W|W: The Wearable Weekly – AR to cannibalize mobile & Apple Watch sells out

Welcome to The Wearable Weekly, your trusted guide to all things wearable tech. If you only have time to read one thing about wearables this week, this is it.

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Industry Highlights

It’s a big day for Apple! Pre-orders went on sale at 3:01AM EST this morning and the Apple Watch is already sold out. In the US, Apple’s Sport Watch was the first to sell out, while the mid-tier Apple Watch sold out in less than six hours. In China, Apple’s luxury watch, the gold Apple Watch Edition, which sells for US$17K, sold out in the first hour of pre-orders.

Initial Apple Watch reviews are in, and most agree that while this is the best smartwatch yet, it still doesn’t hit the mark. Reviews poured in from tech journalists this past week who took the Apple Watch for a test drive prior to pre-orders. While many agreed that the Apple Watch experience was by far the best they have had with a smartwatch, most concluded that this first generation device has some growing up to do before it becomes an essential must-have device for users.

Augmented reality is expected to outperform virtual reality over the next five years. A report from Digi-Capital made waves this week quantifying the opportunity of two lucrative technologies benefiting from the wearable computing wave: AR & VR. While both are expected to see success leading up to 2020, AR’s potential to “cannibalize” the mobile market, especially as a tool in enterprise and commerce, suggest that we will see this technology grab more of the revenue share compared to VR.


Statistics & Forecasts

More than 75 million wearable devices to be deployed in enterprise and industrial environments by 2020 according to Tractica. (BusinessWire)

Digi-Capital forecasts that AR/VR could hit $150 billion revenue by 2020, with AR taking the lion’s share around $120 billion and VR at $30 billion. (TechCrunch)

63 percent of consumers expect virtual reality to become part of their online shopping experience in the future according to a report from WalkerSands Communications. (B2C)


Device Announcements

DA14680 semiconductor | World’s first ‘Wearable-on-Chip’ Bluetooth Smart device | Q2 2015 (Dialog Semiconductors)

Disco Dog | LED coat for dogs | September 2015 (Kickstarter)


Funding, Crowdfunding and M&A

InfinityAR today announced that it had raised $5 million in its second financing round. Investors included Sun Corporation of Japan (Globes)

Virtual reality app store Wear VR secures $1.5m in funding (VentureBeat)

Pavlok, the wearable that shocks you, reportedly gets undisclosed amount of funding from IncWell (BostInno)


Major Milestones

Apple launched pre-orders Friday April 10 at 3:01PM PST (MobileSyrup)

Google announced Android Wear now has over 1,000 watchfaces, adds new third-party strap partners (VentureBeat)

Fitbit hires former HTC design lead Jonah Becker as VP of Industrial Design (MobileSyrup)

Magic Leap hires Samsung Executive Yannick Pellet as senior VP of software engineering (South Florida Business Journal)

Swiss Army knife maker Victorinox announces they will get into the smartwatch race (Reuters)

Atheer updated unveils communications console and Unity integration in AiR OS (BusinessWire)


Rumours

Second generation Motorola 360 smartwatch leaked, presumably will get rid of “flat tire” (MobileSyrup)

Samsung’s rumoured round smartwatch tipped to be called ‘Gear A’, to include calling and 3G support (MobileSyrup)

Samsung’s next wearable device could be a flexible screen smartphone that wraps around your wrist (Trusted Reviews)


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Tom Emrich

Tom Emrich

Sometimes called the “man from the future” Tom Emrich is a leading voice in wearable technology as an investor, community builder and influencer. His passion for this space is driven by his belief that wearable tech plays a critical role in our human evolution.