A beginner’s guide to start that Ryzen build you were planning

The dust has settled, the reviews are out, the BIOSes are patched (somewhat), and AMD’s new Ryzen CPU is a serious contender to be the heart of your next PC. To that end, I’ve put together some advice on how to build a PC with this new AMD architecture, which I hope can get you started.

I haven’t built a Ryzen PC yet, but it’s absolutely on my to-do list, and I’ve been doing some digging to figure out what’s the best blend of price and performance. I’m open to suggestions, so feel free to speak up in the comments!

My main uses for a PC are Overwatch, Factorio, and Path of Exile (which are basically trivial for any PC in the $1000+ range), and game development using Visual Studio and Unreal Engine (which are performance-thirsty animals that will use as many resources as you can throw at them).

The CPU

Ryzen 7’s pitch is simple: get a chip that’s about as fast as an Intel Core i7 (for some applications, at least), but for a lot cheaper. Ryzen 5 is more complicated, because Intel’s prices are more reasonable in the Core i5 range. From what I can tell, it really comes down to whether you have an application that can benefit from a serious amount of cores. If you do any form of CPU-intensive content creation, or compiler-based programming, Ryzen 5 might be a good choice depending on your budget. And the gaming performance isn’t far off from Intel, either.

Right now I’m torn between the Ryzen 5 1600X, which has six cores and goes for about $250, or the Ryzen 7 1700, which has eight cores, uses less power, and sells for $320-ish.

The motherboard

AMD has produced a really excellent chart that breaks down the differences between motherboard types available for Ryzen.

The main choice for the performance-minded is between the X370 and the B350. While the X370 is capable of CrossFire or SLI, I’m not really interested in having dual graphics cards right now. Because I can’t really find any other compelling reason to pick the more expensive option, I’m probably going to go with the B350, although that will limit my upgrade potential in the future. I’ve found that I like to pretend I’ll upgrade something, but I usually don’t, and I’d rather save the money and the space (the B350 is available in a MicroATX form factor).

CPU cooler

Some of the processors, like the Ryzen 7 1700, come with an AMD-branded CPU cooler in the box. The enthusiast-oriented “X” processors, such as the Ryzen 5 1600X, don’t come with a cooler, so you’ll have to provide your own. You can’t just grab any random cooler, however. Make sure the cooler you buy is AM4-compatible, or that there’s a mounting bracket available from the manufacturer — a bunch of cooler makers are offering AM4 mounting brackets for free for their customers.

Memory

corsair vengeance led ddr4corsair vengeance led ddr4

This part is really confusing. Basically, not all Ryzen CPUs will necessarily work out of the box with really fast RAM, such as DDR4-3200, due to software problems. If you can get it to work, you’ll see a nice speed boost. Luckily, this is something AMD is working to improve with BIOS updates. It might be possible to use some fast RAM downclocked, and then go full throttle once the BIOS is updated. But if you want to play it extra safe, check to see what your motherboard manufacturer explicitly supports, or limit yourself to DDR4-2667 or lower.

Storage

Recently I’ve come to realize a lot of the work I do on my PC is more storage speed limited than anything. So an M.2 PCI-E SSD is basically my number one priority in a system, and the new Ryzen-compatible motherboards are supposed to have great support for at least one of these drives. Luckily, competition is hot in this space right now, so it’s possible to get 512GB of absurdly fast storage (about five times faster than a SATA3 SSD) for under $200 from a reputable brand.

Video card

One reason to hold off on a build right now is AMD is supposed to show up with new video cards soon, which could give you some hard choices in the mid-range. For higher-end systems, Nvidia will probably remain the easy pick. I’m personally a huge fan of the GTX 1070 for price / performance ratio, but there are ton of great options out there for any price point.

Case

Get the one with the most LEDs!

eTopxizu RGB light strips

But more seriously, you basically just want to make sure your case has a few fans built-in, is sized for your motherboard (ATX vs MicroATX), and that it doesn’t fill you with shame to look at. Everybody has an opinion on cases, so it’s easy to find helpful reviews about how easy a particular case is to work with.

