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20 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Is Radio One’s Loss a Gain for the Music Industry?

Pure Insider takes a look at what Zane Lowe’s departure means for music

ZANE LOWE

 

With Zane Lowe’s departure coming as a shock for many, what will the loss of this musical legend mean for radio in the UK? New Zealand born Lowe has become a favourite among music and radio fans – both in the UK and globally – but is this really a loss or are we seeing an undercurrent of something brilliant in the making?

Is streaming learning from radio?

Zane Lowe’s move to work with Beats has been shrouded in vague speculations about what this means for Apple’s streaming service, with Lowe himself claiming simply to “…want to be able to bring that human experience, that we all had growing up with record stores, but actually make it something you can listen to in a world where you’re left to your own devices”. It seems a logical move that Lowe would help to recreate that energy for raw talent and getting to the heart of authentic music for Apple Beats. Whether it’s in the form of creating podcasts or even streaming live interviews, Lowe has always driven conversation and hype around new talent, humanising music in a way which other mainstream shows have often struggled to grasp.

King of Discovery

Zane’s talent and his passion always came through fervently on the show, as did his ecliptic taste in music. While we associate him with alternative rock and hip hop, if you tune in to his show on Radio 1 you’re never quite sure what to expect.

As he says himself “I wouldn’t wanna work necessarily in a genre specific show – just a hip hop show or just an alternative rock show, whatever ‘cos it doesn’t really represent what I’m into and I really think that radio really has to be an honest representation of whoever’s driving it as much as whoever’s listening to it.” It’s this open minded approach to all music that has led Zane Lowe to act like a human conduit of new music, a talent he has used to reinforce radio as a form of music discovery.

Can radio keep up with streaming’s evolution?

It’s the added layer to music which Lowe brings to the table – his wealth of experience born from an innate passion for music and years working in the industry – from his first job at the Record and Tape Exchange in Notting Hill, to MTV News and MTV Brand:New, then later to his own show Gonzo and BBC Radio 1.

Lowe brings his avid followers from his show around the world touring as a superstar DJ and his prolific presence in the music scene interviewing everyone from up and coming indie bands to hop hop legends straight to the radio. It’s this added layer to radio which has served the station well – focusing on social media and maintaining Lowe’s profile in the music press. With podcasts and streaming services dominating the music industry online, for radio to survive it needs to reignite the human element to music. From live interviews with the hottest music artists, to keeping the conversation going with social media elements to live radio features, radio still has a lot to offer.

We’re pleased to hear that Annie Mac will be stepping into Lowe’s seat when he departs in March. Whether we’re tuning in to Annie Mac’s musical hot water bottle or getting in the mood for the weekend on a Friday night, Mac’s musical zeal is unarguably on par with Lowe’s and we’re excited to see what she has in store for listeners.

…..

 

As our own salute to this radio legend, we thought we’d share with you a clip of his pre-superstar DJ life in the lesser-known hip hop band, Urban Disturbance:

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Categories: Music

12 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

5 Misunderstood Love Songs You’ll Never Hear in the Same Way Again

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love and romance are everywhere. What better way to set the mood than with a little love song? Well, if you’re compiling a Valentine’s playlist for your sweetheart this year, make sure you listen out for the lyrics. We’ve had some fun with this one and found five so-called ‘love songs’ with somewhat unromantic meanings.

1. Lola – The Kinks

Any song with a girl’s name in the title is more often than not, synonymous with heart-felt love-lost lyrics, with the singer proclaiming undying love for his girl. Not in this case. The song Lola is actually about how he discovered that the woman he was flirting with was actually a man.

“But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man

And so is Lola

La-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola”

2. With or Without You – U2

As an undeniably and famously sentimental track, it’s not hard to mistake it for a love song. However if you take a closer look at the lyrics –there is more sadness than romance. This song is about a break up, and the words are pretty dark.

“My hands are tied

My body bruised, she’s got me with

Nothing left to win

And nothing else to lose.”

