A First Time For Everything

Everybody remembers their first…and tech companies are no different. That’s everything from their first product, to an innovation that is the first to offer a new feature, to the first time they release a product into a new (and growing) product category.

These days we are seeing a lot of firsts from companies (even the ones that have been around for over 50 years) as new product categories continue to pop up (such as wearables and smartwatches) and everyone is looking to get into the game while finding a way to outdo the competition.

Motorola: Time Is Meant To Be Circular

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Most smartwatches don’t actually resemble the common wristwatch. Motorola’s Moto 360 will change that. The circular design provides a more familiar look and feel while still offering something extra. The Moto 360 will be one of the first devices on the market powered by Android Wear, a new OS that promises info and suggestions when you need them. It is also voice controlled—just say “Ok Google” and ask a question or give a command like play music. While the watch is expected to arrive later this summer no official price was available at press time.

Adobe: The Software Giant Makes Hardware

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Designers are used to turning to Adobe for new software, but now they can stretch their creative muscles using the company’s very first piece of hardware. The Adobe Ink & Slide ($200) is both a fine-tip, pressure-sensitive pen—the “Ink”—that offers unprecedented precision and creative control (including hundreds of LED colors), and a digital ruler—the “Slide”—that lets you draw any shape including straight lines, perfect circles, classic French curves and more. Both are built to work with the iPad as well as Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which makes it easier to share your work.

Spire: A First For Wearables

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Spire ($150) is both the name of a new company and its very first product, which promises a new kind of wearable device that will track your activity and state of mind. The device is worn on the hip or torso and measures breathing patterns which can reveal periods of tension, relaxation and focus. It then provides push notifications to help users have a balanced and focused day. Also of interest to pharma marketers: The company is exploring applying its technology to pill-plus solutions within respiratory areas.

Amazon: Blazing Into The Smartphone Market

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Remember when Amazon just sold books? The company has come a long way since then and is now releasing its first smartphone: The Amazon Fire ($199.00 – $649.00) which will, of course, make it easier to buy things. Its Firefly technology can recognize household items, books, DVDs, CDs and more, and let you order anything straight from your phone. It can also identify printed text such as phone numbers or emails to save new contacts, send emails or make calls. And Amazon’s Mayday customer service is also available—one click connects you to an expert via live video.

Sony: Going Beyond Fitness Tracking

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There is no shortage of fitness trackers on the market, which may be why Sony’s first entry into the category aims to track your whole life. The Sony SmartBand ($100) is billed as a “life-logging wrist band” that pairs with its Lifelog app to track your physical, social and entertainment activities. So yes, it will count your steps but it will also monitor your camera and music activities as well as your communications. It then presents all of this information in an animated interface so you can see exactly how you are living your life.

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