PSU

If you’re attempting something insane with your machine, you already probably know more about PSUs than I do. If you aren’t attempting something insane, a 550 or 650 watt modular power supply should be perfect for a midrange build. More headroom never hurt anybody, but AMD is no longer a power hog, and for that we can be grateful.

General tips

If you haven’t built a PC in a while, or you’re scared you’ll buy the wrong parts, you can’t go wrong with just browsing PCPartPicker for completed builds in your price range. The /r/buildapc subreddit is also a nice resource.

Also, here’s some unsolicited, boring advice: if you don’t know if you need a new PC right now, you’ll always be better off waiting. Prices will come down, new parts will be available (like the upcoming Radeon RX 500 series, for instance), and you can perhaps spend more time with friends and family this Easter instead of endlessly optimizing your PCPartPicker list all weekend.

Las Vegas will dispense clean needles in vending machines

Las Vegas is about to set up vending machines to dispense clean needles, free of charge.

The machines will be designed to make equipment more readily available for intravenous drug users, who can pass various infections to each other if they use the same needles.

The project will make Vegas the first place in the country to offer such a service.

The machines will soon pop up around Las Vegas, but anyone who wants to use them will first have to register to get a card they can swipe, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The cards will have an ID number that allows each user to get up to two packs of needles per week, but those who want to register won’t have to give up personal information to do so.

The machines will dole out packages of 10 needles (or syringes), along with a disposing container, bandages, addiction treatment pamphlets, a tourniquet and alcohol swabs, according to CBS News. The city also plans to use the machines to distribute packages providing materials for safe sex.

This strategy is what’s known as “harm reduction.” Health officials recognize that they’d prefer to eliminate the use of drugs such as heroin, but if it’s going to happen, providing clean equipment can reduce the diseases that are often passed among users who don’t have access to sterilized syringes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently found that 10 percent of new AIDS diagnoses in 2015 came about due to injection. 

The vending machines will be run by a coalition of Nevada AIDS Research and Education Society, Southern Nevada Health District, and Trac-B Exchange. 

Look for them in late May.

WATCH: Airport Coffee Machine Dispenses Free Java When You Yawn

How to activate YouTube’s hidden Dark Mode

If you tend to binge YouTube late at night, I have good news for you.

Reddit users have discovered a new “dark mode” on YouTube that gives the entire webpage a sleek, all-black look. Nothing about the update is official, so it requires a little bit of hacking, but here’s how you can get it:

  • Update Google Chrome to the latest version 

  • Open the console by hitting Ctrl + Shift + I on Windows or Option + Command + I on Mac or go to View > Developer > Javascript Console in the menu

  • Paste in “document.cookie=”VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=fPQ4jCL6EiE” and hit enter

  • Close the developer window, refresh your browser

  • On the top right corner, you’ll be able to toggle dark mode either in your account settings or a separate menu if you’re logged out

  • That’s it!

The feature redesigns the page so that it is cleaner and more widely spaced out, all on a black background. 

Here’s what it looks like in action:

And here’s what the normal design looks like:

Image: youtube

YouTube hasn’t announced the feature or anything like it, but we’ve reached out for additional comment.

WATCH: While the United fiasco unfolded, a travel writer made $11,000 off overbooked flights

Breaking down The Last Jedi trailer scene by scene

The first trailer for The Last Jedi has arrived, and it looks pretty amazing. There’s a lot going on in it: Rey training with Luke! Space battles! Kylo Ren looking pissed! It’s enough to give us a taste of the next Star Wars film, but doesn’t reveal more than is necessary.

The trailer opens with what at first looks like a star field, but quickly reveals itself to be rocks on Ahch-To, the planet where Rey found Luke living by himself. It’s a neat visual trick.