 

 

3. Let’s Get Married – Jagged Edge

You’d think it would be safe to assume by its title, ‘Let’s Get Married’ would be a lovely little love song. However, the words unravel to be slightly more morbid and apathetic than you’d expect.  The singer’s proposal sounds more like a gloomy observation about human mortality than a romantic and heartfelt gesture of undying love.

“Meet me in the altar in your white dress

We ain’t getting no younger, we might as well do it”

 

 

4. Careless Whisper – George Michael

This sensuous 80s hit isn’t quite as charming as you’d think. It’s about a man apologising to his lover for cheating – hardly a romantic overture.

“I should have known better than to cheat a friend

And waste a chance that I’ve been given

So i’m never gonna dance again

The way I danced with you”

5. Every Step You Take – The Police                       

Did you know that this classic wedding song was never intended to be romantic? In a BBC Radio 2 interview, Sting claimed that people had misinterpreted the song and it was actually supposed to be quite dark and sinister.  In fact when you listen closely to the lyrics, it definitely sounds more like a stalker’s plea for help than true love.

“Every breath you take and every move you make

Every bond you break, every step you take (I’ll be watching you)”

If you’re looking for some love songs which are more romantic, take a look at our top ten, old and new, on Pure Connect.

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Categories: Music

11 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Why Pure has been Sounding On in Italy at #Crespiforum

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Italy’s hidden gem, embracing technology and preserving its history

Located between two rivers in a protected area of Parco Adda Nord, 35 KM east of Milan, lies a hidden gem of Italy: the small village of Crespi d’Adda.

Crespi d’Adda is Europe’s best-preserved company-town was officially made a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995 and on Sunday its future was decided at the #Crespiforum. We’e proud to have supported such a culturally significant event alongside #Expoinviaggio.

While citizens and local authorities descended on #Expoinviaggio, we ensured that every voice was heard loud and clear with the help of our Pure’s Jongo T6 speakers. With everyone from residents, to professors, journalists, authorities and more, all there to have a say and we’re pleased to have provided the tools for the day.

The use of modern audio technology at yesterday’s event may have seemed at odds with the surroundings; Crespi d’Adda hasn’t changed since the 1930s – the houses, the urban structure, the boundaries are all the same! Crespi is considered the most complete and best-preserved company town in Europe, completely designed around a textile factory.

It has a soul of its own, essentially untouched by time. A visit can transport you out of the boundaries of time and space. It’s rare to be able to literally walk into a scene out of history, so it’s clear to see why the preservation of this town is so important.

Crespi is now planning its future, which includes the recovery of the 100.000sqm old factory into new areas and new industrial activities in the digital age. Despite appearances, the village is not just a monument, it’s a lived in thriving community, so these decisions will affect future generations of locals.

Thanks to its perfect preservation, Crespi has become a great international campus. Precious industrial archeological areas have been opened up to international enterprise and investors.

The Milan International Expo, which runs from May to October this year, would be a great opportunity to visit this hidden Italian gem, which balances modern technology with the perseveration of its history.

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Categories: Events

05 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

A Valentine’s Gift from Us to You – Win your own Evoke D2 by Rob Ryan

Rob-Ryan-Blog

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this month we’ve teamed up with Rob Ryan in a Valentine Special to offer an exclusive give-away of the Evoke D2 by Rob Ryan.

To keep things in the spirit of art and romance, we’re asking you to correctly finish the next line in this poem from Rob Ryan’s latest book “A Sky Full of Kindness”:

“All we can do is live from day to day;

And I want to grow old with you”

 

To enter, simply email your answer to social@pure.com, with your full name and address. By entering you are declaring you accept the terms and conditions below

 

 

Competition Rules

  1. This competition starts at 10.00am GMT on the 5th February 2015 and will run continuously until 11.59pm on 13th February 2015, when the competition closes.
  2. This competition has one question; only the correct answer will be accepted.

Question: What is the next line in this poem by Rob Ryan?

