Fitbit acquires the Vector smartwatch startup, as the wearable giant continues its roll-up

Well this is a relatively fast exit. In March last year a brand new smartwatch brand appeared, hoping to offer something different. Combining the incredible engineering talent in Central Europe’s Romania with the business smarts of London and former executives from Citizen watches, the Vector startup carved out a very credible slot in the “affordable luxury” smartwatch sector.

Only a year later, Vector has been acquired for an undisclosed price by global wearable giant Fitbit. Founder and CTO Andrei Pitis confirmed to TechCrunch that the company was acquired for its software platform and design team. This does not, however, signal a move into the luxury smartwatch sector by Fitbit.

What is does confirm is that Fitbit is continuing its roll-up of talent associated with watches, wearables and fitness devices. In November, Fitbit acquired a pioneer in the smartwatch space, Pebble, with all its engineering talent being sucked into Fitbit. The same fate now awaits Vector, which raised only a small amount of cash, but turned heads with its clever hardware and software integration and design smarts.

In a statement online the company says “we will start building other new and amazing products, features and experiences, incorporating our unique technology and knowhow with Fitbit’s experience and global community.”

Vector — a smartwatch with an e-ink LCD screen — broke the mold with a 30-day battery life and a smartphone control app that worked across iOS, Android and Windows phones. It also created its own smartwatch operating system, and released an API to developers, allowing them to create their own apps and faces for the watch. The watches themselves looked fantastic and the LCD screen even mimicked a real watch screen from a short distance. With a fully stainless steel case, hardened mineral glass and 50m water resistance, this was a very nice piece of kit. It also came in Rose Gold, Champagne Gold, Stainless Steel and Black Plated, with leather, stainless steel or sport straps.

Launched by Pitis, and based out of Romania, Vector was in stealth for two years prior to launch last year, powered by only a $2 million seed round from the Gecad fund. Pitis was formerly an angel investor in Clevertaxi and I-Rewind, and co-founder with Bogdan Iordache of Tech Angels and Innovation Labs in Bucharest.

Pitis had assembled a crack team from the watch world, which included Joe Santana (the former CEO of iconic watch brand Timex) and Steve Jarvis as design director, the former creative lead on projects with Timex and the Nike FuelBand. COO Ron Spencer was the former COO of Bulova, Fossil.

Vector has said there will be no new products bearing the Vector name, but that existing products will continue to work, as will the associated software, although it will no longer be developed. It’s released an extensive FAQ about what will happen next for customers.

Their customer support team will continue to respond to customers via a Help Page and and warranties will be honored.

The first V8 four-seater Ferrari GTC4Lusso T makes debut in China

Unmatched sportiness, versatility and daily usability

November 18th, 2016, Guangzhou — Representing a groundbreaking new Ferrari GT concept, Ferrari celebrated the China Premiere of the new GTC4Lusso T at Auto Guangzhou today.

The first ever four-seat creation from the team in Maranello to be powered by the acclaimed V8 power unit, the new GTC4Lusso T offers an even wider variety of driving enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the unbridled thrill of the Prancing Horse. Ferrari performance, elegance, versatility are now compatible with the daily driving needs of four. With the finest in automotive workmanship, the legendary marque has proved Ferrari remains the preeminent super car manufacturer in the world and its most steadfast commitment to the China market. The latest Ferrari to capture the vibrant Italian spirit, while still offering the best-in-class performance that has become the hallmark of the famous brand, now is available in China at the price of RMB 3,588,000.

To further demonstrate a commitment to the driving enthusiasts of China, Ferrari also brings to Guangzhou masterpieces such as the California T Tailor-made, the 488 Spider and the 488 GTB, which have already taken its place at the peak of super car demand.

The stellar lineup of supreme performance cars marks a truly special occasion for Ferrari, with the announcement of a wide range of special initiatives to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of Ferrari. A world tour spanning more than 60 different countries will underscore the global reach of the Prancing Horse, culminating in a grand closing event in Maranello. At the same time, 70 liveries created by the Tailor-made atelier and inspired by iconic models from Ferrari history will be used to create a maximum of 350 unique cars: with each to be used just once on each of the five models in the current range. Combined with a series of celebrations across China, the coming year is certain to write another unique chapter in the history of Ferrari in this country.

While continuing to achieve sales success in China, Ferrari has also led the super luxury automotive industry in the field of corporate responsibility. Further highlighting this commitment in China, Ferrari has developed the “Love of Red” programme – a series of initiatives covering the full breadth of philanthropic efforts of the Prancing Horse in the fields of environmental care, education, driving safety and social welfare. As Mr. Matteo Torre, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ferrari Greater China exclaimed, “Ever since the establishment of Ferrari nearly seven decades ago, creating dream core of our brand.

Our success in 2016 has now laid the foundation for an even more s with the most thrilling super cars and driving experiences has always remained at the fruitful year of 2017 as we celebrate our 70th anniversary across China. The unveiling of the new GTC4Lusso T today in Guangzhou stands as yet another example of how this country and its driving enthusiasts remain at the centre of our objectives and the future of Ferrari worldwide.”

Trophy Home in New York Inspired by Palace of Versailles Listed for $114 Million

Trophy homes were not adversely affected even when the global economy went into a downturn. Now with the real estate market looking up more such homes are coming on the market. A potential record breaker is the opulent 20,000 square foot mansion that boasts of sweeping views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. The asking price has been set at $114 million. The six level house has been wrapped in a bow for Christmas. The interiors of the mansion have been inspired by Palace of Versailles, the castles of Italy and even a media room based on the owner’s favorite movie-theater in Queens, New York. All the 19 rooms in the mansion including seven bedrooms have been decorated with the finest European imported materials.

 The Mansion Was originally Built in 1883

Apart from the 20,000 square feet of living space the mansion boasts of 2,500 square feet of outdoor space in the form of a three-tiered rooftop deck. The mansion also features a saltwater pool with spa in the basement. Another exclusive feature of the mansion is that the sidewalk outside and the stoop leading to the front door can be heated for the winter months. The mansion was originally built in 1883 and now attracts an annual property tax of $178,246. Less than a decade ago the property was bought by NHL’s Florida Panther’s owner Vincent Viola and his wife Teresa in 2005 for just $20 million. They renovated the interiors completely. The process took all of three years but the effort has been worth it.

The Level of Grandeur is Awe Inspiring

The mansion now has six bathrooms, three powder rooms, a brick pizza oven in the kitchen and a picnic room. The kitchen is 40 feet wide and boasts of three stone sinks and four mahogany-framed windows that overlook 60th Street. Viola was closely associated with the grand redesign and traveled all over the world to source the materials and artifacts perfectly suited for the d├ęcor. The 900 square foot dining room is clearly inspired by Versailles and the same level of grandeur is evident everywhere in the mansion. The walls are decorated with gold leaf and the powder room has a fireplace made from Brazilian travertine and the third-floor banquet room has a black walnut heated floor. Anyone who wants to own all this will not deterred by the three digit price tag.
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