  Lucasfilm

That moment takes us right to Rey who is gasping for breath as she falls to the ground. Its reminiscent of the times in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke was training on Dagobah, out of breath from his training. Rey appears to be in the same situation: training with Luke.

  Lucasfilm

There’s some nice scenery here as well: Ahch-To at a sunset, followed by a beautiful overhead shot of Luke’s island (which is called Skellig Michael here on Earth).

  Lucasfilm

In the voiceover, we hear Luke saying “Just breathe.” Presumably, this is more instruction.

“Now, just reach out. What do you see?” There’s a neat shot of pebbles floating into the air. Is Rey learning to manipulate objects smaller than a lightsaber?

  Lucasfilm

Next, we get a glimpse of General Organa, standing before a holographic star map. It looks different from the Resistance Base that we saw her on in The Force Awakens: a new headquarters for the group?

  Lucasfilm

In the voiceover, we hear Rey respond to Luke, saying “Light… Darkness.” There’s a bit of Darth Vader breathing and Obi-Wan Kenobi saying “Seduced by the Dark Side” in the background as we zoom in on Kylo Ren’s smashed helmet. (Another tantrum?)

  Lucasfilm

Rey’s voiceover continues as we zoom in on what looks like a bookshelf, with some books illuminated by a beam of light. “A balance,” she says. It also sounds like we hear Yoda’s voice in the background.

  Lucasfilm

A closeup view of what looks like one of the aforementioned books, with the sound of a lightsaber igniting in the background.

  Lucasfilm

Next up, we have a really cool shot of what looks like Rey swinging a lightsaber, while Luke looks on from a safe distance. Luke whispers “It’s so much bigger,” presumably in response to the idea of balance between the light and dark sides of the force. The Force could be so much bigger than either the Jedi or the Sith, something that’s been touched on a bit in The Clone Wars.

  Lucasfilm

After a reminder that the film is coming in December, we’re treated to a bunch of fighters streaking across a field towards a line of First Order Walkers. They’re dragging something on the ground, sending up a plume of red dust or smoke. As we watch, one hits the ground and bounces up.

  Lucasfilm

Another shot of the line, coming out of a line of cliffs. This scene feels a bit like the Battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back, but it’s not clear if we’re on a desert or icy planet.

  Lucasfilm

Next up, we get a glimpse of Finn, encased in a pod. Presumably, he’s still healing from his injuries on Starkiller Base.

  Lucasfilm

Poe Dameron and BB-8 follow, running through a hallway as sparks fly through the air. It looks like they’re in a ship that’s under attack.

  Lucasfilm

The next scene seems to follow the shot of the two running. As they race towards Poe’s X-Wing, it’s engulfed in an explosion. Clearly, there’s some big action scene that’s coming, and they’re going to be stuck without a ride.

  Lucasfilm

Next up, more action: we see a TIE Fighter get blown out of the sky by the Millennium Falcon, which is in turn being pursued by some additional fighters. Last we saw the ship, Rey and Chewbacca had brought it with them to Ahch-To. Has Rey left the planet? Or has Chewbacca simply dropped her off and taken the Falcon himself?

  Lucasfilm

Back to Rey, who’s running at full tilt with her lightsaber… somewhere. More training, or is she fighting against someone? It’s not clear.

  Lucasfilm

Kylo Ren / Ben Solo makes his first appearance in the trailer, sans helmet. He’s got his lightsaber back, and is sporting a nasty scar across his face from where Rey sliced him in The Force Awakens.

  Lucasfilm

“I only know one truth,” Luke is back for the voiceover, looking over some burning ruins with R2-D2. This looks quite a bit like the scene from the original trailer for The Force Awakens, where he puts a metal hand on R2. So, maybe this is a flashback?

  Lucasfilm

The scene jumps to another fire scene, with Captain Phasma and a line of First Order Stormtroopers marching towards the camera. This doesn’t look like it’s the same scene as the one before it, despite the flames. This looks more like a hanger or base that’s been damaged.