“All we can do is live from day to day;

And I want to grow old with you”

  1. Entrants should email Social@pure.com with their full name, address and the answer.
  2. The winner will be selected at random from a pool of those entrants who have submitted the correct answer.
  3. The winner will be asked to provide pictures of themselves with the prize for use on our social media outlets (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest).
  4. The winner will be contacted via email and announced on Pure’s Facebook page, Twitter and blog insider.pure.com on or around the 14th February 2015.
  5. This competition is subject to the Standard Competition Terms and Conditions set out below.

 

 

Standard Competition Terms and Conditions

  1. The promoter of the competition is: Pure (Imagination Technologies Limited), Imagination House, Home Park Estate, Kings Langley, Herts, WD4 8LZ (“we”, “us” or “our”).
  2. Your entry in the competition constitutes your acceptance of these legally binding terms and conditions.
  3. In order to be eligible to win, you must:

(i) be over 18 years of age and resident in the United Kingdom;

(ii) have access to the internet; and

(iii) not be one of our employees or an employee of our associated companies (including their family/household members).

  1. Only one entry per person is permitted, unless otherwise stated. Automated entries will be invalidated, including multiple entries from the same IP address or telephone number range.
  2. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are not received by us.
  3. Names of the winners may be used by us for promotional and publicity purposes, unless you otherwise notify us at the time of submitting your entry.  Winners may be requested to take part in or co-operate with reasonable publicity.
  4. Your personal data will be used strictly to administer the competition or otherwise only with your consent and will be handled in accordance with current UK data protection legislation.
  5. No cash alternative or alternative prize(s) are available on request but in the event the advertised competition prize(s) are unavailable we reserve the right to offer alternative prize(s) of equal or greater value. Prizes are non-transferable.
  6. The competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other third party social media site through which this competition is advertised. You understand and agree that you are providing your information to us and not to a third party. By entering the competition, you release Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/any other third party social media website from any action or claim arising out of the competition. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the competition must be directed to us.
  7. We will not be liable for any damage, loss or disappointment suffered by any person taking part or not being able to take part in a competition. By participating in the competition, to the extent permissible by law you release us from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to the acceptance of any prizes in connection with your participation in the promotion. Nothing in this clause shall act so as to exclude our liability for death or personal injury as a result of our negligence.  We are not liable in the event that any portion of the promotion is cancelled due to weather, fire, strike, acts of war or terrorism, or any other condition beyond their control.
  8. We may, at our sole discretion, disqualify you from the competition on the basis of any fraudulent, rude, abusive, or otherwise inappropriate behaviour.
  9. Our decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  10. These terms and conditions are governed by English law.

 

 

 

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Categories: Competition

02 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

New Music Monday: Leopards at Factory Manchester

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Starting off the night are Letters from Grace who have the unfortunate luck of playing to a nearly empty venue. Thankfully front woman, Molly Tipping, doesn’t let this affect her. She’s a spunky young vocalist who interacts well with the slowly growing crowd. However, the band plays a set where songs tend to blend together, with nothing standing out too much. I think they’ll be a much more memorable band, once they’ve found their own feet.

Next up are Cavaliers, who I was lucky enough to catch back in June. They play a solid set filled with catchy beats and their KIGH vibe that lights up the room. It’s a real shame that the sound quality just isn’t what it should be, which leaves the vocals too quiet for a large amount of the set. Scott Williamson is a front man full of charisma and loses himself in the music. Thunder should really have more people dancing along because it’s a hit in the making. Once again, they manage to slip in a bit of Dancing on the Ceiling but this time it seems to go over most of the crowd’s heads.

My Favourite Runner Up takes to the stage next and hit the crowd with infectious pop rock. These guys are yet another band that makes me wonder what they’re slipping into the Welsh water. They play an energetic set but the people just aren’t moving. Once again, dodgy microphones mean we can barely hear the backing vocals, which is a shame but they still put on a great show. They even throw in a cracking cover of Busted’s Year 3000 which has everyone laughing and singing along. Poison is a toe tapping, danceable number that gets you singing along even if you’re only hearing it for the first time. They really are a band you want to see live if you get a chance.

