Hug Smartwatch offers gesture controls for Oculus Rift and more

You can even steer a Sphero BB-8 from this soon-to-launch wearable
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The gesture-based Hug Smartwatch, which was unveiled at Microsoft's Future Unleashed conference back in November, is going on sale. It allows users to control connected gadgets - including the Oculus Rift and Sphero BB-8 - with a simple wave of the hand.

The Hug Smartwatch features "Contextual Intelligence," that, apparently, can instinctively understand what you are trying to do with your arm movement. For example, it will know when you want to adjust the volume of your music or dim the lights.

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The wearable is outfitted with a nine-axis sensor made up of a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer, and a three-axis magnetometer. Its software is built on the Microsoft Azure platform and connects with both iOS and Android using Bluetooth 4.0.

You can pause movie playback on a computer by flicking your wrist and then pulling back quickly. To control a remote device, like a car or a drone, you would move your arm slowly in one particular direction. The whole thing actually looks a bit awkward. It seems like it would be easier to simply use the touch screen as a controller.

The Hug also has smartwatch features, like an optical heart rate sensor, activity tracking, speaker, microphone, music controls and phone call compatibility.

There's also a special personal safety feature called the "SOS button," which allows the user to send a distress signal to a designated emergency contact, which can also be activated by gesture controls.

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It has a 1.6-inch, 240 x 240, pixel resolution screen with 2GB of internal storage and 128MB of RAM. It weighs 46g and is 11.2 mm thick at the watchcase. The removable strap measures 22mm wide.

It will be available soon, exclusively through India's online retailer Flipkart.

Hug Smartwatch offers gesture controls for Oculus Rift and more

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Lory is a freelance technology writer, who specializes in apps and games. She now works as a contract editor for Apple.

Lory has written for iMore, Lilliput Computing and

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