  Lucasfilm

Cut to a big space battle: X-Wings and A-Wings fly past a line of cruisers, while the green lasers from TIE Fighters streak past them. The shot is followed by another angle of the battle, with an X-Wing blowing up a TIE as it swoops across the screen.

  Lucasfilm

Luke’s voiceover continues with an ominous line: “It’s time for the Jedi… to end.” Luke is looking over his shoulder in the entrance to a cave. The line clearly fits with the title of the movie, The Last Jedi, and given the dialogue that we’ve already heard in the trailer, it feels like there’s some sort of setup for a bigger show-down between the two sides of the force. If this is indeed the case, it’s going to be a game changer for the franchise, given how integral the balance between the light side and the dark side are. It could be that Luke is disillusioned with the cycles of fighting between the light and the dark, and is looking to find another path forward for the Force.

  Lucasfilm

Like the first teasers that we got for The Force Awakens, this trailer feels like it teases just enough. It shows off the action and hints of a larger story, all while leaving us wanting a bit more. There’s clearly stuff not included: no image of Rose, who’s supposed to be one of the big breakout characters, nor of Chewbacca, Snoke, or even much of Leia. There’ll certainly be more trailers to come, and we already can’t wait to see what happens when the film opens. 245 days to go.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15th.

A beginner’s guide to mindfulness meditation, and the best apps for learning

“Mindfulness” is probably a word you’ve heard a lot of lately. It gets thrown around as a synonym for words like attention and concentration, often as a command or suggestion: “be mindful of the step,” or “be mindful of others’ emotions.” It’s also possible you’ve heard it said by those in the self-help crowds, often dressed in flowery, poetic cushioning. But meditation and mindfulness can have very real, measurable effects on your well being. That said, the practice is more than simply sitting calmly.

More: The man behind Def Jam Records wants you to relax, and has made a meditation app to help

What, exactly, is “mindfulness?”

Mindfulness is, essentially, being aware of your body and your mind; being aware of thoughts and emotions as they pass through your head, and sensations that occur in your body. In modern life, it’s easy to get lost in thought, as we often get distracted and become busy at almost all hours of the day. This makes it hard to recognize that subtle back pain or twinge of irritability, making it easier to act on impulse rather than calmly respond to it. It also makes us less likely to recognize our surroundings or positive emotions, and thus, we miss out on them. So how to do we fix this, and increase our mindfulness? The answer is meditation.

More: Bellabeat Leaf review

Mindfulness Meditation is a form of meditation that incorporates aspects from Buddhist meditation styles, like Vipassana and Zazen, but is presented in basic terms divested of any religious or overtly spiritual/metaphysical vestiges and vocabulary. Traditionally, meditation was thought of as a way to “liberate” oneself of the cycles of life and rebirth, and reach enlightenment, or Nirvana. However, mindfulness meditation focuses purely on the benefits of meditation on your brain and body, and by extension, your relationships and daily life. There are many benefits, all backed up by science. Lots of science, in fact. Lower blood pressure, better focus and creativity, and a deeper sense of compassion and empathy are all within reach.

So what’s the best way to begin meditating? Believe it or not, but you can meditate anywhere, at any time, without a monastery. Here’s how:

  • Find a quiet spot, sit comfortably but with your back straight, and breathe.
  • Feel your breath going in and out. Make note of it as it does, or count each breath up to 10 before starting over.
  • Your mind will wander and be busy, but don’t fret. When you notice this, just gently bring your attention back to the breath.

That’s it — no altered states of mind, levitation, or communing with the universe. Simply breathe, and reset your attention when you notice your mind has wandered.

Ironically, by embracing one of the most egregious distractions we possess — our smartphones — we unlock the potential for more effective meditation. These seven apps will help you begin meditating, learn to stick to it, and practice. Furthermore, they’re all light on (or entirely devoid of) any references to Buddhism or new-age spirituality, and just focus on the facts. Within days, you’ll begin to notice the positive changes slowly taking place.