When you’ve been likened to huge bands such as Paramore, you really need to stand out from the crowd and prove you’re worth it. And with front woman, Ana Nowosielska, this isn’t hard for Altered Sky. She knows how to charm the crowd without being too cute, managing to get a sing-along before even uttering a word herself – she has the crowd in the palm of her hand. The rest of the band is equally responsible for the crowd’s enjoyment. With pounding drums and bone rattling bass lines, they pack a punch. Apple Tree, their first ever single, still sounds fresh and new to us. Drummer, Amy Blair, plays with a grin like it’s the greatest place for her. This is a nice change from bored or angry looking drummers.

Leopards another band out to prove that female fronted bands can hold their own in what is still a boy’s club. With a powerhouse of a vocalist and beats that match, they really know how to rock. Everyone, including the merchandise guys, has gathered towards the stage. It’s hard not to liken them to bands like We Are the in Crowd but when they’re playing sets this good. For established fans, Home is one that gets them singing. For first time listeners, it draws us in. They are definitely a band I want to see again when I can.

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Categories: Music

29 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Why the selfie stick officially has no place at live music gigs

Selfie Stick image

Held high above crowds in London by tourists live blogging their trips as a 21st century souvenir, carefully positioned by groups of pouting girls, and behind every 10 year old who has already mastered the art of the selfie, is the infamous selfie stick. They’ve even found their way into family gatherings – taking the place of the traditional *position – timer – run back into place* family photo, which as we all know fails. Love them or hate them, the selfie stick has its uses. However, just like the rise of the selfie itself, the selfie stick has been equally controversial, dubbed by many as the “wand of narcissus”. But are they really that offensive that they should be banned from public places?

A point of debate in the music industry was the announcement that major British venues, including the O2 Academy Brixton, London’s O2 Arena and the SSE Wembley, have all banned selfie sticks. The Academy Music Group, who owns the O2 Academy Brixton, simply explained this was part of their policy which prohibits any filming of performances on personal devices. Evidently there’s not much to debate there. It’s a logical update which doesn’t really change what giggers are already accustomed to at the venue. Other arenas however, according to NME’s report, explained that “while taking pictures is part of live music for audiences, anything that blocks the view of others is not welcome.” Ultimately then, it’s about preventing gadgets from disturbing other giggers from enjoying live performances. But is this a realistic demand?

Like it or not, the rise of the selfie is prolific and has been become so entrenched into pop culture that the word “selfie” even found its place in the Oxford English Dictionary. A gadget that made selfies easier was bound to be popular. Its success has usurped most expectations. Amazon UK stick sales rose by 301 per cent between September and November, and then another 65 per cent month-on-month in December, which it attributed to “people preparing to capture all the action of festive parties and family get-togethers”. There’s a stark contrast, however, to someone waving around a phone at a gig, to a long stick being propped in the air waiting to poke people in the eye.

While there are those who may claim these venues need to adapt to changing technology trends, it’s important that the technology always adds to the experience, not detracts from it. If you’re stuck in a large crowd and lacking height, this gadget can serve as a nifty solution, but there’s something about a selfie stick which doesn’t seem appropriate in a crowd of people enjoying live music, appreciating the moment.  Technology should always enrich a live music performance, not detract from it.

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Categories: Product Launches

27 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

How to Keep Your Motivation Momentum this January

fitness

We’re all familiar with the fitness boom that overcomes January. Suddenly, classes at your local gym are booked for months, ten minute waits for a treadmill are the norm and it’s impossible to get away from everyone’s #cleaneating Instagrams.

It isn’t until the third or final week in January when momentum starts to stumble. The cold, miserable weather makes that calorie packed take-away look all that more appealing and the thought of that fifteen minute walk to the gym seems unthinkable.

So how do we make sure we keep to our  New Year’s resolutions? It’s been scientifically proven that music provides the motivation we need to get moving and causes a positive attitude change whilst exercising . The body naturally wants to move and synchronise with music and it can also distract you from feelings of pain, physical exhaustion and boredom. The ideal music to work out to is anything between 125 and 140 BPM (beats per minute).

