Tech Bytes: Software filters for video messages

Software filters for video messages

Video messaging app Snapchat has introduced a lens store, where users can purchase software filters for their video messages or posts at US$0.99 (S$1.40) each.

Before this, there were seven free lenses available each day. Now, there are 30 additional paid options.

In-app purchases on Snapchat are not new, and in September the company announced that users could buy extra replays of selected videos at three for US$1. In-app purchases are currently available in the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and a few other European countries. It is not available here, though they will be expanding to other regions soon.

Bluetooth plans major updates

Bluetooth SIG, the company that oversees wireless Bluetooth technology, has announced that it plans to make significant updates to the technology to cope with the increasing emphasis on the Internet of Things, a technology that encompasses connecting physical objects to a network, which allows them to collect and exchange data.

The changes are aimed at smart home gadgets, industrial automation and location-based services.

Among other improvements, the update means that Bluetooth devices will have four times the range and a 100 per cent speed boost using the same amount of power.

Fossil buying fitness tracker firm Misfit

Fossil Group, a company that designs and manufactures goods such as watches, jewellery, clothing and wallets, has announced that it is buying over fitness tracker company Misfit for US$260 million (S$370 million).

Misfit is best known for its slim, basic Shine fitness tracker, that boasts a six-month battery life and retails for about US$100.

Fossil has long been trying to crack the smart wearables market with products such as the Fossil Q watch, and this union will help give it a leg up.

Asus augmented reality device soon

After a teaser announcement last month, Taiwanese tech company Asus has announced that it will be releasing an augmented reality device next year.

Unlike virtual reality devices, which are more immersive and create a whole, separate virtual universe, augmented reality devices insert simulations and objects into the real world.

Asus has not yet revealed pricing and specific release date details, but according to CNet, Asus CEO Jerry Shen was quoted as saying: "It should be next year when we come out with a product... We think AR will be very important for people's lives."

Compiled by Lisabel Ting

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2015, with the headline 'TechBytes'. Print Edition | Subscribe