Google tests Google Hire, its own jobs tool

Get ready for Google Hire.
Get ready for Google Hire.

Image: justin sullivan/Getty Images

Google’s own version of LinkedIn — or maybe Greenhouse? or Jobvite? — is almost here. 

The tech company debuted a new sign-in page for Google Hire, an as-yet-unspecified service that’s part of the jobs/career space. 

According to a report in Axios, the program will be a job applicant tracking system, most similar to Greenhouse and Lever. Employers will reportedly be able to use the service to post job listings and then accept and manage applications. 

Google Hire.

Google Hire.

Image: screenshot/google

Google acquired Bebop, a startup focused on productivity and enterprise tools, in 2015. Google Hire is under the purview of Bebop and its founder Diane Greene, who now runs Google’s enterprise and cloud division. 

The main screen of Google Hire is visible to anyone, but the rest is hidden from public view for the moment. Google declined to comment on the program to Mashable

Get ready for job listings, on Google. 

WATCH: This futuristic coffee table has Bluetooth speakers and a refrigerated drawer

You can bob and weave with PiQ and Everlast’s innovative boxing wearable

Why it matters to you

After unveiling a partnership with Everlast at CES 2017, fitness tracking innovator PiQ announced its intelligent wearable geared toward boxers.

Artificial intelligence has been making its way into sports wearables thanks to PiQ Sport Intelligence. Now it has teamed with Everlast, the world leader in boxing gear, to bring its technology to boxing. Three months after making its debut at CES 2017, PiQ has announced the availability of the PiQ Robot, heralded as “the first wearable specifically designed for Core boxing and Fitness boxing.” If you’re in the U.S. or in Europe, you can now grab the new product for $99 on everlast.com, piq.com, and in various retail locations.

Just like other PiQ devices, the wearable (and associated app) will allow athletes to analyze and implement the optimal form in real time.

Using the PiQ Robot device, boxers can tap into the hive mind of thousands of boxers and millions of motions. The motion-capture algorithm measures and tracks each and every movement of every user, constantly updating the optimal form. Microscopic variations in boxing movements are picked up by the device, making it ideal for workouts and training.

“Athletes in other sports have been using data to train smarter for years,” says Chris Zoller, director of marketing and design for Everlast. “We’re excited to work with PiQ to bring wearable technology to the sport of boxing. The PiQ platform has the ability to provide true measurable training insight, something we feel will help boxers perform their best.”

The benefits are made even more clear when boxers connect the PiQ Robot to their smartphone. They can see the strength and speed of their punches, and determine their strength levels. These factors can then be leveraged in order to improve performance.

[embedded content]

To secure the PiQ Robot to a boxer’s hand, Everlast has created a strap that wraps around the wrist to ensure a secure fit. Better yet, the device and the strap are designed to fit perfectly underneath a pair of boxing gloves. This way, they don’t impact performance negatively.

Article originally published in January. Updated on 4-13-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added news of PiQ and Everlast availability in the U.S. and Europe. 

Will Amazon Go Reinvent Retail?

Every time I walk into a retail store, I complain. I grumble to my wife about the same pet peeve every time we go shopping.

After walking the aisles and filling the basket, you then must go through the most inefficient checkout process. First you unload everything in your basket, then it’s rung up, then you put the items in bags that go back into your basket before you can walk out of the store. There must be a better way. Amazon Go suggests there is.

Shouldn’t it be easy in today’s world, with today’s technology, to cut through the mess and reinvent this process? Yes — and that’s what Amazon wants to do with its new retail stores. It wants to reinvent retail the way it reinvented other industries.

Today, Amazon has a few retail bookstores, and it intends to break into other retail sectors. Due to some hiccups, the rollout of the Amazon Go stores seems to be on hold — but the need is real, and I expect Amazon to figure out the problems and open them sooner rather than later.