We’ve compiled a selection of upbeat, high-tempo tracks to keep your blood pumping and morale high, so if you’re feeling a little discouraged check out this playlist out a more productive work out.

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Categories: Product Launches

25 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Hosting the Perfect Burns Supper

Burns night, is the annual celebration of the life and work of famous Scots poet, Robert Burns (or Rabbie Burns to us Scots!). The celebration falls on the 25th January, the day of the poet’s birthday and usually involves what is known as a ‘Burns Supper’; an evening full of Scottish food and entertainment.

haggis

Image: The Guardian

Today, I will be joining my friends in celebration. So whether you’re having a small informal gathering, or a fancy dinner party, I’ve put together a guide on how to host the perfect Burns Supper.

For fantastic and easy Burns night recipes check out these on BBC Good Food.

Piping in the Guests

It’s customary to welcome your guests with a flood of traditional music, but don’t worry if you haven’t got a piper on your guest list. One of these tracks will do nicely.

The Selkirk Grace

This is a short prayer that is read out as the food arrives:

Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it;

But we hae meat, and we can eat,

And sae let the Lord be thankit.

This should of course be recited (or at least attempted) in old Scots.

Address to a Haggis

We like to welcome in the haggis (who is after all, the guest of honour) with not just more bagpipes, but everyone must stand as a toast is made in its honour. Address to a Haggis comes from a poem written by Robert Burns… if you don’t believe me listen on Pure Connect here.

The Supper (My favourite part)

Typically, a Burns Supper consists of haggis, neeps (mashed turnip) and tatties (mashed potato), not forgetting plenty of Scotch whisky. There are however variations and vegetarian haggis available for non-meat eaters.

Immortal Memory

This speech pays tribute to the life, poems and brazen nationalism of Robbie Burns. If you’re unfamiliar with his history, have a wee read here. After this speech everyone toasts to Burns, and the entertainment continues.

Toast to the Lassies

Perhaps one the most entertaining part of the evening, The Toast to the Lassies, is a speech given by one of the male guests, incorporating plenty of quotes from Burns himself. Traditionally, this was a toast to thank the women who prepared the dinner; however it’s now become a tongue in cheek speech often referencing the ladies present at supper.

Reply to the Laddies

This is the woman’s reply to the Toast to the Lassies, which is also supposed to be amusing. The lady giving the speech will comment on anything brought up in the previous toast, and her particular views on contemporary men.

Burns Poetry

This is a MUST for any Burns supper. Guests will recite the famous poems and songs of Burns. Have a listen to some of his most popular works here.

Closing

This is a finishing speech by the host, followed by everyone holding hands and singing Auld Lang Syne.

Burns Night truly is a special affair that’s fun for everyone. If you want to embrace the Scottish culture today but don’t want to go as far as hosting your own supper there should be plenty of events near you to celebrate. Alternatively, tune into ‘A Burn’s Supper’ on BBC Radio 4 today at 4:30pm to hear some famous Burns poetry. If music is more your thing, check out BBC Radio 6 ‘Lang May your Rum Reek’ for three hours of great Scottish music and artists, or check out this playlist full of Scottish favourites.

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Categories: Product Launches

16 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Our Best Bits from the Brits

Last night the nominees for the 2015 Brit awards were announced, with some more surprising than others. English singer-songwriter Sam Smith is up for an impressive five awards, closely followed by Ed Sheeran who has been nominated for four. The rest of the nominations can be viewed on The Brit Awards 2015 website, and the winners for the ‘Best British Video’ and ‘Best British Breakthrough Act’ categories can be voted for there as well.

Historically, the Brits has been a celebration and commemoration of great British pop music, with a host of famous acts performing throughout the years. This year’s show will see Paloma Faith, George Ezra and Royal blood give memorable performances.

However, the flurry of fabulous outfits, emotional acceptance speeches and fantastic performances aren’t the only memorable moments of the Brits. We’ve listed five of our favourite controversial, entertaining and funniest clips of the ceremony throughout the years.

5. Harry Styles misses collecting his award.

At the Brit Awards in 2014, One Direction went on stage to collect an award for Best British Video and one member was missing. About halfway through the speech, Harry runs up towards the stage and apologises claiming he was late because he had to go to the bathroom!

