thought,” he told investors. According to Iwata’s estimates, approximately 90 out of 100 people were able to use the Vitality Sensor without a hitch, though he (thankfully) requires that it work with “1,000 of 1,000 people.” However, he admitted “but [since we use the living body signal with individual differences] it is a little bit of a stretch to make it applicable to every single person.” He’d still love to make the Vitality Sensor a reality “if technology enhancements” allow, but thus far, testing renders it “insufficient as a commercial product.”

In other Nintendo news, Iwata assured investors that he will continue to monitor employee cafeteria quality-related concerns. Seriously though, that was a question.

Possible Photos of Plastic Rear Shell from Apple’s Lower-Cost iPhone [Updated]

Nowhereelse.fr shares [Google translation] a pair of photos of what may be the rear shell of Apple’s rumored lower-cost plastic iPhone. While the site acknowledges that the part could simply be a Chinese clone of an iPhone 5 rear shell, certain features such as a round rear microphone hole and rounded rear edges are consistent with previous claims for the lower-cost iPhone, including leaked design drawings from a case maker.

Apple has been said to be planning to release the lower-cost iPhone later this year in an array of colors, with one report claiming that Apple would be using essentially the same colors as found in the company’s line of iPhone 4/4S bumpers, although that report indicated that green appeared to have been excluded from the set. This green rear shell is indeed fairly close in color to the green iPhone bumper.

Update 10:03 PM: Nowhereelse.fr has spotted two more photos showing the same part also in yellow and red.

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Apple Has Also Filed for an ‘iWatch’ Trademark in Japan

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Photo of the Pebble watch

Bloomberg reports that Apple has filed for a trademark for the term ‘iWatch’ in Japan:
The maker of iPhones is seeking protection for the name which is categorized as being for products including a handheld computer or watch device, according to a June 3 filing with the Japan Patent Office that was made public last week.
‘iWatch’ is one of the possible names for the long-rumored Apple wristwatch that has generated increasing buzz over the past year.

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Amazon Weekly Deals

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Shop Amazon – Cell Phones

Are you looking to buy a great smartphone at this time of year?Perhaps as a Father’s Day gift?Or maybe just a treat for yourself?Well either way this is without a doubt the best time to do so!Why,you asked?Well because Amazon smartphones are going on sales for this season,as a Father’s Day present to y’all!Here are links to smartphone I mention that are going…

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Apple reportedly clinches TSMC chip manufacturing deal

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Rumors of Apple switching its chip manufacturing from Samsung to TSMC have persisted for a long, long time. However, they may be more substantial this time around: the Wall Street Journal claims that Apple quietly signed a deal with TSMC earlier this month. The agreement reportedly has TSMC taking over some of Apple’s chip production in 2014. Technical setbacks kept the agreement from happening any sooner, according to the sources. Neither company is commenting on the accuracy of the story, although few would doubt Apple’s incentives to reduce its dependency on Samsung-made silicon — it’s not keen on funding a primary competitor.

Google Working on Game Console to Compete with Future Apple Gaming Threat

According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Google has an Android-based video game console and smart watch in the works in order to compete with products the company expects Apple to produce in the future.

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Foxconn Announces iPhone-Compatible Smart Wristband

Foxconn has announced a new smart wristband that can measure vital signs like respiration and heartbeat, and also check phone calls and Facebook posts, according to a report from the Want China Times.

Terry Gou, the head of Hon Hai Precision Industry — the name of Foxconn’s parent company — said the company’s research groups are looking to add fingerprint identification to the product as well. The device can make suggestions to the wearer on ways to improve their health if vital signs are out of the optimal range.

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Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou said his company’s wireless communications and medical research groups also plan to add new features such as fingerprint identification to the gadget in the future, to help record personal health data.

“With such a device, you can keep your phone in your pocket and simply check all kinds of messages on your watch,” Gou told shareholders.

Wearable computers are a quickly developing market, with devices like the Nike FuelBand — which Tim Cook wears — and the Fitbit Flex wristband making inroads with consumers, while prototype devices like Google Glass have captured the attention of tech-savvy types.

Apple is actively developing wearable devices, including a smart watch with a curved glass screen. It’s been reported that Apple has a team of 100 working on its smart watch project, and that the device’s development has moved beyond the experimental phase.