Startup Issues

What if you could walk the aisles of a store and put the items you want to purchase in the bags in your basket, and then when you are done, simply walk out the door to your car? Your smartphone app would let you get charged for your purchases automatically. Your items would be scanned as you collected them. The whole process would be easy.

That’s the thought, anyway. It seems this should be easy to accomplish with today’s technologies, but apparently it’s not. Amazon is having some trouble at this early stage. When its stores are ready for prime time, it will be interesting to see whether they can enter the retail arena and transform it the same way it transformed online commerce.

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Skipping the Checkout Line

Sam’s Club has its own app. The first time I tried it, I got miserable results. I tried to scan a package of batteries and walk out, bypassing the cashier. I couldn’t do it. It kept trying to get me to place the order as if I were at home and schedule when to pick the item up later in the day. Since I was standing in Sam’s Club, that obviously made no sense.

Confused, I walked up to the customer service counter and asked for help. All I wanted was for someone to explain what I was doing wrong. The staff tried and couldn’t figure it out either. I asked several different Sam’s Club workers and got the same response — a blank stare.

I tried again a few days later, and it was a success. The problem with the first attempt was that I was using the wrong app. Apparently, I had installed two Sam’s Club apps, and when I used the search command, it chose the wrong one.

So, technology can make or break a company’s image in the mind of the customer.

Walmart’s Problem and Solution

Walmart is hurting itself by allowing other companies to sell on its Walmart.com website, but not telling its customers that different rules for returns or exchanges might apply. This mistake costs some customers’ money and sours their experience, reducing the Walmart brand value in their eyes.

Walmart’s problem is not the consequence of a deliberate strategy. The company didn’t try to take me for a ride, even though that’s what happened. I believe it wanted its additional service to work well. However, when a company tries something new and it goes wrong, it’s important to reach out to the customer. Apologize. Make amends. Save the brand’s value.

I have heard nothing from Walmart, however, and that’s the real Walmart problem.

No matter its size, a retailer must be very careful not to damage its own brand when expanding into new areas the way Walmart has been doing. Walmart has been shooting itself in the foot. If I ever step on someone’s toe, I automatically say, “sorry.” Walmart should do the same. It hasn’t, and that attitude will hurt its brand value in the long term.

All that said, we are seeing a number of players in the retail sector trying to break the mold and come up with a new model. Amazon Go is not the only innovative effort. There are quite a few retailers playing in this space to one extent or another. I like the idea of finding new ways to pay with the smartphone.

Tread Carefully

I like paying with an app and then walking out of a QT or Racetrack gas station. However, there are differences between their approaches

With QT, customers can purchase something without touching the germ-filled keypad. With Racetrack, customers still need to punch buttons on a dirty screen. That’s one important reason customers pass Racetrack and go to QT. Little things like this can build or tear down brand value in a customer’s mind. That’s why I believe all retailers will move to the best, fastest, cleanest and easiest solutions for the customer.

Over time, retailers will learn. All of today’s problems will be fixed — but we are still in the early days. I expect to see this new way of retailing become the norm, when the companies involved finally figure it out.

Amazon is the king of good customer care. It does things right. It goes above and beyond. It exceeds customer expectations most of the time. This is key to growth and success in the long and short term. Walmart and Racetrack should pay more attention to and learn from Amazon, don’t you think?

Amazon has reinvented industry after industry, starting with the book store business and expanding to everything else. Not all of its initiatives have been a success — remember the Fire Phone disaster? Still, Amazon does have a good track record — and success to Amazon means upending and reinventing industry after industry.


Jeff Kagan has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2010. His focus is on the wireless and telecom industries. He is an independent
analyst, consultant and speaker.
Email Jeff.