4. A little known DJ thought he had won a Brit.

This also happened in the 2000 show. During the presenting of the award for ‘Best  British Sound Track’. The winner was Notting Hill; however a DJ named Brandon Block had a little too much to drink and was convinced by a friend that he had won. Let’s just say it was fairly awkward when he climbed up on stage, and nobody had any idea why he was there. He then attempted to start a fight with Ronnie Wood before being escorted off stage by security.

3. Liam Gallagher throwsIn  his Brit into the Crowd.

You can always count on Liam Gallagher to cause a stir . In 2010, Oasis won  Best Brit Album of the Past 30 Years and Liam came to collect the award. After thanking everyone in the band, except for  his brother who was the cause of the band splitting the previous year, he threw his microphone and then his award into the crowd. Host Peter Kay was less than impressed.

2. Russell Brand Hosting the Brits

It’s hardly surprising that Russell Brand caused controversy in the 2007 Brits, they must have known what they were getting themselves into as ITV received over 300 complaints about his bad taste jokes and Ofcom received another 100.

 

1 Adele’s performance of Someone Like You

This is perhaps one of, if not the most memorable performances in Brit history. In 2011, Adele performed her song ‘Someone Like You’ with just a piano accompanying her. This emotional performance caused sales of her single to skyrocket, leading to her securing a British number 1 for the song.

Make sure you watch 2015’s Brit Awards hosted by Ant and Dec and scheduled to air Wednesday 25th February, and let us know via Twitter and Facebook who you want to win.

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Events,Music,News

13 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Our CES 2015 Highlights

Quality is King

As this year’s CES has closes its doors for another year, we reflect on the highlights of the show and give you an idea of how the future of consumer electronics is shaping up. With convenience usually driving the adoption of new technologies, there seems to be a shift towards quality and a focus on developing existing technologies to make them smarter, faster and more reliable.

That said there is certainly an abundance of innovation taking centre stage, from self-watering flower pots, huge developments in 3D printing, IoT, a surge in wearable technologies and in our eyes a revolution in high quality audio.

Below we share our three trends from the show as we saw it.

High Quality Audio

Hi-res audio is starting to gain some serious traction, with two major launches here at CES. First is the Walkman ZX2 portable music player designed specifically for Hi-Res Audio, and, more excitingly for us, Meridian Audio showcased its MQA technology. MQA was described as “the best product at CES so far” by Michael Brown, Editor of Techive.com and rightly so. It’s a major development in audio, which could potentially revolutionise the industry, the way in which vinyl and the CD once did.

4K Ultra HD

It’s not a new technology and has been on the horizon for a while as a premium TV resolution, but 4K is set to take over from Full HD. If what we’ve seen at CES 2015 is anything to go by, it won’t be long before manufacturers stop making 1080p televisions below 55-inches, opting for 4K Ultra HD TVs.

One TV that set itself aside from the competition is Sony’s new Bravia 4K Ultra HD TV. All three models feature an ultra-thin “floating” style creating a near-frameless shape that can be mounted right up against the wall.

Continuing the TV trends, curved TVs are still a main focus for manufacturers and CES is still the platform to launch them, though we don’t believe they will be around at next year’s CES nor will the average consumer be rushing out to buy them.

Wearables

It’s clear that people see a need for wearables to help them manage their health, track their fitness goals or use them in business meetings, and the number of launches at the show is a clear indication that the industry believes it is a trend set to stay. Wearables can offer a more personal experience, working in harmony with the human body; one smartwatch we saw claims to measure the amount of calories you consume in a day.Another monitored sleep patterns, while the majority of smartwatches measure the number of steps taken each day and fitness activities undertaken.

As our parent company, Imagination Technologies is one of the official launch partners of Android Wear, the operating system designed by Google for output wearables like smartwatches. We like to think we know what we’re talking about and it’s fair to say we are excited by the latest developments and look forward to seeing those that prosper.

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Categories: Product Launches
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