Friday Four: Smartwatch Hype, Blackberry Z10 launch and more

LGThe smartwatch is officially a trend before it’s even on the shelves. Apple was the first to hint at their next splash in the mobile device game. They were followed by Samsung just a few days ago as we reported in the EE tech news podcast. Now Google is rumored to have something in the works, and LG came right out an announced they are developing a smartwatch as well as a device that is more like Google Glass. Wearable tech already exists in the form of sports and health related devices. Motorola, now owned by Google, released an Android-based watch called MOTOACTV, featuring a GPS tracker, mp3 player, heart rate monitor, and Bluetooth music player. But the forthcoming smartwatches and glasses products will integrate smartphone technology.

Yesterday, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell announced that he’ll be resigning, and today Chairman Julius Genachowski said he is alsois stepping down just from his position. Genachowski is just four months before the end of his term. He was appointed by President Obama in 2009. The exit of both was “expected” since the President’s re-election. The Federal Communicatiosn Commission is made up of five members, with no more than three from any given political party. No replacements have been named yet. Mashable notes that Genechowski’s legacy will be his push for net neutrality and rejecting the T-Mobile/AT&T merger in 2011.

Google Fiber expanded to another town in Kansas. This time the town of Olathe will receive the benefits of 1 gigabit per second internet service.

“Today, another city in the Kansas City area is getting the chance to join the growing Silicon Prairie,” said Community Manager Rachel Hack in a blog post.

Hack said that after seeing the result of Google Fiber in nearby Kansas City, MO, thousands of people have expressed growing their communities with the same positive outcome of the service- a great startup scene and an inventive community. The expansion will not alter the schedule of the current rollout. Olathe is home to companies Honeywell, Garmin, and Husqvarna.

BB10Blackberry’s much buzzed-over version Z10 smartphones went on sale to less than exciting reception today. RIM’s stock price shot up since the announcement of the new phones in September, but today’s launch hasn’t had much effect. The Q10, which has a physical keyboard AND touchscreen, is expected to be released in late spring. The Q10 may have more of a splash for Blackberry users who have held out all this time for the last remaining smartphone to feature buttons.

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