Bose’s new Revolve Bluetooth speakers look great and play sound in every direction

Bose has launched a pair of new Bluetooth speakers, the SoundLink Revolve ($199) and Revolve+ ($299). They both feature aluminum, cylindrical designs and — like the popular UE Boom line — play 360-degree, omnidirectional audio. Bose is really promising a great listening experience from these; the company says the Revolve+ in particular is the best-sounding Bluetooth speaker it has ever produced. The SoundLink Mini II already offered some of the best sound quality from a portable Bluetooth speaker, so if this tops that, it should be a strong performer. Each comes in black or silver. I think they look mostly good, but also like a weird hybrid of Google Home and a metal water bottle.

The main differences between the two speakers are size and battery life. The Revolve measures around 6 inches tall; the Revolve+ is 7.2 inches with a larger diameter and includes a non-removable fabric handle for easy carrying. Bose says those bigger dimensions let the Revolve+ generate “higher-volume, more room-filling sound than SoundLink Revolve.” The regular Revolve can run for up to 12 hours, whereas the plus version extends that to 16. Two speakers can be joined wirelessly for a wider stereo soundstage.

There’s a microphone built in, and the button with three dots can trigger Siri or Google Assistant.

Both are water resistant (IPX4), so they should keep playing just fine in the rain. There’s a microphone built in, which you can use for speakerphone calls or after hitting the dedicated “multi-function button” that will either trigger Siri or Google Assistant depending on what kind of phone you’ve got. Speaking of which, you can connect to two devices simultaneously, and the Revolve remembers the last eight devices it’s been paired with. There’s also NFC to further speed up pairing for Android users. There’s no Alexa here, obviously, but Bose’s FAQ is quick to remind people that you can easily combine the Revolve with an Echo Dot.

Bose includes a 3.5mm auxiliary jack if you prefer to use either speaker wired, and the speaker charges either via MicroUSB (not USB Type-C, unfortunately) or a sold-separately charging dock. Maybe the most “huh!” thing about these speakers is that they’ve got a tripod thread on the bottom. Bose is already shipping the Revolve and Revolve+ right now, so we’re hoping to get our hands on them very soon. It does feel like a lot of money for a Bluetooth speaker, especially when Ultimate Ears is still targeting new products at that under-$100 price point.

Bob and weave: PiQ and Everlast’s innovative boxing wearable now available for purchase

Why it matters to you

After unveiling a partnership with Everlast at CES 2017, fitness tracking innovator PiQ announced its intelligent wearable geared toward boxers.

Artificial intelligence has been making its way into sports wearables thanks to PiQ Sport Intelligence. Now it has teamed with Everlast, the world leader in boxing gear, to bring its technology to boxing. Three months after making its debut at CES 2017, PiQ has announced the availability of the PiQ Robot, heralded as “the first wearable specifically designed for Core boxing and Fitness boxing.” If you’re in the U.S. or in Europe, you can now grab the new product for $99 on everlast.com, piq.com, and in various retail locations.

Just like other PiQ devices, the wearable (and associated app) will allow athletes to analyze and implement the optimal form in real time.

Using the PiQ Robot device, boxers can tap into the hive mind of thousands of boxers and millions of motions. The motion-capture algorithm measures and tracks each and every movement of every user, constantly updating the optimal form. Microscopic variations in boxing movements are picked up by the device, making it ideal for workouts and training.

“Athletes in other sports have been using data to train smarter for years,” says Chris Zoller, director of marketing and design for Everlast. “We’re excited to work with PiQ to bring wearable technology to the sport of boxing. The PiQ platform has the ability to provide true measurable training insight, something we feel will help boxers perform their best.”

The benefits are made even more clear when boxers connect the PiQ Robot to their smartphone. They can see the strength and speed of their punches, and determine their strength levels. These factors can then be leveraged in order to improve performance.

[embedded content]

To secure the PiQ Robot to a boxer’s hand, Everlast has created a strap that wraps around the wrist to ensure a secure fit. Better yet, the device and the strap are designed to fit perfectly underneath a pair of boxing gloves. This way, they don’t impact performance negatively.

Article originally published in January. Updated on 4-13-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added news of PiQ and Everlast availability in the U.S. and Europe.